Ok, maybe the Mid-West isn’t quite so wild, but for the past few months Drew and I certainly have been! After spending those 3 weeks in Paris, Italy and Germany, we then summited the tallest mountain in SoCal and then the tallest mountain in the continental US, all on back to back weekends…! So, to top it all off, we decided to toss in an over-due trip to the Mid-West to visit our families. We don’t do “spare weekends” these days.
To give you a bit of background, Drew was born in Flint, Michigan and raised mostly in Toledo, Ohio, so when we go to visit we have a whole slew of family and friends that we are blessed to see. I had been to his neck of the woods just twice before, and this time he was able to show me a few more of his favorite things.
Cedar Point, the 2nd oldest amusement park in the US, opened in 1870, has come to be known as one of the best amusement parks in existence! I had never been to Cedar Point before this trip, so naturally I was stoked! We went with Drew’s best childhood friend, Skipper, and younger cousin, Mike, on the Sunday before Labor Day. Needless to say, it was pretty packed. We waited in line for an average length of 1 hour, with the exception of the Maverick, which held us in suspense for almost 2 hours! But it was totally worth it, plus I don’t mind the downtime between upside-down corkscrews that bullet you through the air at 125mph.
We spent the rest of our time catching up with his family and friends and eating the best ice cream the Mid-West has to offer! Freeze Daddy’s, located in Downtown Monclova’s most happening spot, has kept Drew’s Nana and Papa happy for years with their chili dogs and twisty cones. Papa averages a minimum of 2 twisty cones per-visit!
To top it all off (pun intended), I didn’t think there’d be anything for a vegan in this town, but that’s when I met Dole Whip! A dairy-free, gluten-free delicious form of soft-serve, it was so good even Drew ordered it!
Another one of Drew’s favorite past times is getting some rink-time in at Slyvania’s Tam-O-Shanter. He and his cousins got to skate around, and while I am no skater myself (which I credit to being born and raised in South Florida) I got to do some fancy tricks of my own 😉
We also managed to squeeze in a road trip to visit my family in Oakmont, PA! My mom was born there and is a crazed Steeler’s fan, whenever a Steeler’s game is on other neighbors literally come over to make sure she is OK because she yells at the screen so loud… it’s serious. Any who, back to the trip, we managed to roll out of bed at 5am to start our 4-hour trek from Toledo and were gifted with an incredible sunrise.
I hadn’t been to Oakmont since I was 16, back then my little cousins were just over a year old and, as you will see in the photos below, they had miraculously turned 11! Being that this was my first time in Pittsburgh with Drew, my family and I were in search of most Pittsburgh-ish thing to do. We settled on taking him to the Original Primanti Brothers, located in the DT Strip District, home of the famous Primanti sandwich.
Now, for those of you who don’t know what a Primanti is, THE sandwich is made up of a massive pile of meat, cheese, tomato, cole slaw and fries, stuffed between 2 thick slices of fresh, fluffy bread. It was originally created for truck drivers on the go, as it eliminated the need to look down at your fries while driving . The place is open 24/7 and runs like a factory. Drew was in heaven, and luckily they had vegetable soup, which when paired with their fresh-cut fries, was quite d’lish.
With hearts and bellys full, it was finally time to return home. Sometimes returning home can fee like a downer, but with the Cali sun on our faces, we can’t help but feel like we’ve returned to our very own playground. With no more trips planned for quite sometime, Drew and I now have the chance to catch up on the many nearby destinations we still have yet to discover! Oh yes, and sleep, catch up on sleep, we’ll see how that one goes.