Several months ago I received an email from The Ark Encounter – inviting us to visit the new spectacle in northern Kentucky. Five years ago, we went to the phenomenal Creation Museum and loved it! That is when we learned that plans were being made to build a true-to-Biblical proportion replica of Noah’s ark. I signed up to purchase two “pegs” in the ark, and my grands each received a certificate of ownership! We were “all in” and I made the promise that no matter how old they were when the ark was completed, we were going. When the email came in it was a no-brainer. Tickets were purchased and we decided to use AirBnB for accommodations.
Friday, July 22nd, we left our home at 7:20 a.m. with full intentions of going to the Ark Encounter, Findlay Market in Cincinatti, and returning home. A perfectly reasonable weekend road trip. Something happens when the four of us get in a vehicle – it’s a mix of wanderlust and adventure – and we do the spontaneous.
Our first stop in Williamstown KY was our AirBnB house – it was in the middle of nowhere and it took 15 of the curviest miles I’ve ever driven on – but we found it and it was PERFECT! We got settled in and then headed to The Ark for the evening visit. The next morning we drank our fill of good rich coffee, packed bags, tidied up the French Country kitchen and headed toward Cincinatti and Findlay Market.
We loved the Market. A foodie’s paradise. We all had international cuisine for our lunch and enjoyed walking around the fresh veggies, meats, and delicious smells!
We left Findlay Market about 12:30 p.m. Saturday and I mentioned that we were only about 2 hours from Mount Vernon. I spent the summer of 1966 in Mt. Vernon, while my boyfriend was stationed at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton. That boyfriend was from Mt. Vernon and had aunts and grandparents still living there. I stayed with his aunt and Grandpa. Gary, the boyfriend-turned-husband in 1967, is the dad of all three of my children so I thought it perfect if his daughter and two grandchildren saw his birthplace! It didn’t take much convincing and we were immediately on the Interstate heading north.
We spent about 90 minutes in the quaint, all-American town just northeast of Columbus. It hadn’t changed much and with a couple of phone calls, we had some addresses to look up and drive by. We walked downtown, took pictures in the town square, and drove around a bit. Perfect side trip!
Back in the car, my daughter Marni and granddaughter Hannah were whispering and looking at the map. Uh-oh, I knew those two were up to something. “Do y’all want to dip your toes in Lake Erie?” Simon and I in the backseat looked at one another and… we were off! A two-hour drive through beautiful farm country up Highway 13 and we ran smack dab into the lakeside town of Huron. We got one of the last rooms in the Comfort Inn on the river and we were hot, tired, but very happy travelers. We had a perfect evening although it was incredibly hot. Dinner outside overlooking the river and lake, 80’s karaoke music, fried perch sandwiches and fries. Does it get any better!!! After dinner and in the dark, Simon went fishing on the dock just below our room window and Hannah and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Oh! the houses – we loved them all.
The morning came and we were back on the road heading toward Cleveland and then south to Interstate 77 toward home. Our road trip came to an end and our memory bank is once again, FULL!
It was a great trip!
All linked up with: Beth, Holly, Holley, Jaime, Jennifer, Jenny, and Kristin
Michele Morin says
This is so wonderful! Our summer road trip cross-country was six years ago, and I think of it almost every day. It becomes a better memory every year! So glad that you wrote about yours!
Hubs and I have done two cross-country trips – in the 80’s. They were glorious!
It sounds like pretty much a perfect adventure. And, oh, the memories and laughter you all will share for years to come. Lovely! Made my day to read this, thank you for sharing.
Oh yes, sealed in our hearts!
Kristin Taylor says
I love your adventurous ways! Sounds like y’all had a good time. xo
We sure did and if you didn’t live so dang far away – we could’ve swung your way for a visit!!!
Mary Geisen says
Love the pictures and your description. I am so glad you went to Findlay Market in Cincinnati. It is a gem. Just sorry I wasn’t in town to meet you. Hopefully next time!!! 🙂
I know – it would have been an extra bonus for you to have met us for lunch!!!
Awesome! I gave some serious thought to taking a detour on our trip home to TX from IL to see the Ark and Creation Museum, but I chickened out. As the only driver with my two littles, I decided to take a more direct route this trip. But I do hope to get there some day! Thanks for sharing your great adventure!
Liz, not sure how old your littles are? But wait til they are 10+.
Hannah Leach says
Awesome trip!! Xo
And, you are my Geo-Tag Queen/Hero!!!!
Linda Stoll says
Welcome home, Susan! Your journey just exudes spontaneity, serendipity, joy, and adventure.
Love that you let your hearts guide the way …
On these trips? The heart is a good guide!
Jan Hershner says
Glad you had such a great adventure!! Love that ya’ll were spontaneous and just took off; what a blessing! Great pictures and memories to last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing.. : )
Spontaneity is our middle name! Think of you often, Jan. xo
Sue Donaldson says
my mind is still back on the foodie market! what a great trip and memory bank full! I love road trips tho some in our family are more infamous than famous!
Sue, YOU would have loved the market – if I lived there? I’d grocery shop there every week!!!
Lisa notes says
Glad you had a good trip! It’s fun when spontaneity breaks out. 🙂 I have friends going to the ark this weekend. Looking forward to hearing their thoughts as well.
Lisa, I would like to hear their thoughts as well – because I sure have a few of my own!!!
Wow, Susan! That sounds amazing. I love that you and your family were so spontaneous and explored these many vast and beautiful places with your wanderlust firmly at the helm! I can’t wait to see that life-size replica of the ark. I bet that was fascinating and awe-inspiring! Thanks for giving us a peek at your trip. Seems we were both traveling this past week and finding “pulling away” to be a much-needed practice!
And, I love that “pulling away” term!
Looks like it was an awesome trip!
Oh it was!
Sounds like a totally fantastic time! Long road trips can have their “I desperately need some alone time” moments, but by and large, they are so filled with good times and sweet memories that those difficult moments are soon forgotten.
I’m glad you had a great time with your family.
Patti @ Embracing Home (visiting from Testimony Tuesday)
But, the three-day thing makes it doable!!!
Carol Knipschield says
I enjoyed your trip and adventures. So great to do things like that while you are still young. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, your trip and those beautiful Grandkids .
Are you referring to Hannah’s & Simon’s youth or mine? LOL!!!
Becky Hastings says
What an amazing adventure! The Ark Encounter looks so fun. I would love to bring my kids there. I love how you all embraced the journey and kept your eyes open for unexpected adventure! (And I hope you made time for some ice cream!)
Becky, you know what? I don’t think we ever had ice cream. We’ll have to go back!
Brooke Grangard says
Oh, we drove by there on the way to Iowa from SC! Looks like you had a great time! Precious memories.
It was great, Brooke.
Kate Motaung says
So fun! What a special time! Thrilled that you were able to go. Your grandchildren are blessed to have you as their grandma! 🙂
I think I’m the blessed one, Kate!
WONDERFUL of you to share your trip with us. I love to travel and could only dream of having a trip like that with grands and one of my offspring. Yes, YOU are blessed……and so are they! Love you!
Hey stranger!!! YOU are the my traveling mentor!!!
Lux G. says
Wow. That’s one fun and unforgettable road trip.
Many more for you!
Lux, crazy and fast and fun!!!
What an adventure! Dinner outside overlooking the lake…ahh! I so need a vacation like this:) Hope you’re feeling refreshed!
Crystal, it was pretty wonderful!!!