Life in the Fast Lane: 24 Hours in Columbus, OH

Friday, April 13, 2018

When The Eagles announced their latest round of tour dates, they didn't include a show in Cleveland. Instead, my mom bought two tickets to the Columbus show & asked me to join her told me I was coming with her. It was a Sunday-night show, so I took that Monday off work & we planned a little weekend getaway.

We got into town at noon on Sunday & left at noon on Monday. So what did we do with our 24 hours in Ohio's capital city? I thought you'd never ask.

Boozy Brunch: CBC Restaurant

When we got into town, we went straight to the CBC Restaurant, part of the Columbus Brewing Company, for brunch with my Aunt Joan & her partner, Alvarez. I thought about going healthy but instead went straight for the chicken & waffles because who can resist chicken & waffles? Not me. I also ordered the Gold Mine, a bourbon brunch cocktail. I'm not a Bloody Mary gal, but theirs almost tempted me!

The Great Indoors: Franklin Park Conservatory

That was the extent of our plans with my aunts, but they were free for the rest of the day, so we all headed to the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. I was admittedly cranky - I did not want to go - but unsurprisingly, it turned out to be a great decision. Bonus: The conservatory is full of Chihuly glass, which my mom absolutely loves.  

The best part of the conservatory? Petting a penguin & meeting an armadillo. OK, with no offense meant to BJ, the armadillo (who looks like a real-life Pokemon or a basketball come to life), petting Wahoo, the penguin, was actually the best part of the day. I've wanted to pet a penguin my entire life! Who knew penguins were so soft?! I'm not usually a squealy, excitable person, but I was, like, the most excited person in the world after petting this dude. So happy.

The other best part was the Field exhibition, described as "a 46’ long ecosystem projected on the gallery walls, where grasses and flora grow based on [bodies’] position and movement in the space." Basically, it was this big, long, screen wall, & when you walked past it or moved in front of it, it reacted to your movements.

Livin' that Hotel Life

My mom & I didn't want to have to deal with parking before the concert, so we booked a night at the Hampton Inn by Hilton, just half a mile from the arena. They upgraded us to a suite, but instead of sharing the king-sized bed with my mom, I slept on a (very comfortable!) pull-out couch, in total silence & darkness. It was freaking glorious.

Dinner Fit for a Foodie: The Pearl

We walked just a few short blocks to The Pearl, a restaurant I'd been to a few years earlier. It's an oyster bar with a seafood-heavy menu (which is not my fave), but we both found options that were right up our alleys. 

My mom got the pub burger with homemade tater tots - OMG, that tomato jam! - & I got a grilled cheese with brie, bacon, butternut squash, & pesto - to die for. I also got a bourbon apple punch, which was the perfect combination of lightly sweet & boozy - & far too summery for the snow falling outside in April.

Welcome to the Hotel California: The Eagles, Live

My mom first saw The Eagles in 1973, when she was attending Kent State University (yes, we share an alma mater). Though I never considered myself much of a fan, the show proved that I knew far more of their songs than I'd ever realized - & as I said multiple times on social media, this was easily the best concert I've ever been to. I loved the addition of 24-year-old Deacon Frey to replace his late father, Glenn Frey, & country legend Vince Gill was the perfect sixth member. What. a. show.

Buy Local: North Market 

Our hotel overlooked North Market, a food-and-farm market that opened in 1876, so we wandered through on Monday morning before we left town. If you're familiar with Cleveland's West Side Market, throw out the image in your mind; North Marker is much closer to Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market (though smaller & slightly less hectic), with more restaurant kiosks than grocery stands. 

Ready-made lunch options from Pastaria

Mouth-watering desserts from Omega Artisan Baking
Gorgeous, brightly colored Gerber daisies from Market Blooms
Spices galore from North Market Spices

Grabbed a soy latte from the fabulous Stauf's Coffee Roasters
Those chaiiiirs from Coco Cat Bakery & Chocolates

How beautiful is this giant cinnamon roll from Destination Donuts?

Move aside, Auntie Anne's, you ain't got nothin' on Brezel

Black Radish Creamery's cheese case is what dreams are made of.

These Destination Donuts creations are the most delicious-looking donuts I've ever seen.
My mom bought two big bottles of flavored balsamic vinegar from Green Olive Co., while I bought a mini bottle of their pomegranate-quince balsamic to put over salad this summer. In anticipation of warm-weather cookouts, I grabbed this peppery BBQ sauce from CaJohns Fiery Foods, plus some spice rubs for Mike from North Market Spices. Spring, we're ready for ya! 

Not pictured: the butterscotch & sea salt donut we split from Destination Donuts. *heart eyes*

The Drive Home

We headed back at noon - almost 24 hours exactly since our arrival - & my mom requested that we listen to more of The Eagles on the drive back. "Take a selfie of us singing!" she requested; don't worry, there was no one else on the road, & her eyes remained firmly facing forward.

Overall, it was a great weekend & a fun excuse to go on a mini-trip with my mama. I love living so close to her (but not too close - sorry, Mom), & this was one of our best adventures to date.

Have you been to Columbus? What do I need to see next time I'm in town?

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