Nearly every Friday night for maybe the last two years we lived in Ohio, Paul and I would meet our friends Sam and Don over pizza and beers at one of our favorite Columbus bars. Not only did Sam and I work together, but Paul and Don have several joint friends. Good times were had by all, with the occasional game of darts thrown in for good measure.
So when Sam and Don announced they were getting married on Labor Day weekend, there was never a doubt that Paul and I would make the trek home for the long weekend. But I did plan to squeeze as much into my mini-vacation as possible.
The whirlwind trip didn't leave time for a drive to Defiance, so my parents came to Columbus instead. We mostly shopped, but we did manage to visit two of my favorite restaurants as well as the Worthington Farmers' Market, where my mother-in-law sells mostly heirloom tomatoes, garlic and flowers. Mom and Dad seemed to enjoy it more than I anticipated, walking away with garlic, a spaghetti squash, some gigantic onions, and even a mum.
Paul regularly helped his mom at the market when we lived in Columbus, but I must admit that I normally skipped it and slept in instead. Even so, it was fun to be in the mix of things again.
Of course, whatever time I didn't spend with my own parents or meeting up with friends at night was spent with my in-laws. My mother-in-law visited us in Brooklyn in June, but I hadn't seen Paul's sister, her husband or their 4- and 9-year-old sons since Christmas. I put together a puzzle, played on the swing set and participated in various games of pretend with the younger, and Paul didn't seem to mind at all playing video games with the elder.
Paul's Mom lives in the rural outskirts of Columbus (Hilliard, to be exact), and it was pleasant to be in a place where the hum of insects far exceeded the roar of traffic. And Paul was extremely happy to be able to grill again.
And, of course, there was the wedding on Sunday. It was held at Columbus' Park of Roses, a destination in and of itself when the flowers are in bloom.
The ceremony was as beautiful as the setting, and I saw friends from several segments of my own life. A handful of my old co-workers were there, some of Paul's high school and college friends who I've now known for eight years, a girl I introduced to the book club I was in (which Sam started), and even a New York friend who Sam introduced to me after I moved to Brooklyn.
As if that wasn't all good enough, their reception was at Schmidt's, a restaurant in quaint German Village (cobblestone streets and all) with delicious spaetzle and spicy sausages that even I like. Any reception with both cream puffs (their specialty) and wedding cake is alright with me.
But all good things must end, and for me that was on Tuesday morning when I flew back to New York. Paul remains in Columbus until Monday morning.
All quick trips to Ohio make me reconsider our decision to move to New York-- especially when I compare real estate prices. But no regrets. Now I'm just looking forward to my return in December.