I’m kidding about the title. I’m trying to catch up on my “Bachelorette” watching and since they are in the exotic travel portion of the show, I’m so sick of hearing them say “X and such is the perfect place to fall in love” I could spit.
This weekend, Dave and I went to Ohio for his nephew’s graduation party slash annual family reunion. Before I go any further, I have to point out Dave’s cookies were a huge hit.
My in-laws are wonderful people and I had fun, but it wounds me that driving 8.5 hours on Friday and 8.5 hours on Monday to spend two days with my in-laws counts as two days of “vacation” to my employer. We left the hotel this morning at 8:30AM, and didn’t get home from getting Chuck at the kennel until 6PM. We are exhausted and we have to work tomorrow. If only employers offered a few days of “visiting family leave” in addition to vacation and sick leave.
Dave’s brother lives in the country in a tiny little unincorporated “census-designated place,” whatever that is. All the hotels in the nearest city were booked by the time Dave called to make reservations which was baffling. So we stayed about 20 miles away in a slightly larger city. Even though we spent most of our time at my brother-in-law’s, we did have a chance to explore Fremont a little. The night we got in, we drove into Fremont’s downtown area in the hope of getting away from the strip mall chains near our hotel. After breakfast on Saturday, we scoped out the trail where I wanted to run on Sunday morning.
My verdict on Fremont, OH is that it’s a miniature version of my hometown (Erie, PA). I drove 440 miles to stay in Erie, only without a lake, without my family, and no Panera. Even though Fremont is about one-sixth the size of Erie, almost everywhere I went (in about a 4-5 mile radius) reminded me of a specific part of Erie. It started to get a little confusing actually.
We ended up eating at the 818 Club on Friday night. Once I saw they served fried perch, I knew what I was ordering. So the perch reminded me of Erie. As did the modest but pretty houses with manicured lawns, the run down downtown area near the river, the built up strip mall area near the thruway, the large number of bars, and the even larger number of churches. I lost count at five churches just driving the 2.5 miles from the hotel to the restaurant on Friday night. We drove by a Catholic school whose side entrance reminded me so much of the gym entrance to my grade school I got a chill.
Then there were the trains. The running trail I used was right next to railroad tracks. On Saturday, Dave and I had to wait for a train to pass through an intersection so we could cross to get to the trail. There are several intersections where you have to wait for trains in Erie too. I could hear trains at night from my bedroom in Erie and the sound is strangely soothing to me. I’ve never seen anything like that where I live now.
Saturday morning, we ate at a Bob Evans for the first time. I chose bacon for my breakfast and Dave got a good laugh over that. We managed to avoid the eight thousand calorie sausage biscuit bowl with sausage gravy, but Dave did put the “whipped butter blend spread” on his biscuits before I opened mine, smelled it, and reported that butter was the fourth ingredient.
I took almost 200 pictures over the weekend, mostly of Dave’s family. I didn’t have my camera when I explored Fremont and I’m disappointed. If we ever go back I want to get pictures of all the things that reminded me of Erie. Here is a picture I took on the way to my brother-in-law’s…GPS fail.