Most people, when closing out the Summer and getting close to school starting back up, take the family on a nice vacation. A trip to the beach, a weekend at the lake, or even a jump abroad if you have the means. Somewhere off the beaten path, somewhere exotic, somewhere refreshing.
When it came time for our Summer Vacation this year, my husband took us to Columbus. The same place we called home for eight years, and that’s surrounded on four sides by corn fields. This year, we were going to vacation in Ohio.
Did I just see you yawn? Hang with me.
Why in the world did we go Ohio
Ok, let me go ahead and say it was actually my choice to go to Ohio for vacation. And I had a very good reason for it.
Our primary purpose for this locale was a family reunion.
A lot of my extended family live in northwestern Ohio, along the border with Indiana, in farm country. They’re actually almost all farmers, with farms.
My Mom grew up in this area, and with eight brothers and sisters. So that side of the family is pretty big, with lot’s of cousins, and now, second cousins running around. We’ve lost a few family members over years, but new ones are being added yearly.
My Dad is from this area too. His family was a little smaller, and unfortunately we’ve lost a few there too. But I’ve still got an Aunt and several cousins in the area.
Every year, my family has a big reunion. We haven’t been in three years, so we decided we would use some vacation time to get up there this year.
Columbus is only about two or two and a half hours from where the reunion was, and a direct flight for us, so that’s where we flew in to. But that wasn’t the only reason we went.
Stay with me here.
You tend to have a couple friends
As I mentioned, we lived in Columbus for about eight years, before moving to where we are now, in Florida. That was actually my husband’s second time living there.
As you can imagine, if you spend eight plus years in any one place, you tend to make a couple friends. Between work, childcare, my husband’s graduate degree, and the neighborhood, we made a lot of friends.
We still see them on Facebook a lot, and every once in awhile, one of them makes it down to our corner. But for the most part, we hadn’t seen a lot of them since we moved away three years ago. So we decided to take a couple days to spend in Columbus visiting friends around the day we were at the reunion.
Gotta plan ahead
Our total trip was only going to be three days and three nights, so we were going to have to make the most of it. In the weeks leading up to it, we made a list of all the people we wanted to see. We prioritized the one’s we hadn’t seen the longest, and unfortunately had to trim some others off the list due to time constraints.
We made sure to let everyone know we were coming, and started firming up plans. A dinner here, a lunch there. We had it all planned down to the hour.
On top of seeing friends, we wanted to swing by a couple places and see what was new. So we peppered a few of these stops in the itenary as well.
The day arrived, and we were off.
Even the best laid plans
As you continue reading this, pretend you just heard a record scratch. You know all that planning we did, well…
If you know anything about me or my family, things often do not go as planned. This trip was no exception.
Let’s rewind a couple hours to the morning of the day we flew out.
This week was a Golf Camp for my son. And as normal, I dropped him off first thing in the morning for what would be a shortened day on the links.
The kids in the camp do a little warm-up routine before the instructors take them out on the course. Each day, it’s led by a different kid, and on this morning, the designated leader chose to do push ups.
Not a big deal. Except they were out on the grass, and my son planted his hand right on top of a fire ant hill. I’m not sure if he even got one push up in before he was bitten a half dozen times.
He quickly realized his mistake and hopped up, but not before he already had ten or twelve bites on his hand and arm.
It scared him, but it wasn’t really an emergency. The instructor quickly put some benedryl on the bites, and soon my son was ready to rejoin the group.
Things take a turn
He was ok when I picked him up, and took him home to get ready to go. All the way to the airport, and on the plane he was fine.
But by the time we got off the plane, his hand had swolen to the size of mine.
The kid was in misery, and things were heading south in a hurry.
We stepped aside, and my husband did some quick online research. He identified the appropriate response, and we located a drug store for the neccessary supplies.
In the parking lot, my husband performed some triage on my son’s hand. It seemed to have an immediate affect for my son, and soon he was feeling ready to go out. We packed back in the car and headed to our first meet-up with friends, dinner at a local restaurant
Crisis one averted.
My husband is a very proud packer. He can pack for being away for an entire month, and fit it all into nothing more then a regular backpack. He always knows what to bring, and how to make it easiest for traveling by plane.
He loves to tell me how to pack, and gives me lots of advice on how I’m overpacking. He’s just an absolute genius when it comes to packing.
Except this genius forgot to pack his shoes.
See, he wore the clothes he had on at work for the flight out to Columbus, and kept them on for our dinner. Dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes.
It wasn’t until the next morning, when he started to put on his shorts and polo shirt, which were the only types of clothes he packed for the entire weekend and trip back, that he realized he had forgotten one major component of his outfit.
Nobody wants to see shorts and polo shirt with a pair of black socks and Bostonians. So it was another emergency run for supplies. Except this time it was a trip to the deparment store- for the exact same kind of shoes he had sitting at home and wishing he had packed.
The rest of the trip was Incredible
I’m not going to bore you with all of the details on the rest of the trip, other than to say it was a very nice mini-vacation. We saw lots of friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, saw some of the sites we missed, and otherwise had a good family trip.
Luckily, there were no other crisis to note. But, by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, we were wiped from all of the meetups we had done.
Our flight wasn’t leaving until that evening, and we had some time to kill, but we needed to decompress a little bit. So we took our son to the movies and watched the Incredibles2. It was a nice ending to a great trip.
Vacations don’t have to be exotic to be fun
I like to travel as much as anyone else. And you’ll never see me turn down a trip to somewhere exotic. But, the thing this trip reminded me of, is that sometimes, just seeing friends and family can be as fun as some of the best vacations. And sometimes, it can be fun to vacation in Ohio.