Grin. Disclaimer. Grin. I wish I had time to upload all 70 photos from my trip, but I don't. You can see them all here.

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After what seemed like months of agony, discomfort, and incredible bad luck, I needed a freaking break.

And Ohio was just what the doctor ordered.



Tuesday, October 20th
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I got up butt early to get on a plane. Most of the time I spent reading. At the time, I was in the midst of Deborah Davis' Not Like You. As the plane descended into Ohio, I was overcome with a feeling of giddiness and elation. Home. TREES!!! FALL COLORS!!! I remembered to turn onto Sawyer to get to Broad Street, and then as I drove the memories just flooded back. Everything, everywhere, pieces of ME. I love this place so dearly.



Of course I visited my old neighborhood. There's so much growth and change in my little town, it's definitely becoming full-blown suburbia. But thankfully, some things haven't changed. Like the farmhouse across the street where I grew up:



First thing I went to see Christi and the squirt. We had tacos with her parents, and they were delish. Then I went to see my 2nd Mom & Dad, who are always a delight. They are such great people. We talked for THREE hours, which for us is just a quick chat. Trust. We talked about everything: My life, books and movies, my parents and their lives, sex, my childhood and memories, my circle of friends and how/where everyone is now.

Wednesday, October 21st
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I spent the morning visiting the parks, taking in the trees and leaves, and doing some Geocaching.





My personal favorite was when I went to find a cache and it ended up on the other side of the creek. Yeah, it was fall and it was chilly, but that didn't stop the kid in me. I didn't feel like driving all the way around when my goal was 200 feet away. So I simply slipped off my shoes and socks and waded the ice cold creek. Wouldn't you? When I told G & R about it, they looked at me like I was crazy. I shrugged and laughed. Am I really just a kid? Wouldn't anyone do that? I was careful to look for glass and the like, the water was crystal clear. Spent some of the day visiting Christi at work, and then I got to hang out with my GypsyJew Deb, whom I hadn't seen since I was a junior in High School. Talk about the years! We hung out and talked about our lives and everything in between, then we went and visited Blake in the hospital. I hadn't seen him since High School either, but it was great to catch up and see that he seemed to be mending well. We compared scars, but his top mine in almost every area. Poor guy. Hope he continues to mend well. After that we rushed to dinner with G & R, who ended up waiting for us... we were so late! Stupid Ohio traffic, lol. Then it was back to Deb's for SYTYCD and GLEE.

Thursday, October 22nd
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Had lunch at Panera with Aimee B and John M, both of whom, again, I hadn't seen literally in years. Then we hit up the parks. I was going to teach Aimee and Christi how to geocache. They loved it. Had some festive fun in my old stomping grounds Pine Quarry.



Oh, the days of Capture The Flag!!! I MISS THOSE DAYS LIKE NOTHING ELSE.





While we were there, we really enjoyed the leaves and scenery. But we also totally found a snake! EEEEEEEE!!!!! So gross and scary! I totally screamed. Ew. *shudder*



After that we grabbed the Munchkin and went to Blacklick. The whole time I was loving the leaves, the company and snapping photos.





That night I had dinner at the Stake N Shake with my Flag Girls, it was so good to see them! This trip seemed to be overflowing with visits to and from people I hadn't seen in a good 8 years! Wow.



Rounded out the evening with my Emmy, chatting and laughing. Even got a peek at the wedding dress! Eeeeee.

Friday, October 23rd
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Day 4 brought RAIN. Pouring rain. But that didn't stop me from my traditional Bob's breakfast out with Mel. Love you girl! I piddled around for a few hours, cached a bit in the rain, and then had lunch with my High School Spanish Teacher, Sra. B. That woman is so great! I'm thankful to have had her in my life when I was a student. We had an amazing time catching up on one another over lunch. After that I went to see Chels at her house with her little girl who was so cute. I think we spent 4 or 5 hours just talking. It was so relaxing and so wonderful. Isn't it crazy how with time we become more and more comfortable just chatting? When we were kids we hated how the grown-ups would just sit and talk. Boring! Now I love it. After that I went out with Jessi (another I hadn't seen since the HS days). My Becky came to dinner too and brought a friend. Also got an impromptu visit with the S. Slack, which was great.



Then I went to chat it up and have a shake with Christi, before returning to TGIF's to round out the evening with Leah and Amber and their men. Love them.

Saturday, October 24th
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Wedding day!!! I spent the morning revisiting my childhood with Becky at the Downtown Library and doing some Family History research for my BigBro.



Then I got in a few more caches before the time for the wedding was upon us. Hung out with the parents and saw some of the pictures being taken, then caught up with more people I hadn't seen since I was a kid. Finally we adjourned outside for the ceremony, and I only wish it had been a bit sunnier so the poor wedding party wouldn't have frozen to death quite so much. The wind was horribly loud and all help the mic should have been was lost in the raging whistle of air.



The ceremony was lovely (what I could hear anyway) and then the party afterward even better. I got seated around people I didn't know, but who ended up being really cool, and the dancing was my favorite part. Yeah, there were people there who don't know me, or haven't seen me since I was a kid, but I didn't care. I only lasted a few songs before the dancing shoes came out, I changed my outfit, and that dance floor was MINE. No offense to Em and her Nate who made a valiant effort and should have had the spotlight (I deferred to them where appropriate) but I was the Dancing King.





After the Wedding Party, we hit the after-party where the fun and dancing continued late into the evening. LATE into the evening. But it was a blast and I needed it so much to help me forget the past months.

Sunday, October 25th
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Much of this day was spent with Amy L., little sis of one of my best friends growing up (don't worry I spent time with him also). We went to Church together, hit a cache, and then got some lunch. After lunch I bummed around most of the day, and just enjoyed My Ohio. Fall in Ohio is GORGEOUS.



That night I went with Amy out to the boonies to see some of the Osmond's give a Fireside. That was a little anti-climactic, but I did run into one of the moms of one of my favorite people I'm sad I'm not better friends with - so it worked out okay.

Monday, October 26th
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The morning this day was definitely spent cleaning up my "room" and repacking it all into my suitcase. It was like a vomit party in there of clothes, shoes, and stuff. I mean, really, I didn't bring this much stuff on Vacation right? Nooooo. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't say special thanks to Christi for not only putting me up in her apartment, but letting Kidlet share the bed with her for a week so I could have my own room. Pretty much you're the best friend ever, Christi.

Got some lunch and finally got to see my Brit, the missing Flag Chick. She was a great conversationalist, and I loved the reunion. Tried to see my Deb to say bye, but it wasn't happening. Also missed out on visiting my old boss Wendy, though I tried.

There were so many people I wanted to see that I didn't get to. Sad day! Drove around some more revisiting memories and the world that birthed me, brought me up, and which I miss more than anything I know. So many people want me to move back. Be one with my roots again. I would love that more than anything - but I have my reasons why. They are there, and I don't have to tell you them; suffice it to say I love my home, it is close to my heart, as are all of you, but I cannot come back. Maybe that will change in time, maybe not.

Sigh. I promised this post wouldn't be sad, but it is. The wedding and my friends were great, but I still had to go back to Utah. I almost cried on the plane as the pretty trees fell away from me.



Ohio will forever be my home, even if it's not where I live at present. The people, the places, even the trees are part of the foundation that helped shaped me into the me of today. And for that I will always be grateful.



There's so much more to round out 2009! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas... yikes! Sometimes I don't think I'll ever get there!

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