USS COD, Cleveland Ohio

celebrating this life

I always tell everyone that one of the stranger things I have done is tour a World War II submarine.

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The oldest and I are the designated war historians in the family and were very excited about touring this landmark permanently docked in Lake Erie.  Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children. 

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This is the only way into the submarine! It was a tight fit and I was wishing I left my purse in the car. 

The entrance is on the back end of the sub and you make your way towards the front. It is very cramped quarters and I just can't imagine all these sailors living and working here. 

The torpedo room

 One of the nicer sleeping areas in the sub

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I loved the nautical touch on the blue and white china

That's a lot of controls. I can't even parallel park.

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The only way out, is up!

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It's a two man operation to move the torpedo launcher. One person peddles to move it sideways and the other moves the launcher up and down. 

celebrating this life

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It was a little out of the ordinary touring the sub, but it's definitely one of the coolest things I have ever done!

Cleveland Indians, Progressive Field

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Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, was the destination for our weekend getaway.

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A very big thank you to the Indians, not only for their ingenious charging stations throughout the park, but for offering free wifi! For us Canadians it meant real time posting to IG, Twitter and Facebook and participating in the scoreboard hashtags. 

I'd like to see the coins inside this giant piggy bank!

PBR stand!

The view from our seats. We arrived early enough that we had time to tour the stadium.

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This is how my kids see me nowadays. Since I bought my new Nikon camera I have been pretty much glued to it! 

I love the little details at parks. Like the aisle numbers on seats...

...and baseball facts displayed throughout the park. When I see things like this I am reminded of that line in Moneyball "It's hard not to be romantic about baseball." Oh how I love that line!

Since we arrived nice and early we did some touring. This is the view looking out from the upper decks. 

Here we are looking down on the field. 

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We always meet the loveliest people at ball parks. We told the usher we just wanted to look down at the field and he offered to take our photo for us! 

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O.M.G. This was the biggest nacho hat I have ever had! It was sooooo delicious!

After all those nachos, beer was extremely necessary! This was the first time I had seen a MLB team carrying craft beers! Great Lakes Brewery along with Sam Adams makes for a great day at the ball game!

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As a huge Red Sox fan I was so freaking happy to see the one, the only, Terry Francona! My hubby read his book and recommends it to everyone! 

After 12 innings the Indians won! You better believe there was a lot of cheering and high fiving going on. 

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Walking with my guys back to The Ritz Carlton, Cleveland. What an amazing day at the ball game!

The Ritz Carlton, Cleveland

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Last summer we traveled to Cleveland for the weekend. When looking for a hotel we wanted something very close to the Cleveland Indians and The Ritz Carlton was within walking distance. Special bonus is the mall attached to the hotel!

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From the rugs to the china displayed in the hutches to the beautiful orchids on that magnificent table, the reception area was so elegantly styled. 

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Even the elevator corridor had the most beautiful orchids. It made me want to go home and start growing them again!

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We had the boys with us and opted to stay on the Club Level. The rooms were amazing and comfortable. The Club Level allowed us the freedom to watch a tv show while the boys enjoyed evening snacks and breakfast without them leaving the floor. The boys enjoyed the computer with internet and mom and dad enjoyed the selection of beer, like Blue Moon, and other drinks. 

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I did a double take when I noticed some of my favourite magazines on the side table and wondered if they knew how obsessed with I am with Conde Nast! 

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The toiletries were Asprey London and they were out of this world! I was so sad when they ran out. 

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You can't forget that while you are in Cleveland the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is near by. The boys especially loved putting this hanger out at night. 

Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Tree of Life is a gigantic man made tree with various animals carved into the trunk. 

We started our day here on a very cold and wet February morning. 

Tusker House was recommended to us for breakfast. Another great spot for classic breakfast items with some African cuisine available. This is a character dining restaurant and Mickey and his friends visit your table dressed for a safari!

There are many walking trails within Animal Kingdom and there is always another animal around the corner. This little guy seemed surprised to see us!

The gorilla's were absolutely beautiful. This little guy appeared to be enjoying all the attention and walked by the viewing area quite a few times. 

At one point he stopped and gave a little smile to everyone watching. Everyone cheered and applauded and he went on his marry way with a huge smile on his face. 

We happened onto this enormous aquarium filled with bright coloured fish. The aquarium was hiding a rather large secret...

This gigantic hippopotamus!

We used Fast Passes for the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. The ride takes you through a 110 acre wildlife reserve committed to the protection of African animals. The youngest has a particular interest in the preservation and proper handling of animals, Animal Kingdom is not like a typical zoo. Here the animals are well cared for and this place is meant to save, not exploit the animals. 

First up was the rhinoceros,

then an entire family of crocodiles!

the bull looking animals stuck with our truck for a while, I guess they wanted to be the tour guide for the day. The baby giraffe's looked like they were playing tag with eachother.

The elephants were as beautiful in person as they were here. It was so heartwarming to see the babies with their mamas. 

Ahhhh zebenyaaaaa! The Lion King was pretty tuckered out and only opened one eye when he heard our truck. 

I can't remember the name of these animals but the guide told us the story of them. They are practically extinct and the highest population of them is right here in Animal Kingdom where they are working tirelessly to save them.

After spending the morning in Africa it was on to Asia.

It was entirely too cold to try out the Expedition Everest ride, but it's first on my list when we return.

It was announced last January that Animal Kingdom is building Avatar land! The word on the web is it will open in late 2015 or early 2017 with some details about rides, like riding a banshee and taking a tour of the bioluminescent flora and fauna, being released at 2013's Japan D23 Expo. 

Watch this wikipedia page for updates!