Posts Tagged ‘travel’

The article

February 3, 2004

I keep forgetting about that article I wrote and said I’d post up here, but I finally remembered tonight, so here you go…It’s not much, but it’s mine. And the Courier’s.

History und sausage

Learn about the life of James Thurber, then grab a bite to eat in German Village

By DANIELLE HAUS

ASSISTANT WIRE EDITOR

From the outside, the Thurber House at 77 Jefferson Ave. in Co­lumbus looks like most any other carefully restored home.

In fact, even with my mom, my aunt and myself looking for the former home of author James Thurber, we almost had to take a second lap around the circular road.

Inside there was a museum-like aura, but that was probably due to the near-silence in the building, because this is not your typical historical site.

No plastic runners to follow, no docents “asking” visitors not to touch anything, no velvet ropes keeping visitors out of rooms — the Thurber family wanted the house to be a com­fortable place to visit and work.

The house (which is reported­ly haunted) has been restored to reflect the period when the Thurber family lived there (1913-1917), and even the wall­paper designs have been duplicat­ed. Some rooms do double duty, like the dining room/gift shop or a bedroom/staff office, but peri­od pieces or memorabilia can al­ways be found, and Thurber-like drawings abound.

Six days a week, tours are self-guided with the aid of a laminat­ed brochure, and you can roam the rooms at leisure getting a close-up view of any little thing that catches your eye. On Sundays, tours are given by a staff member.

If you don’t want to cart the brochure around, outside the rooms there are small plaques with a drawing and a brief des­cription of the room. Inside the rooms a more detailed descrip­tion is available.

We started off by wandering through the comfortable parlor — “suitable for reading and light conversation” according to the plaque — and the living room, and then headed upstairs. We checked out the area at the top of the stairs, where we found, among other items, an antique dress and pair of very small, pointy shoes.

We laughed quietly at the size of the shoes, because we still couldn’t shake the be-quiet-you’re-in-a-museum feeling. That didn’t last too much longer though.

After looking at some Ohio State sports pictures in one of the bedrooms and a showcase of memorabilia in another bedroom, my companions browsed through the Thurber family pictures down the wall of the hallway, dis­cussing how they would make over Mame Thurber, James’ mother.

We looked through James’ bedroom, making sure to find him in the fraternity picture, and even peered into the closets. We were amused to find the scrawled signatures of (we assumed) past visitors.

One even claimed to have been “Thurbered.”

After peeking into the bath­room where Thurber once hid from a ghost, we made our way downstairs into the dining room/gift shop. I listened for the ghostly footsteps that allegedly go around the kitchen table and then run up the stairs, but sadly I heard nothing.

After one more look at the liv­ing room, we left the quietness of the Thurber House for the hubbub of the original Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus in German Village.

Schmidt’s, located in a former livery stable, has been around since 1886. They offer an original line of German and American food and drink, including Ger­man and micro brews.

We were seated in the room where the German Autobahn Buffet is located, and after squeezing between the tables we had a nice view down Kossuth Street. The restaurant was quite full, and as much as I tried not to listen, I heard many snippets of conversations from other tables.

This is definitely not the place for a clandestine meeting.

Despite the impression my last name may give, I am totally unfa­miliar with most German foods. I played it safe and ordered the Ba­hama Mama sandwich with pota­to pancakes, while my mom and aunt went for the honey roasted turkey Reuben.

After very little debate, the three of us decided to split one of Schmidt’s famous jumbo cream puffs.

A word to the wise — if you can’t handle spicy food, I’d try the “Milder Mama.” I did my best, but I just couldn’t finish the sandwich. The turkey Reubens are fantastic, or so I’m told, and the cream puffs alone may be worth the drive.

I had been staring out the win­dow at Schmidt’s Fudge Haus und Gifts all through lunch, and my placemat told me to go see fudge being made, so we careful­ly made our way across the street — sleet had made for a slippery road that day.

The Fudge Haus is filled to the brim with candy, gifts and annoy­ing items that say “Try me” and make a lot of noise when you do. The guy behind the counter (Daniel) greeted us with a cheery “Hello,” and I made a beeline for the fudge-making area. Alas, no one was there.

According to Daniel, things are a bit slow this time of year. He assured me, however, that the daily fudge making would re­sume in February.

After exploring the store, we made our purchases. The store apparently is frequented by Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel, so I made sure to get a “Tressel Truffle” for my dad.

If you plan on using a credit card, make sure you have a min­imum of $10 worth of goodies.

Our next stop was The Red Stable, back towards Schmidt’s. I would have liked to have spent more time browsing through this little shop, but the weather was getting worse so we only did a quick walk-through. There are all kinds of little antiques, trinkets, steins and more.

I got the feeling that you may never know what you’ll find at The Red Stable.

Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sau­sage Haus is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Satur­day.

Hours for Schmidt’s Fudge Haus have been shortened for the winter. Saturday is your best bet for a visit. Their hours should be expanding in the next few weeks.

The Red Stable is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

*BURN UPDATE* It’s very angry today.

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Finally

January 19, 2004

Whew! I can finally refer to the surprise party for the Pammer! I’ve had to avoid any mention of the birthday so as not to slip up, but I made it! Woo-hoo!

There was a little soiree for my momma’s 50th birthday Friday, and boy did we trick her! (Or so she says, anyway) I talked to her right before I “went to work” Friday, then we booked it down to Worthington a bit later. She was a surprised Pammer! She thought Dave and I weren’t coming down until Saturday, but we LIED! Mwahahahahahaha!

Saturday Pammer and my Aunt Nancy and I went to the Thurber House in Columbus. Damn if it wasn’t boring. No guide for us, just laminated brochures. And the ghost didn’t make any noise, either. What the hell am I going to write about? I just don’t know. Maybe I’ll include the bit about the Kroninger sisters wanting to give James Thurber’s mother, Mame, a makeover. Anyway, after the house, we had lunch at the original Schmidt’s German restaurant. I had a very spicy Bahama Mama and some tasty potato pancakes, and then the three of us split one of Schmidt’s famous cream puffs, and I now know why they’re famous – they’re damn good!

After lunch we went to the Fudge Haus und gifts (or something like that, I can only remember the “und gifts”), and a little shop called The Red Stable, and then ran away from German Village because the weather was getting nasty.

So, all in all a fun day, but only because of the company. I did get some kick-ass fudge though.

Finished “Lord of the Rings.” As I told Sean at work, it’s one of the few books with a satisfying ending. It seems like there’s always one little loose end that never gets tied up. Like Sean said, “What about that guy that was hanging off the edge of the cliff in Chapter 4? What happened to him?”

Mojo would like you to know he just took a big poop. At least I think that’s what he wants. He ran in here from the litter box yowling at me, so I can only assume he wants you to know.

Anyhoo, chances are pretty good that Dave is going to get a two-year contract to teach distance learning classes at BGSU, so as soon as we know for sure, we’re going to look for a house to rent somewheres around here so we can get a … puppy! We’re going to take one of my parents’ puppies, although by the time we would get to bring him up here, I don’t think he’d be a puppy anymore. That’s OK though, we’ll just go down and see him lots and lots. I’ll put some pictures up sometime in the next few days.

BTW, I’ve been meaning to put a link to the site up in the happy little blurb, and I just noticed MB did that in her blurb. So I just want to say I’m not a copycat, I swear!

Spellcheck wanted to change Kroninger to corniness … if you know my mom and/or aunt, you’ll know why that’s so damn amusing!

*BURN UPDATE* Still there.

All hail Fat Mojo

January 14, 2004

I’ll start the way I ended the last one: Fat Mojo is demanding attention. Daddy apparently has been asleep for more than an hour so there’s been no belly rubs for the big-eyed boy. Damn but he’s a crybaby!

So I did A1 today, with much help from Ted, and I am not a happy camper. I know it’ll get better, but it gave me a headache today. My computer crashing didn’t help things, either. P.O.S.

Ah, but I have the Mojo to make me laugh. Every time he gets done using the litter box he dashes out into the living room like he’s gotta get away from the deposit he just made. Just now he had some trouble making it over the pile of shoes by the door, poor boy. Oh, and he yowls very loud once he makes it to the living room, I guess to announce what he’s done. What can I say, stupid things amuse me.

Like how I noticed there’s a bottle of white-out in the bathroom. Why? I honestly don’t know. I’m thinking it got picked up with some other little bottles (nail strengthener, eye drops) that belong in the bathroom. I just don’t know, but I found it pretty funny last night.

I got to see Jen for a bit Saturday, woo-hoo!! First Dave and I went to the GFAPA (Greater Findlay Area Press Association) Christmas in January dinner, then Jen got there and we headed home – with Jen of course. We babbled a little, I showed off some of my lame-ass crafts, and we played Simpson’s Road Rage. Good times.

I’ll be heading down to Columbus this weekend to do a travel story for work, since most of the reporters won’t do one. Notable exceptions: Joy and John, thank God for them! See, we have a travel page on Saturdays, and the reporters are supposed to take happy little day trips around Ohio and write about them. Gas, food, admission, all paid for, plus a day out of the office. Who the hell wouldn’t want to do this?

And guess what? This has nothing to do with the traveling, but I’m going to enter some headlines in the Ohio AP contest. I had a few I was pretty damn proud of last year, so what the hell, right?

Gots to go read “Return of the King.” I’m almost done, and then I can turn my attention to my sewing endeavors. For some reason, when I’m reading something I’ve never read before, I can’t focus on anything else leisure-wise until I’m done with the book. I’m nuts.

FYI, spellcheck wants to change Findlay to fondle, and Mojo to moos (the Mojo change would be appropriate).

*BURN UPDATE* Yuppers, still there.

Busy weekend

December 8, 2003

Made it back from Athens alive. I probably should have mentioned that I don’t take 23 or I-270 to get there, since that whole sniper thing is going on in Columbus right now. Sorry to anyone who was worried. Anyway, we had a lovely but short visit. Ate good food, played cards and Uno Attack, made the dogs wear a fez, did some shopping.

Hung out with Papa and Pammy and puppies for a while before I trekked back home. I thought the Papa was kidnapped when we first got there, because the groceries and mail were still in his truck, but he was nowhere to be found. Ellie and the Budman were gone too, but the puppies were there – seven in the box, one escapee in the kitchen. We made our way out to the barn and found the missing ones. I felt silly, but what are you gonna do?

Those puppies are something else! When I got back from taking Jessica home, all eight of them were out and running around, causing mayhem. One kept following Buddy and nipping at his tail, which he did not enjoy; some liked my jeans and shoestrings; one got hold of a skein of yarn and shook it around until the puppy knocked itself over; one had an identity crisis and was playing with a ball of yarn; and there was much ear-pulling and tumbling all around. Luckily Dad took some video, so I can watch it again next time we’re down there.

After that, I met Jen in Marion for dinner. It was so nice to see my Henny Penny! She had to go to Meijer, and I didn’t really want to leave yet, so I went with. I actually got some Christmas shopping done.

I took Friday off from work. I wanted to feel semi-productive, so I hauled the Christmas decorations out, and I do mean hauled. They were buried in a closet, and it was damn tough to get them out. We put the tree up, but didn’t decorate it until Sunday. I was just too tired!

Saturday I went to lunch and did some more Christmas shopping with Nadia. Much fun was had. I only have a couple more things to get, and then I’m done. Woo-hoo!! When I got back from shopping, Dave and I went out to dinner. I had a headache due to sinus issues and needing to eat, so of course we got to sit right behind the screaming 2-year-old. He was literally screaming into the back of my head. I was pretty happy. After dinner we went to Meijer and got “The Wedding Singer,” went home, and watched it. I highly recommend it!

Sunday we decorated the tree, as I said before, and I headed back to work. Oh, I scooped the poop, too. Can’t forget that.

Sadly, with those four lovely days off, I did not catch up on sleep. In fact, I think I’m even more behind.

My next mission, and I have no choice but to accept it, is to finish the Christmas cards. Bleh. I love you all, but 80 cards is just too much.

*BURN UPDATE* Band-aid marks are probably visible only to me now. Burn is a lovely shiny pink line. I wonder if I should still be putting my Burn Stuff on it?

Goin’ down to A-town

December 3, 2003

Going down to A-town in the morning, with Jessica serving as my road-trip companion and navigator. Should be a fun time, even though I’m getting up at the butt crack of dawn (for me anyway). Because of that, I’m not writing any more so I can try and get a least a few hours of sleep.

*BURN UPDATE* Band-aid marks now very dry, weird skin. Scab almost all gone but there’s still a pink line. I hope it doesn’t scar.