Cleveland!

We drove up to Cleveland for a quick weekend getaway. We stopped at the only Taco John’s in Ohio on our way up. On Saturday, we hit up the West Side Market which was amazing. The grocery and food vendors were so well varied and everything was such high quality; I really regretted not bringing a cooler to bring more home. We had lunch at the Market Garden Brewery and then we checked into our AirBnB. We were able to walk from there to Great Lakes Brewery where we had a tour and some tastings. They have a wonder restaurant too – but with a toddler, we opted to eat in at our AirBnB and made some Ohio City Pasta. Sunday morning I got up for a run thru Ohio City. There is not much more I love than getting to see a new place while on a run, the familiar pumping of my legs and quiet plodding of my feet while seeing all the new graffiti, restaurants and places to see. We went to A Christmas Story House and Museum and it was everything M and I dreamed of. The owners have bought the house from the movie, the Bumpus House and 2 houses across the street. We ate the Rowley Inn and had some of the best pancakes ever before heading home.

Weekend Recap: June 9&10, 2018

A weekend for the record books! Friday night, I joined a dozen other ladies from my local running club for yoga outside. It was a rainy night but we had a tent so we did a gentle routine under the sound of rain hitting the tent – it was pretty darn great. We then had a few drinks and a potluck dinner.

Saturday morning the three of us headed down to the Ohio History Connect for their Story Book Village event. We got to meet several PBS and fairy tale characters. We got lunch from the food trucks and then headed home for nap. We needed to plant a few planters in the back yard in anticipation of C’s birthday so spent a bunch of the afternoon hanging out in the sunshine doing that.

After bedtime, M and I filled a(nother) dumpster with demo’ed bits and bobs from the basement. We are removing a few shoddy built ins and about half of the added faux wood paneling. We still have a ways to go before it’s completely done but we’re making decent progress. M also made me spend our Sunday nap time decluttering the TV room half of the basement and it’s looking much better!

The rest of Sunday was spent doing the usual cleaning, grocery shopping and on our monthly Costco trip. We’re trying to 1 one shop a month…we shall see! After C woke up from his nap, we all met my sister at Mad Moon for a cider flight. During dinner, C made it clear he was coming down with another ear infection. This is his third in as many months – please send any spare healthy vibes our way!

Weekend Recap May 26, 27 and 28

I know that Baby C is still a bit too young to understand the whole ‘experience as a gift’ thing but we really like that philosophy here in this house. While he might not remember exactly, we wanted to get that started early! We booked tickets for a ride on Thomas the Train (our little dude is quite the ‘choo choo’ lover) when he was visiting the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. We drove up on Saturday morning, had a blast riding Thomas, seeing all the other train related activities.

We were meeting friends from lunch and had an hour to kill so we popped literally around the corner to the Cuyahoga National Park Visitors Center and took a look around, saw the river (C had a really hard time not jumping into the Cuyahoga) and picked up our traditional National Park coffee cup. We had a lovely BBQ lunch and then headed back south. Our overtired dude did not nap well in the car and since he is up we stopped at the new outlet mall on our way home. I forgot it was Memorial Day weekend and it was so busy so we didn’t stay too long.

Sunday we kept it low key and cooked out at home. Monday was a pool day and cook out at my parents house. C loves the water so much and it’s so much fun to see him get more and more confident in the pool.

That Ohio Feeling

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One of my happiness and productivity gurus, Gretchen Rubin, talks about what she calls her America Feeling. I have to admit, I haven’t had my own America Feeling since voting for Hillary and it feels like my country is one I no longer recognize (or, I’m now seeing what was always there in a terrifying new light).

I do, however, still get my Ohio Feeling. I get it watching the sun set over the trees while driving alone down SR 16 and the sky is that perfect shade of pink and filled with cotton candy clouds. I get it trying new beer brewed here and it’s easy to find when checking out a new state or Metro park. It’s in a perfect summer day, in cornfields taller than I am.
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And I definitely get it at the Ohio State Fair. Its in the Ag & Hort building. It’s deep and rich when I get my Ohio lamb gyro, when I ride on the SkyGlider, when I eat my one annual deep fried buckeye.img_0549IMG_6115

Shawnee State Park + Portsmouth Ohio

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We met my in laws at Shawnee State Park for the Easter holiday and we went to see the John Rankin House. The view looking over the Ohio River was breathtaking but we didn’t stay too long as it was raining. We also saw the John P. Parker house while there. We drove up to Serpent Mound and had a picnic lunch while there on another day. And then, we spent a day in Portsmouth walking around, checking out the Spartans Stadium, the murals on the flood wall and we had a drink at Portsmouth Brewing Company.

We rented a cabin at the Shawnee State Park resort and it was a very nice place to stay. They say it is a full stocked kitchen but I would recommend bringing knives if you are a serious cook. We cooked in for most meals but we did eat at the lodge one night and it was very good. I’d highly recommend it if you’re staying at the park. We did a little hiking around the park and I have to say, I think it would much prettier in the spring.

Weekending – Dec 9 & 10

We went to the OSU v Minnesota Men’s hockey game on Friday night and C did so good! He loves hockey and basically screams whenever the sirens go off or the crowd shouts. There were no non-blurry shots. And, it’s heaven.

Saturday, we drove down to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad for a trip on the Santa Express. It was an incredible hit with C!

On Sunday, we’d meant to go the A Dickens of a Christmas but deferred to go next weekend with friends so spent the morning. We got SNOW over night and M and C spent a good hour playing outside, enjoying the inch of snow before it got up to 35 and it was all gone.

Detroit by the Numbers

old New Hollands: 4
new New Hollands: 3
runs scored by the Minnesota Twins: 7
runs scored by the Detroit Tigers: 3
miles Driven: hundreds
acres of Ohio corn: thousands
epic road trips: 1

I went to Detroit to visit a friend for my first night away from Baby C. Being a good Midwestern girl, there are few things I love as much as gassing up my car (even if I was driving my first non-Chevy) and heading out on a ribbon of highway, buffeted on both sides by tall walls of Ohio corn. Detroit is only 3 and half hours away from where we live now in Central Ohio and it was an easy trip to do alone.

Since my friend was still working when I got into the city, I headed straight to Motor City Brewing Works for a drink and to read alone at the bar. Everything I tasted was really great – I would absolutely recommend it if you’re in the area (but, if you live in Detroit, you know what an icon Motor City is!). After meeting up with C, we went to Grand Trunk Club for supper and stopped at the Detroit Water Ice Factory on our walk up to Comerica Park to see the Detroit Tigers play the Minnesota Twins. I was beyond impressed with this ball park – it is huge, clean and well designed. Really puts Wrigley to shame, if I do say so. We walked back to the waterfront to stay in our hotel and passed through the Oktoberfest celebrations happening on Woodward Ave.

The next morning we stopped the Roasting Plant for coffee and I got my cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and it. was. delicious. Clocking in at 72USD a pound, it is something I’ll only enjoy by the cup. We went to Dime Store for brunch and it was an amazing meal. I cannot recommend this place enough. On our way out of town, we went to the Detroit Institute of Art and saw about half the collection, namely the Rivera Courtyard. We also walked around Midtown for a bit and even stopped in the Shinola store (it is the Apple Store of watches).

Dispatches From Suburbia, Vol. 2

There is a Metro Park one mile and one half from my front door. I can run to it – I can walk to it – we can bike to it. I can take my kid to one of the F O U R playgrounds there in 2 or 3 actual minutes. I meet my running partner twice a week for an ‘easy’ 4 mile loop. If you live here, you know which park I’m talking about. Don’t stalk meeeeee.

There are six (6) full service grocery stores within a five (5) minute drive.

There are no gardens. Why are there no gardens? Our street has one house that has a bunch of native grasses and quirky yard art. Everyone else (including our yard…mostly) is all yews and boring hardscape. I can’t tell if it’s because 1/3 of the neighbor still lives in the house they bought in the 1950s and why change what ain’t broke or people can’t afford it or no one cares. But every single neighbor who sees us outside at home, comments on our garden. It’s 3 x 8. My cucumbers are a crisp yellow pile, yes, ok, whatever. But my tomatoes are aces.

Ohio State Fair 2017

We LOVE THE  FAIR! By the time the Ohio State Fair closes this year, I’ll have been 3 times. We were able to see all of the highlights including the Ohio Natural Resource Playground, the Bobcat display, the butter cow, the FOOD and the Cardinal Building. This year the fair had it’s share of tragedy but I also won BEST IN SHOW in Cookies for my dulce de leche bar cookies and I could not be prouder! I made the a few times to prep and brought them to my family’s annual Fourth of July party and they were a huge hit. I’m tickled – but have literally no idea how to top these for next year!

You can read the recipe here and the write up (!) at the Columbus Dispatch. Here are some of my favorite snaps from this year’s State Fair.

C and the cows!
my traditional gyro at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Assoc booth in the Taste of Ohio building
morning sun
the skyglider!
C loved the Bobcat ‘playground’
my winning entry!