Old Stomping Grounds

We’re going on VACATION!!!

Next Monday, Craig, Athena and I are heading back east for a two-week trek around the Midwest.  We’ll arrive in Ohio and visit a theme park, then drive up through Indiana to Michigan to visit with friends and family (and some swimming in Lake Michigan), then we’ll head back into Ohio for another theme park and fly home.

This trip came about because Athena has wanted to meet my side of the family ever since Craig and I got married.  She met a couple of them at the wedding, but most of our families didn’t make it to Chicago, so this is a chance to rectify that.  Plus we’ll get to introduce her to the two BEST theme parks in the country (in my opinion): Kings Island and Cedar Point.

Going to the Midwest in August isn’t necessarily the smartest move on our part, due to the mugginess and heat, but theme parks in that part of the country are only open in the summer months, and June and July were packed with other activities.  Besides, maybe we’ll get to experience a nice, warm summer thunder storm.  *sigh* I miss those.

Craig and I will also get to show Athena around our old stomping grounds.  We’ll get to drive by the high school where we first met, the houses where we used to live, and other places along Memory Lane.  Plus, it’ll be GREAT to be back in the land of People Who Call It “Pop.”  😉

Another thing that Craig, in particular, is excited about is visiting a real Putt-Putt course.  He and one of his friends used to compete in Putt-Putt tournaments throughout the Midwest (and even one down in Florida), but for some reason there aren’t many Putt-Putt opportunities out here in California.  There are several miniature golf courses, but as Craig’s told me several times, Putt-Putt and Miniature Golf are NOT the same thing.  So, we’ve made sure to include a quick stop to one of them on our way from Ohio to Michigan.  Craig has even found out from one of his friends that there’s a tournament in Ohio while we’re around, so maybe he’ll get a chance to compete again.

You know that old saying about how you can’t take the [BLANK] out of the girl/guy?  Well, I think it’s true to a certain extent, which is why it will be nice to go back and see where we came from.  I couldn’t wait to leave Michigan when I was younger, so I could go off and explore the world, but I still enjoy visiting it every now and then.  There’s some real beautiful places to be seen there, as well as other assets.

For one, the Midwest stability.  I don’t mean to imply that other places in the U.S. are “unstable,” but there’s a certain heartiness to the people from that part of the country.  There’s an earthiness that I didn’t find while living in New York, Florida or even out here in California.  I get that same Midwest feeling here in Alameda, which is probably one of the reasons I find it so charming, but I don’t notice it in other parts of the state.

Another thing that will be nice (providing it happens while we’re there) will be to experience the rainy season.  Until the recent three year-long drought, California normally gets rain during the winter months, which means it’s cold!  It’s the kind of cold that seeps through your clothes and into your bones.  But out in Michigan and the surrounding states, it rains during the summer.  And it’s a such a warm rain that you don’t mind being caught without an umbrella (unless you’re dressed up for a fancy night out).  It’s so warm, it almost feels like you’re just standing under a REALLY big shower head.

So, hopefully we’ll get to enjoy all the things we’ve gone out there to see: friends, family, fun and even a little precipitation (I couldn’t find an alliterative synonym).  I’ll write a couple blogs while we’re on the road, and might even have some photos to share.

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