Ohio. Not Christopher.
Daniel and I took a little 6 hour road trip up to Columbus Ohio this past weekend. One doesn't usually think of Columbus Ohio as a destination, especially in November, but as it turns out, we have people there. Daniel's brother and two nieces live there and my friend Joanna lives there.
We left Friday afternoon, drove 6 hours, lost an hour, and arrived in Dublin Ohio (Dublin is a little town on the outer outskirts of Columbus - from my brief impression and Jim's comments, it's a very neo-conservative, totally white-bread, suburban bubble. Awesome). When we got there, Jim took us to the Dublin Tavern for dinner - which had authentic-sounding anglo fare like Shepherd's Pie, Bubble and Squeak, and Bangers and Mash. I got a mushroom. It was good.
Saturday morning, Jim and Daniel left early for a tailgating party prior to a football game while the girls and I lounged around and watched VH1's Top 20 Countdown. Hey! I don't care if I'm too old....I LIKE music videos, okay!? Back off, man! The girls are tweens. Maggie is 12 and Jenna is 11. I'm good with tweens. We bonded over All American Rejects and Beyonce. Then I left them to hang out with Joanna, who, bless her heart, drove all the way out to freakin' Dublin to get me so I wouldn't get lost. Cuz we all know I would've without a doubt gotten lost.
If you know anything about me and my Hiram friends, it's that we all have a strange used book store affliction. No, seriously. It's like a compulsion. Must.Go.To.Used.Book.Store. We don't fight it. We just go. So Joanna immediately took us to the Acorn Used Bookstore, which was fun and lovely. And I managed to walk out of there with only 2 books...which is something of a miracle. From there, we went to the ZenCha Tea Salon for brunch where we had tea waffles. Tea Waffles! Ha! And Yum!
After the warm delicious waffles, we poked our heads into a shop down the street from ZenCha, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Basically, it was a "gift shop" of all kitschy things ever made between 1930 and 1970. No I am not kidding. Jackpot! And it was huge. A maze of little neverending rooms, each filled top to bottom with home decor, kitchen items, furniture, clothes, shoes, jewelry, art, accessories, entertainment. Absolutely ANY Mid-Century kitsch item you could possibly think of, was there...probably in multiples. We deduced from the sheer overwhelming numbers, that people from that era travelled to Florida A LOT and bought ridiculous souvenirs while there, EVERYONE smoked (yes, everyone) and owned at least half a dozen ashtrays each, mushroom hats were thought to be a good idea, and someone, somewhere is missing their heirloom gold, plastic, praying hands salt n' pepper shakers.
The next item on our agenda was a trip to the State House Crypt. This is another thing about my Hiram friends. When together, we almost always end up going to unusual places. It just happens. When your friend calls you up and says, "hey, do you want to go to the State House Crypt to see all 44 Presidents of the United States captured in the medium of Etch-A-Sketch?"....you say "oh hells yeah!" Am I right?
In the midst of this Columbus fun, I got a text message from Daniel around 2:00 pm "Very cold. Going home." Did I mention it is cold in Columbus in November? Well it is. There were even small patches of snow on the ground. So, when I got back to freakin' Dublin, everyone was huddled in the living room playing Scrabble. Shortly thereafter, we piled into Jim's tank and went to see the movie Bolt. In 3-D. Because if 3-D is an option...you take it.
Okay, so I hate Miley Cyrus, was skeptical about John Travolta, had no idea what the movie was about and generally do not fancy the newer cartoony kid films. But, ohmigawd, it was really good. And not just because it was in 3-D. Okay, so there's this character in the movie named Rhino. Rhino is a hamster and he is all things hilarious! Like, fall out of your chair hilarious. You must see it. You really must.
Sunday was the day when we were supposed to get on the road and get our asses back to the warmth of Nashville as we both had to work Monday morning. But there was a hitch. It was Jenna's birthday and she was having a party. A party which required additional adult supervision and transportation. Jim is newly divorced and mostly functions as a single parent, so Daniel and I volunteered to assist in the birthday festivities...which didn't begin until 3 o'clock, naturally.
The plan was for all 7 party guests to arrive at the house in freakin' Dublin and then we would transport these children to a place far away from freakin' Dublin called the Franklin Adventure Park. Once at the Adventure Park, the children would be tricked out with helmets and harnesses and play around on ropes 30 feet in the air. It's like an obstacle course, way up high, with no nets. Of course, each person is tied onto an overhead cable to prevent death. It looked WAY cool. Some of the kids were totally psyched and started swinging around like fearless primates. But, a couple of the kids just couldn't do it. They tried. But the height thing just really wigged them out and froze them. After that, there was a rock wall for climbing and everyone managed to do that just fine.
We left the birthday party of death at 5 o'clock and shuttled the kids back to freakin' Dublin, and walked in our front door after a very long 6 hours at 11 o'clock. Monday was a long day. A very long day.