(This entry is for me to remember our adventures. I'll warn you right now that it's long and it isn't always worded beautifully.)
Ohio was glorious for so many reasons.
The trip was Barry's second ever trip in an airplane and first flight as an adult. It was my first experience renting a car. I had never driven in Ohio before. I had never even been there without my parents either. How strange to be a grown up...
We left San Francisco airport around midnight the night of June 19th. Our flight was an hour late because of storms that had closed down Chicago's airport earlier in the day. We flew United, which isn't my favorite airline, but was part of the package deal, so we made the most of it. Flying in the middle of the night is horrible, no matter what company owns the plane. After landing in Chicago O'Hare, we walked about a mile (I may be exaggerating, but not much!) through the airport to get to our next flight. That place is huge! Barry took a nap on the floor for an hour, then we boarded the tiny plane that would take us to Akron.
Landing in Ohio makes me happy every time.
We met up with my very first friend ever, Melissa, at a restaurant in Akron called Rockne's.It was great to talk with her, meet her husband, and catch up on each other's lives. We've kept in contact off and on through the years and it is so good to know that we still feel comfortable around each other after all this time.
Next stop, Hubbard! I drove the familiar yet foreign path to Grandpa's house while Barry slept. I love the way that the horizon in Ohio is where the tops of lush, green trees meet a blue sky full of puffy, white clouds. Random side note: There are more radio stations to choose from back there. We never lacked good music in the car.
I got emotional as we got off the highway and made our way to the house that holds so many good memories. Though I had never been the one driving before, I could have done it with my eyes closed, the roads are printed so deeply into my memory. There we were. Grandma and Grandpa's house. It doesn't hold the charm it used to now that they are gone.
Uncle Dan and Dave were there doing their weekly yard work. We talked, wandered the property and spent some time relaxing. I showed Barry around, sharing specific memories at certain locations. He humored me like a good man. Dan and Dave took us out to dinner at the first Quaker Steak and Lube which used to be a gas station belonging to Grandpa's uncle.
Good times were had.
We checked into our hotel in West Middlesex, PA and passed out for the night. Sunday was Father's Day and we made it to church just in time, despite the fact that Tibbets-Wick Road did not have a street sign. We ate lunch at Bob Evans, which is apparently Barry's type of restaurant. I am so glad he loved it as much as I do.
Father's Day was spent visiting the sites of my forefather's graves. I really enjoyed driving to each of the cemeteries and finding everyone.
The graves of my Great-great-great Grandparent's who came from Ireland.
My grandmother's parents in the front. My grandparents stone is behind.
We then visited Daffins, ate at Eat'n Park, and went to Buhl Farm. Hooray for PA!
Monday we headed up to Kirtland, Ohio. I can't really begin to explain our wonderful experiences there. We toured the temple and sang "The Spirit of God" while inside. We wandered the cemetery, ate yummy food (I had pizza!), then toured Historic Kirtland. We went inside the Newel K. Whitney store and sat in rooms that have such powerful history. It was amazing.
From Kirtland we went to Willoughby for a place to stay. We visited Lake Erie and relaxed. The next day we went back to Akron, visited Uncle Dan one more time, the headed to the airport to leave the land I love. It was a good vacation, four days packed full of great experiences and memories. I am so glad that Barry enjoyed himself in an area that brings me so much joy.