Columbus With Jacki

And it's round two for Columbus because we have not finished our explorations of this city and because we were serious about returning to Pistacia Vera, the cute cafe. It was warm enough to sit out on the patio with our pastries and cortado (espresso coffee with a splash of warm milk). I confess the drinks were not a hit. Too bitter...but now we know. The pastries were better than ever.

Last night Jacki asked me how and when we began doing this lets-go-explore kind of local adventuring. She couldn't remember but I can. It was an offshoot of charter/homeschool field trips, which we started doing about 12 years ago. I wanted our children to experience the state, city, and neighborhood around them and enjoyed taking them to school outings. As they got older they lost interest in going with large groups of kids and parents they barely knew, which I could understand, so I started taking them on my own. 

I combined school with pleasure, something they held in question at times. It was fun to take off for a day of sightseeing but not so fun knowing Mom would require an essay or at least a paragraph on the day's activities. 

Obviously, the overall idea was pleasant because we are doing it to this day, minus the school-related report. Sometimes it's the whole family, sometimes just Jacki and me. But it has become a part of our lives and enables us to enjoy the little things all around us without spending much money or time. 

We still dream of the greater ventures, like trips to Europe and other far-flung places, but we are going to find delights here at home while we wait and hope and plan for the many travels we would love to take around the world. Because you never know what beautiful discovery lies just beyond the bend in the path.

We snapped these photos at Franklin Park. It was way beyond our expectations. The gardens are beautiful and simple and arranged in such a way as to draw us onward in search of more loveliness. The Conservatory looks interesting but we did not pay to go inside. Walking the grounds was free. However, we hope to return, pay the fee, and take it all in.

This little hideaway did inspire us and had us scampering thither and yon in sheer delight. 

A guy was working in the gardens and observed our antics. According to Jacki he seemed to find it rather amusing. I can't say I blame him. We offered him a friendly greeting in passing which he reciprocated most pleasantly. Happiness all around!

Is this a gorgeous little courtyard or what? I love the stonework, pillars and mounds of white and green.

For the love of greens... I may do something like this on my tiny village property, if I can find a spot in the lawn. Evergreens and ornamental grasses are some of my favorites in landscapes.

This alley had us pleased as could be...

...and thanking our Father for the gift of today and surprises and tree-lined paths with a lovely little sitting area at the end.

My favorite space in all the gardens is this... Grape arbors flanking the picnic area with lights strung overhead and a splashing fountain to add just the right touch of soothing music. 

I was very busy for quite some time. 

Next time we really should bring a picnic lunch and sit awhile.

I know it would take a lot of work but I am always drawn to these symmetrical, carefully planned, boxwood gardens.

Because Jacki is in search of clothes we left the park and shopped a few local thrift stores. For lunch we tried a new place, Sweet Carrot. They were a food truck but started a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in November. 

We loved it. For a quick lunch with a unique menu featuring fresh comfort food...corncakes, sandwiches, salads, soups, smoked meats...this is a great place to try.

Our day ended in Easton with shopping and ice cream from Jeni's.

Meanwhile, our guys were also having a grand time about 3 or 4 hours away...

Julian is one happy young man. I thank God for a husband who loves to spend time with his son and searches for ways to interact with him more. A weekend fishing trip fits the bill quite well.

Summer seems to fly by all too swiftly, but we catch the moments when we can. 


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