Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bedtime Story #26: The Boy Who Wanted to Be Perfect

Mommy: Once there was a boy named Tared who was very smart about a lot of things. He was smart about lions, and he was smart about snakes--
Jared: Yes! And he was smart about T-Rexes too--
Jonah: Jared! Mommy is telling you a story! You're not supposed to interrupt.
Mommy: Tared also had an older brother named Nonah who was pretty bossy and always telling him what to do.
Yes, Tared was very smart about T-Rexes and every other kind of dinosaur. He was pretty smart about swimming, but not as smart as Sam. But the thing Tared was really smart about was drawing.
Tared loved to draw. He drew animals, mostly. Like lions...

and cats...

and skunks...

One day, Tared decided to draw a picture of a rocket ship. It was so cool! It had wings that looked like a bird's wings and it had lots of room for the astronauts. It had paintings of fire on the ends that looked almost real. But it was just paint. Anyway, Tared showed his picture of the rocket to his uncle who was an engineer, and his uncle showed it to the guys he worked with, and they thought it was so cool, they decided to build a real rocket just like it.

So next, Tared drew a picture of a car that had doors that opened like wings, and it could go faster than any other car in the world because it had seventeen wheels. Tared showed it to his aunt, who was also an engineer, and she took it to work, and the people there liked it so much they built a real car just like it.
Tared was starting to get pretty excited about his drawings, so one day he decided to draw a new playground for his preschool. It had 7,145 slides and lots of things to climb on and jump on. It even had a tunnel made out of cotton candy. Tared was pretty excited about it, and he was sure that when he showed it to his teacher, she would decide the school needed a new playground just like it. But then something terrible happened!
Tared made a mistake.
Tared hated to make mistakes.
Tared got so mad, he threw his pencil across the room, and the pencil became like a dart in its flight and it stuck right into the TV. The TV made a sound like this: pfftt and then smoke started to come out of the hole.
But Tared wasn't done being mad.
Next, Tared threw his notebook up in the air and it hit the fan. The fan was on, and the blades turned Tared's notebook into something that looked like snow.
But Tared still wasn't done being mad.
When Tared was really mad, he started to hurt himself. He hit his head with his hand a LOT of times, and his face started to get red and hurt a little bit.
That's when Tared's mommy came upstairs.
"Tared," she said, "what are you doing?"
"I messed up my drawing," he said, hitting himself in the face.
"I thought that might be what happened," she said, catching his hand and holding it tightly. "I heard the pfftt sound, but I thought maybe you had tooted. Then I saw something like snow coming down the stairs, but I thought that was just from Daddy working on the roof. But then I heard the smacking, and I started to get worried."
Tared started crying. "I just want to make a good picture of a playground, and it's not working out!"
"Well, you know," Mommy said, "there's only one person in the world who is perfect. Do you know who that is?"
"Me?" Tared asked.
"No, honey, it's God. He's the only one who doesn't make mistakes. Everyone else does. I make mistakes, and so does Daddy. Nonah makes lots of mistakes. So if you make a mistake, you should just erase the bad part and keep going. Or you could just start a new drawing."
Tared looked like he didn't believe her.
"It's true, honey. And remember, you're a great artist! You make things so real they seem like they are alive!"
Tared started to nod slowly. "I am a good artist," he admitted.
"That's right, little frog. Remember how well you drew me? Now, it's time to go to sleep."
And mommy helped Tared get ready for bed. When she bent to kiss him good night, she crinkled a little, and when she turned to go out the door, Tared couldn't see her for a split second.
That's because she was paper. THE END.

Jonah: WHAT??!!?? That's the end! That's horrible! You can't make her out of paper. You should stop the story after the mom tells Tared he's a good artist.
But Jared didn't say anything. He was asleep.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cupcake Night

This morning as I was drinking my coffee and paging through the latest issue of Real Simple Family, I came across this spread. I had to set my cup down! No joke. I slobbered my way through the pictures, and then I had to close the magazine. I hadn't even eaten breakfast yet, and I was already fantasizing about cupcakes! It was embarrassing.

So, after dinner, I followed the recipe (which I'll post at the bottom) and whipped up these cupcakes. Seriously, it was the easiest from-scratch cake I've ever made. Two steps, people! Two steps.

Unfortunately, the recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, so although the kids each got 3 cupcakes to decorate, Clint and I had to share ours. (How did that happen? Does this sound right to you?)

The frosting is a simple cream cheese frosting, and I made a half-recipe, thinking 8 oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter would probably be too much. I was right: the half-recipe made more than enough (those real simple people must love their frosting!).

Lauren and Jonah dug everything they could find out of the cupboards. They found peanuts and almonds, sprinkles and red hots, mini chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, regular chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, flavored sugar and decorating icing and graham crackers.

Clint got busy with some peanut butter and peanut butter chips. Masterpiece!

This is a sampling of some of the cupcakes we made...which one to eat first?

Jared went a little crazy with the banana chips and the colored sugar.

Apparently, Jonah likes red hots and chocolate chips.

The cupcakes are so tasty! Not so airy as a cake mix--more substantial and dense. Try this recipe! And let the kids decorate them. Here's the recipe, reprinted from Real Simple (Sept 2010):

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and bake about 18-20 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool.

Frosting (the half-recipe)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stratford Ho

What to do first:
Pick one of the hottest, humidest days of the summer to make salted caramels. About ten minutes after returning from the grocery store to buy about One Million Blueberries and exactly One Half-Pint of whipping cream, begin to make the salted caramels. After completing the first step, you will probably realize that you don't actually have any corn syrup, even though you have a perfectly clear mental image of a bottle of it sitting on your shelf. Drop everything, sigh like a martyr, and go to Polly's. Come home and finish making the caramels (be ready to do a lot of stirring and sweating). Put them in the fridge to cool and sit down for a rest.
At this point, it might be a good idea to get out the waxed paper and start cutting it up into small squares to wrap the caramels. You will probably take this quiet moment to listen to the niggling voice in the back of your head. You know, the one that's been chanting "you don't have any waxed paper" repeatedly ever since you got back from Polly's with the corn syrup.
When you look in the drawer and don't see it, DON'T PANIC. Bribe your kid to ride his bike to the store. Bribe him with caramel. It works.
Wrap the caramels and put half of them in a bag to take to your mom and dad's, who kindly booked and arranged this whole trip for you all. And who are letting you sleep in their hotel room since there...uh...wasn't any more room in the inn. (no joke!)

Remember to pack your passport, or--if your kid isn't 16 yet--her birth certificate and a photo id. Then be ready for a nice 4ish hour drive to Stratford.

Where to stay:
Your dad has probably already done this for you, but if he hasn't, book a hotel within walking distance of downtown. Just don't always believe the pictures. This was our room--or part of it, but this isn't how it was arranged. Pack in a couch, a wing backed chair, a coffee table, a TV on a stand, an oddly placed support pillar, and a tiny toilet room. You can imagine the bed in the other room, though, and put the shower room and armoire in there. Cozy it was. Very cozy.
And don't complain, not one bit. It IS a room after all, and it's downtown. And the breakfast at Joe's Diner is good--especially the oatmeal.

(photo courtesy of

Where to eat:
Eat at Raja's if you like fine Indian food. Everything is family style, and you will most likely love all the different breads (naan, roti, and something crunchy...Dad? What was it??). Also, we liked the mushroom rice, the butter chicken, and the shrimp korma. And Lauren and Mom each had a yum-o Mango Lassi. However, you should be very suspicious of something called Pickled Lime. It smells like gym shorts, it tastes like gym shorts, it looks like very old gym shorts. I don't believe there is anything related to lime in it. Its only salvation is that it is spicy, so you can pretend you're crying because of the heat, not the fact that it tastes like...well, I already said it.

(photo courtesy of

Eat at the Annex if you like yummy food. They have pizzas baked in a stone oven, and their other entrees are delicious. You may decide to try their delicious Shrimp Linguini (which is what Lauren did, but beware: you'll probably end up coveting someone else's plate) , Orange Roughy with (something something) Polenta (which looks lovely, but Dad inhaled it in half the time it took me to eat mine) , a Mango Shrimp pizza (a 10 inch-er, which mom pretty much polished off on her own whilst making some very surprising sounds), and (recommended by me and everyone else who snuck samples of the sauce--oh, the sauce!) Grilled Chicken with Roasted Tomato Goat Cheese Creamy Delicious Delight on a Plate That Needs A Lot More Sauce on It. Pretty sure that was what it was called.

(photo courtesy of

Don't eat at the Elizabethan Restaurant if you want authentic Elizabethan food. Nothing Elizabethan about it (except the creepy stairs going up to the bathroom). According to dad, the grilled cheese with bacon isn't bad, though. (eww! bacon!!)

(photo courtesy of

What to do:
Get tickets to see Peter Pan. Bring a hankie for the end and a sense of wonder for the whole thing. Be ready to laugh. Be prepared to believe in magic and mermaids, and (most importantly) in fairies. I just need to say this: there are flying people, a dancing T-Rex, a JM Barrie with a lovely Scotch accent that you might want to try to make into dessert, an enormous crocodile that EATS someone, a load of singing pirates, flying children, and at least four Lost Boys tossed down from the balcony. (Okay, that part is a bit of a fib--they're just life-size dolls--but still! tossed from the balcony! I was shocked too!)
Oh, and bring a jacket or something. Canadians like their AC a bit too much, methinks.

(photo courtesy of

Since you're there, get tickets to see The Tempest..but first make sure you have a working knowledge of the play. It helps to know who is trying to kill whom and why. And how they're all related and stuff. You can read the entire play, but it would probably be just as good to read a one or two page synopsis. But even if you don't get much of the play at all, it's still cool to see Christopher Plummer (as Prospero) stalking around the stage and wiggling his fingers and speaking with such force almost every sentence creates a subtle spit fountain.
And this play has a couple fairies too! Plus, a monster who is half-skinned muscle dude and half-reptile. And also, a fairy and some lizardy looking minions. And, since it's Shakespeare, a couple of drunks, a couple of sword fights, a shipwreck, mistaken identities, and some bawdy jokes. Oh, and also magic. We're still not sure how some of it worked...

(that's Prospero talking to Ariel)
(photo courtesy of la times)

What to do:
When you aren't watching plays, you might like to do some shopping. Just be prepared, though. Stratford has about three types of shops: (really expensive) clothing shops, Native Canadian art galleries, and book stores. If I were you, I'd skip the first two and hang out in the book stores. What's the point of anything else? Oh, and some chocolate and coffee shops. Those are always yummy.

(photo courtesy of international trading company)

If you get tired of shopping or if you run out of money, the park is free and the river is nice. There are ducks there and swans too, but watch your step.

(photo courtesy of

Where to stop on your way home:
London is only about 40 minutes from Stratford, so after you check out of your hotel, you might want to stop here. The farmers market is called Covent Garden, and the indoor section is open year-round. The sellers in the (outdoor) courtyard are friendly (desperate for a sale), and if you have a dad who has given you forty minutes to see the whole place, you might want to avoid them, especially if you're not sure you can even take heirloom tomatoes that were grown from 100 year-old seeds across the border anyway.
But still, you might want to pick up some bread or cheese or hummus. It's interesting to watch the Greek dude stretch out homemade phyllo dough with his arms glistening with oil, and the lady at the front who looks Indian? She also sells Jamaican beef patties, and you can get 20 of them for 18.99. Frozen and boxed to delight your husband's palate.

(photo courtesy of dena crain)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Resolution #265:

Listen to book recommendations from trusted friends.

I don't know why it took me so long to listen to Amy--in fact, she had to practically hit me over the head with this recommendation (ie, bring the entire set over to my house and shove the books into my hands), but as soon as I finished the other book I was reading, I dove in--bypassing a few others I'd planned to read to honor this (rather) pressing push toward Jasper Fforde's novels.

And, I was going to write a review for you after I read the first one, as shown above, but then my motivation deserted me and I dove right into its sequel, Lost in a Good Book, which I WAS (lost in) most assuredly. However, I have now finished that one as well, and so I'll review them both for your convenience, trying not to give too much away in the likely event that you'll nip out to your nearest book seller and purchase the whole lot.

First off, please do not read any books by this author if a) you do not enjoy chuckling, b) you have no knowledge whatsoever of classic literature and c) you can't appreciate occasional silliness. If two or more of the above qualifications have left you jumping up and down with your hand in the air, come back to my blog on another day and skip this post entirely. If, however, the only qualification on the above list that causes you some doubt is b), have no fear. You can still appreciate Fforde's books without a thorough understanding of literature and British history. It would help, but we can't all be Anglophiles, now can we? Plus, there's always wikipedia.

So now, here are some things you should know:
1) this series is set in Britain in 1985, but it is not our 1985. Without mentioning all the details, I will simply say that genetic science should be thanked for bringing back mammoths and dodo birds (and other creatures), that Neanderthals do not use the first person singular pronoun, that the ChronoGuard regulates time travel, that the GraviTube allows travel between Sydney and London to take only 40 minutes, and that of the 28 levels of Special Operations, only those over 20 are commonly known. Most of the rest are cloaked in classified secrecy.
2) Thursday Next, the heroine of this series, works for SpecOps-27, which makes her a LiteraTech. She and her office are responsible for authenticating newly discovered works of literature, for answering literary questions, and for announcing fraudulent copies of sequels and unauthorized editions of famous works. (Why can't I work there???)
3) Sometimes characters from fiction pop in and out of the novel.
4) Dodos like marshmallows very much.

With those important facts in mind, here are the synopses:

In The Eyre Affair, Thursday Next is on the trail of Acheron Hades, the third most evil man currently in existence. He is purely diabolical, possibly bulletproof, and cannot be photographed. While Thursday is in hot pursuit of Hades, she meets Jack Schitt, who works for the Goliath Corporation and offers to help her find the criminal. The Goliath Corporation pretty much runs Britain behind the scenes, and was instrumental in bringing about the end of the German occupation at the end of WW2. German occupation of Britain? you may ask. Good job with your critical reading skills, reader.
Anyway, Jack Schitt is a little pushy, and Thursday isn't sure she likes him. (You know what she thinks he's worth.) But he's kinda controlling her boss, so she has to follow along. Anyway, an original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit (by Dickens) (it's okay--I'd never heard of it either--and I'm an English teacher!) has been stolen, and Thursday quickly connects the dots between the manuscript and Hades--especially when her office receives a frantic call from a Chuzzlewit fan that one of the characters in the manuscript has disappeared! Hades has found a way to go into the novel and take whomever he wants. How diabolical.
Well, I don't want to reveal much more, but Hades steals a couple more things and people, does a lot of maniacal cackling, and inadvertently does something very literary.
And Thursday gets married.

In Lost in a Good Book, Thursday's husband is eradicated. Now, to you or me, eradicated might mean killed. But in the world of this book, eradicated means one of the ChronoGuard has gone into that person's past and changed it so that he (Thursday's husband, for this example) actually died in that auto accident when he was two. So, poor Thursday is the only one with any memory of her husband--as an adult, that is--and she quickly learns that if she wants her husband uneradicated, she may need to help some nefarious people do some wicked things.
Luckily for Thursday, though, the voices she has begun hearing in her head are not a sign of insanity. Oh no: they're people calling her on the footnoterphone, sent from the Jurisfiction offices, of course, which are located in the drawing room at Norland Park (which is in Sense and Sensibility, of course) (Mrs. John Dashwood offered the room, for she would like it known that she is not so callous as many people believe her to be--even though she did convince her husband to kick his half-sisters out with scarcely two shillings to rub together after their dying father asked him to care for them).
Thursday has been recruited as an agent for Jurisfiction because of her ability to jump into and out of stories. And she does quite a bit of jumping in 399 pages.

I feel that I'm not doing these novels justice. They are witty and clever, and devilishly fun to read. The truth is, I promised myself that I wouldn't start the third one until I'd written this post, so...uh...I'm basically diddling my way through it so I can jump into the next novel.

Just trust me, okay? And follow Resolution #265: take the book advice of a trusted friend. I have #1 and #2 finished, if you'd like to borrow them. Just remember where they came from and bring them back (in good condition) when you're done.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vacation in Columbus

After reading an article in Midwest Living (link here) which recommended a trip to Columbus, Ohio, and since I believe everything I read, I convinced Clint it would be a perfect vacation spot. To be honest, the things that most intrigued me were this paper store, Jeni's ice cream, and the 32-room Book Loft in German Village.
Well, as I'm sure you know, most events do not unfold as planned (at least not in my mind) (except for reading books on the beach in Jamaica), and this vacation was true to form.
Somehow, our summer has passed by in what feels like 3.6 days, and now August is upon us and school is about to start. On Friday last week, we realized we hadn't yet taken the kids on vacation. So, we decided to leave Sunday and return home on Tuesday, albeit a short trip, but we had an ortho appointment on Wednesday.

Here's what happened:

We arrived at our hotel in the afternoon, checked in and let the kids swim. Then, we followed the recommendation of the front desk clerk and went to a Mexican restaurant down the road. The food was very authentic, although the place was a bit greasy and icky. Especially the bathroom.
To console myself for my slight disappointment at a) dinner, b)our hotel room, and c) the nasty pool (which, surprisingly, the kids didn't mind...), I drove a few blocks to the grocery store and got some Klondike bars and some of those mini-bottles of wine. Things began to look up.


Since Jared is only four, we figured spending two days looking into quaint shops was not going to be fun for anyone, so we went to the zoo on Monday. We'd heard that the Columbus Zoo was pretty good, and Genthners are always game for zoo trips anyway.Unfortunately, it was blasted hot and humid, even at ten in the morning. But nevertheless, we had a good time.

The Columbus Zoo admission cost 59.95 (Jared was 7.99 and everyone else was 12.99). There were lots of sculptures to climb on, and they were under shade, so Jared easily persuaded us to make nearly every one a photo shoot.

Jonah was excited about all the reptiles, especially Fluffy, a 24-foot reticulated python, who is, apparently, the longest snake in a zoo. Period. She looked pretty pleased with her accomplishment.

And of course, Clint was very excited about these enormous bats--okay, actually, they are flying foxes. But when a creature is this big and has wings and sleeps upside down, he isn't about to quibble about scientific classifications. He's just happy to see them, no matter what they're called.
The zoo food was typical zoo food: over-priced and under-delicious. We opted for the most sensible option: dippin dots. Which, really, is a filling and nutritionally balanced meal in comparison with hot dogs and pizza.
After the zoo, we were hot and tired and dirty, but we weren't about to let that conquer us. Jared took a short nap on our 30-minute drive into the city. We stopped first at North Market, which every website I had read recommended.

(photo courtesy of

Unfortunately, most of those market people apparently have to take Mondays off (Sunday is a huge artisan market...WHY didn't we go up on Sunday, you ask? That would have been far too logical. Plus, we didn't know). Anyway, Clint took the opportunity to sample at least 15 flavors at Jeni's ice cream while I bought the kids some pastries. And a hazelnut-almond biscotti for myself.
But when we were done eating our treats, it was still only 3:30, and I wasn't too keen on going back to the hotel for a seven-hour stint at the pool or in front of the TV, so I persuaded The Man to drive us up the road to Short North.
According to the travel article, Short North was once a run-down area which has been revitalized in the last twenty years into a trendy place to hang out, featuring an array of art galleries, great restaurants, and eclectic shops.

We drove down the street until I spotted On Paper and then we found a parking space close by. I leapt from the van and jogged toward the storefront, only to find to my everlasting dismay that it was closed on Mondays! (what the?? Why Mondays?) Wailing ensued.
So we browsed our way down the street until we found this place: Collier West.

(photo courtesy of

This is a beautiful (pricey) shop with artful displays. I could have spent a fortune in time and money here, but instead we found a different sort of treasure: a helpful guide. The girl working there, upon hearing that we were first-time visitors, told us of a fabulous restaurant with great happy hour specials. Since it was 4:02 and happy hour had just started, we trotted right off.

(photo courtesy of

People, this restaurant has 1/2 off drinks and appetizers during happy hour! We had olives, calamari, melted pecorino, some kind of salami-ish meat, risotto-mozzarella balls and all the bread and olive oil we could eat. It was fabulous. Just the right meal for a hot day. Clint and I were so parched, we just ordered water. And here's the best part: before the tip, our bill came to 18.45. Eighteen dollars for dinner for five people! Crazy. Yes, indeed. (For those who are hungrier and may scoff at our small appetites: their pizzas are also half-price. We were too full to order one. And we had a plan for dessert, anyway.)
I wish I could have taken a picture of our food, of the inside, of the bathrooms! (which were lovely...I always judge a place by the quality of its bathroom, don't you? Theirs had mouthwash and lotion and...ahem...ladies' things...all just there for you to use. Nice) But alas, it was a bit dark inside and my flash was acting silly. You'll just have to see for yourself. Go at four, though.

So, Jeni's for dessert. Every--and I mean every--website I read commanded a visit to this place. Jeni has done pretty well for herself, apparently, and opened a couple other branches (like the one in North Market Clint plundered).
This is why:

Look at those flavors! No wonder poor Clint had to try every one! It was hard to choose, no doubt, but as soon as I saw (imagine magical music now, please) salted caramel I didn't need to dither any more.

Here are the flavors we got, starting from the top: Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries, Riesling Poached Pear, Strawberry Buttermilk (with sprinkles--guess whose?), Wildberry Lavender, and Salted Caramel. Every single one was delicious, but mine was best.

Tuesday morning, we checked out of the hotel and headed to German Village. Here, obviously, I wanted to visit The Book Loft. It didn't open till 10, so we stopped next door and got a coffee, which was essential anyway because I don't think the stuff they had at the hotel breakfast was really coffee...

I didn't take any pictures inside because it wouldn't have done the place justice. Picture a huge, rambling two-story house filled with rooms upon rooms and shelves upon shelves of books. Amazing, right? I got lost quite few times--both literally and within the books as well. Of course, we each had to pick a thing or two to buy, and so we left happy and fortified for the long drive home.
Next stop was lunch (because it had been a pleasantly long browse in the bookstore), and we decided to try Schmidt's Sausage House, home of the half-pound cream puff. We were good, though, and we had some sausage and a Reuben (in Lauren's case) before splitting the beast five ways. It was very, very good. However, the sausage wasn't anything overly amazing, and the place was far too crowded for my taste. Our table was crammed next to three others, making Clint's numerous trips to the buffet quite a gymnastic workout for the poor guy! I stayed put, happily slurping up my cup of potato soup and sharing Jonah's bratwurst, but if we ever went back, I think I'd get my cream puff to go and skip the meal.

After lunch, we wandered through German Village for about an hour. Honestly, the most interesting part (aside from the cream puff) was Third Street. That street boasts The Book Loft, the coffee shop, and Katzinger's Deli, which is like Zingerman's in Ann Arbor--pricey sandwiches and lovely cheese like this one.

We didn't buy anything there, just sampled some cheese and 9.50/pound butter (seriously? 9.50? I know...but it had sea salt crystals in it!)
Then we went to Pistacia Vera down the street, a French bakery for (ahem) some more dessert. That's what people do on vacation, right? That's what we do. (There may have been an earlier stop at a chocolate shop, too. It's hard to remember exact details.)

It was very beautiful inside, and the brightly colored macaroons (only 1.25!) snagged my interest. Clint tried to say (so silly) that we didn't need any more dessert, but I overrode his protests and bought a cookie for myself and each of the kids while he was looking away.

We got a Madagascar Vanilla Bean, a Blueberry Lavender, a Nutella, and a Buttermint macaroon. And, they're gluten free! Yummy. And guess who had to try a bite of each? Mr. Parsimonious himself. Delicious, they were. And so beautiful! How could I not buy some?
There wasn't much more to see in German Village, and Jared was begging to go back to the car so he could read his dinosaur book, so we ended our vacation on that sugary note.
It was a four-ish hour drive back home, and most of it was spent with everyone but Clint (of course) quietly reading or snoozing.

Overall, I would go back in a heartbeat for
1) another trip to The Book Loft
2) lots more trips to Jeni's Ice Cream
3) another go at Marcella's (during happy hour)
4) a trip to On Paper but not on Monday
5) and ditto that for North Market

If you go to the zoo, it's worth a 2-3 day vacation, but if you don't, just doing what we did might not stretch into a mini-break very well. However, there were places we didn't visit--like COSI or the art museum (I know what you're thinking: art museum--zoo. It was a tough choice for me too. Somehow, though, we thought Jared would like the zoo better) (and maybe Clint too).