Friday, July 10, 2009

I Have Just One Thing to Say....

Till next week.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hi-Ho Ohio

Last month I took a trip out of town. By myself. On a plane. What exotic location did I visit, you're wondering?

The happenin' state of Ohio.

Now, before you wrinkle your nose and say, "OHIO?", let me tell you the reason (s) for my visit. grandma turns 90 this month, but she didn't want a big hoopla since large crowds stifle her. Her wish was for people to come and visit her...trickling in a few at a that she could enjoy each family member's company to the fullest. Being her oldest grandchild, I felt I needed to make the trip. Going solo seemed the logical thing to do. And, the most enjoyable.

So, I flew into Columbus, Ohio, climbed into my stylish rental car, and waited for my GPS lady with the Australian accent (no, I'm not kidding) to tell me how to get around. I named her "Nicole" (after the Aussie Nicole Kidman). :-)

I found my way to Grandma's assisted living residence, and we enjoyed a wonderful Wednesday afternoon of visiting and catching up. I tell ya what....this lady is sharp as a tack where her memory and mind are concerned. Yes, some physical ailments give her a run for her money, but she's all there mentally. And, she's hysterically funny. I love to hear her laugh.

Look'll see who my dad and I inherited our blue eyes from.

The cool thing about Columbus, Ohio is that right after Animesh and I married in Texas, we moved there for a year while he did a fellowship. God sent us there amazingly...because Columbus is where BOTH of my parents are from. It was a great year spent hanging with Grandma and getting to know her better.

Dad is an Ohio State University alumni...and purchasing (and eating!) Buckeyes are a "must" if you're in the college town. Delish.

I was able to drive around the old stomping grounds Thursday morning. Thanks to GPS "Nicole" I was able to locate our first home ever as a married couple...a charming townhome in Columbus, Ohio. Nice memories.

My grandparents attended this church for many, many years. And, this is the church where my parents were married...AND where I was baptized as an infant. Very cool that we were able to attend this same church....Overbrook Presbyterian... when we lived in Columbus.

Lunchtime on Thursday I spent with the was a bittersweet time as Grandma kept acting as if this would be the last time I would ever see her.

Thursday afternoon I picked up Jeanne at the Columbus airport, and then we made our way to Cincinnati to see our dear friend, Catherine...a San Antonio native-turned Ohioian. It was so great to finally arrive and give her a big hug.

Cheers to some of the best friends ever!

Jeanne and I slept on the 3rd floor of the house...where Catherine's girls have their retreat. This sign welcomed us. Too cute.

Later....we found these on our pillows. Thanks to Catherine's hubby and the girls for this creative touch.

Thursday night the 3 of us went out to meet up with someone special ---but on the way, we came upon a hot air balloon and was able to watch from start to finish as it was "fired up" and sent into the sky.

Finally. The blog friend I had never met. Heather and I poured the drama on thick (ok...maybe me more so than her) about meeting each other for the first time. I told Catherine about Heather when Catherine moved to Cincinnati...with the warning that I had never met Heather but she seemed nice on her blog. They should hook up! Thankfully, they get along great.

Dinner at Ohio's oldest hotel....

While we dined...we had a creature joining us. At first we thought it was a bird. Then we realized we were dining with a huge bat. Look closely...right in the middle of the picture. Click on the photo to enlarge. Gross. One of the servers, Jerrod, caught it. He was our hero.

Friday Catherine drove us across state lines to Kentucky to a great eatery. How fun to jaunt on over across state lines to "do lunch."

Pedicures were in order after lunch. Pretty toes.

Later that afternoon I did something I had never done...played guitar with someone other than my teacher. I'm not that good...but Kipper (Catherine's hubby) went easy on me and played s-l-o-w-l-y. Jeanne was quick enough to capture this on film. I'm sure it was the wine (see above picture) that allowed me to make such a fool of myself.

That night we watched the Longhorns in the College World Series...and then went to bed. Before falling asleep Catherine informed us that the area was under a "tornado watch" and that the basement was all ready for us should the warning sirens go off. Yikes.

True to form, I slept through the entire night. I was informed later that about 2:30am a transformer just outside the window by Jeanne's bed blew. It startled her so much she fell out of bed. Catherine, Kipper, and Jeanne were all out inspecting the tree branch that fell causing the mini-explosion in the middle of the night. Jen was sawing logs.

Jeanne inspects the damage the next morning.

We spent the whole morning drinking coffee and enjoying lovely cool temps on Catherine's cozy front porch.

Jeanne stretches and tries to work out the kinks after falling out of bed the night before.

Steve the lineman to the rescue. Yes, Jeanne found out his name. She makes friends fast.

Saturday afternoon Jeanne and I made our way back to Columbus to fly home in time for Father's Day Sunday. It was a great trip...and I look forward to when we can all be reunited again.

Here's to amazing girlfriends. I'm so blessed to have so many. And I would be lost without them.