Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Blast From the Past!

Ohio! More specifically, Columbus, OH. We pull up to Christina’s house. Knock knock. Hello?! She’s at the grocery store. Well, I guess that means we’ll have to surprise ambush her when she gets back.

How do I know this awesome girl, Christina? Hmmm… it’s a story that begins almost 7 years ago on September 11, 2001. Sixty American students were selected to spend a school year in Zaragoza, Spain. We were scheduled to leave New York for Madrid on that fateful day. Needless to say, after the World Trade Center towers fell that morning, it was evident that we would not be flying out as scheduled. We waited a week for our flight to be rescheduled.

During that week, Christina, stranded in New York, stayed at my house. We spent our days volunteering, donating, having awesome bake sales, dyeing Christina’s hair, and hosting ridiculously stressful dinner political debates!

We eventually got to Spain for nine months of culture, debauchery, tapas, dancing, perspective gathering and a whole lot of growing up. We were each other’s partner in crime. After returning to the US, we kept in touch on and off for the next 6 years (has it really been that long?!).

After brief hellos, we skirt downtown for a beautiful pizzapasta dinner. A beer or two later at home, we sigh into a goodnight’s sleep.

Nate and I sleep in the next morning while Christina is hard at work. We get lost trying to find the grocery store and end up walking in the wrong direction.
The hot sun teases our poison ivy itchies. Nate asks the first person we see on the street for directions; the guy was working in a manhole.

We opt for the local market across the street from Giant Eagle. We make marinated portabella mushrooms sandwiches with spinach, hummus and muenster cheese. Mmmmm… With Jeny’s ice cream for dessert, it’s perfect! Cardamom and cayenne pepper ice cream?! Coriander and blueberry icecream? This place has some ridiculously delicious flavors. Yum!

The next day, we kidnap Christina, dress her as my twin, and head southward in search of rock climbing and hiking. Wait! Rock climbing and hiking?! I thought we were in Ohio. You know flat horizoned Ohio, with the farm lands and the corn fields?! Before our bewildered eyes, we started to see forests of tall trees. Then some hills!! We end up at Hocking Hills State Park, home of the Old Man Cave and Conkles Hollow. With trees! And hills! And caves! And trails. Oh my! How very uncharacteristic of Ohio.

Hiking takes on a whole new meaning when you’re surrounded by families, children and dogs. The trails come equipped with stairs and handrails and maps! We wound our way through the crowded Old Man Cave trails, but then opted for those less traveled in Conkle’s Hollow, a mere 3 miles from the hub of family outings.

Is it down this way? The Horse Trail? Are we heading the right way? Sweating in the humid air, skipping our feet over the soft ground, getting lost! Finally we make our way back to the parking lot and find a helpful sign that leads us to the real trail.

Scrambling with packs, we find some rock. Mossy, spiderwebby, grimy, crumbles off in your hand rock. Hmmm… Let’s turn around. Sorry Christina, your rock climbing adventure days will have to wait for another day. But at least we got a good hike in.

For months Nate has been talking about The Dark Knight. Months. He was obsessed. He had to see it. So we buy our tickets on opening day. It’s a sold out show; the theater is packed. The guy next to me talks all through the previews. Blah blah blah. Ugh. I hate that.

We walk back through the dark Columbus streets to Christina’s apartment. It’s 2am. Our legs are tired from a long day of hiking. Our laptops on our backs weigh us down. I fantasize about falling asleep.

Saturday! You know what that means
it’s FARMERS MARKET time! We hit up, not one, but two! The first one is pretty puny, but the second one is right outside the North Market. And it’s lunch time.

We say goodbye to Christina. It’s always great to see her. Strong, independent, and feisty as ever! Thanks for opening up your apartment to this pair of wild hooligans. It’s much appreciated. And remember, whenever you decide to quit your job and follow your true passion of traveling, let me know! Mwah! One more hug for the road.

Next stop, the New River Gorge, WV. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Upper West Side said...

Thanks for this update. How wonderful to see photos of Christina!

Christina, come visit NYC. Unlike Chile, you won't need your passport. Plus, you can speak Spanish here and you'll be able to do rock climbing indoors.