What a Difference a Night Makes

As I mentioned in the last post, we have both been very busy at work.  When you work at a school, fall can make you a bit crazy.  Kevin’s workload has, thankfully, slowed down a touch since the start of the semester.  I have not had any such luck with mine, nor will I in the near future.  It will be at least November before my department can catch its breath.

Back in August, one week proved especially awful.  I knew we needed to just get out of town.  I talked to Kevin and we agreed we were willing to spend a little money to do something different that night.  I hopped on Priceline to see what I could get for that night.  After a successful low bid, I left work a few minutes and packed a bag for us.  When Kevin came home, I told him I had a surprise for our evening activities and we hopped in the car.

We drove to Columbus and checked in to the Westin downtown.  In our first such experience, we got upgraded to a suite, which made the price we paid even better.  We got settled in our room and then walked around downtown.  One of our vendors at worked had told me about a little restaurant his son works out and I knew Kevin would love it.

Enter Dirty Frank’s.  This tiny hot dog joint easily ranks as one of Kevin’s new favorite restaurants.  Prices are cheap and the food is great – at least as long as you like hot dogs.  Kevin asked to go back at least four times that weekend.

After dinner, we walked around downtown more.  Having spent the majority of my life in Columbus, it never ceases to amaze me how much of the city remains undiscovered for me.  I was reminded why I love cities so much and how desperately I miss living in one.  There is always something new to see or some neighborhood you haven’t explored.  In contrast, there is literally no street in our town we have not been down.

We walked over to the Topiary Garden near the School for the Deaf.  All of the topiary sculptures here are modeled after Georges Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  We loved seeing students and families and all sorts of people enjoying the park.  We talked about how, while we loved our college experience, the one aspect we feel we missed out on was having a city to explore.  I would have loved having such a cool park a few blocks from my college campus and going there to study.

Once we got back to our hotel, we walked to a nearby Kroger and picked up supplies for a picnic the next day and some snacks for the night.  The snacks proved insufficient, however, and we succumbed to the temptation of room service.

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As simple as it sounds, being together, eating room service, and watching HGTV was exactly what we needed that night.  It was wonderful to get away for a short time and just relax.  The next morning, we laid in bed and watched Bob Ross paint some trees on PBS.  After a lazy morning, we packed up and headed over to the Columbus Park of Roses for a picnic lunch.

Again, it was the perfect activity for the day.  It may not have been the exact time of year to see the most roses in bloom, but there were still plenty of them to enjoy.  Once again, we were so happy to enjoy the simplicity of the moment and the opportunities afforded by the city.

We were gone less than 24 hours, but we returned feeling more rested and refreshed than we had in weeks.  The whole trip really didn’t even cost that much since we chose mostly cheap activities and got a good deal on our hotel.  It was just the reminder that we needed to value simple, quality time together.

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