This past weekend we couldn't work on finishing the patio because we went out of town for a little long weekend vacation! :) Chris and I are really big sports fans, and last year we went to the UC Davis v. Sac State rivalry football game at Davis' new stadium (Chris is a Davis alum and I attended), and we thought it would be an awesome idea to go to one big college football rivalry game a year. We love college football and we thought it would be a silly and fun tradition. So this year we decided to go to Penn State v. Ohio State. Not a huge nationally known rivalry (like say Yale v. Harvard, Ohio St. v. Michigan, Alabama v. Auburn, Cal v. Stanford...) but our really good friends went to Penn St., we wanted to see a game at Ohio State (we'll see OSU v. Michigan in Ann Arbor) and we really wanted to see Joe Paterno coach. Well, that last one didn't happen...but we had a totally awesome time!!! Columbus, Ohio is so cute and everyone was super amazingly nice.
We left really early Friday morning (like waking up at 4:30am early, yuck) and got to Columbus at 3:30pm which was good because we got to fiddle around the city that afternoon and evening. We went to a park and saw La Grande Jatte as a topiary garden (and as one of my favorite paintings, this was awesome!)
We drove around downtown (I found this little corner hilarious because it was like a mini Time Square)
And drove by the Capital (a tradition of mine and Chris' whenever we visit a capital city)
And then headed to German Village and stopped by the famous Katzinger's Deli where we picked up the most AMAZING olive oil I have ever had. I don't know anything about food (I always giggle at the way they talk about food on Top Chef because I have no idea what they're talking about) but seriously, this olive oil was bombtastic
We drove around a little more and then ate dinner at Eddie George's Grille which was crazy busy, tasty, and a fun experience because it is definitely a college favorite restaurant and bar. We headed home to the hotel after and sat in bed and snacked on our freshly bought bread and olive oil while we watched TV :)
On Saturday we woke up bright and early and spent the morning and early afternoon walking around the Ohio State campus. These people take their football seriously (and we come from a town where people dress up in basically Halloween costumes every Sunday home game). We had lots of fun touring around, checking out the campus and talking to many friendly fans (you could totally tell we were from California as I was wearing my A's jacket and Chris was wearing a Cal sweatshirt and there was red everywhere)
When it came for game time our seats kind of sucked (obstructed view much?)
I was annoyed because when I bought the tix it said nothing about an obstructed view on them, but we had a good time anyway. We got there early enough for all the pregame festivities and saw the band perform which was totally fucking awesome. I love the Cal band and have never seen a college marching band better, but I gotta say, the Ohio State Marching Band really is "The Best Damn Band in the Land" (TBDBITL as they're affectionately nicknamed). They do this "script Ohio" routine that was amaze-balls where they spell out Ohio in cursive script while they're playing. It blew my mind and Chris has a video of it where I am seriously freaking out
It was amazingly glorious. They did it pregame and then did it again at halftime to honor Dr. Woods (we couldn't figure out who he was) and they have never done it two times in one game, so we felt excited :) Dr. Woods got to "dot the 'i'" which is a really big deal and when he did TONS of flashes in the stadium went off and everyone erupted in applause. It was really cool to see.
The game was totally fun, it wasn't too cold and Ohio State almost came back, but Penn State pulled out the win
Despite our very last row of the stadium seats, Chris and I had lots of fun
We also like to make crazy, spontaneous, out of the way detours on trips we take (like when we visited Vermont for Chris' birthday and then decided to drive to Portland, Maine on the last day for lobster) and so it was only fitting that yesterday we decided to drive 2 1/2 hours to Cleveland before our flight to make some pit stops. We visited Kent
and saw the May 4th Memorial which the university does an amazing job honoring.
Then we stopped by Cuyahoga National Park to see Chris' old stopping grounds
And then we headed off to Cleveland to visit the A Christmas Story house and museum and take the tour
It was actually kind of a strange experience. The house isn't in the greatest area and a lot of the homes are really run down. It is amazing the seriousness of the movie that people on the tour take and it was really interesting to see everyone recreate all these scenes and moments from the movie. Chris and I actually had more fun watching everyone than we did touring around the house.
After, we tried to find food and eat in Cleveland, but apparently the entire city proper basically shuts down on Sundays when the Browns play and we couldn't find parking anywhere. It was actually really frustrating. Cleveland reminds me a lot of Oakland and Chris and I were eager to eat and spend our money there (even a little bit), but we were seriously basically prevented from patronizing any restaurant. It was kind of lame. Everything was either closed or you couldn't park anywhere (they shut down nearly every street meter on game days apparently). So we drove outside of town and found some local chain that was famous for its wings and had motorcycles hanging from the ceiling (I was a fan of the twirly straw)
It was a fun experience nonetheless as the Browns fans watching the game (on every single TV in the restaurant but 1, I was afraid to ask them to change one of the TVs to the Raiders game) made it very entertaining.
After that, it was time to zoom back to Columbus where we turned in our rental car, hopped on our 7:30pm connection in Chicago (with 25 loud and talkative 17 year old girls) and got home last night at about 11. It was a eventful and busy trip and loads of fun. Columbus was a really cute city and we had so much fun discovering the campus. People were so nice and Chris and I had an awesome time just hanging out together. It definitely makes me excited for where we pick next year...
Now, time to finish that patio!