Tom and I just returned from our first ever vacation without kids. We spent 9 days in Ohio... or 7 days plus travel. We drove up the usual I44 to I70 route, averaging 68 mph despite stops. We ate lunch in Eureka, MO, at a really good BBQ spot. Apparently it is somewhat famous. The food was good. (Super Smokers BBQ). We arrived early- apparently they had JUST opened the doors- perhaps for a delivery truck we walked around? We got our meal to go... I was surprised Mr C wanted to "go", as he had just ordered a BBQ sandwich with sides of slaw and baked beans. Not exactly easy to eat while driving... through St. Louis! He managed nicely.
I asked to stop at the Warm Glow Candle store, which we did. It has been re-arranged in the years since I was last there, opening a section with micro brewed beers and local wines for sale. I was quick- chose a birthday gift for Tom's sister, grabbed ONE package of votives, a bottle of Peach Chardonnay... and we were on the road again. The Peach Chardonnay was excellent!
We arrived at well after 9:00pm- Mom Arlene had soup waiting us. She makes fantastic soup! Tom's brother Bob, and one of their sisters, Joyce were camping out back by the woods. I visited outside and in for a short time, then slept inside! Tom and the others camped outside... in the rain.
During the week, Tom and I did quite a bit of hiking through the Hocking Hills. It was very pretty- though overcast/ rainy most of the time we were there. I got a lot of ragging about the number of pictures I take- so tried not to do too many of people this year. I will post some of the shots to the family site . (You are welcome to look- just don't repost peopled pics to public sites.)
I got to read/ borrow a book of Memoirs of Joan Cook, who is my MIL's first cousin. I was surprised to learn that another of Arlene's cousins, one of Joan's sisters, lived many years in Jay, OK. We are close enough to Jay that I have worked with people at the airport here (XNA) who live in Jay. (The book is "COOKIE 7th from the top, 4th from the bottom").
On the drive home, we went south out of Ohio, and stopped to see Serpent's Mound . I have been interested in visiting the site since I first heard of it in school so many years ago. I did have to wonder how much they present as "fact" is instead supposition. What if this was really some ancient guy building a nice flower berm for his Mrs.?
Crossing into Kentucky, we drove mostly on the Parkways. When on the lesser highways, we did see some awesome horse farms and just beautiful country. Most of the daylight was in Kentucky, though we did get across the small part of Tennessee and cross the Mississippi as darkness fell. This was our shortest travel ever across Missouri- just into the 'foot' of the SE bit of the state, and onto HWY 412.
This was the route we traveled the rest of the way home, in the dark. We did stop and sleep in a roadside rest area several hours... and arrived home at almost 5:30 in the morning. I saw several very interesting towns that would be so fun to explore... all closed up for the night. Maybe another trip someday?
Have a blessed day! hope to see as many of my friends and family as possible when we travel to Texas next month. New baby "Peaches" Coder should be arriving before we do. ("Peaches" is the name until gender is known, then s/he will get a real name!)