Rose and I jumped on a plane in a very last-minute plan to hit the Midwest and check out a couple of colleges she’s interested in.

But our appointments don’t begin until Thursday, so we have some time to explore The Buckeye State. You may wonder, what are we going to do amid the soybean, corn and oat fields? Well believe you me, there’s a distracting amount to do just in Elyria alone, where we’ve set up command central for the next few days in a brand spankin’ new Hampton Suites (which banks its reputation on clean sheets – a relief to us).

Now, hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Ohio strikes a lot of long-forgotten Midwestern chords in me.

For example, you will note the menu from Midway Oh Boy boasts a “Dietary Delight,” which consists of chopped sirloin, cottage cheese and jello. Yes, that’s right. Jello. I haven’t had jello in years, but I used to have it, a lot. I am not, however, on a diet right now, so I opted instead for the “Lenten Cod Dinner” (with fries and an iceberg salad). Two respectively large pieces of pre-breaded fish jogged loose memories of many, many after-school frozen fish sticks I ate in the ‘70s. Rose ordered “Buttered Steak” just because it sounded so tempting – afterall, who doesn’t love butter and who doesn’t love steak? Her creation was a processed beef of sorts floating in a lovely pool of cheese and grilled onions on a hoagie roll. With a dash (or two, or three) of salt, it definitely had flavor.

Thank god for Yelp, or we never would have found that little hideaway just off the highway.

And yet, our culinary delight didn’t hold a candle to the joy ahead:

The Midway Mall.

Oh, my. There were a lot of stores there – Sears, Macy’s, JC Penney. And boutiques too – like Claire’s, Hot Topic and Dollar Store. While the window-shopping was tempting, Rosie and I decided to invest our ducats in photography. We posed with the Easter Bunny (the actual real one). We hit the photo booth. And we found a stick-your-head-in-the-hole-and-take-your-own-god-damn-photos of a rad Cowgirl/Superhero/Devil and a donkey. 

There was even a church in the mall. We snuck in toward the end of the service and they were so sweet. Even though they were wrapping up the service, the lovely (and I mean this) people sang just one more song so we could share in their joy.

There’s certainly one thing that this area is not short on (and I mean this too). Elyria is not short on sweet, happy, sociable and engaging individuals. They get a 4.0 in diplomacy and kindness!

Now, don’t you worry, we do plan on getting respectively academic on this trip. But don’t think for one second that we’re not also going to take advantage of the area’s history, recreation and (more) culture. I know, I know. “What will those crazy cats cook up next – and is my next trip gonna have to be to Ohio?” Well, you’re just going to have to sit tight, say a little prayer, and stay tuned …

Pix are pretty explanatory, but I did want to point out that Lucy is photobombing in other states. That girl …

Share This