When I move to a new town, I spend many hours driving with the intention of getting lost. Finding my way home again helps me understand better than studying a map. I also find the places I want to go back to - restaurants to try, parks to explore, stores to visit. I am creating the map of my new life in a new place.
I have lived in Columbus for more than 10 years (and less than 20). I've moved away and come back more than once. Each return strengthened some belief that I already knew all there was to know about Columbus and its neighborhoods. And with each return, I explored less and less.
Parenting changes lives. For the purposes of this post, having babies changed mine in two ways.
- Being a parent made the walls close in on me at home. When I had little tiny babies, I was tethered to a house because a baby was napping or sick or the world wasn't running on our schedule. When my babies became mobile and verbal, the house wasn't big enough for all of us to play in every day. We, all of us, needed room to run or space for the noise to get away from my ears.
- It is hard to think of anything, especially of new fun things to do, when your kiddos have reached the point where they are demanding to be entertained. Like most answers to parenting questions, one needs to plan ahead.
I am a list maker. Being the nerd that I am, I started making a complicated Excel spreadsheet with activities, possible field trip destinations and their hours and prices, and local festivals. I got used to scouring local websites, reading corkboard announcements and finding people that were more in the know that I was. Correction: Than I am.
That list saved lives.
And making that list made me realize that there is so much I don't know about Columbus. And while I no longer drive around trying to get lost, I am actively seeking out new experiences in this place I have known for so long.
I feel like I am creating a map of my new life in an old place.
A new list has been brewing in my head. It's time to put it out there. A throwing of the gauntlet, if you will.
My list of "never before but will soon"s in Columbus:
Food and drink
- Eat at Basi with its biggest ambassadors/mayors: Christy and Molly (UPDATE 4.11: DID IT! It was as wonderful as I expected. I want to do it again.)
- Eat at Las Delicias 2... again. (I have eaten here once before and loved it; but it disappearred before I could ever go back)
- Find great Thai food in Columbus (with great vegetarian options for Paul)
- Eat at Smothered Gravy
- Eat at Latitude 41 (UPDATE: Oh yes. oh yesyesyes)
- Eat at Refectory
- Attend a Flying J Dinner
- I want to do a progressive dinner of Betty's restaurants (this is not an actual thing, it would be self-lead)
- Find the best fried chicken, greens and cornbread in town
- Try a bloody mary
- Score some Honda beans for playing and/or making my own tofu
- Bottle some OYO at Middle West Spirits
- Take friends and family on another Columbus Food Adventures tours (UPDATE: this is a perpetual bullet point because CFA keeps coming up with new tours that are perfect for someone I know)
- Visit Snowville Creamery (DONE! And the cows were beautiful and happy!)
- Tour Rockmill Brewery - or take the next Beer bus tour by House Wine
- I want to cook the line again, somewhere, for just a short stint.
- Eat at Revolver in Findlay
- Visit Chef's Garden in Huron
- See bison at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
- Go to more festivals! any festivals! (Asian festival - check! Arts festival - check!)
- See a game at the new Columbus Clippers stadium
- Go to a Columbus Crew match (and stay for the whole thing)
- Visit the new CMA
- Find the best view of downtown Columbus (current placeholder is Huntington Bank, floor 23 but I am taking suggestions)
- Take the tour of the Statehouse
- Watch an Ohio Roller Girls Derby game
- Visit Serpent Mound
- Sleep in a yurt at the Wilds
- Visit Ohio's Amish Country (I want to find those little Amish girls that used to have a booth at the Worthington Farmers' Market and eat all of their butter cookies)
- Photography classes from anyone, anywhere but most especially any of the Wilds' photo camps
- Crop mob some of my favorite farms
- Go ice skating
- Take a hot air balloon ride over Columbus
- Make a trip to the Slate Run Historical Farm
- Letterpress something
- Ride a horse (Done and DONE!)
- Attend a Pecha Kucha
I'll be making this list my home page so that I am reminded that I have yet to see and do it all.
What is on your list?