When I was a kid, every couple of summers we’d visit the grandparents in Chicago and sometimes, we’d pile into my grandma’s car and visit her mother in Cleveland. We’d drive through toll roads and eat lunch at truck stops, both very exotic things to this little southwest girl. We’d stay in the house that my great grandfather built, in the unfinished second floor, in a bunch of bedrooms in beds piled high with hand made, soft and cozy quilts. We’d run around like lunatics and laugh with an enormous extended family, something we didn’t have back in Arizona. We’d eat giant piles of amazing foods from her Czech heritage – kuchens, dumplings and her legendary apple strudel, which she would hide from our greedy mouths. Once my great uncle and I found 12 beautiful strudels hidden in the clothes dryer. She’d greatly underestimated our detective skills. We each had nearly demolished a whole strudel a piece when she caught us on the basement steps, crumb covered faces and sheepish grins. Despite her stern reprimands, I think she got a kick out of the whole thing. I also have distinct memories of eating chocolate tapioca pudding on the front porch swing. Nothing fancy – it was right out of the Jell-O box – but oh, was it good.