First full day

Trip Start Oct 06, 2006
Trip End Dec 06, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Saturday, October 7, 2006

Sat, 7th
My first full day here and time to experience a great American institution: the Waffle House! Very much the US version of the 'greasy spoon' in the UK, these establishments have served the working person for generations. A line of baseball caps consume unspeaking at the counter as waffle waitresses make their way from table to table. These can occasionally be toothless my host informs me. Just like home!
Time to order and looking at the menu, the pecan waffle jumps out at me. Laura goes for a regular waffle with extra butter and she also orders hash browns (basically fried shredded potato and onion with a little salt and pepper). OK, it wasn't the greatest breakfast in the world (It was undercooked for a start) but once topped with syrup it was a good, stodgy start to the day.
The afternoon took us to the home of Laura's sister, brother-in-law and nephew, Michelle, Alan and Taylor respectively. The usual uncertainty of meeting strangers in their own home soon disappeared as I found them very open, nice people....and hey, Alan's a veggie too so that broke down the barriers for me. This was also a time when I really wished I had my camcorder with me. The sight of Sophie the dog and the family cat wrestling was an hilarious treat!
Soon we were off to Lou Berliner Park to watch Laura's son Ryan play Flag Football. The game is pretty much like normal American football but instead of tackling, you have to remove a ribbon from the attacking player's belt although I'm sure arming the players with AK47s against foreign visiting teams is only a matter of time. I'm waiting to hear that one on the current electioneering which is clogging up the television. Begging for votes is also clogging up the phone lines. The amount of times that I've heard, "Hello, this is Barbara Streisand" on the ansaphone followed by a request to vote for some political shyster.... . If this kind of recorded cold-calling makes it to British shores in the next few weeks, don't expect to see me again. I'll be found in Armenia or somewhere!
As a family/social/sporting event, the football was entertaining enough. It was like the equivalent anywhere in the world. The kids had a great time and the baying parents on the touchline wanted death before honour.
Ryan's team won by the way.
Later we found our way to Goodale Park (via a cappuccino in an 'aternative' café in High Street) which had a lazy, Sunday morning stroll feel about it. I mentioned this a couple of times to Alan and he agreed with me. It was only much later that I realised it was in fact Saturday and my gaff made me feel like a numpty! Blame it on the jet lag.
In the bandstand a band played improvised jazz while along one edge of the park was a long row of market stalls selling all manner of jewellery, ceramics, jewellery, paintings, jewellery and, um, jewellery. For a jeweller/silversmith this is probably not the place to be if you want to avoid competition. As anywhere, there was a mix of inspiration through to the totally uninspired. However, Laura and Michelle are jewellery aficionados who were in their element. Eventually, Alan and I devised a plan to walk on ahead to the end of the market and wander back to meet the girls announcing that there were no more jewellery stalls to be seen. Our plan failed miserably. They could smell the silver and semi-rare stones!
Post-market, we headed off in the glorious sunshine to North Market where there were stalls selling all manner of comestibles from around the globe. We found an Indian take-away, ordered and went to the seating area on the balcony upstairs. The fare was er, somewhat sloppy and overly-salty but it filled the gap. It must be said that it was late in the day and the food had probably had plenty of time to stew.
The evening saw Laura and I head off to Easton Town Center, Columbus where we found a hotch-potch of architectural styles from the nearby Georgian buildings to the towering glass mall that is Easton Station. Hunger also took us to The Cheesecake Factory. A large eatery that offers a menu far broader than the name suggests.
We were led to our table and I was initially impressed with the manners of our waiter but gradually we felt rather invisible as he appeared to be spending more and more time hovering over the 'babes' at the table next to us. Poor Laura.....If it wasn't for my presence she would have undoubtedly been served far earlier. That all said, we opted for a spinach & artichoke dip/chips (OK, I like chips & dips!) and an enormous salad. After a long day my beer seemed somewhat obligatory.

Goodale Park
North Market
Easton Town Centre
The Cheesecake Factory
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happybunny70 on

What are you talking about?? Barbara Streisand is a close, personal friend of mine. I'm sure it just sounded like a recorded political message. I'm certain she was calling to say hello and see how things were going because she knew you were visiting....silly man :-D

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