ho-HI-ho: noun. What Addie called Ohio when she was 3.


Today Addie declared she is going to become a professional naturalist, live in Ohio and take people on hikes and show them what plants they can eat, specifically the sourwood because that one is her favorite.

Surprisingly enough, Addie spent the morning with a very handsome young man named Joe who is a naturalist, takes people on hikes, shows them what plants they can eat and sourwood happens to be one of his favorites. In other words, we had a really good day and Addie has a new friend and role model.

Jim, the owner of Hocking Hills Adventure Treks said he’d have a spot waiting for her in about 13 years.

Addie and her new buddy Joe the naturalist

You know those fliers and pamphlets you can find in almost any small town touristy hotel? The ones that advertise the ‘world’s biggest this’ or the ‘world’s greatest that?’ Well this trip is basically doing as many of those pamphlets as possible. It was set up by some lovely ladies involved in Ohio tourism and we have done and will be doing things I never would have thought to do, and we’re having so much fun.

Today started out at a pencil sharpener museum.

Why yes , we did just go to a pencil sharpener museum. #Ohio

Want to see Addie go bananas? Take her to a pencil sharpener museum. We then took a private guided tour of a nature preserve in Hocking Hills, Ohio. It’s downright stupid how pretty it is up here and what a good idea these treks are that Jim came up with. He gathered up a bunch of passionate naturalists, works with nature preserves and parks all over the area and plans these fantastic hikes where you get your own private know-it-all who will feed you roots, leaves and twigs (and you’ll actually enjoy it.)

Joe was our know-it-all today and he answered every question Addie had. When she asked about the dirt he got down on his knees and dug in it. When she wanted to see in a cave he pulled out a flashlight and showed her, when she sneezed he handed her a tissue and when she spotted poop he dug around in it with a stick to figure out what and who it came from.

Addie and her new buddy Joe the naturalist

Addie and her new buddy Joe the naturalist


Addie and her new buddy Joe the naturalist

Basically he’s the world’s greatest dad waiting to happen.

As if that weren’t enough, the hike ended at a huge cave where a Shawnee Indian named Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah was sitting and playing a hand carved flute, it was spectacular. He welcomed us in Shawnee and told us stories that his grandfather had passed on to him. He told us how many words we use everyday come from Shawnee (including hi, Michigan and Mississippi) and that the Shawnee  word for elk translates to ‘white butt.’ He showed Addie his flint knife, told her about his nose ring and said that if he didn’t keep his flute warm it would sound like he was killing squirrels the next time he played it.

Hocking Hills Adventure Hike

He was amazing.

The fact that any Native American Indian tribe was ever persecuted or labeled as savages? Blows my mind.

Our next stop was the Columbus Washboard Company and museum. When I saw a ‘washboard museum’ on our itinerary I was a little…huh…okay…but you guys! We bought two washboards and Addie has taken hers everywhere with her since we left the place. Who’s going to have clean laundry when the world ends? THIS LADY.

In case your mind wasn't blown by the pencil sharpener museum, I present to you the washboard museum. #Ohio

Cody also bought a kazoo for the girls because he hates me and wants to send both of us into an early grave. We were given a tour of the factory by a charming man named James who showed us how the washboards are made on the same equipment they’ve been made on for over a hundred years and washboards are pretty much the coolest thing ever so don’t roll your eyes when you get one for Christmas this year.

We’ve eaten way too much delicious food, are trying to survive in one big hotel room breathing each others air and hearing each other sleep but it doesn’t really matter because we’re together and together with them is really my most favorite place to be no matter where we are in the world. (And we have a pool, Addie asked that I tell you all we have a pool, and little boxes of cereal in the morning, and washboards, we have washboards!)

This is what a fun day without a nap, and a full belly look like at 9 pm.

Disclosure: We have been provided with lodging, activities, and some meals while in Ohio. Huge thanks to Ohio for being pretty darn awesome.


  1. Welcome, welcome….glad that you’re enjoying your stay here in the Buckeye State.

    Love your blog!

  2. Well Good Golly Miss Molly, he IS handsome! 😉

    That sounds and looks like such an amazing experience. The Shawnee Indian gentlemen surely makes me smile.

  3. Move here and live by meee! We are loving Ohio so far. Also her legs- they are so long!!


  4. You’re in my home state! And I have never, ever been to the washboard or pencil sharpener museums, respectively.


    Ohio has some gorgeous, gorgeous parts and Hocking Hills is one of them.


    Ohio, the heart of it all.


  5. I thought I was all super cool buying 8 whistles FOR A DOLLAR to put in the goody bags for my son’s party. It was only once those bags were opened that I realized their true price.
    I might have to cut a B$%^# over a kazoo.

  6. Welcome to our great State! I am only about 90 min. away from Hocking Hills and I need to start going there more often. It is BEAUTIFUL this time of year! Did you stay in Hocking Hills or in Columbus?

  7. So wait, is Joe married? Cause we need to get that happening asap – he is SO cute!

  8. I grew up in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. It’s so pretty this time of year – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  9. I just love it. I’ve never been..but I just love everything about this post. I tried to do the nature thing with my kids one summer…and they..including my hubby all came home with raging ear infections from the lake!! It looks beautiful there!

  10. I want a washboard! It would soothe several of my “The apocalypse is coming!” fears caused by that new t.v. show Revolution.

  11. Wow. What a day! Your photos are incredible, and I’d like to meet this Shawnee indian with the warm flute. “Hi!” from Michigan!

  12. When you come back to Ohio (and when your girls are a bit older) you need to check out this: http://www.ohiocaverns.com/
    and after that tour, you need to visit here:

    Stop and say hi to me too 🙂

  13. We’re from around those parts (my husband graduated from Hocking College) and we tend to agree. 😉 Glad you guys are enjoying it (and it’s beauty and quirkiness) as much as did! (although we love our new hometown of Cincinnati too. 😉 )

  14. I love washboards! How fun!

  15. I love, love, LOVE the Hocking Hills. So much I got married there three Octobers ago. 🙂 Although we tend to stick to hiking, eating, and camping/staying in adorable cabins since we don’t have kiddos.

    I’m so glad you guys enjoyed your trip!

    Also – I’ve lived in Columbus for 7+ years now, and as a different-Big-Ten-school fan, I used to think Ohio was full of mean people, too, but I love it here!


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