My best friend is from Ohio and growing up her family always went there during the Summer. Her description of it was always....well....boring. So when we had the opportunity to visit the state, I had low expectations. I was looking forward to a little vacation and I'd go anywhere as long as I got the chance to see the sunshine. But little did I know just how much this "boring" Midwestern state had to offer. The returns were huge and we made some big deposits into our family memory bank.
We landed smack dab in the middle of the state among acres of corn and soy bean fields. And in the middle of the corn lay a little lake, full of charm and simplicity. I was devastated that I wouldn't be in The South for my favorite day of the year, even more sad that I had to give up my 10th Peachtree Road Race number, but I can say that Buckeye Lake received us warmly and gave me 4th of July memories that will last a lifetime.
We also visited the northern-most tip of the state to see one of the Great Lakes. And although the vastness of Lake Erie was reminiscent of the ocean, it's pebble lined beaches surrounded by lush green trees with cottonwood in the air told a different story. And instead of looking for seashells, we were on the hunt for Lucky Stones, and we got lucky!
Ice cream dates, sparklers, s'mores and karaoke were woven into the week, along with playing cards, boating, reading, Popsicles and of course, fishing. The rain managed to find us in the middle of nowhere, but the sun usually prevailed.....thank goodness.
We ended our week with a stop in Cincinnati on our way home and boy, are we glad we stopped. This concrete jungle made the biggest deposit of all. We ate good food, walked around an unfamiliar city and stumbled upon some greatness along the way. We let the kids dance in fountains that were surrounded by stadiums, bridges and the Ohio River.
My sisters ran around with Kidd-O, singing and dancing in the fountains. It was there that we saw just how quickly the wonder years of childhood go by in the blink of an eye, when my sister was taken by a since of awareness that wasn't there before. She asked my mom "Momma, am I too old to do this?" and my mom wisely answered "of course not, baby! Go....run...play." And so with that, we sat there and watched them be little for a little while longer.
We're home now and left with a bazillion pictures,sweet memories that will age really, really well and a reminder that every place has some beauty if you look hard enough!