This weekend was special. We traveled to Canton and Columbus, Ohio. We met up with family and friends. We ate delicious food and drank way too much coffee (as if that’s even a thing). We spent time together as a family, just the five of us. It was all so good. I love my people. I love spending time with my family and with friends who feel like family. And I. Love. FOOD.
And as much as I love going out to eat with my kids, boy do I love an adults-only dinner out on the town. How much do I love it, you ask? THIS MUCH:
hashtag: parking garage shenanigans
Friday night, my husband and I headed to Canton, Ohio. Admittedly, not a city we frequent all that often. However, we are starting to realize there are more hidden gems to enjoy dining than we had previously realized. Mike and I love centering our time together around food. Ok, I lied. I like to center our time together around food. Good food. And lots of it. We don’t go to chains because I want to eat unique dishes in a fresh atmosphere. I want to try new things. And I want quality food served to me in a creative way. But I digress.
We made plans to meet my cousin Bryan and his girlfriend Marissa at the Canton Brewing Company. Mike and I arrived a little early, parked in a nearby garage because snow was supposed to be on the way, and did a little exploring as we walked to the CBC.
The CBC had a really cool vibe and amazing food. I chose the margarita pizza because it was the only vegetarian option listed. However, I would gladly choose it again; it was fantastic. The other pizza pictured is a cheeseburger pie which everyone raved about. It was literally a cheeseburger with the works, including french fries and pickles, on a pizza! The third pizza (not pictured) was a chicken ranch. The table favorite brew was the coffee stout. The food was great, but the company even better. We had so much fun, talking about serious stuff and laughing about not-so-serious stuff. It was a great evening.
Same ally, just a few hours later. Grrrr. You got us again, Ohio!
The following morning, Mike, Bea, and I woke up and hit the road once more, this time to head to Columbus to see my friend from college, Laurie. But first…coffee. We stopped in downtown Wooster at a coffee shop that used to be awesome, then closed, then reopened as something else that was terrible, then closed, and then reopened again as another new coffee shop that I had been avoiding because I was still mad about the first, good one closing. (Locals: yes, I’m talking about Seattles! RIP)
Anyways, I decided to get over my beef and give the new place a try. It’s called Gathering Grounds and while the atmosphere is just eh -cheesy art prints on the wall with generic decor to go along with a generic vibe – the coffee itself was pretty tasty. They do pour over coffee in a Chemex which boosted their points in my review book. And then we were off!
My two favorite traveling companions: my husband and my coffee!
Laurie bought a house and got married since I saw her last, so I was so happy to get to see her new home, hang out with her Mr., and get a picture of her and Bea.
We all headed to lunch at a new place in downtown Columbus that I wanted to try called Salt & Pine. It’s on High Street. The restaurant is beautiful.
Because we had Bea with us, the waitress asked if we wanted to sit a booth, to which we said yes. I’m so glad we did. I should have taken a better photo of it, because it was beautiful. Blue, crushed velvet seating against a soft blue wall with gold branch-like accents that Mike said were painted on but, honestly, were so pretty it looked like wallpaper!
The food was outstanding. Seriously. SO. GOOD. I ordered a breakfast burrito that was filled with their hash browns, (Fancy, fancy hash browns that I feel bad even calling hash browns. They were made with blue potatoes for goodness sake.) pickled vegetables (so delicious), avocado cream, and some sore of crumbly cheese. The tortilla chips were freshly made (ie still warm) with lots of sea salt on top (they were really speakin my language), and the fresh salsa was perfect with just the right amount of kick.
And then, the pièce de résistance, a rosemary golden raisin scone that was so buttery soft on the inside and crunchy outside with just a touch of sugar cane on top, that I literally could not speak. It was that good. I love me a good scone and THAT was a good scone. Ok. I need to move on before I get sad that I can’t have that scone again anytime soon.
Laurie and I have never taken a serious photo together before…until now. We got one good one in 😉 .
Lunch with my dear friend was short but oh so sweet. I love that girl so much. They say if you have been friends with someone for seven years or longer that they will be a forever friend. I met and befriended Laurie over 12 years ago, so I’d say that this is most definitely only just the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.
On the way out of town, I had Mike park illegally on a side street and stay in the van with Bea while I quickly ran into a place that had been highly recommended to me after I posted about my great romance with macarons. Pistacia Vera in German Village didn’t disappoint. I ordered two macarons (Matcha Green Tea and Apricot Ginger), one Éclair, and two dark roasts coffee, took one last look around the splendor of this darling little French pastry kitchen, and then I headed back to the van to return home. The Apricot Ginger macron was a tad bit too sweet for me, but I really loved the Matcha flavor. Earthy and just a little sweet, just the way I like my green tea! Mike said his éclair was fantastic. The coffee was just perfect.
Sunday morning we all woke up together, enjoyed our coffee and breakfast, and slowly started to get ready for church. Our church hosts a New Life Sunday a few times a year where it’s basically a big party, celebrating baby dedications and baptisms. It’s always a fun and refreshing way to spend your Sunday. This past Sunday was one of those days and all five of us stuck together to enjoy hearing the stories and experiencing people’s journey towards new life.
We were all exhausted when we returned home so a quick lunch was in order. I threw together some wraps, chips, and fruit, and before you could say “Let’s get these kids to bed,” all five of us were in our comfy clothes and in bed. ALL. FIVE. OF. US. Can I get a prayer hands emoji??? It was glorious.
That evening, we wanted to top the weekend off right. So we did what we love to do most and took ourselves out for some cheap Mexican food at our favorite local spot. The food is good but inexpensive, the kids love it, and your food is served only a few minutes after ordering: perfection.
I love my little family so much. I love who we are and what we do. Is that weird to say?
As I was thinking about our weekend, it occurred to me that, as a family, we spend the majority of our money on being with people, and that usually centers around food. It made me think about the expression, “putting your money where your mouth is.” That’s a funny expression, but it really works for us. Probably not in the way it was originally intended, but still.
There’s this verse, I think I might have even mentioned it before. It’s from Psalms and it says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” As a foodie and someone who loves Jesus, that verse just really makes me feel all the feels. There is nothing, nothing, better to me than gathering around a table with my family or friends who feel like family, eating a ton of really good food, and just soaking up all the goodness of God. Good food. Good drink. Good people. Good times together. It’s all a reflection of a good, good God.