That was a lot like a party.

We really did it Saturday night.  Somehow, Dannie suggested that we go out.  My brother never goes out so we grabbed the opportunity and took the town by storm.  Really, Emily, Brian, and I met Dannie at Dudley’s (where Brother B. now works) for a cocktail and to wait patiently for Brother to be released for the evening.  Debauchery and a L-arge bar tab followed.   Super fun, unexpected good time.  The thing most worth noting: Nancy, wherever you are today, you are a saint.  You brought us drinks, you didn’t shussh us, and you even laughed a little in a way that made us think we were funny and one of us charming.

WHAT A WEEK!  Chicago and I have been busy.  We met back up in Indianapolis last weekend (8/12)  for my family’s reunion.  My Mom’s family all meet up at my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Donna’s amazing house for a day (like most reunions).  The big difference between our reunion and most others is the number of people (there are about 130 people just from my grandparents down) and the lack of fights (again, zero).  It was great to see my cousins, aunts, and uncles and newest second cousins!

After the reunion, on Sunday, Brian (Chi) and I drove to Centerpoint, IN to go to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.  My Uncle Johnny and his lady friend Michelle had suggested we go.  Sounded neat so we did and it was incredible!  This sanctuary has over 200 large cats that have been in the homes or businesses of private owners and were taken by the USDA.  To be able to be SO close.  HUGE TEETH.  Hopefully Brian will link to the full set of photos.

It was so hot, he needed a soak.

On our way back to Indianapolis, we met my Aunts Rosemary, Bernie, and Donna along with my Uncles Mike and Jeff and Cousin Carly for dinner at Grey Bros. before heading to Bernie and Mike’s in Fishers for the evening.

Monday we went to Cleveland.  Aunt Rosemary had recommended that we go to the R&R Hall of Fame.  I wanted to go to the zoo.  So, we did both.  We went to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, it was really very interesting and so much better than I thought it would be.  Mid-way through the day, we were hungry and decided to go grab a bite before we toured the special exhibit (Bruce Springsteen!).  We left and tried to find a way to get across the highways and towards the buildings.  We finally found a set of steps and, up we went.  What a great surprise – Beats and Eats!  The Beats were over but the Eats were there.  There were several food trucks there all offering BBQ and/or soulfood.  Yum.  Back to the HoF.

Post HoF, we went to a bar and restaurant recommended by my friend Eric called Bar Cento.  Actually, we went to the attached bar BierMarkt. I loved it!  Amazing beer selection and very good snacks.  I got to try several beers that I had wanted to try but hadn’t got to and still got to put down a couple of my favorite.  It’s seasonal so, when I see it, I want it.  Fortunately, around the corner from BierMarkt is Great Lakes Brewery.  We stopped in, split a sampler and decided it was time to call it a night.

Bright eyed on Wednesday, we went to the Cleveland Zoo.  As some of you know I was on the hunt for tiny Amazonian frogs.  I’ll tell you right now, they weren’t on display.  AND the elephants were in Columbus while their area was getting an overhaul.  Despite the setbacks, fun day – most especially the butterfly house.  Almost always the best at the zoo.

Not my frog but a pretty frog nonetheless.

After the zoo, we drove to Columbus and stayed the night with Doug and Louie.  They have a beautiful home in Dublin and welcomed us late in the evening with “the kids are here!”  We spent the evening chatting and doing a little catchup, making plans to go to Columbus Brewing Company for dinner (beer) the next day.  We were really pushed on our Ohio trip largely based on 1.) my desire to go to CBC which is owned by my cousin Eric and his wife Beth, 2.) Doug and Louie!.  To get to have dinner and drinks at CBC with Eric, Beth, Doug, and Louie – GREAT.  The beer was delicious, the food yummy, and the company fantastic.

– insert photo here that i forgot to take because i was having too much fun-

After leaving the brewery, Brian and I headed to find my high school BFF.  Stephen and his hubby Craig are living in Columbus and were kind enough to host us for the night and feed us dinner at 11p! Craig made us dinner – mushroom risotto, so good!  It was wonderful to see Stephen again (10 years!) and to finally meet Craig.

Friday, we got back on the road to Lexington.  Back again?  What the what?  I had a social event to attend so off we went!  Since we were headed back to Lexington, I made plans with the family that are truly my Shepherds for dinner.  10 years later, there are husbands and now babies and there was a lot to catch up on!  I have been able to see them here and there but this was a good visit – only missing Missy and Henry!

Saturday was a party of grand proportions!  My mom and her long time lady friends had a party for all of their daughters and granddaughters.  It was really great to see everyone – it had been at least 10 years since I had seen everyone together.  Lots of great food, lovely ladies, and a pool!

We were missing Christy but had a great day!

Well, you all know now how my Saturday night went.  It was epic.  Sunday, sunday we recovered and had Steak Sunday at Dannie’s.

And here we are on Monday.  We are supposed to leave for Chicago but I just proposed West Virginia to Brian.  Rethinking what a great week it was seeing SO many people that I love but rarely get to see, I need to get to the mountains to visit Aunt Nancy.  Soon!

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