September Adventure Date

On Friday, September 13th, the Ohio Herb Center offered a Gahanna Ghost Walk. With visions of ghost stories and strange phenomenon in our heads, we headed to meet our group. We were told it would be a 90 minute walking tour with light refreshments following.

Our tour started with the history of Bridgeport, Ohio, the name of the portion of Gahanna we were going to be exploring. After a brief overview, we headed out just down the street from the Ohio Herb Center to the site of what was once the Mifflin Inn. In front of the building is the oldest stone step in Gahanna. There are also two big windows where you may see a ghost cat. (The step and windows are not pictured because we talked about them from the back of the building because of traffic noise from the street.) First stop and already a ghost story? This was going to be great!

Our next landmarks were given quick mentions. We saw The Olde Gahanna Sanctuary (built in 1895 by Peace Lutheran Church) and the Shepard Street School, but no real stories or history of either was given. Our next stop was 120 N High Street at the former house of Harry Bower. Apparently Harry was known as a strange fellow that bathed in the creek and constantly had to kick kids out of his back barn. Kids were always trying to get a peek at the glider (think light airplane) he kept there. Interesting sounding fellow, but not exactly spooky or supernatural.

We learned a bit more history on the way to our next destination – the site that was once the apartment building where Dr. Sam Sheppard once lived. Apparently was a doctor living near Cleveland with his pregnant wife when he came home one day to find she’d been murdered. Sam was tried by 2 separate juries 10 years apart and eventually acquitted of the crime. After his release from the State Penitentiary, he took up residence in The Executive apartment building in Gahanna, where he once again began seeing patients as a doctor. In our current day, the apartment building was tore down and that land now holds a parking lot and office building, so no photos there. No ghosts, either, apparently, although this was at least a true crime type of story.

Next we traveled back to the Ohio Herb Center, which is housed in the Naffzger-Miller House. They have an old butcher shop that was relocated to the backyard when the building was expanded by the family that lived there. No ghosts mentioned in the butcher shop, though. There is a potential ghost in the upstairs of the Naffzger-Miller House, so we were allowed to see that room. We were also given some lovely ginger snap ice cream sandwiches and lemon balm iced tea.

Overall, we were pretty disappointed in this tour. If we had gone in thinking we were going to learn about just the history of the area, it may have been more satisfying. Our guide definitely knew her history and was extremely passionate about preserving it. But only 2 ghosts and a questionably spooky doctor (who was acquitted for a murder that did not occur in Gahanna) do not really make a 90 minute ghost tour live up to its name. We would recommend it to history buffs, but not to ghost entusiasts or thrill seekers.

August Adventure Date

A Columbus Food Adventure has been on my radar since the start of our Adventure dates, so when our friends Brent and Jenny asked if we wanted to do one with them, our answer was immediately yes! After figuring out food preferences and schedules, we decided the Alt Eats II Tour would be the best fit. It was so much fun you guys! And the food was amazing – I can actually see us going back to each place and I’ve promised my dad some Korean food the next time they visit. 🙂

Our tour started at Jiu Thai Asian Cafe. They serve northern-style Chinese cuisine including their hand crafted biang biang noodles. Along with the noodles, we had dumplings and skewers of lamb and fish tofu. We were concerned when we saw the chili pepper flakes in the noodles, but they were not too spicy when paired with the other food. The dumplings were our favorite, but we did not have anything we wouldn’t try again. The most unique thing was the fish tofu. It was not tofu, it was made from fish but had a soft texture like tofu. Not bad, but interesting and definitely different.

Our next stop was Tea Zone Bakery & Cafe. It was a 30 second drive across the Microcenter parking lot. We were there to sample the Bingsoo, a yummy shaved ice/ice cream/fruit/tapioca dessert, but they had oolong tea and baked goods to take home, so we had to do a little extra shopping. The rice flour donut with red bean paste in the center is especially good, and the kids liked the mocha cake we got for them. We really enjoyed the Binsoo – definitely something you want to split with at least one other person, though. A really nice summer treat.

The third stop on our tour was actually a little grocery called Mediterranean Food Imports #2 with a small kitchen in the back. We were told they made the best falafel in Columbus. After trying it, that may just be the case. We had some time to check out the store while they were making the falafel, and we spotted these Smurf marshmallows from Haribo – haven’t seen Smurf merchandise for quite a while.

The next stop was Poong Mei Asian Bistro for some Korean food. We were pretty thirsty by this point, so we got some adult beverages to enjoy as we waited for our food. Plum wine and Asahi definitely take us back to our time in Japan and make us smile! The Korean dishes we tried were so good! We had bibimbap, a green onion omelette, and mountain yam noodles. We also had some little dishes of “snack” foods like kimchi, steamed egg, pickled radish, etc. We will definitely be taking my parents here the next time they visit and we highly recommend it if you want Korean food.

Our final stop on the tour was Hong Kong House. This restaurant specializes in foods from Sichuan province which had me a little worried. I don’t necessarily enjoy super fiery foods. I didn’t need to worry, though, because the dishes we had did not start out super spicy and I could stop eating (or had to stop eating because I was full!!) before they built too much heat. We had a noodle dish, a fish dish, some great green beans, and really delicious crunchy chicken. I was enjoying the food, company, and conversation so much I forgot to take photos until I was almost done eating. Sorry about that! We were told that summer is their slow season – once Ohio State is back in session it is quite busy with all the students from China. So, if you want to check it out, be quick! 😉

We were loaded back into the van one more time to be taken back to our cars a Jiu Thai Asian Cafe. We really enjoyed the tour and it was fun to have an adventure with another couple. Have you been to any of these restaurants? What is your favorite Asian dish? Let us know in the comments!

July Adventure Date

July was so busy and filled with lots of adventures, but none that I could call a date. So, in the last few hours of the month, Keith and I stole away to check out the Chihuly: Celebrating Nature exhibition at The Franklin Park Conservatory (FPC). It was a bit rushed because Charlotte was at dance class and texted us just after we arrived to say that she wasn’t feeling well. We looked at traffic and decided that we would stay and wait for it to ease a bit. We left Charlotte with instructions to drink water and rest and we explored until traffic was clear.

We have loved the Chihuly glass since it first arrived at FPC years ago. If this year of trying so many types of art has taught us anything, it is a new appreciation for people that are skilled at a particular artform. It is truly amazing that Chihuly is able to get glass to take so many forms and figures. Looking at his work through the lens of our experience trying to work with glass in March, it was even more awe-inspiring than ever.

We started in the butterfly exhibit, home of some of my favorite Chihuly work. It was interesting to see some of it literally turned upside down, and it was wonderful to see the balls floating in the water again. That has been and will always be my favorite – there is something so serene about it. I could sit and look for hours. I also adore butterflies, so it is definitely a happy place for me. 🙂

They had the lower entrance to the butterfly exhibit closed, so we had to loop around past the entrance to the Himilayan mountains exhibit. We followed that side of the FPC around, exploring both outside areas and then ended by going upstairs to the Palm House. We felt the time crunch of needing to get Charlotte, so we did not linger too long in any one place, but we definitely enjoyed seeing all the glass art. We were especially happy to see so much red and yellow – our wedding colors! We got some questioning looks when we chose them, but we think they really do look amazing together.

Our membership to FPC will be up the end of August, but I am sure we will sneak back to take the kids for this exhibition. It is truly a beautiful and amazing thing to see. Highly recommended! If you have been, what is your favorite installation? Let us know in the comments!

June Family Adventure Two

We had 2 family adventures in June! It was wonderful to have the opportunity to spend so much time together and we had an amazing time at COSI. We were really there for the fossils in the Dinosaur exhibit because of a Geology 4-H project, but we definitely explored more than that. I was really excited for the Jim Henson exhibit, and it did not disappoint! So, without further ado, here is the full report. 🙂

When we first arrived, we had to wait for the group of 4-H members from our club to get out of the Chemistry Live show, so we hung out in Gadgets. I was happily surprised with how much fun we had trying to make devices that would fly in the wind tubes they had. It was great!

After meeting up with our friends for a photo, we ended up checking out the WOSU exhibit. We especially had fun with the lights that break up your shadow into different colors.

Our next stop was the Dinosaur exhibit. We all learned some new things – I know we were never taught that some dinosaurs had feathers! Lots of cool fossils to explore, too. I think our budding geologist really enjoyed it.

Finally, it was time to check out the Jim Henson exhibit. I have ALWAYS been a fan of The Muppets and Sesame Street. I also really enjoyed Labyrinth and The Fraggles. So, seeing the beginnings of the muppet-type characters and seeing actual puppets and costumes and sketches and writing from the shows was amazing! I am so glad the exhibit came to Columbus so we could check it out!

We would definitely all recommend checking out both COSI and the Jim Henson exhibit. The exhibit is only here until September 2nd, so you should make plans to see it soon! Definitely worth the time and entrance fee. If you have already been, what was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments!

June Family Adventure One

There is a new art installation experience in Columbus called Otherworld. This has been on my radar for a few months and we actually bought presale tickets a couple of months ago. This past Saturday we were invited to Otherworld for a birthday meet up. We were very excited to go and check it out!

We spent a good amount of time in the lobby before going in. I do not want to give away all the fun you will have, but I will highlight some of our favorite things. Here are a few photos from the lobby and entrance.

Once inside, there are So. Many. Rooms. It took us a good hour and a half to fully explore all of the different parts of this amazing place. They have done a lot of really cool things and there is an incredible attention to detail. You can tell that there are plans to expand as some of the rooms are “just” really amazing murals. The only thing we struggled with is that the light is very low throughout, so our eyes were pretty tired when we left. Here are some sneak peaks at the many, many rooms awaiting you at Otherworld.

Overall, we had a great time exploring. It was really fun that we could touch and interact with everything in the rooms. There are puzzles and little surprises throughout which we really enjoyed. We look forward to checking it out again in a few months to see if there is more to discover.

May Adventure Date

Keith’s birthday was this month, but since I had already gotten him a camera in March, I got him a gift for us. I got us both tickets for three adventures from ScavengerHunt.com. We were able to do our first hunt on Sunday after the guys got home from rehearsal. We chose the Discovering Columbus tour because it was in a familiar place and it was marked as skill level mild. We figured starting out easy would be the best idea…

We installed the required app on Keith’s phone (Let’s Roam) and headed down to Bicentennial Park. We ended up getting a free meter on the other side of the river – thanks Sunday! We walked to the marked beginning of the hunt and then realized that I would also need the app on my phone. After some frustration about the cell signal, the app was installed and we were ready to go. We chose Adventure Create Relate as our team name and then took our team photo.

I will not ruin the adventure for anyone planning to try it, but I will give an overview. We ended up doing about 1.5 miles of walking while doing the activities. We learned new things about familiar landmarks. We did not think there was enough time allowed for some of the tasks, but overall we had a great time! It was fun as a date activity, but it would also be fun in a larger group. It would be a great way to learn more about the history of Columbus. Here are a few photos we took as part of the activities – sorry some are blurry, my phone was fogged up from the humidity.

We also took a few shots of fun sculptures and scenes around downtown while we were walking from place to place.

After all the walking, we were definitely ready to eat! We have been wanting to try Fukuryu Ramen on Lane Avenue for a while after seeing some posts from friends on Facebook. So, we headed to Upper Arlington to give it a whirl. We were not disappointed! I had the Shio Ramen and Keith had the Junk Ramen. We both really enjoyed our ramen and also their iced green tea. It was so refreshing – the perfect compliment to the food. We will definitely be back!

Overall, this date was just what we needed. This is a really stressful month and we needed to reconnect and remember we are a pretty awesome team. Can’t wait to see what June holds!

April Adventure Date

This month, we decided our adventure would be The Rooms at Easton, presented by COSI. We were excited because it was going to be close to home and free! Micah was also interested in going, so we let him tag along. We started our afternoon at Five Guys because they really do make great food. After lunch, we strolled over the the entrance the The Rooms. It is a really small space that used to be a Bose store, so it was amazing to me that they were able to fit so much into it. Our first room was the mirrored room where light and reflection were the stars.

The next room was the sticker room. Everyone that has gone through this exhibit has been given a strip of stickers to place wherever they would like in the room. It is wonderful chaos! We really liked this room a lot!

The next room was not good for my vertigo, but my guys enjoyed the built in sit and spins!

The following room was a blue building room. There appeared to be pieces missing, but we really had fun making a large “marble” track. We work pretty well together!

The last room was one that used different colored lights to reveal different objects. It was fun to see all the different parts that were in one picture.

There were also several different optical illusions on the walls of the hallway that I did not photograph. All in all, a nice way to spend some time together on a Saturday. I would definitely go back to take Charlotte.

March Adventure Date

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Keith’s job was really in flux for a few months starting last September. We were supposed to have a weekend in New York at that point, but we decided to wait until things were more settled to plan a getaway. In December, things were even more uncertain, so I felt that it was fine to agree to be Stage Manager for a show that had tech week over Spring Break because we would not be traveling. Things with the job stabilized in January, so Keith and I decided to plan a getaway for the one night this week that the show was dark. So, he took the kids to his parents for a couple nights and we were able to check out the town of Granville, Ohio for about 24 hours. We had passed Granville on the way to Newark for Charlotte’s rehearsals and shows this winter, but we had not ventured into Granville until Wednesday afternoon. We instantly loved the feel and size of this beautiful little town!

Our first stop was lunch at The Buxton Inn. Originally called The Tavern, The Buxton Inn has been continuously operating in the same spot since 1812. Although there are many ghost stories about the Inn, no ghosts joined us for lunch. We did enjoy the atmosphere of the dining room and the food was delicious. They let us look around a bit after lunch and we definitely plan to stay overnight sometime. We also saw they sometimes have haunted tours, so that is on our list as a future adventure!

After lunch, it was time to check in to our accommodations at The Granville Inn. We decided not to spring for a suite since our stay was only one night, so we reserved a regular room with a king sized bed. The room was nicely furnished and mostly adequate for our needs. I would probably give the room 3/5 for comfort and value. (Some of that rating is personal preference – the mattress was very firm which we do not prefer. Some just seemed to be part of the age of the Inn – the shower head was in need of an update as it felt you needed to keep moving in order to get completely wet and the door could also use some soundproofing as it did get very loud in the hallway in the morning.) We would definitely try a suite next time to see if we liked that more. I’m sure each room is different, so this is definitely not a comprehensive review of the guest rooms.

After we were all checked in, we decided to check out Alligator Mound. It was interesting to drive to the mound through a very affluent neighborhood built on some pretty steep slopes. Alligator mound itself was interesting to see, but difficult to photograph unless you have a way to see it from the air. We were happy to read some history, enjoy some views, and then head back down the hill.

Our next stop was Black Hand Gorge State Nature Preserve. Technically not in Granville, but definitely closer to Granville than Gahanna, this Nature Preserve is a gorgeous place for a walk. We especially enjoyed the warm temperatures and the sunshine!! I surprised Keith with a DSLR Nikon camera this week, so he was happy to have a chance to play with it a little bit. Because it was a bit muddy, we stayed on the paved trail. It was wonderful to hear the frogs chirping and the river flowing. We would like to come back to this trail in the fall when the leaves change. I was especially excited to see some little waterfalls as we walked. I’m always chasing waterfalls. 🙂

After hiking 3 miles, we were definitely ready to check out The Oak Room at The Granville Inn. We got a $50 voucher as part of our room package, so we knew we were going to enjoy a really nice meal. We started with wine and sushi and then Keith had the salmon and Autumn enjoyed the filet. We even sprang for dessert at the end. We highly recommend the experience! The food was so good and our waitress had so many stories and so much history to share. She has worked there for 31 years! She even told us some ghost stories that happened in the basement…

On Thursday morning, we slept in and then checked out of the Inn. We decided to check out the local diner, Aladdin Fine Food. It was pretty standard diner fare, but Keith enjoyed his french toast and I always love to have a Monte Crista sandwich. The atmosphere and prices were definitely great – we would love to go back for lunch sometime. We also checked out Gouma’s Candy and Weathervane Popcorn and got some yummy souvenirs to take home and share.

We had time left before we had to be home to get the kids, so we decided to check out the National Heisey Glass Museum in Newark, just about a block away from the theater that was our second home this winter. Dedicated the glass made by A.H. Heisey & Company between 1896 and 1957, the museum was an unexpected gem. We learned a lot about the company and how they adapted through the years. I am pretty sure I have seen the diamond H symbol on something in our china cabinet, so I look forward to hunting for our Heisey treasures sometime soon. I really like the Sahara colored glass and Keith was a fan of the Dawn color. Who knows, maybe we have a new hobby. 😉

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our little get away! It was nice to be close to home but also have so many new things to discover. Have you ever been to Granville? What is your favorite thing to do there? We would love suggestions for the next time we visit!

February Adventure Date

I’m not going to lie, February has been pretty crazy at our house. I can count on one hand the number of evenings I have spent in the same place as my husband. The number of evenings where all 4 of us have been together is even less. So, when we finally found an evening to both go with Charlotte to her play rehearsal, I knew we had to make it our adventure date, too. Luckily, Newark has Buckeye Winery with wine tastings until 9 pm on Friday nights. Score!

We got a table and each chose 4 regular wines and a dessert wine to try. We also got the cheese plate with sausage because we wanted something to cleanse our palates in between wines.


Keith chose the Harvest Moon (Luna Rosa), Moonrise (Luna Bianca), Buckeye White (Reisling), and Nature’s Wonder (Kiwi-Pear) and then he chose the Buckeye Ice (Reisling Ice Wine). I chose the Trio (Cabernet Sauv Merlot), Bourgeron Rouge (Sweet Red), Farmer’s Daughter, and Afternoon Delight (Peach Apricot) along with the Red Ice (Cabernet Franc Ice Wine). We were really excited to do a tasting and pick out a couple new wines.

We took our time and enjoyed trying our own selections and sharing with each other. In the end, we thought the fruity wines tasted a bit watered down, the Reisling and Cabernet Sauv Merlot were more dry than we wanted, and the Reisling Ice Wine was too thick and sweet – not like other ice wines we have had. The Sweet Red, Luna Bianca, and Farmer’s Daughter were all good, but we really enjoyed the Luna Rosa and the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. In fact, we brought them both home with us.

Our picks – Red Ice and Harvest Moon

We enjoyed this experience and will probably do more tastings in the future. It was not a super big adventure, but it fit our schedule and was in a convenient location. Can’t wait to see who we share these with – let us know if you want in on that. 🙂

February Create Date

You guys – today is my birthday! I am 43 years old, but I prefer to think of it as starting my 44th year of life because I love the number 4 and I just think even numbers are nicer. You can think that’s weird, I understand. 😉

Last night, Keith and I went on the most fun date!! We did the Valentine’s Maker Date Night at Idea Foundry Columbus. Idea Foundry is one of the largest maker spaces in the world, so we got to try so many new and exciting things. Lots of fire and heat and hammering and danger – the perfect date night for parents of teens. LOL.

The first random thing that happened when we arrived is that Keith recognized a woman that he went to high school with, so we got to catch up with people Keith knew. I also had a friend that was there with her husband, so we kept running into friendly faces. We had a wonderful dinner catered by Lindey’s (yum!!) and then it was on for 2.5 hours of creating! We knew going in that there were some projects we really wanted to participate in and some that weren’t the top of our list, so we had priorities!

Our first stop was the Plasma Cutting and Welding station – jumping right in to the sparks and fire. We made a metal candle holder which turned out pretty good. Keith did the plasma cutting to make the heart, and then we took turns welding. Keith was a much better welder than me, but I think with practice I could get the hang of it. 🙂

Our next stop was a station to make a rustic photo holder. We got to beat the heck out of a piece of wood and then blow torch it to bring out all the texture and give it a weathered look. I think Keith *might* have enjoyed the hammering a little too much. It was definitely fun to figure out different ways to distress the wood and make texture. The blowtorch was especially cool – who knew hitting things with fire was so fun?!?

Since we were already outside, we made our way to the forging area to try our hand at blacksmithing. Once again, Keith was excited to hammer, so I was in charge of holding the red hot hook we were making and making sure it stayed red hot by inserting and removing it from the forge. We had a little trouble staying in sync at this station, but we ended up with a pretty cool finished project. I would definitely do this again!

After we were done being blacksmiths, we headed back inside and made “Create 2019” metal plates to put on our finished photo holder and candle holder. It was nice to do a relatively quick and easy project in the midst of the larger ones. We then headed upstairs to drop off our coats and have our professional photos taken. We had a fun time posing and really like how he captured our personalities. Plus, who doesn’t love origami birds?

We were excited to get to make a wooden sushi tray at our next station. We had to do some sanding and a little cutting, gluing, and oiling. We also had the option to make our own chopsticks, but we already have some pretty special chopsticks at our house, so we did pass on that project. A sushi night has already been requested, so I see this getting some use in the near future. 🙂

The last station we did was a tile art station. We got to use alcohol soluble ink, alcohol, and fire to create some new coasters for our home. We decided to use our wedding colors (ink colors sunshine yellow and cranberry) along with rose gold and gunmetal. It was definitely a station where there was little instruction, so it was not Keith’s favorite. I thought it was pretty cool how long the ink burned, and I could have done a couple more coats on mine if there had been time. I think they turned out pretty cool.

Overall, this was an awesome experience that I would for sure do again. We are looking forward to using all of our creations and remembering the fun times we had making them. Thanks Idea Foundry for hosting such a creative and adventurous date night!

All of our projects from Idea Foundry’s Valentine’s Maker Date Night