I just got back from a whirlwind road trip to Cleveland. Builder's parents are buried there, and his brother still lives out there. We set out with enough food to last the two days, enough Blue Ice to keep said food fresh until we could get to a refrigerator, school in a bag (namely, the Things workbooks, readers, and my Kindle), and enough yarn to keep me happy for at least twelve hours. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring toys. Two kids, eight hour car ride, and no toys.
"Mommeee! Thing 2 said I'm not going to have a birthday ever again!"
"Maamaa! Thing 1 pulled my hair!"
"Stop fighting! I'm trying to drive!" (That last line was repeated endlessly by Builder.)
However, the kids did manage to finish up their lessons. They actually pulled the books out of my backpack on their OWN, and started practicing their math, writing, and dikduk.
A whirlwind trip through Cleveland. We saw my brother-in-law (whose wife thought my kids were so mature, she thought that Thing 1 was seven instead of five. We haven't even been married seven years yet.) We also saw Builder's parents' graves, and the campus at Telshe Yeshiva. The Things even got to play at a little park in Wickliffe.
Builder kept waxing rhapsodic about how great it would be to live in Cleveland. I was quick to throw water on his dreams. Sure, Cleveland has a nice little community. But, Builder is absolutely spoiled by the infrastructure in Boro Park. All the minyan factory shuls, kosher restaurants, grocery stores, fruit stands, synagogues every block, and the eruvs. As for me, I would cry. I'm thoroughly spoiled by having the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Intrepid, the NY Aquarium, Broadway (Annie is coming back--soon to be the Things' first musical), Shakespeare in the Park, three libraries nearby, the botanical gardens, Prospect Park, Central Park...the city as a whole. Besides, I benefit from the Boro Park infrastructure myself. For me, Boro Park is a nice place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there.
On the way back, Builder was so exhausted, he did the unthinkable. He had me drive. For 130 miles on I-80 East, I dodged semis and navigated through construction based lane closures on a curvy mountain road. However, it was not really new to me. As I told Builder, "It's like Hudson with hills." (Hudson, FL, where I learned to drive, had these narrow two-lane highways with no shoulder and a double yellow line as a divider that snaked around more than a concertina.)
We had such a great time, Builder's up for another road trip. He's even willing to split the driving.