A Crazy December

It’s been a crazy month. Our final days in Pittsburgh ran through the end of November. By the end of December, we will have spent at least one night in 7 cities in 3 states and 2 countries! 

  • Cleveland
  • Houston
  • Columbus
  • London
  • Ann Arbor
  • Fennville
  • Dayton

From Pittsburgh, we drove to Cleveland where we stayed in a hotel for a couple of days. We hit the Football Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Neither topic holds much fascination for me but they were quality museums with something for everyone. We also visited Cleveland’s West Side Market, toured the house from A Christmas Story, and saw a bizarro dinner theater show (we sat next to a theater critic… she was not impressed). I think Cleveland might have more going on in the summer, but I wasn’t too thrilled by what I saw over those few days. There may be a few cute neighborhoods but it’s not exactly a destination.

Braden with the 1940’s fire truck from A Christmas Story.

We packed up the car and left it in long-term parking at the Columbus Airport. Our next stop was Houston for a quick visit with my family and a few days back in the office. It was a reminder of some of the things we didn’t like about Houston… lots of time sitting in traffic, making plans with friends who cancelled last minute… needing to drive everywhere. Did I mention the traffic?

In Columbus, we were well-situated at an Airbnb just off High Street, which is a nicely developed commercial area that connects to downtown. We had lunch several times at the North Market, a food market hall with everything from raclette nachos to pho to gourmet doughnuts, plus wifi and a nice seating area upstairs that overlooks the action down below. Sadly, what I might remember most about our time in Columbus was the horrific case of food poisoning I got… on my birthday. 🙁

An autonomous shuttle, part of Columbus’ public transit initiative, funded by a $40 million “Smart City” grant.

We were supposed to have several weeks in Columbus, but that was quickly shortened by a surprise trip to London for Braden’s work! It’s gorgeous at Christmastime, but the best part was that I got to have Pret-A-Manger porridge for breakfast four days in a row. If you have tried oatmeal at an American Pret, this is not the same. It’s a magical, hot, creamy, almost pudding-like breakfast treat. I also purchased jumbo oats at Sainsbury’s… all part of my years-long quest to recreate the recipe at home. I had some time on my own so I took a bus tour of London. My must-see for this trip was St. Paul’s Cathedral, an important site in a science fiction series I read recently about historians who travel back in time to London during the Blitz.

St. Paul’s… way too large to fit in one photo.

We flew back into Detroit for the London trip, and wanted to avoid a long drive to Fennville after a long flight. So we spent the night in Ann Arbor, a super cute college town. I loved the hotel we stayed at – The Graduate – which has a cozy vintage prep vibe, with lots of plaids, leathers, and dark walls.

Then, the 2.5 hour drive to Fennville, Michigan to spend Christmas with Braden’s family. I was really hoping for lots of snow during our time here, but we barely saw a flurry. The winter views have been gorgeous, though. And I don’t have to worry about dangerous driving conditions.

The Kalamazoo River

Tomorrow we’re starting the drive to Asheville, where we’ll be for 6 weeks. I am SO looking forward to getting back into a routine. The first of the year is an especially busy time for my work as we prepare for our annual conference. But first, one last Ohio stop — Braden has 2 days planned for us in Dayton.

On the road again!

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