Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mosaic Monday #11 - Our Trip to the Heartland

Mom also has the nickname "GG" since she has
20 great-grandchildren and one more on the way!
1928.  Calvin Coolidge was the U.S. President.  Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.  Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.  Mickey Mouse appeared in Steamboat Willie.  And in December, my Mother was born.  We've come a long way in 90 years, and it's a milestone worth celebrating in style.  Off we went to Centerville, Ohio, where my Mom and Dad raised 7 children.  How appropriate we should come full circle for her birthday bash!

We began with a Friday-night dinner at Bravo, organized by my oldest brother.  Our private room was the perfect venue for the kids to play and the adults to visit, circulating around the room to catch up with family that had traveled from Mexico, Texas, Utah, Missouri and Montana.  Inevitably, a conversation with 'seasoned' adults leads to health discussions; my Mother and one of my sisters and I compared hands, and notes on joint pain.

The next day, 35 family members gathered to fete our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  The private room at her senior living community had been decorated with a silver and red theme, red being one of her favorite colors.  My oldest sister, the florist, created the centerpieces and a corsage for the guest of honor.  As a special touch, she included cardinals (my Mom's favorite bird) in the arrangements.  One of my nephews brought balloons for the cake/gift table, which quickly filled up with packages and gift bags.  The afternoon flew past with visiting time, the brunch buffet, group photos, and opening gifts.
The entire family contributed pictures that I compiled into a book covering the last 10 years (one of my nieces had previously created a book for Mom for her 80th birthday).  In addition to presenting the book to her, I also prepared a slide show that replicated the book.  I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as we watched the show, accompanied by songs such as "Mother" by Sugarland and "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.  While Centerville may be a scant 50 miles from where my Mother was born, in her lifetime she has traveled to Hong Kong and Guam, Germany and the UK, and many states throughout the US.  Yes, GG is Still on the Go.

But no family gathering with my Mom is complete without euchre, a card game for 4 that is played with a partner.  This day, we conducted a tournament, which meant players moved tables and changed partners after 8 hands.  It was an ideal way to mix with each other, with lots of laughter along the way.  (Ironically, our daughter won the tournament, and the next highest score was obtained by her boyfriend, a rookie euchre player.  Beginner's luck?)  The day began to wind down as we enjoyed the chocolate cake with a ganache filling and coconut frosting (Mom's requested cake).  And we began to talk about where to hold her 95th party - I have no doubt we'll be having one!
A bar of Huckleberry chocolate was first prize

The next day, Spousal Unit and I went to Mass with my Mom, my younger brother and his wife, and then we drove to Columbus to visit #1 Son.  He had planned a couple of activities for us; the first stop was North Market.  An indoor public market, it is home to "butchers, bakers and candy makers; fishmongers, greengrocers and restaurateurs". Presented with endless photo opportunities, I had to rein myself in so that we could focus on choosing lunch items from the diverse ethnic options.  All three of us selected items at the Polish counter, and the servings were massive.
Fortunately, our next destination was the Columbus Museum of Art; strolling the exhibits staved off the inevitable food coma that sets in after a big meal.  Being Sunday, admission was free, and I was delighted to see so many people in the facility, especially with families.  Many of the exhibits had areas set aside with activities for kids and adults - what an engaging way to involve everyone in art!  And the museum encourages you to take pictures - how refreshing - I did not have to be asked twice.  I can't remember the last time I was in an art museum with our kids; viewing the art with our son as a young adult was quite intriguing as we exchanged opinions on the various art forms.
This is for all my crochet buddies out there - a whole room was
decorated in this manner, and had textile-based activities
Artist: Dale Chihuly  Work: Isola di San Giacomo in Palude

We concluded the day at a Buffalo Wild Wings, strategically chosen as the venue to watch the Cleveland Browns- Baltimore Ravens football game.  Unfortunately, the Browns lost, but they wrapped the season with their best record in over a decade, 7 wins, 8 losses and 1 tie!!!

On Monday morning, we returned to Centerville for lunch with my Mom (you just can't resist her sauerkraut soup with home-made bread), and a few rounds of Kings in the Corner.  

Back on the road, we motored south to Cincinnati in time to check in at our hotel, catch 40 winks and get dressed up for the 1920's-themed New Year's Eve party hosted by our daughter's employer, a theater in downtown.  It felt like an authentic speakeasy; a three-piece band played lounge music downstairs by the bar, and upstairs the crowd was fully vested in gambling with "Monopoly" money.  Roulette, blackjack, a money wheel … your winnings could be used to "purchase" raffle tickets - I couldn't believe it when we won a bottle of wine in both drawings!
On New Year's Day, we toured Krohn Conservatory, a Cincinnati favorite at the holidays due to the extensive displays arranged just for the season.  The 2018 Holiday Show included fragrant holiday florals, model trains and miniature Cincinnati buildings constructed of natural materials.  Applied Imagination, the creative force behind the buildings, also erected small replicas of key American monuments such as The Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.  Mind-boggling creativity and attention to detail.  

Of course, a US holiday is not complete without some sporting event; we took in the first half of the Rose Bowl, featuring the Ohio State Buckeyes (#1 son is currently attending the school) versus the Washington Huskies.  But I needed some shuteye (not as young as I used to be).  My oldest sister hosted us for the next two nights, and she didn't bat an eye when we showed up at her house and I practically went straight to bed!  (OSU won 28 to 23.)

We had a slow start the next morning since my sister had some business to conduct, and then we had lunch at a Cincinnati institution - Skyline Chili.  Driving south into Cincinnati proper, we arrived at Union Terminal, only recently re-opened.  The soaring Art Deco masterpiece and a National Historic Landmark, the building is also a museum and cultural center.  

We bought Discovery Passes, which offered entry to all the exhibits other than three, special limited engagement displays (IMAX tickets are also sold separately).  Dinosaurs, model trains, Legoland and more!  The "Public Landing" section re-creates Cincinnati's river heritage as it might have looked in the mid-century.  You can walk through historic shops and a steamboat, and learn stories about real-life Cincinnatians.  I was transported!
Union Terminal is known for its intricate mosaics, which dominate the main hall

That evening, we chilled out at my sister's house, stitching (that is, my sister and I were stitching) and watching movies.  It was a relaxing conclusion to a few days of back-to-back action.  An opportunity to ponder and chat about all that had happened since our arrival a few days before.  And a chance to gaze forward, to the places, people and events that will be woven into the fabric of 2019.  

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.


  1. That looks like a most wonderful time. Happy Birthday to your Mom from all of us.

  2. What a lovely vacation you had. It was nice reading all the details. A belated Happy Birthday to your Mother, and I wish that she stays beyond 100. I also just realized that you moved from Ohio to Montana. Isn't Montana too cold and snowy. How are you liking that?

  3. What an amazing trip and time you had.
    Happy Birthday to your Mom, lovely celebrations... and more memories to cherish.

    Appreciate your photographs and wonderful mosaics.

    All the best Jan

  4. Looks like a fabulous time with family. A belated happy birthday
    to your mom.

  5. Wonderful captures! It's good that you were able to get together.

  6. Cheers to your Mom! Seven children, wowza. What an awesome holiday, Angie, you had. I enjoyed every bit of it through your words and photos. Sauerkraut soup and chocolate cake, yum. Your photo of the hands cracked me up. I inherited Mama's crooked thumbs. :-)

  7. have celebrated your dear mom's 90th birthday in style! Happy Birthday to your Mom!! Loved reading of all the excitement and places you visited and all the little snippets of members of your family. How wonderful that your very big family were able to come together and catch up and chat about old and new times. Fabulous really....after all it's not every day someone reaches the age of 90♥

  8. Angie, what a wonderful way to honor your dear mother and this milestone birthday. She looks a fabulous 90 for sure. You really packed in so much meaningful time with your loved ones. It was a pleasure to see and read all of your gatherings and good times together. We were glad to see the Huskies wake up in the final quarter of that game so they wouldn't be too embarrassed from the results. We have 3 Husky graduates in our family. :) How wonderful you could all be together for this great event. Blessings!

  9. Dearest Angie; OMG!!! What a wonderful and awesome family gathering for your mother's birthday♡♡♡ I really enjoyed reading every fun time you shared with us♪ I especially LOVED to see the sweet cardinals your sister included in the flower arrangement and a corsage☆☆☆ My mother passed away before becoming 70 year old. How great being surrounded those loved ones. Thank you very much for sharing other great time as well.
    I wish you have a wonderful new week and Thank you very much for hosting.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  10. That was an amazing time Angie! Wow, I’m glad you “found” your pictures. You packed a lot of joy into those days. We have a lot of friends from Ohio here in our resort! There is even a Skyline in Fort Myers opened by the original Ohio owners [Bill has been there with the guys, while we women did something girly). Again Congrats to your mom ...we are also GGs and I only hope I’m in as good health as she is when I’m her age and my littles are the age your moms greats are.

  11. Dar Angie,
    Your post is so abundant that I don’t know where to start... First of all congratulations to your mom, so great that you could celebrate her birthday with all the family! The Cincinnati Holiday Show with miniatures looks a great event & experience. We here know Mount Rushmore, too. And I love the mosaics of the Cincinnati Union terminal! Thank you for hosting - have a great Monday.

  12. Happy Birthday to your Mom! It’s wonderful to read your post...
    ...wish you a very good Week.
    Heidrun xxx

  13. What a fun and event-filled trip you had. Your Mom must have been very pleased to have so many of her family gather to celebrate her milestone birthday. I love the photo with the hands.
    Thank you for hosting MM once again, Angie. Have a great week.

  14. It sounds like you had a wonderful celebration for your mother. The idea of the photo book is wonderful to share with her and the family. Happy birthday Mum!

  15. Wow! That was quite the trip. You must have been exhausted when you got home. My father was born in February of 1928; sadly, he passed away in 1981 at 53 years old. He would have been 91 next month. It's wonderful that you were all able to get together to celebrate your mum's birthday. She must have been very happy.

  16. Glad you had a wonderful time, luv most the crochet and art pics. Happy Mosaic Monday

    MUCH LOVE...

  17. Hello, Angie, a great post and I wish your family many more happy birthday celebrations with your Mum. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time.
    I love those mosaics in the Union Terminal.

  18. Hello Angie, Happy Belated Birthday to your Mom. A fantastic celebration and party. The visits to the Market and Museum look like fun. Great trip photos and visit with your family. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead.

  19. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Mother! What a fabulous party! Happy MM! Hugs!

  20. What a wonderful way to celebrate you mom's birthday. And to think, to have both your grandmother and great-grandmother there as well. My mother was a late in life baby and so was I so I never got to know either of my great-grandmothers but I've heard lots about them and I'm named after one. - Margy

  21. Congratulations on your Mom's birthday - a wonderful family celebration. It looks like everyone had fun.

  22. Angie, I'm almost speechless at the activities you mange to cram into every single day. That birthday get together must have been very special and memorable with having so many generations there at the same time.

  23. What a wonderful celebration!!! Great photos.
    To answer your question, it was a trick of the light that the deer appear orange. I increased the colour, as it was a dull day.

  24. Those doughnuts do indeed look good enough to travel far and wide. Yum.

  25. 90 years...a milestone worth celebrating in grand style, i think you achieved that!! we visited the botanic gardens in washington, d.c. at displayed the monuments all made with natural elements, the displays looked much the same as what you saw at Krohn Conservatory! a nice post, filled with lot's of happy times!!

  26. Wow ~ Happy Birthday GG and what a colorful and creative post of photos ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  27. What a great trip you had and you and your hubby look fabulous! Your Mom is looking fantastic and I wish her a Happy Birthday! Did you get all the snow? Missoula is awash in the white stuff which makes me very happy. More coming tonight! I was so hoping for the Chiefs (even tho they are the Broncos arch rivals!) But alas it was not meant to be. I will cheer for the Rams since I am not a Patriots fan. Have a great week! Kit

  28. such a nice celebration. And your mom is still going strong. Wonderful.
    Both my parents are dead, I have one daughter and two grandkids. All grownups. Take good care of your family.

  29. Wow, what an exciting trip you had and a fantastic ending to 2018. Belated birthday to your mom. I enjoyed seeing all your photos, it's so nice to celebrate special days with family.
    Have a wonderful evening and week.

  30. What an eventful full week. Your family is a mosaic of longevity and good fortune it seems with all siblings intact and ready to enjoy this special time of connectedness.

  31. Hi Angie what a great post lots happening ,great pics,I remember my parents playing that card game one night a week with friends. glad you mum had a lovely birthday and I hope you have a wonderful day my friend xx

  32. What a great family event! It sounds like a great time was had by all! The photos are a fantastic record.

  33. Very nice and cool serie of photos!

  34. You sure did cram a bunch of activities into a family reunion and seems like you may have to walk "miles before you sleep" every day for a while to work off those calories. When you said you went to Mass with a capital M I thought you had driven to Massachussetts, but then I concluded it was to a religious ritual!

  35. Happy belated birthday to your mother. What a great party she had!! I love Dale Chihuly's work. And kudos to the Browns for a breakout year. Hopefully they will do even better in the coming years. I love all the new brilliant quarterbacks in the NFL now like Baker Mayfield. They are turning the game upside down.

  36. Lots to see & do. So many fun things here to read about.
    Thank you for your condolences on the loss of our sweet Ghost.


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