A Carillon Christmas

Something we do every year is visit the Carillon Historic Park for Christmas festivities. I know it’s still November, but we are trying to fit in as much as we can before we leave. So here we are completing another “last.”

This park is full of Dayton history. Planes, trains, and inventions of all sorts. It’s a year round park – home to plenty of festivals and events, but we enjoy Christmas time the most.

We started out with dinner & a flight of 4oz beers at the Carillon Brewing Restaurant (totally recommend the Ginger Pale Ale). Afterwards, we headed over into the park just before sunset.

At 6pm, the lights come on and your suddenly surrounded by hundreds of white and colored Christmas lights – lining the buildings and trees. There is festive music playing as you walk along in the crisp cool air.

Each building is open to view. There is plenty of history packed into this park, but for Christmas they have it specially decorated with fun Christmas activities – like a letter writing to Santa, puppet shows, and winter cards fresh off the printing press – literally! They print it right in front of you using older print press techniques.

For purchase, you can get chestnuts roasted on an open fire (just like the song!) and fresh made gingerbread cookies that are made from a very old recipe and baked in an open flame brick oven. There is also a couple of cafes, in case you want something more modern like milkshakes, hot cocoa or pretzels with cheese.

CJ’s favorite part was the trains. They have this huge room with old locomotives on display. There are some you can walk through too. You can even pay $1 per person to ride a little train at the far end of the building.

There is a lot of fun to be had at Carillon Park. This year they’ve added another cafe and formal dining hall. One of the things I love about this place is they are ever changing and adding to the historical info.

Oh! I forgot to mention that included in the price of the park, you can go back and take pictures with Santa! Mrs. Claus will happily take your photo for you.

Snovember Update

That’s no typo.

We woke up to a couple inches of fresh powdery snow covering everything. My toddler ate her breakfast in record time to be able to go out and play in the snow this morning.

It’s also 20° degrees outside today, so we won’t be venturing out. I thought this would be a good time for a quick update. Yes, we are still moving to Arkansas. We will leave Ohio at the beginning of the year. We listed our home for sale and it was under contract in 3 short days (YAY!).

Things are moving smoothly. We are downsizing, packing, cleaning, and trying to soak up everything Ohio. It is sad though – each event becomes a new “last” for us.

Like yesterday we ventured out to Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs. We ate lunch (cheese curds are life), fed the goats, and got ice cream. I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if this was the last time we’d visit Young’s in the next month and a half that we have left in Ohio.

It’s bittersweet because we love Ohio, but we are very excited for new the adventures that 2020 will bring us.

Otherworld

It was situated in a desolate parking lot. Where are we? We drove in to be greeted by empty store windows, brand names peeled from the exterior walls with only the glue and sun stain to mark it’s past box store resident, abandoned trash cans, and aging pavement throughout the parking lot.

We were in Columbus, Ohio, which made the emptiness feel even more strange. This is large city crawling with people and then there’s… this? A desert of sorts. This itself was possibly an unintentional (but maybe completely intentional) introduction to the immersion art we were about to experience.

Otherworld.

When you walk in, there are a few ways you can go. There are lights. There are noises. There is art. There are hidden passage ways. There are secrets written in the art. You can make music with the art.

There are eyes everywhere. A room where the light follows you. A room where if you touch the gems on the wall, the shatter. Mirrors echoing neon lights as you walk through them.

You really have to feel your way around because there are hidden rooms right behind curtains that don’t look like curtains. Touch everything. Crawl through everything.

Visit the room full of your childhood toys. Visit the room full of spiders. There is an office full of psychology books. There is a room with a graveyard and large manic looking figures. Twins. Visit the ocean room. Visit the room with the man eating plants, close to the center of it all.

Just go. Immerse yourself in the strange yet beautiful art. Look at it all. Touch it all.

*I would like to add – it is pretty kid friendly. I took my 2.5 year old and she loved it.

Glasz Bleu Oven

A true hidden gem right in the middle of our Gem City. Have you been to Glasz Bleu Oven?

As I mentioned in the post before this one, my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary yesterday and we had a little date night without the toddler. We took our evening to Glasz Bleu Oven. I’ve been once before, but it was totally new to Stephen.

This experience was truly one of kind. The restaurant decor has a charming and homey European feel to it. It’s connected to Crafted and Cured for all of your craft brewery needs, as well Grist Provisions – which makes fresh pasta and sauce every day. Yes, I said FRESH pasta!

We opted for the five course meal that was prepared by Will. The beautiful thing about this experience is that we dealt directly with our chef. He took our order, delivered our food, checked in on us, and even discussed the dishes with us when we asked about something. He was genuinely excited for us to try his food – each dish full of fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor.

As some of you may know, my husband and I spent two years living in the Azores. We are always craving a traditional European dining experience and Glasz Bleu Oven completely provided that to us. Who knew this had just been sitting right there in downtown Dayton?

The menu changes every 5-6 weeks. Reservations are preferred via their Facebook page. You are welcome to grab a table throughout the large building, explore, grab a drink from crafted and cured and wonder back on over to Glasz Bleu Oven with it, and also check out the fresh pasta from Grist Provisions.

10 years

Cheers to 10 Years and many more!!

That’s right. My husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary yesterday. It’s been an adventurous decade. We met in 2007 and got married shortly after in 2009.

We started our marriage by totally uprooting our lives and moving to the Azores! We lived there for two years, gained a cute pup, made life long friends, and soaked up the culture.

We eventually packed up our things and moved our family to Okinawa, where we spent 3 years breathing in that tropical ocean air. Japan taught us a lot – mostly how to be gentler humans in such a busy world.

4 years ago, we settled into our new home in Ohio. We bought a house, had a baby, lost our cute pup to sudden illness, went through two deployments, and fell I love with the gem city. Ohio will always have a special place in our hearts.

It was a beautiful, but quick 10 years. We’ve had a lucky run. Plenty of ups and downs, but we always manage to pull it together, together.

But here we are, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary while preparing our home for the market – We will be on the move again soon! Our family is packing up and moving to…

Little Rock, Arkansas!

Oakes Quarry

We went on a little adventure recently and guys, this is a true hidden gem. I’ve always casually heard about an old quarry that was turned into a park. Never really thought anything of it even though it’s under 10 minutes from my house – That’s it!

So you know how long it took me to get there? 2 years since I heard about it. Well we headed out there the other night for an evening adventure… and fell in love.

Walking down the rocky path sends you into another existence. I did not feel like I was in Ohio at all. It was 89° and the sun was beating down on us and this rocky desert like scene.

Yes, this is an appreciation post just for an old quarry in Fairborn, Ohio. Pics below and if you live near here – GO! It’s got plenty to see and a nice 2 mile walk amongst the rocks. (There is a quick history below the photos)

I even headed back out there a few days later to do a photo shoot with the ever so lovely and dark Aniyahlationn

Back in 1929, it was surface mined for limestone. The Oakes family purchased it in the 90’s and eventually donated the land to the city of Fairborn in 2003.

The park has a 2 mile foot trail and 1 mile horse trail. It’s the 2nd largest park in Fairborn and it is a beauty. Keep a look out for wildlife and fossils! The last time I was there, we saw swarms of Buckeye Butterflies!

Caffeine Crushed

I quit drinking coffee.

Back in July, my anxiety was VERY high and caffeine was making that worse. I don’t drink soda, so coffee was my only source of liquid caffeine and I loved it.

But as my anxiety climbed, so did my coffee intake… or maybe it was the other way around. It actually began to physically affect me with acid reflux.

After lots of conversations with my doctor, we agreed that I should stop drinking coffee. Not just switch to decaf – I mean quit it for good.

So July 7th, I tossed my coffee and packed away my coffee maker. Day 2 was hard. Thinking back though, it may have been more of a habit than an addiction.

I actually don’t miss it. My anxiety has gotten better though never truly dissolving. I also want to point out that my acid reflux issues have dramatically dropped (I love acidic foods though – hey, tomatoes – so I imagine this will always be an issue for me.)

If you are thinking of quitting for any of these reasons, I totally recommend it. There is no trick though – you just have to decide to quit. Coffee is heavily advertised though as a mother’s savior, but really… water does the trick.

Hang in there, friends!