This past November was a milestone birthday for my mother. Naturally I was pushing for a family vacation the week of, and for a minute my dad was on board but then it became a situation of too much talk, very little action. So in the end, as October was winding down I called my dad and offered to fly up to surprise my mom as a birthday present. Living five states away I miss them constantly, so if I have the chance to see them I’m gonna take it (especially with dad paying for my flight)!
I am still surprised we were able to keep it a secret from her… especially with my sister planning to extend her Thanksgiving break by a day so she’d be able to see me too. Granted, it kind of gave away the surprise when she realized they were driving to the airport, but I’d still call it a success. I flew up on Monday morning, the day before her birthday. As soon as everyone picked me up we went to the heart of Columbus so I could see my mom’s new workplace, on the way we made a pit stop at North Market for some delicious donuts!
And because I make everything all about me, the next two stops were my special requests: The Book Loft in German Village and Little Sicily’s Pizza in Reynoldsburg. If you think I’m going back to central Ohio without eating Little Sicily’s Pizza, you are out of your mind. It is the foundation of my love for Italy. Seriously. Thankfully, the rest of my family loves both of those places too, so I didn’t have to feel quite so guilty.
By the time we got back to the family home (RIP – my parents moved recently) my sister only had an hour before she had to make the drive back up to school. We had just enough time to take some preemptive Christmas photos together with our puppy-brother, Albus. I am very thankful to have had even a few hours seeing my sister. It’s amazing how much you can fight with each other when you see them everyday, but then become best friends as soon as you are apart for even a few months. We haven’t lived together for very long since I was in high school… which has been great for our friendship, but really makes us miss each other.
Once the underage college student left, the of-age humans in the household decided to go to the casino. Mom and I like to take $20 each of daddy’s money and then play the penny slots until we run out. It keeps us entertained for a while. Dad goes bigger with the quarter slot machines. Clearly, we are a family of high-rollers. I would love to see what would happen if we had our own Vegas Vacation when Jodi is old enough. The three of us didn’t stay out too late, but of course we had to stop by O’Malleys Bar in Pataskala on the way back home. It’s my parent’s favorite bar and one of the first places we went after I turned 21; mom and I had a great St. Paddy’s Day there a couple years ago. A drink at O’Malleys was the perfect end to my first night back in Ohio.
Day two meant mattress shopping. My parents were in the market, so we drove over to Easton Towne Center to checkout Sleep Number. Then after a loooooong sales pitch, they decided to try it out. I haven’t heard anything bad about it since, so it must be working out for them. Of course, as we were in Easton we did stop in a few more stores – partly so I could pick out some early Christmas presents from my mom. And help her pick out some things for my sister too. I’m really not sure what my dad was doing while mom and I shopped… I assume he wandered around. But isn’t it great? I go home for my mother’s birthday and I’m the one who gets presents. (I did bring home her birthday present and everyone’s Christmas presents to leave behind, FYI.)
The rest of the day was spent just hanging out with my parents… And a quick-ish trip to Half-Price Books, because hello, duh. I managed to restrain myself with only buying a couple items, which is always a feat there. Who am I kidding? I would’ve totally bought more, but my mom was with me and I didn’t wanna feel her judging gaze on me.
Wednesday found my dad driving me back to the airport, with a pit stop at my Grandma’s apartment for a quick visit. I was so happy to get the chance to see her, as it had been over a year! We didn’t have a lot of time, but we made the most out of it.
All in all it was a quick, but wonderful visit. Nothing super exciting, but since living apart I cherish each moment I get with my family – exciting, boring, and everything in between.