I saw the trailer for this movie a long time ago and thought, “Uh, no.” Then I kept hearing what a great movie it was. Well, the other day it was rainy and the movie was at the $1.50 movie in Canton, so the five of us went to see it (the 2D version). Guess what? You can’t always judge a movie by its trailer. How to Train Your Dragon was a great movie (98% approval on the Rotten Tomatometer). Although it was too suspenseful for me (not the kids), I loved the underlying message. The animation was pretty astounding, too. It’s so refreshing to see a movie that’s well done and entertaining for both adults and children.
Archive for July, 2010
What’s up with that? Why isn’t a great storyline enough anymore??? Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it. To be fair, I haven’t watched the 3D versions of any of the current releases. Maybe I would just be so totally blown away I would be a convert. But I’m just not interested enough in paying all that $$ to see a first run movie in 3D.
East of Cleveland you have two options for “the beach” — Mentor Headlands and its next -door neighbor Fairport Harbor. Fairport Harbor is great for families with young kids. The waves are little, the water’s shallow, rocks are minimals, there are two playgrounds and you can park right next to the beach ($3 for out-of-county residents, $2 for Lake County residents). Mentor Headlands, as I recall though I haven’t been there in about 10 years, has bigger waves and is a bigger, longer beach, but you have to walk forever to get from the parking lot to the water, and you have to walk over a bunch of big rocks when you first enter the water before you get to a sandy bottom. In both cases, the water is clean and there are lifeguards and snack spots. Since we don’t live close to a coast, this way the kids can at least have a small taste of a beach, waves, and water you can’t see the end of. Best of all, there is no worries of jellyfish, sharks and hurricanes. Though if those awful Asian carp start showing up — eeek!!!
I give my eternal thanks to Willis Haviland Carrier of Buffalo, NY, credited for inventing air conditioning in the early 1900s. I also give my deepest sympathy to those who need it but don’t have it, a place I’ve been for much of my life. As a kid, going to bed in a heat wave was pure misery. I would lay in bed, sweating sweating sweating, but not sleeping. I would turn my pillowcase over to get some relief. The relief was very short as it only took 2 seconds for that side of the pillowcase to heat up again. Sometimes I’d switch my position and put my head at the bottom of the bed, thinking it might be cooler there. This would go on and on until I exhausted myself and fell into a restless sleep. We had one fan, which during the day was positioned by the front door and in the evening was in the hallway that led to all our bedrooms. Our cars didn’t have air conditioners either, let alone electric windows. No, you cranked those babies up and down. Not every place I’ve lived since then has had central air either, though some had sometimes effective, sometimes not window air conditioners. Our home now has central air, which though not set at the freezing temps of most shopping centers and office buildings where you can practically see your breath, thankfully provides some relief from the blazing heat outside. Though there is something definitely wrong with a summer in NE Ohio when you have to spend it indoors.
Ever since the Segway was unveiled in December 2001, I’ve wanted to ride one. By now, pretty much every big city in the world offers tours, which would be a really cool way to see the sights (if you’re at least 12-16; age requirements vary per company). Our kids are too young and to take the five of us would be way too expensive anyway, so I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be riding a Segway anytime soon. So I was really surprised to see an article in Ohio magazine last fall about four companies that do tours in Ohio — Cincinnati, Columbus, Little Hocking and the Cleveland area. I filed the idea away in my head, then pulled it out when I was trying to find a special way to celebrate my recent birthday. So last weekend my husband and I took a 7 mile tour of the North Chagrin Reservation with Bob and April Considine, owners of Tomorrow’s Transport. Let me tell you, after a few minutes of getting adusted to riding this two-wheeled “personal transporter”, you are hooked! It was SO fun!! I could have ridden all day! Bob and April do a super job of making sure you are comfortable and safe. We passed a waterfall, went through a tunnel and over bridges, traveled on and off the paved trail, and even stopped to admire an inchworm, who was going a bit slower than our 9 mph max speed. If you’ve got out-of-town visitors, Bob and April lead tours in downtown Cleveland and the city of Mentor and a longer tour in the North Chagrin Reservation. Cost was $39.95, which I thought was reasonable for a birthday adventure I’ll never forget!!
For the first several years I lived in Akron, the distinctive sound of the blimp overhead always took me by surprise. I’d hear a loud, fluttery noise and look out the window or venture outside, searching the sky to find the source, knowing it wasn’t a plane or helicopter. Then I’d see the huge airship floating above and tell myself, “Silly Cari, it’s the blimp!” By now I recognize the sound, and, especially on brilliant blue-sky days, am not at all surprised by the sight of the Goodyear Blimp. But I never stop being awed by its presence.
Canal Fulton is a bit off the beaten path, but a fun place to spend the day. Why?
1. The Towpath — nice, flat and mostly shady — perfect for biking. The canal’s on one side of you and the Tuscarawas River on the other.
2. The St. Helena Canal Boat, pulled by horses, which goes out everyday but Monday in the summer at 1 and 2:30 Two years ago our family went ($7 adults/$5 kids) and it was pretty interesting.
3. The Cherry Street Creamery (ice cream) and all kind of little shops, restaurants and such.
4. Canoeing and kayaking, through Canal Fulton Canoe Livery. They have pedal and paddle packages, bike rentals, etc.
Canal Fulton is definitely a place that has worked hard to develop its own identity, and done so successfully. Worth a visit if you haven’t been there.
Today the kids and I had our first chance to visit Preston’s H.O.P.E., a mega-playground in Beachwood. It was built to be totally accessible to children with disabilities of all kinds; almost $3 million was raised over 7 years to make it a reality. We were only there an hour and I didn’t get the chance to really give it a thorough once-over, but it does appear to be a wonderland for kids. My only real concern was that it is so big you can’t keep an eye on your kids unless you’re right on their heels, which is impossible with three kids running in different directions. Another problem was that it was scorching hot and no benches in the sun. And currently there is construction on South Woodland so it was a pain to get to. But on the plus side — and this was a big plus — there’s a Mitchell Brothers ice cream about 5 minutes away. http://www.prestonshope.com/
that the water in every public drinking fountain in the country be a standard temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit, right from the moment it starts pouring out, and in working condition 24/7/365. Don’t you hate when you’re miserably hot and sweaty and thirsty and, like a man stumbling around in the desert, you see a water fountain, only to find out it doesn’t work or the water is so warm you want to throw up? (BTW, in Rome, you can get cold, safe and delicious water right out of the spouts from ancient pipes throughout the city. Don’t be deceived by the decrepit appearance!)
I’m hooked on their songs “I and Love and You” and “Head full of doubt/road full of dreams”. I have only heard them on 91.3 the Summit. I guess they’re an “alt country” band. I don’t know what that means, but I know this doesn’t sound like any country I’ve ever heard. I don’t know about their other songs, but I’m really digging these. (P.S. They are opening for John Mayer on August 13 at Blossom at 7 p.m. Doesn’t it figure it’s the same night as my opening reception at the Massillon Museum of Art!)