After New Year’s, we got in a little shopping. Which included trips to bookstores we really, really didn’t need to visit. We also had to venture out to get me contact solution when I realized I’d spend part of the weekend traveling and needed some to take with me. Thank God we’re within walking distance of a Shop ‘N’ Save.

My mom’s Uncle Butch and Aunt Marianne both died about a week before Christmas, but their son, Justin, held off on having any sort of service until after the holidays. Since my godmother Kimmie’s husband wasn’t going, my mom figured we’d make it a girls’ trip, so I drove out to my parents’ place the Sunday after New Year’s to ride out with her.

She originally wanted to leave at noon, then decided that because of a possible snow storm hitting the area of Ohio we were traveling to, we’d better leave as soon as possible. So I got out there early and as she was finishing up her pacing and getting ready, I did some laundry for free and watched an episode of The Man in the High Castle with Brandon.

It’s probably a common Mom quality, but we did not get out the door before noon, nor did we get out the door at noon. Nope, it was after. So much for timing it to beat a snowstorm, although the snow ended up being minimal.

The drive was pretty good. I’m not crazy about long car rides anymore, but it was an easy drive and went well.

Most of the family got in around the same time, and once everyone was settled in, we met up for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant–Krave in the Mentor, Ohio, Holiday Inn, for the curious–which became a bit of an ordeal that we joked about the rest of the weekend.

There were eight of us–me, my mom, Kimmie, her parents, and Aunt Elaine and her husband and one of their kids. That’s a decent crowd, but the restaurant was otherwise empty…yet we spent two hours there, most of which was waiting for our food. It took forever, and four of us ordered the same thing. Not to mention they were out of a kind of embarrassing number of things, like iced tea, baked potatoes, and walnuts for a walnut-encrusted chicken cousin Zach had ordered. Some of the food was overdone or burnt when it came out. The waitress told us the kitchen wasn’t used to cooking for that many people, but essentially, it was only five different meals with only one or two other diners in the place. My best guess is they only had one chef in the kitchen and that he was relatively new to the business, especially considering that by comparison, a much larger meal the next day went much more smoothly. And I’ve dined out with big parties many times before, and never have I had service as slow that resulted in such mediocre food in my life.

I was glad that my mom thought to pack us some snacks for the the hotel room. Those chips and cookies came in handy later.

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