I took a yoga class at 6:30 in the morning on Saturday, which means I can feel every muscle that I’ve ignored for the past two years screaming that I’m a damn fool and I should probably do a lot more yoga a little more often. Add in the fact that I took the class in NYC the day after walking around the entire city and my hips basically feel like rock grinding on bone.

Don’t mind my grunting JFK airport! I just took my downward dogs a little too seriously on Saturday!

Before we talk about New York and how mad I am that anxiety messed with a good thing (my love and wonderment for the city) let’s finish up talking about Ohio. You know, that magically quiet and serene place I was in with my family this time last week?

As we drove through and over the mountains in Ohio I totally started to believe that we should cut all ties with society and move to a cabin in the woods. We would have horses, Cody would hunt and I would make bread from scratch. I would wear lots of plaid and have an impressive collection of work boots.

Then Cody said “I could never live out here.” and my little fantasy popped into a thousand tiny little splinters of dreams and wishes.

I said before that last Saturday will go down officially as one of the best days ever in Addie’s childhood and as a family. It started at 9 am with a trail ride up and through the mountains under golden leaves. I really need a horse. Could someone convince Cody of that? Our ride was at Spotted Horse Ranch and our cowboy guide was named Bob. (I think, I thought it was Buck, but regardless, he was charming and fantastic and everything you’d want from a man in wranglers, leading your horse.)

I'm (well, I was) on a horse!

Lunch was at Ridge Inn, this is where I aside and say that we didn’t eat at a single chain restaurant while in Ohio, everywhere we ate was small and local and wonderful. Ridge Inn was especially fantastic because of the donuts. We hung around an extra hour waiting for the second batch of the day. THEY WERE STILL WARM AS WE ATE THEM.

It was homemade and still warm. From Ridge Inn in Laurelville, Ohio.

Warm donuts.

More proof that life is very much worth living.

After the donuts we made our way to a KOA Campground (no, I will not spell it with a K) where we were promised gem mining at the Hocking Hills Gem Mine, this was what Addie had been looking forward to. We bought a big heavy bucket of dirt and sand and headed out to pan for treasures.

gem mining

gem mining score!

Addie and Cody finished the bucket off in no time and Addie was enamored with the “jewels and gems” she had found. Confession: I wanted to buy a bucket all to myself and find my own treasures. But there wasn’t time! We had a zipline to get to.

Our last scheduled stop was Hocking Hills Canopy Tours where the staff is pretty much the best staff in the entire world. Especially the guys that helped Addie with the zipline, she made fast friends with them and left them a positively glowing review on her comment card.

Dragonfly Zipline

Dragonfly Zipline

When asked “How would you rate your experience today?” and given an option of selecting 1 for ‘poor’ or 5 for ‘fantastic’ she wrote in 100 and circled it. When the survey asked her “What could we do better?” She wrote “Don’t ever make me get off.

comment card

The zipline is a course of bridges and lines that she was able to completely traverse on her own, her line was snapped in at all times so there was never any risk of her plunging to her death, kind of an important feature to mom and dad. Traversing the track   twice was included in the fee ($39.) The next trip was $10 and any trip after that was $5. We let her go 5 times, she would have done it until the sun had set and everyone had gone home if we would have let her.

Dragonfly Zipline

Ever since our trip to Chicago last summer I have told Addie that we’ll be going on an Addie/Mom trip for one weekend every summer. She chose New York for summer 2013 and as I began talking to her about last Wednesday she said “Mom? I don’t want to go to New York anymore. I want to go to Ohio again, okay?

vivi photobomb

Me too kid, me too.


Disclosure: Lodging, activities and some meals were provided for my family while in Ohio.

Day One in Ohio.

Day Two in Ohio.

Addie loved Ohio.

Other restaurants we ate at while in Ohio:

Inn at Cedar Falls – Super cozy and romantic cabin atmosphere, while it wasn’t a place you would normally take kids, they accommodated them wonderfully with coloring books and a legit kids menu. Cody had swordfish and shitake risotto, it pretty much changed his life.

Millstone BBQ– Tasty, tasty (and tender) pulled pork and plenty of cornbread. Worth the stop if you enjoy BBQ.

Brass Ring Golf Course – Lovely setting overlooking a tree lined golf course, very kind wait staff and the most spectacular chocolate cake looking thing ever. Addie and Cody inhaled it so fast I never even had time to take a picture.

Olde Dutch Restaurant – This is the restaurant I will dream of when I am PMS-ing and in the mood to eat nothing but warm comfort food and carbs.


  1. I wish I was that fearless! One of these days I will try a zip line myself!

    Your Ohio adventures sounded amazing. Glad you all had such a great time!

    Casey Reply:

    @Marta, Addie’s first question when we got back to the bottom was “WHEN CAN I GO ON THE BIG ONE?”
    Ten, she can go on the big one at 10. She’s pumped.

  2. We went to Hocking Hills this summer too – and your Canopy Tour guides? We had the same guys. They were AWESOME!! My boyfriend and I are planning to take our collective (5!) kids (seriously, he has two boys, I have 3 girls…we are almost the Brady Bunch, yo) next summer. Glad you had such a great time in my neck-of-the-woods!

    Casey Reply:

    @Gretchen, I’m thinking I could skip the plane ticket to NYC and just let her zip line for three straight days.

    Gretchen Reply:

    @Casey, We had SO.MUCH.FUN. ziplining. I can’t wait to take the whole herd of munchkins next year. I have to admit – I think *I* could zipline for 3 straight days too. It was awesome. We went during the summer when everything was green – I can just imagine it was probably 10x as gorgeous when the trees were sporting their fall wardrobe! 🙂

  3. I’m from Ohio and went to college in Athens (near where you were). That area is one of my very favorite places on earth. Thanks for showing the world what a great place it really is. (and that some of us aren’t crazy OSU fans. I don’t even LIKE OSU!)