Weekend in the motherland.

Before I became a Charlottean, I was a long-term Northeast Ohian.  I had a brief stint in Cleveland and a few years in Kent, but I’ve spent the bulk of my years to date split between two very different areas: the Portage Lakes and West Akron.

My dad lives in the Portage Lakes area, where they’ve got a burgeoning population of hillbillies, which he is oh-so-proudly apart of.  My mom lives in West Akron, which has a hodge podge of artsy and eclectic mashed up against hoity toity types with big fancy houses I like to drool over.

I can’t believe it has been four months since my last visit home.  The summer heat just melted the months away right before my eyes.  The time flew but four months is really far too long to be away.

This past weekend, I FINALLY headed back to OH (i-o!!) to celebrate my pa’s 50th birthday!


Age.  It’s so bittersweet.  On one hand you become wiser and more mature.  You’ve seen more, travelled more, and gotten to spend more time with the ones you love.  But on the other hand, aging means you are one step closer to not being able to have and do these very things.


It’s no secret that I’m sort of a sap, but something about my dad turning 50 really struck a chord with me.  It’s just crazy to think my dad is now 50… but at the same time it’s also crazy to think that my dad is ONLY 50.  I’m quite lucky to have such young parents, and I sure as heck need to do a better job of spending time with them.


For dad’s big day we decided to cook up some half chickens.  THIS is how we do things in our neck of the woods:


Serious backyard grilling:


Bart (my dad’s BFF) was the master of the grill.


Don’t act like you’re not impressed with this craftsmanship.


Toby (my dad’s other BFF) took her usual role of being the master of all things lazy:


Dad opening presents:


My sister Jenny, brother-in-law Jon, my nephew Dylan, and one of the three million balloons he popped:


Mmmmm cake….. Chocolate, of course Smile


Family Photo Op!


After hanging with the hillbillies all night, I headed back to my mom’s to hang out and share yet another slice of chocolate cake… and perhaps a slice of cherry cheesecake.  Perhaps.

The next day I busted out a six mile run then ransacked mom’s cabinets in search of grub.  I came up with this tasty combo for breakfast:


Oatmeal with some warmed up frozen berries.  It’s that time of year again… bye bye overnight oats.  Bring on the hot stuff!

After breakfast, I took a quick stroll through Highland Square..


I’ve always loved Highland Square, and honestly it’s hard not to.  It’s basically the cultural mecca of Akron.


It’s also home to one of my all-time favorite coffee shops:  Angel Falls!


Ahhhh.. I’ve sipped hundreds of coffees and nibbled on many a baked goodie in this green building.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE their biscotti…. Sadly I didn’t have time to grab any this visit.

Down the road from Angel Falls are lots of random shops, bars, and restaurants including a Chipotle and Metro Burger across the street.


Later in the day, I had lunch with my friend Tim (newly engaged to Jaci at Engaged & Running), then headed to my dad’s to watch the Browns win their first game of the season!


And THEN I headed to Starbucks to meet up with some of my hometown gals:  Allison, Kelsey, baby Ella, and Tracy!


After downing my first official pumpkin spice latte of the season (*heaven*), I headed home where mom cooked up some asparagus, risotto, and chicken she picked up from Earth Fare.  This wasn’t ANY chicken.  This was chicken stuffed with goat cheese, prosciutto, and arugula!  So friggin good, and according to her it was only $7 for two large pieces!  I’m gonna have to snag some of these when I get home.  And next time I’m in OH, I need to make sure I get my Angel Falls Biscotti fix..  And lunch at Nate’s Deli in Cleveland.  Luckily, I’ll be heading home in only 2 months (thanks to Turkey Day Smile).

What were you guys up to this weekend?


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  1. What a treat to see my Ohio relatives all grown up. Happy 50th Ron who I met only once, at the same visit in 1985 with Mary, Jennifer, and Mom. Ohio is a great state to be from.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and didn’t realize you were from NE Ohio. Yay for your shout-out to the Browns! I am from Cleveland, only travel to Akron for work…I spoke at Stan Hywet Hall last week…have you been there? Beautiful!