Out in the world again

Sher and I are fully vaccinated. Whew.  The CDC advice for folks like us has been very encouraging, and we were able to enjoy going to a winery with our son and his fiancé near Columbus, Ohio.

The Wyandotte Winery is a well established family owned winery with a pleasant and comfortable facility. Tasting was  easy, with a dollar per taste cost. We also added cheese and cracker and meat and cheese plates to munch on and accompanying  our sampling.

We enjoyed the tasting and bought a couple of bottles and even got a couple of glasses for our collection. But mostly we enjoyed being out in the world again. Seeing and interacting with people is something we haven’t done in, well, a while now. And of course it was wonderful to see our son and our grandkids who we haven’t seen in well over a year. Before we headed to Ohio we also visited another son and his family. There we were introduced to our newest grandson who was born December 20th.  What a treat to hug family again!

Travel into history

Why they celebrated the new concrete paving!

One journey that is enjoyable is following the Old National Road, aka US 40. For one thing, you are not on an interstate! Anyway, near Brownsville, Ohio, east of Columbus, you’ll find the Eagle’s Nest Monument. It was erected around 1916 after a 29 mile stretch of the then unimproved and often nearly impassable road was replaced with concrete. The stretch of highway ran from Zanesville to Hebron. The large granite rock has some great markings, including a rough Conestoga wagon.

The Eagles Nest monument

Conestoga wagon etched into the granite

 

 

 

 

 

You are 220 miles from the start of the National Road in Cumberland, MD.

Get off the interstate and travel the Old National Road anywhere along the route in any state. The signage is excellent and easy to follow, and you won’t be bored!

What’s in that rock?

As we normally do, Sher and I were outside on the stone pad sitting and enjoying the end of the day in an RV park in central Ohio. My undergraduate major was in geology, and I always look at rocks, be it outcrops along side a highway, distant mountain ranges, or in this case, the rocks on which our RV was parked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love finding fossils, and low and behold there on the ground at my feet I spotted some nice fossil crinoid stems in the 2 to 4 inch sized rocks.  OK, you say, what in the heck are crinoids? Reader’s digest version: Crinoids first showed up about 500 million years ago and some 600 species are still around today. The drawing show how one looked living in shallow seas.  The fossils in the rock are pieces of the stalk.

A beautiful finish to the day

Sometimes you just want to share a picture

We were camping at the Kaiser Lake State Park in Ohio with family a couple of summers ago.  The sunset was stunning over the calm waters of the lake. These two kayakers could not have ordered a better evening for a trip on the lake.

Relaxing and enjoying

We’re at another RV park for a few days. This one is in Ohio between Columbus and Cincinnati. This one is gated, with the code provided so the checkin was contactless.

There are lots of rigs, but few people. Probably real busy on the weekend.


The weather is very nice, great for windows open sleeping and comfortable during the day for walking or riding bikes. We’re still being very cautious and doing the “social distancing” things.

This year has been a wreck. Coronavirus, the economy, protests, fires, hurricanes and of course “Political Stuff “. Sher and I are grateful to be able to get back out on the road. Our spirits are raised and we’re feeling more optimistic about things…

Stay safe friends!

Ohio’s Kiser Lake State Park

Entrance to the RV park, lake in the background

Sher and I just had a really great weekend at a nice Ohio State Park. Kiser Lake State Park is near Urbana in the east central part of the state. The lake was formed during the ice age when a glacier scoured out the depression that is now Lake Kiser. The lake is a popular stop for fishing, boating and camping.

We met our son and grandson at our campsite. (Our son had made the reservation and invited us to join him for the weekend.) The RV park was clean and very well maintained. Our site was a pull through with an asphalt pad on a slight incline. We had a concrete pad for the picnic table, and a fire ring with a flip grill. Our son and grandson pitched a tent in the grass next to our RV. The shore power box was new with all three services.

Our campsite, tent is out of site on the left

Geese in flight over the lake

Our site overlooked a grassy area next to the lake. There were tent camping sites right on the lake. The view of the lake was beautiful. Anytime of the day you could see the fish breaking the surface of the water. Canadian geese made themselves know with their calls. In fact, the geese were really interesting as they flew in and out of the lake, squawking all the time. There were so many birds to watch at the park. Big birds, little birds and medium sized birds were everywhere.

Really nice ‘bubbling brook’ one of the trails crossed

Recent rains had made a lot of the trails very slick and muddy, but we did enjoy a short hike Saturday. Camping is fun, especially when you can share the time with family. Kiser Lake is a beautiful setting for a weekend of bird watching, cooking over a fire, and peaceful quiet nights. We also saw the Blue Flower Moon as an extra treat Saturday night.

Sher and I were both impressed with this park. Lots of wildlife to see. The lake does not allow motorized boats: oar or paddle driven only. Rentals are available. There are reservations available for some of the RV sites, and some sites are drive up. Note there are no showers and the rest rooms are your typical glorified outhouses. There is a dump station with handy sewer hose wash out hose. There is also a potable water spigot.

Gorgeous end to the day

 

Columbus Zoo Wildlights 2018 event

Reflection pond

With several family members in tow, Sher and I attended a very neat event at the Columbus, Ohio Zoo. The Wildlights event has transformed the zoo into a Christmas wonderland.

The crowd was already sizable when we arrived just as it was getting dark. We knew that we would not be seeing lots of animals, but were there for the light displays. The zoo covers a lot of acreage, so we were ready for a bit of walking!

Polar bear cub in lights

Beautiful trees

 

 

 

 

There was a pen with a couple of Santa’s reindeer you  could see. Our 4 year old grandson really liked the huge antlers on these beautiful creatures. There were a couple of polar bears who were outside in their enclosure so we could see them as well.

Reindeer (Caribou)

The centerpiece of the light show was around a pond just inside the zoo entrance gates. Thousands of lights “performed” by keeping beat with Christmas music. The show played every twenty minutes or so. Sher and I sat on a bench and enjoyed the spectacle while the kids hiked over to the gorilla enclosure, which, it turned out, was closed. We all enjoyed our trip to the zoo.

Hamburger Inn Diner an integral part of Delaware, Ohio

The Hamburger Inn Diner is on the main drag in the central Ohio city of Delaware. Our family enjoyed lunch there last weekend. (Read our post here) I was fortunate to meet and have a conversation with Bill Michailidas, the owner.

Bill shared how the Hamburger Inn Diner is really a focal point in the community. The generous serving of Thanksgiving dinner to nearly a thousand folks is a shining example of the good this Diner shares. Besides, it has been serving the people of Delaware great food since 1932.

Since 1947 the diner has become the place for local citizens to gather and share coffee and conversations. Oh, the wisdom that has been shared in the gatherings for the past seven decades.

The diner is open 24 hours on the weekend. As you can imagine, the diner is full of law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel . Workers from all shifts can find a time to eat, and local college students can enjoy great food and a safe place to study after hours.

Delaware, Ohio is fortunate to have the Hamburger Inn Diner. Be sure to stop in when you are in Delaware.

Hamburger Inn Diner in Delaware, Ohio

Our family group was headed to Delaware, Ohio to visit some of the Antique shops and malls in the downtown. Our son recommended the Hamburger Inn Diner for lunch after we visited the shops. What a great recommendation it was!

The Hamburger Inn Diner opened in 1932. It has remained virtually unchanged since it opened. It is a classic diner with primary seating at horseshoe shaped counters instead of tables. The vinyl covered stools rotated much to the delight of our grandson. There were ten in our party, and after a short wait while another couple finished their meal, all of us could sit at the same counter.

Grilled cheese and fries

Half pounder with bacon and eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diner’s name gives a huge hint as to the menu. Yes, there are marvelous burgers on the menu. In addition to burgers and other sandwiches there is a full breakfast menu offered. Breakfast is served anytime. The food was outstanding: best biscuits and sausage gravy I have ever had. The service was terrific. Sher ordered a grilled cheese on rye. It came on white, and shortly thereafter here came another sandwich on rye, no charge.

Mmmm……Chili

Huge order of biscuits & gravy topped with a fried egg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the great meal, I was fortunate to meet one of the owners, Bill Michailidis. He told me about the restaurant’s history, and shared some of the things that it does to support and help the community. One remarkable event put on by the diner is their annual Thanksgiving feast. The diner first has a meal for employees and their families and a neighboring gas station. Then the diner opens for the entire community. That’s right, free meals are offered to anyone and everyone. This year over 900 were served. Some of the other happenings at the diner are described in our post here.

That’s me, seated, and Bill Michailidis, right

Given the quality of the cuisine, the excellence of the service, and the citizenship of the establishment, it is no wonder that The Hamburger Inn Diner is one of the most popular places to visit in central Ohio. If your travels take you to central Ohio, it will be worth your time to eat at the Hamburger Inn Diner.