THE trip recap post – it’s long!

This recap is as much for me to remember as it is to share with you all how busy we have been. Thanks for reading!

Ok let’s take it back: Thursday the 23rd we left around 830 AM. We had picked up the van from the rental place at the airport the night before and semi packed it. Our first stop along the way was around Hoover, Alabama because Ash had spied a cool new brewery, Brock’s Gap. We didn’t intend to drink but a side quest for this trip was to find and bring back beer from all over. Well, we got there and found out this place was so new they didn’t have a crowler machine. Sigh. It looked cool too; right next to a baseball stadium. That’s a very cute town, fyi.

Anyway, we made the best of the break from driving and let the kids eat Culver’s (we don’t normally do fast food) and then we went to Aldi and got a random six pack, water, and some swiss rolls.

After that we found another bottle shop called “The Casual Pint” and picked up maybe 9 cans. Then we headed towards Birmingham. There, we went to Good People brewing for a mixed six pack then onto a place called Hop City, which had a lot of great beers. Not sure how many we gathered there; maybe 10? Stopped for gas there then headed out.

I don’t believe we stopped anywhere between there and Knoxville except a rest stop for Isaac who was about to explode. We went straight to El Chico, since that’s our old Mexican haunt. The Tally one closed many years ago but we’ve gone to the Knoxville one many times since. It was just as good as we remember! It was actually not too expensive either. So we then headed to find our downtown Airbnb.

It was a loft in an old factory type building in what appeared to be kind of a gentrified area; right near the train tracks and a lot of cute bars and restaurants. We got the stuff unloaded and the kids set up, then Ash and I walked to a place called Merchants of Beer, which was in an old diner. Cute place but the beers we got were so-so. We then went to one of those pour it yourself places, which is cool because you pay by the ounce and can try as much or as little as you want. I was full by then so I barely had any and then we went back.

The sleep there was perfectly fine with the exception of that train rattling the whole place. We got on the road as early as we could and hit the halfway to halfway stop: Lexington, Kentucky. Also, the scenery from Knoxville to there is awesome. We just don’t see that in Florida. In Lexington, we stopped into that brewery because I’d read that their retail store was pretty good. Turns out there was only one of their beers I’d never tasted so we picked up a six pack and I got a shirt, a magnet, and a coaster made from an old aging Barrell. We got gas and got back on the road.

Our next stop was Cincinnati, where we scoped Nine Giant brewery and we ate there. Both beers we tried were good and the food was decent. Kids didn’t like it as much as if hoped, especially for the price. After that we headed towards Dayton for a bottle shop called the Barrell house. They had some good options but the place was a little off putting. Let’s just say it appealed to a younger and…gayer crowd. Lol. I don’t care but it was a surprise.

Finally, it was onto our destination: little old Perrysburg, Ohio. This is where Ash grew up, a little south of Toledo. We got in around 5ish and the airbnb was super cute: an older home (1870s) in a close-to-downtown/historic district area. That first evening, Ash and I walked to the 5th Street Pub to meet his old friend, Ben. We had a nice time, though that guy never really did much. Part of the purpose of this trip was for him to catch up with a bunch of childhood friends so in that way, it was very nice.

The next day’s plan was to drive around his old neighborhood, show the kids the house and all that. Well, on the way in, he saw his friend, Adam, who hadn’t really settled on a time to meet. So he and his wife had us pull in and we chatted briefly, he gave us some of the whiskey they make (family company) then called his parents who live across the street to say we’d visit, since he and his wife had to drive to Canton. So we chatted for about 2 hours with the Davenports, who recalled many a story from my husband’s childhood with their two boys. The mom really took to Dakota and took her into her craft room and they made necklaces. After talking to them, we went to a place called Inside the Five, which was probably the best meal we had. It’s a brewery too but everyone liked their food. We went to the famed Mr. Freeze, where we all ate way too much ice cream because a medium there is like an extra large anywhere else! I was EXHAUSTED after that but we drove around a little more; I literally fell asleep while Ash showed the kids the first house he lived in. I managed to rally and we visited Fort Meigs.

That was a really cool historic site and the kids actually enjoyed it. It took a little under 2 hours to walk the whole site and see the museum but I think we all had fun. We rested back at the house for a bit then drove into Bowling Green where we hit 3 breweries before going to Fremont to see Ash’s friend’s little brother wrestle. He is a realtor by day and an indie wrestler for LPW by night. It was literally parking lot wrestling but so fun! The friend, Ben, actually won the belt that evening. I think we also got hooked up; it was 5 dollars to bring your own chair but 25 to get their chairs and he told the woman at the gate how far we drove to see it and she got us chairs for the 5 dollar price. It was a really cool experience; some of these folks have been watching these same people wrestle once or twice a month for years! That was a very long day but a good one.

The Sunday plan was to go to Ash’s friend Seb’s house (older brother of the guy who wrestles) around 2. So in the AM we went to Churchill’s grocery store for some lunch meat and they had an amazing beer selection! Picked up some cool stuff there, then fed the kids and then, before 2, drove to Grand Rapids, OH to hit Wildside brewery. Kids walked along the Maumee river there and hung out at a playground and we tried some other local beers. We then hit a grocery store for some snacks and went to Seb’s. He has a pool so he’d offered the kids to swim while he made some hot dogs and hamburgers. We ate sparingly because we had dinner plans. This was the only part of the plan Ash had made differently because he wanted more time to talk to Seb. But the kids had fun swimming with his son, who is the same age as my daughter.

We had dinner plans back in Perrysburg with his old friend Mitro so we headed to Te’kela, a Mexican place everyone recommended. It was…interesting. Mitro met and married a Russian woman six years ago and it was a little awkward talking to her at first, though we got along really well after a while. The food was just ok there; a little pricey for what you got. They came back to our airbnb after and chatted on the screened in porch. One thing I will say is that it was rather warm for Ohio but really cool in the evenings.

The Monday plan was to go back over to the Davenports and chat more with Adam and his wife, then hopefully see his brother, Brandon. But not before going to Bob Evans with Campbell, who is the friend I know the most, since he has known Ash and his brother forever and has visited us in Tallahassee and come to weddings and seen us multiple times throughout the years. I never eat breakfast, you know, so that was weird! The afternoon was pretty nice; just hanging out with old friends and chatting. Once we adjourned from there, the family walked to the O-Deer diner to get ice cream but we ended up eating food. It’s kind of like glorified stadium offerings: I had a nacho and the kids had pretzels or hot dogs. But it was all tasty. Didn’t stay out late that night because Tuesday was Cedar Point!

The kids had to be dragged all over the state, to multiple breweries, and listen to adults reminisce on old times just to get to the thing they wanted but it was worth it! Cedar Point is about an hour and some minutes away from where we stayed but the roller coaster mecca of that area. I am not fond of rides but everyone really did enjoy themselves. They do have some carnival/fair type rides and I enjoy those. Dakota and I knocked around on those and some other kid stuff while the boys rode the big stuff. We had some good food, beer, and a good time all around. Long exhausting day but really fun!

It was finally time to head home so we got on the road early. First stop was Cappy’s market in Cincinnati for some more craft beers, then we made it to Chattanooga. Our airbnb was above a coffee shop and that was really cool. Unlike our Knoxville place that had free parking down the road, this one had private parking behind, which made it a lot easier. Once in and settled, we walked a little down the main road to a Mexican place that was very tasty. Kids stayed home and Ash and I went to two breweries, one that had open mic night and some pretty good artists. We were pretty tired at the end of the night but watched a little TV and the kids used the jacuzzi tub.

Next morning it was onto home: I drove first through Atlanta then we stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Macon then got our butts home. It was so nice to be there! It was only a little after 4 so I had time to get all the trip laundry done and I made dinner for the kids. love being back in my own bed! We were not home free though because Ash and I went to Jacksonville for a concert with my sister and her boyfriend. That’s a story for another time but for now, suffice to say that I am traveled-out and am very happy to be back to work right now. It’s quiet here in the tutoring center and I look forward to getting back to normal activities, even though this week is odd with my daughter and my middle both being away. Check in tomorrow for Wednesday Hodgepodge and see ya later!

4 thoughts on “THE trip recap post – it’s long!

  1. Brock’s Gap Brewery is near our house! We live about 3 miles from there! In the evenings, the families in the neighborhood around the brewery drive their golf carts to the brewery and hang out and play on the big lawn. The Casual Pint is even closer to our house! My husband LOVES to go to Hop City. There is a restaurant that shares the same parking lot – Blueprint on Third. If you are ever through town again, the food is excellent!!

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