Our Trip to Dayton, August 2017 (Part One)

We weren’t sure how exactly our Dayton trip was going to pan out, since Grandma was recovering from open-heart surgery and Grandpa had a minor procedure scheduled at the beginning of August, but it finally came together. We’d all meet for lunch on Friday — me and Connor, my Mom and her fiancĂ© Jim, and Grandpa and Grandma — visit in the afternoon, check into the hotel and have some swim time, then go out to dinner. We’d reconvene the next morning to visit some more, then Mom and Jim would head back and Connor and I would head up to see our friend Amy.

Even when I got a last-minute call from Mom the morning of the trip, letting me know that Grandpa and Grandma had already paid for a luncheon for that day, so we’d all be doing lunch separately and meeting at Grandpa and Grandma’s house at 1pm, Connor and I rolled with it. I hit up Yelp to see what restaurants were in Grandpa’s neck of the woods, and I found a Bolivian joint. Score!

When we left our house, I asked Yelp for directions to Nelly’s, and off we went.

The drive itself was uneventful — only one potty stop along the way, and typical summer construction here and there. We arrived at Nelly’s ready to try some new cuisine.

Sitting at Nelly's

Waiting for Lunch

I ordered us some fried plantains, sure that Connor would love them. Alas, he did not. They were a little softer than the plantains we’d had at the Cuban place in Perrysburg, so I think it was a texture thing for him. That’s OK — more platanos for me!


For our main courses, Connor ordered a quesadilla from the Kids’ Menu (a familiar favorite) and I tried the Silpancho Sandwich. It was like if a torta and a Romanburger had a baby and invited a runny fried egg to the christening.

Silpancho Sandwich

After lunch, the drive to Grandpa’s house was only about five minutes. We got there a little after the appointed time of 1:00pm, but I don’t think anyone really minded. The afternoon was spent oscillating between visiting with the family and playing with Connor, who really wasn’t into “visiting” and had just spent a couple hours before lunch keeping himself occupied with his Nintendo DS.

Grandma and Grandpa Cook

Drawing Dinosaurs

Grandma Cook and Connor

Another Selfie

After a few hours of visiting on the sunporch, we left the grandparents to their afternoon nap and went to check into the hotel. Connor and Grammy and I took advantage of the hotel pool, although I didn’t get any photos this year (I was too busy having fun and making sure Connor didn’t drown himself in his enthusiasm).

Testing Out the Hotel Bed

Once we were done swimming, we had some chill time in the hotel room, then drove back to the grandparents’ house and carpooled to Golden Corral for dinner. It’s kind of a tradition to go to a buffet for dinner — I remember going to Duff’s Smorgasbord with them back when I was a kid. After dinner, we dropped the grandparents back off at their house and excused ourselves back to the hotel for the night.

Honestly, the overnight in the hotel room with Connor was the only thing about the trip that had me a little… hesitant. Last year, he was still young enough that I really had to make sure he got to sleep at a reasonable time. Which meant that, since Grammy was sharing a room with us, all three of us had Lights Out by 8:30pm, since Connor wouldn’t stay in bed if the grown-ups were awake and playing on their screens.

I needn’t have worried. The two of us snuggled into our beds (Connor got a double bed all to himself!), each of us with a glass of ice water nearby (because the most exciting thing about a hotel stay is the trip to the ice machine, amirite?) and channel-surfed until we discovered Battle Bots and accidentally binge-watched some two and a half episodes before turning off the TV and passing out.

The next morning, we indulged in the hotel’s continental breakfast — including DIY waffles, plus pastries and sausage and cereal and fruit and whatnot — before checking out and heading back to Mimosa Drive for yet more visiting time.

Waffles with Sprinkles

Running in Grandma's Back Yard

Playing Sword

Playing a Song He Wrote

Finally, it was time to go. Mom and Jim headed back home, and Connor and I headed northward to visit our friend Amy. But not before lots of hugs and goodbyes and pictures!

Dayton family photo, sans Grammy

I asked Siri for directions to Amy’s house, and off we went, waving goodbye as we pulled out of the driveway.

Siri was quite a help in reading me Amy’s texts and sending her my replies about where to go to lunch… but that’s a blog post for another day.

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