Things I want to do in Columbus

by Kate Djupe

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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

photo by Ely Brothers; more of their gorgeous pictures from this dinner can be see here

Everything else

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?