Foggy evening flight to San Francisco, then a redeye to Cleveland. The clam chowder bread bowl at SFO isn't great, but for airport food, it does the job. Much like the lousy choice of rental cars available on the morning arrival in CLE (got a new Nissan Frontier...) or the hotel breakfast (it's a Fairfield Inn), it did the job.
Then on to the main event, Elayne's first birthday! Clearly a big deal, with siblings from both sides and both sets of grandparents there, not to mention important family such as Uncle Bruce-- plus a few oddball friends such as myself. Ty also wanted all the attention he could get, although Squeaky chose to hide til the end of the night when the majority of the crowd left. Plenty of catching up to do as some of us hadn't seen each other since Erik and Dawn's wedding, let alone met baby Elayne or seen the new house. Of course Elayne and the other baby in attendance got most of the attention-- given the whole event was for her birthday, we wouldn't have had it any other way!
Dinner was a quick walk at the nearby Nano Brew. Bit of fun place although perhaps not the best for a toddler, the beer selection was good, the food tried hard to be innovative on traditional Americn classics. The PB&J dog wasn't as weird as it could have been-- the peanut butter was actually a nice sweet contrast with the chili-- but really it was good to see everyone. Melin family dessert after at Mitchell's Ice Cream was excellent, even if ice cream tonight was overkill. And at the end of the night, Erik was nice enough to break out his George T. Stagg bourbon, which is one intense experience, even by cask strength standards. Add a little water and it opens up, although the hints of vanilla, cherry, and maybe caramel still had a formidable amount of alcohol to contend with.