So we said goodbye to, as the Blues Brothers called it, Sweet Home Chicago. We were headed South and East to the capital city of The Buckeye State – Columbus, Ohio.
pit stop and beautiful sunset between Chicago and Columbus
Mr. Fantastic and I met in Columbus at Ohio State back in the day, and we still have some friends here. We surfed our fourth couch in as many nights and stayed in the crafty, kitschy paradise of Seth, Olivia and their son Joban.
clockwise from bottom left: our hosts in caricature, purple wall with artwork, salt-n-pepper shaker collection, our kids playing with Joban’s collection of vintage toys
The next day, we went to Olivia’s store, Wholly Craft, wow! It is a colorful, dreamy shop of handmade items, with a basement workshop space. We all loved it and got to shopping and crafting immediately.
Next, we spent some time at the Center of Science and Industry, or COSI. This is a large science center in downtown Columbus that not only accepted our reciprocal membership but gave us two tickets to their special exhibit on Sherlock Holmes. Fiercely and Cleverly used the tickets and said the exhibit was good, they solved a crime and also saw some props from the BBC series, to which Fiercely and I are addicted. The rest of us looked at the other exhibits.
clockwise from top left: Fiercely out front, a giant wire skeleton, Really trying out a space toilet, the twins getting mesmerized by a rotating disk
There is a cool restaurant in Columbus worth mentioning – The Spaghetti Warehouse. It appears to be a chain but a small one – 15 total locations with 4 in Ohio and 5 in Texas, go figure. Anyway, we used to frequent the one in Philadelphia until it sadly and suddenly closed. The place is full of antique paraphernalia in a large former industrial space. Not too expensive or formal, big enough for the kids to run around when they were smaller, and cool old stuff like a trolley car, giant posters and chandeliers, bed frames, and statues to look at.
We stopped there to eat before heading back north to the grandparents’. Above is the outside of the building, trolley car inside, and (left) the kids by a red mill wheel inside. Back in Northeast Ohio, we spent our final night for this trip in a hotel near my parents’ house. My Dad was still recuperating so we visited but slept elsewhere. Our first hotel of the trip! Lucky for us, prices are friendlier than in Chicago and Columbus. We stayed here in one room with 2 double beds and a pull-out couch, it was great, and it had an indoor pool as we had hoped. We took advantage of the pool and gym, had breakfast the next day with the grandparents, and headed back home. We discussed this crazy long trip and the ups and downs as we again crossed the long state of Pennsylvania. The kite flying, Detroit, Columbus, we pondered all of it as we returned with the sun behind us and our lives, guinea pigs and all, waiting back at home as Harry Potter played in the background.