And the moral is…Stick to the Back Roads

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Kim and I both woke up really early (like 4:30 or so) and tried but failed to go back to sleep for any length of time.  I finally got up and got in the shower and then wished I had just gone out for a walk, since Bardstown is a small, safe place to be.  Oh well.  We had plenty of time to get ready and pack before walking down a couple of blocks to our high school friends’ (Bob and Cara Chumbler Blackmon) house for a visit.  

The last time we were here, about three years ago, they had just closed on the house, so we were anxious to see the inside.  It was charming, and you could tell it was arranged especially for their 6 (about to be 7) grandchildren.  Bob had built a ‘dorm room’ with four twin beds (no room for bunks due to low slanted ceilings) and there was a crib room, too.  Not to mention the cool reading nook with a map-papered vaulted ceiling and the little play area/classroom.  I may need to take grandparenting lessons from Cara and Bob!  

Bob took us on a tour of the backyard, which was equally kid-friendly.  There was a gorgeous koi pond, an elevated vegetable garden, a delightfully whimsical fairy garden, and a soon-to-be playhouse built from reclaimed barn wood and cedar shingles.  God knew what he was doing when he blessed Bob, a former star football player and dad to three sons, with FIVE granddaughters!!  I can tell Cara has loved it, too!

We all walked back to the Old Talbott Tavern for breakfast, and Kim and I hit the road a little after 10:30.  Our destinations today were Kettering, Ohio, where my niece Emilee lives, and then Columbus, where we had the only reservations we planned for this trip, which was a food tour on Friday morning.

As usual, our route did not involve interstate highways, so it was going to take us almost five hours to get there.  We ended up hopping on the interstate south of Cincinnati in hopes of shaving a few minutes off of the trip, since Emilee had a work event, but the traffic was so bad that we got right off.  Even with a quick pit stop and that little traffic snarl, we pulled up to Emilee and Gus’s house at about 3:45.  Their son Fynn had just waked up from his nap, but after about two minutes, we were old friends!  This was our first time to meet sweet Fynn, and I hadn’t seen Emilee and Gus since shortly after they learned they were expecting Fynn, who is now three.

Fynn showed us his sea creatures, his room, his dinosaurs, and shared his stickers with us.  He served us the cheese and crackers Em had ready for us, and he even posed for some photos.  We were sad to leave!  Thanks for having us, Emilee and Gus!  We loved your house and your cute son!

Our ride to Columbus was uneventful except for a detour we weren’t expecting.  I had made reservations at the downtown Hampton Inn before falling asleep Wednesday night in hopes that it was close to our food tour, and then we decided we should just stay two nights.  Thankfully, that was not a problem, and it turned out we were not even a block away from the start of the food tour.

The staff at the Hampton was fantastic – so friendly!  Cherokee checked us in and pointed us in the direction of good food; Tiffany checked in to make sure all was well; Clifton the greeter delivered us a FedEx package and blessed us upon leaving and arriving; and James the manager kept it all in control.

We walked a few blocks down the street to the Pint House for dinner on Cherokee’s recommendation.  Even on Thursday night, the place was hopping!  But, it was Thursday night football and the Browns were playing, so that made sense.  Kim had a grilled cheese and fries and I had the short rib tacos.  I got a beer sampler and Kim had the Fat Head Bumbleberry, then we both had a grapefruit beer.  Of course, since there was a Jeni’s ice cream shop (founded in Columbus) on our way home, we had to stop there, too.

It was a fun day, filled with friends, family, and food.  What more could you want?

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