Last night, Clark and I flew home after a whirlwind trip to visit some family in Lancaster, Ohio. I do not say "whirlwind" lightly; a hurricane came sweeping through while we were there. It's true!
We flew into Columbus on Saturday morning to spend the weekend with Clark's Aunt Jennie (relation: Clark's mother's sister) and Uncle Jack. We were always planning to visit them this month, but we made spur of the moment arrangements to see them since we thought we would be moving out of the country at the end of the month. Anywho, back to the weekend summary.
First, Jennie showed us around their wonderfully decorated house and made us a great lunch. She does such a great job with that, and she has the nicest things. It really felt like we were staying at some romantic getaway for a few days. Jack had a wedding to officiate (he is a pastor who also happened to marry us) in the afternoon, and after some talking and catching up, Clark, Jennie, and I took a little break to relax until he got home. They took us out to a wonderful dinner at a nice restaurant (but sadly the name escapes me) - we shared some potato skins, I sipped on a lovely amaretto sour with my spaghetti marinara, and I had the pleasure of finishing things off with some amazing creme brulee (forgive me for not fussing with the accented letters). We got back to the house to watch the beginning of the OSU vs. USC game, but none of us were able to stay awake to see the Buckeyes get creamed. Too bad.
Sunday morning we headed off to church to see Jack give a very nice sermon. We had some chow, and then headed to Easton to go shopping. There is a HUGE outdoor shopping mall there with all of my favorite stores - J.Crew, Crate and Barrel, Williams and Sonoma, Trader Joe's, etc. They weren't outlet stores, but they were all really large stores with tons of merchandise. It was really cool. We enjoyed dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Abuelo's (I remembered the name that time) - I finished this meal with some flan. Mmmm, I just love food, don't you?
All day it was strangely windy - no rain, but just really, really strong sustained winds with gusts that even Jack had a hard time standing up to. On our drive back to the house, we noticed trees falling over left and right, and shingles being ripped off of houses. We make it back to Lancaster to find all of the traffic lights out and limbs and debris everywhere. Ugh...please let the house be ok. Please let the house be ok.
The house was fine. :) The patio furniture was all upside down, but nothing was damaged. Phew. We went inside, but there was no power at all. A few streets had managed to hang onto their electricity, but most of the town was out cold. We lit candles, opened windows, and entertained each other as the wind continued to storm through. My favorite was Jennie acting out her favorite poems for us by candlelight. She is, after all, a wonderfully creative poet. We talked and played games until long after dark, and then we hit the hay expecting the power to be restored at any time.
We woke up on Monday morning and still, no power. We drove to the local Starbucks (which had power) for some wake-me-up drinks and drove around town for a while. Lots of places had electricity, so we did a little shopping and Jennie showed us her booth in an antique store. I bought a great little pumpkin decoration and a lack-o-lantern candle holder - they weren't antiques but they were good deals.
We flew out last night and it was sad to say goodbye. We really love Jennie and Jack, and it was so great getting to see them. It was eventful and the weather was strange, but it only gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better and spend quality time together. That's the best kind of visit, isn't it? I guess we just can't get away from the hurricanes no matter where we go!