We're the first to admit it: Cleveland may not top anyone's vacation list. Sure, the onetime Mistake on the Lake has some fabby public places, a nifty waterfront and a gee-whiz Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But as vacation destinations go, it's probably somewhere between York, Penn., and, well, Detroit.
But Cleveland does have one big advantage: It's 3 1/2 hours from Detroit, which makes it an ideal weekend retreat for a little girl who can endure just about 3 1/2 hours in a car seat before going absolutely bonkers.
We spent Saturday and Sunday in the Forest City, as a weekend getaway mystery trip birthday excursion from Big Mo to Yours Truly. We stayed in a nice hotel, walked around, saw the sites, went out to dinner, took in the very cool Rock Hall, ate junk food and, all and all, had a lovely time.
In fact, we would dare say it was liberating. With winter and Hope's slow growth, we're still tepidly emerging from our nourishing yolk. But as she does every time, Hopesy made us proud: The kid is a terrific travel companion. She barely fussed, endured her old man's stories at the Rock Hall about The Clash and, when it all got too damn boring, took a nap.
We returned Sunday night full of vim and newfound courage to spread our wings further and more frequently. We can do this! We were lame to be so careful! The only limitation is our own mind!
Monday, the vomiting began. Then came lethargy, dehydration and an overall peaked appearance. Three calls to the doctor and some waffling over the emergency room later, we're still in the throes. Cross-our-fingers, sign-of-the-cross, knock-on-wood, we think Hopesy is slowly emerging. She's at least begun to keep some food down tonight.
We're kicking ourselves for what we did or didn't do, but maintaining our mantra: She could have gotten sick anywhere. Don't blame Cleveland. It's got enough problems.
Seriously, we're worried like anyone and hopeful the experience doesn't curtail our travels. Hope digs the out-and-about. It's good for her, and it's good for us.