But it was perfect.
The impetus for the trip was to attend the wedding of one of my favorite couples, Sean & Kristen. During their outdoor nuptials & day-long reception at an adorable, picturesque Ohio farmstead, I caught up with many of my favorite individuals & tried not to sweat to death. We joked that everyone had at least two exes in attendance, & yet somehow, everyone got along smashingly because that's how small-town friendships work. I was honored to be present to celebrate this couple & their love for one another, & I always appreciate an open bar populated by so many people I like.
Speaking of people I like, I also spent a lot of time hanging out with my mama & petting her tiny, excitable dogs, who look like twins.
As always, I ate at all my favorite places - sometimes healthy but oftentimes not, because vacation & also because oops. I went to four of those favorite places two times apiece, with a bunch of others peppered in to spice it up. Rockne's! Melt! Happy Dog! Clogged arteries & dying happy! Instagramming photos of my food!
And for better or worse, I basically never said no to dessert, including tiny donuts, Graeter's Buckeye Blitz ice cream, a pistachio macaron, & crème brûlée cheesecake. And yes, I'm planning to eschew cabs & public transportation for awhile in favor of walking everywhere for the next... forever. Just as soon as it stops raining.
But it wasn't all food & booze, I swear. I also took in all the sites I love & saw some new ones, too, in the three Big C's - Cleveland, Columbus, Cuyahoga Falls. And while I know my hometown isn't exactly "big," Cincinnati sucks & home is where the heart is, et cetera.
My friend Lindsey even took me to Cleveland for a day, where we started with a visit to Sweet Lorain, a massive vintage superstore. Every three steps or so, I shouted some excitable phrase, like, "Oh my God, look at this!" & snapped a photo of something colorful &/or absurd. Not recommended for people who are easily distracted by shiny objects.
Speaking of shiny objects, we were easily distracted by nearly everything we found at a massive toy store called Big Fun, including meat tattoos & animal masks & wax lips & finger puppets & a drawer full of Pogs straight outta the '90s.
Of course, I saw lots of other favorite people, too, & made all of them take photos with me for the sake of vanity & posterity.
I got back to D.C. exhausted & exhilarated & a little bit sad to leave the Buckeye State behind. And yes, I wrote this post almost solely to show off all my wonderful photos, so I apologize for the total lack of interesting substance. This was the longest trip I'd taken to Ohio since 2011, & I spent each one of those 11 days feeling fortunate to come from such a wonderful place still filled with such wonderful people who always show me a, well, wonderful time.
I've always mentally adapted the lyrics to that old Hawthorne Heights song, & this visit only reinforced it: I can make it on my own, but part of my heart will probably always be in Ohio.