Tuesday, December 9, 2008

South 'til you smell it, East 'til you step in it

In case you're unfamiliar with this delightfully refined insult, it is the way Wolverines like to describe that despised scarlet-and-gray city in central Ohio.

And that is where we're moving in May.

Us - moving to the Den of Sin, the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Or as one friend put it, Wolverine Hell.

But you know what? We're really excited.

We visited this past weekend, courtesy of Josh's soon-to-be employer. They put us up in a hotel, sent us around town with a realtor, and set up dinner reservations for us with young couple from the company. AND when we got into the hotel room, what was there but a bottle of wine, flowers (addressed to me!) and chocolate truffles?

You had me at chocolate rum truffles.

It was fun being spoiled, that is for sure. But more than that, we really appreciated the opportunity to get to know the area. It is a bigger city - I think 1.5 million in the area - and it seems like there is a lot going on. Darling neighborhoods, sweet malls, great-looking restaurants, all kinds of things. Now we're itching to get back and explore more!

Some of our favorite, albeit somewhat shallow "discoveries?"

1. Short North - A fun, trendy neighborhood for a night out - complete with tons of little restaurants, shops, galleries, and even a gourmet dog treat store. Riley MAY have gotten a souvenir from that place. We looked for a stuffed buckeye he could immediately tear up, but couldn't find one.  

2. Jeni's - We'd had a couple of ice cream recommendations for a place called Jeni's, and thought we'd try it out one night. That night turned out to be a snow storm, and it took us about 20 minutes to park. As we were walking there in the bitter cold with snow blowing around us, Josh said to me, I can’t believe we’re doing this for ice cream, of all things. But when we finally made it through the door, we were shocked to find a long line of customers waiting to be helped. A full house! In the middle of a snow storm! You know then that it MUST be good. And it was – holy cow it was. They have unusual flavors, like Salted Caramel, Goat Cheese w/ Cognac Fig Sauce, and Blood Orange.  I don't think you can tell from this picture just how packed out it was, so you'll just have to trust me.  Or come visit and taste for yourself.

3. Easton Town Center – Mall Heaven. One of the nicest I’ve ever seen – seriously. I wouldn’t consider Josh or myself to be huge spenders, but we do enjoy an afternoon of browsing stores at a mall. Yes, Josh, too.  And this one has a Container Store (can't wait to get back there), Smith & Hawken (a Pottery Barnish type for gardens and patios), a Melting Pot, and oh so much more. Bloomington is a disappointment, mall-wise. But Columbus? Excellent.

4. Cute Neighborhoods - When we drove around with a realtor, we were excited to find a bunch of places that looked "home-ish" to us.  Granted, the cutest of the cute are out of our price range.  But a girl can dream, right?

5. Good steak - So far we've only been to one steak restaurant in town, but oh it was good.

6. Low cost of living - besides the pricey darling neighborhoods, it just isn't all that expensive to live in central Ohio. And even those areas aren't nearly as bad as places like Chicagoland, Seattle, etc. For people like us that try to be frugal/responsible, it is good news.

7. Two P.F. Chang's - I LOVE P.F. Chang's. Totally and completely.  We've never lived in the same town as one before, although they are usually not too hard to find (Lansing, Cincinnati, Indy).  But Columbus actually has two, one of which is at Easton.  Even Josh, who doesn't care for Chinese food too much, tolerates P.F. Chang's.  Mostly for me - he's just that sweet.

Honestly, we would be thrilled to be going anywhere. In this type of economy, jobs can be hard to come by. We're so thankful for the incredible blessing of a job. Any job. God not only provided that, but it happens to be a job Josh is really excited about. Not only that, but it is located in a place we really like, Buckeyes and all. We're so excited about our new home. Thank you, thank you Lord.

Another surprising blessing in this whole process is that some of our bestest Bloomington friends, Lora and Patrick, are moving to Columbus WITH us. How fun is that?

In describing these things I keep thinking about Sarah's cookies - that God sometimes blesses us with wonderful things (like a job) AND continues to bless us with things we haven't even asked for. 

For those of you who aren't avid Short Stop readers, Sarah is doing an incredible series on cookies, and how each kind can teach her kids about God, faith, and the Christmas season.  Each day in advent they're making a different type, and learning a lesson along the way.  Plus, the cookie recipes look incredible.  


the buurstra's said...

Yay for the future mapped out just a little bit for you! That is so great that you like Columbus; it definitely improves "the football situation" a great deal w/ good shopping around! :)

Sounds like a fun fun place to visit. We'll definitely plan on making a trip to see it, er, I mean you. ;)

Camie said...

Hi Jessica!
Congrats on a great job offer and on a fun visit weekend! There are some excellent schools and areas in Columbus. And I'm so happy for you that Lora and Patrick will be with you--we have been so thankful to have Katie and Catherine here. It makes the transition so much easier!

Erika said...

How exciting to finally have that settled! Now time for kids.... haha just kidding :) Don't rush it, trust me. I would've fallen in love from the chocolate myself, hmmmmm, you can NEVER get too much of that good thing!

Jaimbob said...

Welp, I guess I could visit Columbus next fall... no big loss... ! ;) So what company is Josh working for?

Searle Family said...

I am so excited for you guys!

We stopped at Jenny's on the way home from Pittsburgh. It is way yummy!

Paulina said...

How exciting to be going to a new place? Isn't that mall amazing!?!? So who is the mystery employer that Josh will be working for?

Chrispy Critter said...

I am so excited for you! You deserve to be wined and dined! I love the cookie blog, thanks for the tip!

Short Stop said...

How totally exciting. I know you must be SO proud of Josh - what an accomplishment.

So, we can come visit and have PF Changs with you? I'm gonna try to convince Jason to take us to Lansing tonight to go there. We'll see! LOL!

Thank you for your sweet words about the cookies. I have enjoyed every moment of it with my boys. It has been simply wonderful.