Well, you all know how much we looooooooove Ohio (ha..haha!), so really, I'd like to say just skip the state all together. But if you HAVE to go or are in the area to visit family (us?!), you should all go to Monroe, Ohio home to 'Touchdown Jesus,' 'Big Butter Jesus,' 'Super Jesus,' 'Terminator Jesus,' 'Quicksand Jesus,' or whatever you want to call it.
When we found out we were moving to Ohio, my Dad texted me a picture of the original 'Touchdown Jesus' and said, heyyyy look what you have to look forward to. I, of course thought, this thing has got to be photoshopped. There's no way someone built a Jesus statue that big. Not real. No way. And quickly forgot all about the guy.
Well, I was wrong. I have driven back and forth from Beavercreek to Cincinnati many times now. And never, ever, did I see this ridiculous statue. Turns out, it had burnt down. It was struck my lightening. I'm serious. (Watch a video of it on fire here!!). It had not been rebuilt. But recently I was driving back from Cinci and I saw it... from a loooong ways away (yes, it's that's big). I slowed, moved over into the close lane, and like a terrible driver, took a picture of it. I could NOT believe it.
But this thing is just ridiculous. And I had to see it up close. So we went... multiple times... I'm not proud. But here he is... The newly rebuilt, mega-Jesus.
And if you're in the area, I suggest you check it out. It's only a minute off the interstate. Quite frankly, I think this might be the only thing here worth seeing.
So, I was uploading pictures from the Cincinnati Color Run today when I was informed by google that my space is up... I assume this is picture space (we'll see based on whether I can post this post or not).
Really? Space is up? I thought Google was all about unlimited space. Am I really going to have to start a new blog? Would I even do that? I mean, I like writing a little bit on here, but I don't think I like it enough to start a new blog. What in the world?! Seriously disappointed in Google at this very moment...
So, I saw this article this morning and was inspired. I think I'm going to plan us a Rail trip from Chicago to Glacier National Park, Montana... seems like it's not THAT long of a train ride, plus comfortable, plus, have you seeeeeeeennnnnn pictures of Glacier National Park?! I mean, wow. We're doing it. Anyone been?!
I have the travel bug. I think it was the sitting in Dayton, Ohio ALL WEEEKEND long doing nothing. Imagine. Yes, we finally have cable so that was nice... we watched football allday/everyday, however, with all the losing that happened, it was only mildly satisfying. We did eat a mean batch of homemade vegetarian chilli, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and homemade skinny pumpkin muffins... so that was yummy. But as for the other 47.5 hours... well...
I really miss the dog friendliness of Germany. We took the dogs so many places and were thought highly of by the Germans because of our companions.
Dogs waiting alone outside the bakery..
...and at the grocery store..
...dogs in the city (even allowed in the stores!)...
...and on a train.
Dogs on the path...
...dogs at restaurants...
...and even wine fests!
While they are pictured here with leashes, they were more often than not without their collars and leashes. That freedom was really good for them.. and us. And now that we're in America, what do we do? Leave them in a fenced in yard when we leave... never take them with us. They still get attention, we play ball 24/7, but we don't walk them nearly as much....or at all. Germany? At least 4x/day. The walk was for them AND us - the scenery was stunning. Here? Umm not really trying to look at the same neighbors' houses and yards everyday. See what I mean? Stunning.
How do you say Bagel auf Deutsch? Bagel. But with a funny accent.
Bagels are not a global phenomenon. Bagels are particularly absent in the great country of GERMANY. Bakeries are another story... you can find one on every corner of every street, but they do not serve bagels.
I love bagels. I blame Mill Mountain for that. Bagels are my fav breakfast. I know they're bad for you. I don't care. Europe was actually good for my bagel habit.. that is until I found Coffee Fellows, a cute little coffee shop that served wonderfully fresh and delicious bagels. On the weekends we weren't traveling (a rare occassion), we'd head over on Saturday morning with the dogs (because it's dog friendly!) for breakfast. I'd also head over to Coffee Fellows after my German class since it was right around the corner. At CF, you can get any kind of bagel with any kind of cream cheese OR a bagel sandwich. Our standard was: 1 everything bagel toasted with cream cheese and 1 Serrano Bagel Sandwich on an Asiago bagel which was topped with cream cheese, prosciutto, arugula, parmesan, and this thick balsalmic cream dressing. We'd split and split - halfsies, sometimes...
Surprisingly, there's also a second bagel place in Trier called 'the Bagel Sisters.' It is WAY off the beaten path. I made an effort to go there one more and was completely disappointed. Terrible atmosphere and the bagels were just eh. Stick with Coffee Fellows.
P.S. I just looked at the coffee fellows website below. The seasonal special right now is a big piece of fried pork steak on a bagel topped with sauerkraut and lettuce and mayonnaise... they call it the Bayern Bagel. How very German of them...
And the good news? You can find it IN AMERICA! Chile 120. Never more than $8 and as long as you let it breathe (or use a caraffe or rabbit) it is money.
The funny thing is, we learned about it from some of our German friends. They think all European Red Wine is overpriced and not good. While I do not at all agree, I do agree that this is a go-to table wine. Do it.
I have been since college when I was gifted this amazing road bike to ride to and from work, to and from class. It's just such an awesome bike. So easy to ride. And I love it. And riding bikes in general.
However, my bike is not very Euro. The Europeans go more for the cruiser type bike. And they all have baskets in the front and behind. So, even though I ride a road bike, I decided to Euro it up by putting a basket on the back.
Best decision I ever made. With the basket. I could ride into the city and put my purse/jacket/life in the basket. I could bike home from the market in the city with bread/cheese/my life in the basket. I could go to and from the grocery store with a night's worth of groceries, no sweat (even with the dogs who learned to run along side me!). Perfect bike.
Well, the mover's broke my basket. I need a new one of those. While I don't use it here in the worst state in America, I will use it when living in Baltimore. We will be a few blocks from Whole Foods, Farmers Markets, and apparenty a new and improved Harris Teeter.
Back to the point. I'm a bike snob. And I know it. What I didn't know however...
...is that in addition to being a bike snob, I am also a bike path snob. Weather permitting, I rode my bike almost every day in Germany. Whether it was just to the grocery store or bakery or to a friend's house in a neighboring village or into the city for shopping and my German class, almost every single day. The paths in Germany are glorious. Well kept, clean, no sketchy/trashy people walking around who might freak you out, and the views... oh the views...
I did not realize until yesterday (and the day before too I guess), that I am also a bike path snob. With us not having a car, I could not go to the gym. The gym is my sanity. So A and I decided to ride our bikes here in 'Biver-crik.' There is a path near our house. The path itself is nice. It's clean and well paved. The clientele, however, are RIDIC. I was told I could not bike by myself... yes, that's how bad it is. And the views, oh geez. I mean, who wants views (and noise) of riding along side the major interstate in Ohio? And the views of riding along side the ghetto-fabulous yards of Ohio? Certainly not me. Certainly not A. So while it was a nice way to be outside and exercise, it was still just like the rest of Ohio... not for us.
Day #2 sans car. So instead of meeting a friend for coffee, this bike snob is staying at home, eating more pumpkin granola parfaits...
Every morning, I get an email 'German Word of the Day' to improve my German vocab. Today, it was 'anspringen' meaning to start. The example was: Das Auto will nicht anspringen, meaning the car will not start. Funny, because that is exactly what has happened today. It's really quite the disappointment because for once in my Ohio life, I had plans. While I should be going to this and having actual adult conversation in person with someone who has the same interests as me, instead I am sitting at home in a freezing cold house (although I do love that!) drinking coffee and eating homemade pumpkin granola.
On Sunday, we were driving back from Pittsburgh to Dayton. Sad just to think about really, but it had to be done. Both of us decided that since it was nice out, we would stop in Columbus to eat. We were both considering going to Minico's (A's Aunt's former pizza place), but opted for a brewery instead (Barley's Brewery something or another). Anything really besides the restaurants in Dayton. We get there, park, and see something going on a block behind the place, so we decide to check it out. Turns out there is this AWESOME place called North Market and there was a Microbrew Festival going on! What luck! For $20, you get entrace to the festival, an awesome glass, 10 tickets to use for beer tasting (5 oz = 1 ticket), and a $5 coupon to use inside the North Market. What a deal! We could not resist. So we spent our Sunday afternoon eating and drinking, the usual.
North Market is basically an inside, gourmet, trumped up farmers market. Yes, you can find local fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese etc, (which alone would impress me!), but they also have stands set up by local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. You can drink a local beer, eat a locally make pretzel (these were to die for and reminded me of zee homeland!), while at the same time grocery shop for the week, and then have sushi for dinner.. in the market! It's quite glorious. Dayton, what in the world are YOU doing?!