A Friend’s Visit

Ms. L has been my friend since 1994, and we hadn’t seen each other since 1998. We reached each other out via emails and phone calls throughout the years. Finally, we decided it’s time to meet. I bought her round-trip tickets in April and she arrived last Thursday night.

After I picked her up, I drove her to a local restaurant to meet up with my family for dinner. We ate and talked for almost two hours there. Then we drove home at 10:30 pm. Since it’s a long trip for her, we retired to beds right after.

She was well rested and got up at 10 am Friday morning. I didn’t have much planned for today. We stayed home, cooked, baked and talked. We went to see Adventurer Jr.’s marching band parent preview in the evening. After we got back home, she drank red wine while we talked. She drank the amount that would’ve lasted me 20 times. She drank it as if she was drinking water.

Saturday was a girls’ day out. I drove her to downtown Cleveland around 11 am. We saw the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since there’s nothing special at that time, I didn’t spend the $22 per person to get in. I went to the Great Lakes Science Center to buy tickets for Mather, the Steamship.

We went on the ship and had a self-guided tour for about one hour. The ship was well equipped with dining rooms, kitchens, living room, bedrooms, baths, and sinks. And a huge cargo space, of course.

Full view of the steamship

Full view of the Steamship. It’s huge in person.

Lake view from the ship

Lake view from the ship

On the ship, Cleveland downtown as the background

On the ship, Cleveland downtown as the background

Crew dining room

Crew dining room

Guests dining room

Guests dining room

Captain's bedroom

Captain’s bedroom

Covered cargo on ship

Covered cargo on ship

Then we walked to the back of Rock and Roll Hall of fame. We found ourself a nice spot and sat there, talked, enjoyed the nice view of Lake Erie and had a picnic. I prepared croissant, honey cake, tea eggs, plums, nectarines, banana and bottled water early this morning. She liked the honey cake I made, and I gave her the recipe, of course.

Back of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Back of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Back of the Great Lakes Science Center

Back to the Great Lakes Science Center

View from where we were picnicking

View from where we were picnicking. Picturesque, wasn’t it?

We headed back at 2 pm. I didn’t plan anything too exhaustive since she is much older than me and had a surgery for cancer two years ago. After dinner, she drank a whole bottle of red wine while we talked. Adventurer Jr. II was shocked since none of the people he knew drank so much.

Sunday was a day out for everyone except Adventurer Jr. It was the One Hundred Years Celebration of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. We applied for free admissions for the six of us two weeks in advance. I felt bad that Adventurer Jr.’s was wasted. But he needed to stay home to finish his summer reading for Honors English class because school is around the corner.

Partial front view of the Manor

Partial front view of the Manor

Full view of the back of the Manor

Back view of the Manor

Little fountain in the Japanese garden

Little waterfall in the Japanese garden

Overhang view

Overhang view

Grapevine

Grapevines. Some of the grapes were rotten due to lack of care. I have two grapevines in my backyard and I hope one day they will produce many grapes like these.

Tea house

Teahouse

Inside the butterfly pavilion

Inside the butterfly pavilion

We found ourselves a nice shady place under a big umbrella with a water fountain in front of us. We ate packed lunch once again, enjoyed the view and watched kids play.

Fountain with glass angles on top

Fountain with glass angles on top

I drove her to the airport at 3 pm. It was so nice of her to come to see us. She invited us to California many times during her stay. She is house sitting for someone for two years and she thought that we could stay at her place, but Thousand Oaks is pretty far from major attractions in California. Guess what, we might go next year by car. It’ll be a hell of a trip to visit so many states along the way. We’ll see, we may just stop by her place. I’m planning for the trip anyway.

Financial Implications: would’ve cost $545, cost us $83 and we had loads of fun. Also, she was very happy with the trips and experiences.

  • Airfare: would’ve cost $400, cost us 0, we used our reward points for her
  • Thursday night dinner: $70
  • Saturday outing parking: $8, I got $3 discount for parking there because I bought Mather tickets. Which was a plus, parking downtown anywhere is not cheap.
  • Mather: $9 x 2 = $18 + $1.08 tax = $19.08
  • Sunday Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens admissions: would’ve cost $14 x 3 + $6 = $48, cost us 0

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