Monday, July 16, 2018

Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude and I'll delete the link.





Hey, It's Okay....


....to be taking Natalie to Justice for a Fashion Show. Any kid is welcome to do it at the store. It'll be this Saturday at 1130 & 230! Join in on the fun and get started with back to school shopping.



....to be watching Big Brother. I'm not sure what to think. I'm glad Swaggy C is gone. He reminded me of Gaston.



....to have not bought anything from Prime Day so far. I haven't seen any spectacular deals.



....to be taking the kids to Sea World for the Electric Ocean fun. They do fireworks every night now, along with various shows. Plus a dance party.


....to have made this because it has been a crazy summer so far.







Sunday, July 15, 2018

Exploring The Ohio State Reformatory In Mansfield, Ohio

"Get busy living, or get busy dying."

I love that quote.

Do you know where it comes from?

The Shawshank Redemption. I've always been a fan of the movie. It's based off a short story called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. When I heard they filmed some scenes in the Ohio State Reformatory, I knew I wanted to go. We were in Ohio already visiting family, and it only was an hour away.

"Can we go, Tom?" I asked. "There might be ghosts!"

Yes, it's true. Ghost Adventures has even done a lockdown there.

Tom agreed, not because he likes ghosts, but because he enjoys The Shawshank Redemption.

I knew the reformatory was huge, but as you drive up, you're amazed by how huge it truly is. It spent 94 years as a working prison.







You can go through the arch and follow signs to get tickets. For self-guided tours, it's $12 per adult, students are $10 (ages 7-college), 6 and under are free. Seniors 60+ are $10 and there is a military discount where tickets are $10. (Show an ID card to get the discount at the window.)

Guided tours are just a bit more.




We opted to do a self-guided tour. You can do a guided tour and get more information, which is neat, but I didn't think I'd be able to get as many photos. Plus, if I was curious about something, isn't that was Siri and Google are for?

If you want to do a self-guided tour and want to know more about the rooms you see, you can get an audio wand. Sometimes Siri doesn't understand, after all.




You get to see an electric chair that was used, which was both spooky and intriguing.





I loved the pattern of the floor.

And yes, there will be signs of places where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed.






Hello Andy! What's up? If you dug your way out, who put the poster back up?



My kids were enthralled by the phones. "Look at these old things!" Natalie went.




The safe was in the movie! I pretended I was storing diamonds.



Andy is unimpressed with me.



The building is old (built between 1886-1910!) so yes, the paint is peeling, and some rooms are pretty sad looking. But they are restoring a lot of it. You can basically go anywhere you want in the reformatory unless there are signs or rooms blocked off. I didn't see a lot of those though. You pretty much have free reign with a self-guided tour. Not a lot of people were around us either, which was nice, so if you can, I recommend going during the week.







Hi Red!



This was the room where Red is hoping to be paroled. I thought it was neat that they had a script page from the scene. I tried to get my family to act it out, but everyone left me. I'd have made a fine Red.




Check the top part of the photo! Remember these words? (But poor Brooks!) This scene was really filmed in the prison, even though it takes place outside of the prison.






And here's the chair room. It's the only windowless room in the building. It's been said that there's an evil presence in there who doesn't like if you sit in the chair.

What did my kids do?




Sit in the chair. My son was like, "It's just a regular chair. I think this place is making up stories to make it more interesting."

Some people have claimed they've been pushed or scratched in the room if they sat in the chair.





It's so neat to walk down the different blocks. You can go into the cells.








Natalie thought it was funny to act possessed throughout our time. I'd look over and there she'd be.




I love history, so I could imagine the inmates walking around.




As I was imagining, my daughter was trying to freak me out.




Rows and rows and rows of cells.




There are dark spots, and naturally my kids wanted to explore. I was all, "I'll just stay in the light, thanks."




And there Natalie would be. Staring at me.




If you need to rest, there is a break room with vending machines:



There are also props from The Shawshank Redemption. Spoiler alert! Here's the tunnel that Andy climbed out of:




Here's the chapel!




Here's another dark room. Look at those hand prints. I was all, "Pass," and my kids walked into it.



Remember how I mentioned ghosts? Well, some people have said they've been scratched in this man's cell. Or that they've heard noises.

My kids naturally went into the cell, but weren't scratched and heard nothing strange.





Here's cell 13, the cell where an inmate set himself on fire:



The tour took us about 2 hours to finish.





I recommend it, especially if you like history. Not surprisingly, there are ghost tours, but you have to be 18, which my kids were offended over.

"We're not scared! We want to go on a ghost tour!" they protested.

They are braver than I am. I'd probably pee myself.

(Click here to learn more about the ghost tours. I'm told it's incredibly popular during September and October. Naturally.)

My daughter would probably do this throughout the ghost tour:



Don't forget to check out the gift shop! You'll find regular Ohio State Reformatory souvenirs, plus some from The Shawshank Redemption.




Also, don't forget to walk around outside.

There's this photo op near the front:




There's a gorgeous lake area where people were eating lunch. There is a small cafe inside the reformatory, but there isn't much of a selection.








So have you ever gone to the Ohio State Reformatory?

Or would you?

Have you seen The Shawshank Redemption? Are you ready to get busy living?









Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wahlburgers In Cleveland, Ohio Review

Which Wahlburger is your favorite?

Do you even know what I'm talking about?

I asked my daughter and she stared at me blankly and finally went, "Uh. The dog?"

Apparently there are NINE Wahlburger kids. NINE. Can you imagine? I cannot. You probably know Mark Wahlburg and Donnie Wahlburg. Mark was formerly Marky Mark. He's an actor.

Donnie is also an actor. He currently stars in Blue Bloods. You also might recognize him from a little group called New Kids On The Block. (You got the right stuff! Baby!)






Their brother Paul actually came up with the concept of Wahlburgers. He apparently has fond memories of his Dad cooking on the grill so Paul decided, hey, let's open a restaurant.

Enter Wahlburgers. (It's also a reality show in A&E.)


When we went to Ohio, I told Tom that we HAD to stop in at Wahlburgers. We don't have one in Texas yet. (Paul? You need to open one in San Antonio. I'm sure there has to be a spot on the riverwalk somewhere.)


Wahlburgers in Cleveland is located downtown, which means you have to pay for parking. If you go on a weekend do NOT park in the casino parking lot. We learned this the hard way. It's $25 on weekends. It's cheaper during the week but weekends is a set $25. I wanted to cry, but on the plus, it's right near the restaurant.





You spot it right away.

"There it is!" I told Tom. I do like Mark and Donnie but I wouldn't say I'm major fans. I was more interested in the food. Also, I wish Donnie Loves Jenny would come back. I like their dynamic. Plus, it was nice to see Jenny's son Evan, who has autism. My son has autism, so I saw a lot of similarities between the two.

"I have to pee," Natalie announced as we walked in.

Lovely.

We were led to a table and given menus.




There were many tasty options.

I went with The Our Burger.  (Paul's fave! Paul is probably my favorite Wahlburger. He seems calm and collected. Plus he can cook.)

Also, they have Coke products, which is a plus for me. It takes all my effort not to say, "No," when I order a Diet Coke and the waiter is like, "Oh, would a Diet Pepsi be okay?" No. No it will not be okay.

(There's also wine, beer, and other adult drinks if you prefer that.)




The decor is simple, but comfortable. I liked the green chairs.

There was a Cleveland Indians game going on so naturally the screens were showing that.





Here's some of the shows and movies the brothers have been in:




Here's my burger. I had jalapeƱos added:



I also got the fries and the smoked bacon mac and cheese because carbs are my friend. I mean, not to my pants, but to my mouth, yes.

Here's a closer look at the bacon mac and cheese. It was delicious, but after the burger and fries, I didn't have much room in my stomach left.



Tommy got the double decker burger and wolfed it all down.




Natalie tried the cheeseburger kids meal. She liked it, but she said the smoked bacon mac and cheese was better. She ate a lot of that, but she's never been a huge burger fan. If we go back, and I'd just get her a bowl of mac and cheese.



My confused husband who still doesn't get why I take photos of food got the Double Decker as well. I asked how he liked it and he went, "It's a burger," and I went, "Yes, but did it taste better than other places?" and he went, "Amber. It's a BURGER. It was good."

(That's his stern military face. If you have a kid going into the Air Force, they might encounter Tom.)



I wish we had room for dessert. There's a grilled fluffanutta, which is banana, peanut butter, fluff, and nutella. That's why a Wahlburgers needs to open in San Antonio so I can try this. (Paul? You hear me? Mark is probably busy running after Transformers or with a fake weapon or working out and Donnie is bouncing around on the stage trying not to break something, so I'm talking to you.)


Oh, and like I said, we went during a Cleveland Indians game, and it was ending when we were finishing. Ack! However, the police are able to quickly keep vehicles moving, so don't worry if you go on game day.



So have you ever eaten at Wahlburgers before?






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