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!