Sunday, October 2, 2011


Well, if you’re from Ohio you would know that whenever you see a fellow Buckeye, anywhere in the world, you do the hand motions over your head and you shout “O-H!” and wait for the other Buckeye to reciprocate with, “I-O!”.  This has happened to us countless times already, living in San Diego.

From Thursday 9/22 to Monday 9/26, we got to go to the real Buckeye state to visit Todd’s family in Akron.  Last time we went to visit was in October 2009, so we wanted to visit again.  Fall in Ohio is very pretty and the temperatures are still temperate enough for us, transplanted San Diegans who are weather-wimps. 


Thursday was travel day as we flew from San Diego to Houston, TX, then from Houston to Cleveland, OH.  I wish there were direct flights from San Diego to Cleveland or Akron, but there aren’t.  Flying so far South to go North doesn’t make sense to me!  So with the time change and losing three hours, we pretty much spent the whole day traveling.  We only had time to grab a quick pizza at the San Diego airport before taking off.  Then we had a really late dinner at an old favorite, Rally’s, near the Cleveland airport, after Todd’s mom Sylvia picked us up at 10:30pm. 



Our first full day in Akron!  We got up really late, like 10am, because it was like 7am in San Diego and we were still jetlagged.  We went to lunch at Penn Station, which is new to Akron but one of our old favorites when we lived in Dayton. 
Todd’s sister Amy, Todd, Todd’s dad Tim, Todd’s mom Sylvia, and Todd’s uncle Gordon.

After lunch, Amy and I went to Archivers!  I was so excited to go because there aren’t any Archivers in California.

Todd’s parents built a music room in the basement of their house.  They are a very musical family and they used to play in a band together called “Sound Advice”.  Todd started playing in the family band at age 14.  He arranged all the music for them.  The band played mostly at weddings and other large gatherings.  Todd can’t play with them anymore now that we live in San Diego, but his parents still play with other musicians once or twice a year, and Todd helps arrange their music.  So on Friday, Todd spent most of the day in the basement doing music stuff.

What did I do then?  Sylvia pulled out some of Todd’s baby photos and I got busy scanning them!  I’ve always wanted copies of Todd’s childhood photos, so being in Akron was a great opportunity to scan some of them.  I had so much fun looking at the photos!  Todd’s mom and dad both wrote dates and descriptions on the back of the photos.  I’m so glad they preserved some stories!

For dinner, we had Donatos Pizza.  This is a MUST eat whenever we are in Ohio.  There’s no Donatos Pizza in California!


In the morning all of us went over to Amy’s house (a mile from Todd’s parents house).  Then from there we walked into a wooded trail with a par course to get some exercise.  I love seeing all the trees in Ohio!  We don’t have woods here in San Diego.


Fun photo of Todd’s family doing sit-ups at a stop on the par course.

Then we took a walk down the steps in the backyard.  I love the view from the top there.

After the woodsy par course, we showered and had a late lunch.  Todd’s mom Sylvia and Uncle Gordon cooked a full-on turkey meal!
Everything was super-delicious. 

Then, it was almost time for the Ohio State Buckeyes vs Colorado game!  Before we sat down to watch the game, we had to go down the street to the AM/PM to get some gigantic fountain Cokes.  Both Todd and his mom are big fans of gigantic fountain sodas.  We may or may not have gone to the AM/PM for fountain sodas twice while we were there.

Todd’s dad Tim set up the projector over the fireplace, so we watched the Buckeyes beat Colorado on two TV’s.

Weren’t the twin lazy-boys super-cool?


We got up “early” at 9:20am (hey it was still 6:20am in CA!) so that we could make it to church in time.  We were still a little bit late.  We really enjoyed the service and the message about heaven.

After church, the three of us went to O’Charlie’s for lunch.  I think I’ve only been to O’Charlie’s once before.  We went to eat some salads because we felt we’d been lacking in the vegetable department lately.

Then we went home to watch the Cleveland Browns beat the Miami Dolphins in the last seconds of the game.  So exciting!  After that, Todd, Sylvia, Amy and I went for a walk on the trails behind the house.
We saw lots of wildlife, like turtles and deer!  But I also got a bug bite that turned into a big welt.  I'm so allergic!

We also posed with Todd’s dad’s tractor.  Because I don’t see these in San Diego.  Oooo, a tractor!

For dinner, Todd begged to go to Skyway.  He said he can’t go back to Akron without visiting his childhood favorites, Skyway or Swensons.  We ended up going to Skyway.  As soon as we parked and the waiter ran over from the building, it started raining really hard!  But right after that, we saw a huge rainbow.

Skyway menu.

You order from your car and the waiter brings the food to your car when it’s ready.  You get a tray that clamps onto the window, and you eat from your car, as exhibited here.  Todd was very happy to be reliving a favorite from his childhood!


We got up at 6am on Monday morning (3am Pacific time!) so that Todd’s mom could drive us to the Cleveland airport in time for our 8:45am flight back to San Diego.  The visit went by too fast, but it was really fun to see the family and hang out in good ole Ohio.  One thing I noticed while I was there was that people in Akron were friendlier in general than in San Diego.  I really liked that.  It made me friendlier to other people as well.

Somehow we got Elite Access on Continental Airlines on the way there and back.  We got to go to special, shorter lines during check-in, luggage drop-off, and security.  We also each got one piece of luggage checked in for free!  Then at the gate, we got to board first as well.  I don’t know how we got the Elite Access, but I really liked it!  :)  Continental and United Airlines merged at the end of last year, so now all the planes look like this.  It says United, but the tail logo is Continental’s logo.  So confusing!

Todd’s parents packed us sandwiches and chips for the long plane ride home with a layover in Houston.  We were so glad to have the sandwiches because they don’t sell meals on certain flights anymore.  Todd’s parents are always so thoughtful like that!

It was a great trip to visit Todd’s family.  Such a nice change of scenery than the palm trees I’m used to.  But then again, palm trees, blue skies, and beaches aren’t so bad either.  :)


  1. looks like you had a fabulous trip, lots of yummies!! I'm so jealous you got to go to a real "archivers." I've been looking for Amy Tangerine's Mixed Tape to add to my collection and can't seem to find them anywhere. s/h to Hawaii is so darn expensive, if I want it free gotta spend $50. Amazing sound studio in the basement!! Looks like Todd's parents were as much into preserving memory as much as you. My husband's old photos are just thrown randomly in a box.

  2. Just had to comment because whenever I go back to Ohio (Columbus), we stop on the way home from the airport to get Rally's. Glad to see it's not just me!


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