Szyperski: Spring break 2012 postgame reportWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite a fairly large and ill-timed vet bill, we were able to stick with our original plan of trading in a potential spring break getaway for a new TV. We even cheated a little and bought the TV a couple of weeks early. Consequently, by the time spring break actually rolled around the novelty of having a flat panel in the house had somewhat worn off and we were ready to get out and see some sights.
Despite me questioning his timing, my husband decided to use four of his vacation days to coincide with our kids’ vacation days. I appreciated the gesture immensely, but I also couldn’t help fantasizing about the basement and garage cleaning that could be accomplished if he instead took them while the kids were in school happily learning (and not at home arguing over things like Easter candy and the new TV). As it happened, dear old dad came along for our somewhat spontaneous excursion into The Land of Local and Inexpensive Adventure.
On day one we respectfully saluted toward my publication home base as we checked into Pizza Papalis across the street. In addition to its delectability, the deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza experience always triggers memories of another spring break adventure I took with my own parents. As we stood in a long, out-the-door line waiting for our turn to literally make our mark at the original Gino’s East of Windy City fame, my mom inexplicably and quite shockingly began pointing and shouting at an innocent bystander, “Look at that man! He looks like a Chinese Dick!”
Now, I can’t say for certain that she was shouting, but when something so seemingly offensive is being uttered in public even a whisper can feel like the loudest of bellows. All of us not in my mom’s head obviously erupted into a fit of laughter and utter confusion. My mom’s attempt to clarify her thoughts with “no, in his face” only evoked more of an uproar. When the dust of shock and awe finally cleared, it came to light that my mom thought the man looked like an Asian version of my uncle. He did.
Since my own children are still a bit young to appreciate the Chicago Chinese Dick story, we instead entertained them after lunch with a trip to our downtown library, showcasing the children’s wing for them, of course, and then topped off our first day-o-fun at the Francis Family YMCA in Bedford. But, wait, kids, that’s not all we have in store for your fantastic Toledo-area staycation. Just wait until you see what’s behind curtains number two and number three!
Day two was sponsored by Rave Cinemas. Thanks to some keen grandparenting eyes, we spent a lovely Wednesday morning watching “Dolphin Tale” at Westfield Franklin Park — for free. Kudos go out to Rave for providing a little spring break family fun for the community on the house. Though, I have to admit that afterward I did have a bit of a longing to head south to Clearwater, Fla., to see Winter the dolphin in person.
We instead headed north on day three to watch the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Although it felt a little like we were betraying our Mud Hens by spectating out of town, I found comfort in the fact that the two teams are not-so-distant cousins. I was also comforted by the $2 tickets my genius of a husband purchased on Stub Hub. Despite two minor-league panic attacks, one upon reaching our upper deck seats and the other atop the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel (common denominator = my brain does not process heights in a favorable manner), the day was a vast improvement over my last professional sports experience, a 14-degree Steelers/Bengals game where I spent a good deal of time warming my numb toes under the bathroom hand dryers. This time the weather was absolutely perfect, the venue outstanding and the whole day at the ol’ ball game was amazingly only $42 all in.
On the fourth day, we rested (that’s parenting code for we stayed home but didn’t actually sit down and rest in the least bit). As the lights went down on Spring Break 2012 and we had the chance to hear all about our friends’ delightful adventures abroad, I suppose it says something about our little “Staycation That Could” that there wasn’t a hint of green to be had. Besides, we have our new TV and that’s something we can all argue over for years to come.
Shannon and her husband Michael are raising three children in Sylvania. E-mail her at email@example.com.