Day two greetings from Hocking Hills, Ohio! (So perhaps technically it’s day four in Ohio, but it’s day two in Hocking Hills and day two packed full of fun and adventure, even a little bison.)

Day one can be found here.

Today started out with the best darn diner omelette I have ever had followed by a trip back to the washboard museum to pick Ami up her VERY! OWN! WASHBOARD! We then followed our itinerary which had us going to a store called Rocky Boots.


(OSU fans left in for scale.)

Much like the washboard factory I thought…well…okay? But we were promised they had a fantastic cafe and boy did they have boots (and camo EVERYTHING! They even had jammies for Vivi in camo but we were afraid we’d lose her in her crib if we put her to bed in them.) Lunch was indeed fantastic (proof I need more bison burgers in my life) and afterwards we headed to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad for a little train ride.


Choo choo Addie. #Ohio

Here’s where I have to be honest, none of us particularly enjoyed the train ride enough to do it again, but to be able to take our girls on a good old fashioned train complete with the clickety clack and a fantastically loud horn, that was worth it. Addie said she’d like to go zooming around on a bullet train next time, I’ll be sure to work on that one kid.

After the train ride we drove through several national forests to the Vinton County Airport for a private ride with Scenic Air Tours to see the fall colors and Hocking Hills from the air. Our pilot was a doll, absolutely loved his job and even let me fly the plane. I FLEW A PLANE TODAY GUYS! I also got really, really sick on the plane. So did Addie. This was taken when the excitement was still high and the bile was still low in our stomachs.

Totally worth it though.

Rides start at under $100 and can be taken any time of day to pretty much anywhere you’d like (he offered to take us to Myrtle Beach but since we only had one sippy cup and no clean underwear with us we passed.) The visibility today was so great we could see smokestacks in West Virginia. (If you have a tender tummy, drop Dramamine like it’s hot before you go.)

After the plane ride we wound our way down a mountain and back up another to Ravenwood Castle, a B&B that looks just like a castle inside and out with absolutely lovely grounds.

(no, YOU can’t hold your camera straight.)

Ravenwood castle. Hocking Hills, #Ohio

We didn’t actually stay at the castle, which is probably good because it had a far more romantic “couples only” vibe which we kind of ruined with our shrieking mandrake toddler. We were able to hang out, play a game of wizard chess and have dinner in the dining hall. The food was amazing, just like all the best stuff your grandma makes, but in a castle. (Also? Two Harry Potter references in two sentences. Brilliant.)

wizard chess

Vivi wanted to play checkers, or perhaps throw the giant checkers, but chess won out and Vivi pouted with her giant checker pieces.

wizard chess

Once again we returned to our hotel well fed and delightfully exhausted. This is the kind of place you come with your family every summer, fall, maybe even winter. It’s quickly climbing the “to do every year” list we’re compiling as a family. If you’re anywhere near here and haven’t ever been? This is my disappointed face. Fall colors will be at their all time best next week. Get planning.

(I should also mention Cody washed a pair of pants and a shirt on one of our new washboards tonight. HE IS A FAN.)

Disclosure: Lodging, activities and some meals have been provided for my family while here in Ohio. Also, my negative stereotype that Ohio is full of mean OSU fans has changed, everyone (EVERYONE!) we have come across has been SO nice, even the people in OSU gear.


  1. I’m so glad that you are venturing out teaching and showing your girls life outside of Indiana, and (Utah!) That’s one thing I have loved about living in different states is taking our kids out and showing them history, nature…’the world’. They have really appreciated it throughout the years, and your girls will too! It’ll also teach them to be prepared for when they get older. Have fun, and enjoy the rest of your trip! xo

  2. I was on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad in August! My mom’s side of the family gets together every year for “camping” which has turned into staying in a cottage together. We thought the train ride was pretty fun…it’s much better in the open air sections… AND we went to the Rocky Boot store 🙂 …unfortunately we didn’t get any bison burgers… 🙁

  3. That’s funny about the train. My 10-month old and I joined my husband while he had a conference in French Lick. We took the scenic train ride, and while it was nice, it could’ve been half as long. I don’t think we’ll do it again until Baby’s old enough for the Polar Express-themed ride. Yeah, Buckeyes are great, but my DH and I always joke that they’re terrible drivers. Sorry, OH.