Monday, September 9, 2013

What can I say about our time in Ohio?

We have 6 more days in Dublin, aka The Town With Abruptly-Ending Sidewalks.
Although I have tried to take an anthropological approach to the whole experience, my scientific curiosity ran out a couple of weeks ago, and I'm now just looking forward to moving on.
I can't say I've given this town a really fair trial.  But I have explored a few things....

Today we did our one sightseeing trip of the city, heading over to the Columbus Zoo, which is only a couple of miles away.  Though all of us have visited far too many zoos over the last several years, this one has a great reputation and it was too close to pass up.  There were some specialities - excellent views of manatees eating lettuce, and a couple of animals we'd never heard of before: markhors and red river hogs, for example.  It was nicely laid out and we picked a perfect non-crowded day to attend.  Ticket prices are quite affordable for a zoo.  But I can't say it was an extraordinary place.  The San Diego Zoo and the Bronx Zoo are still too fresh in our minds, not to mention the Georgia Aquarium, Sea World in San Diego, the National Zoo in Washington DC, the New England Aquarium, Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Jungle Island in Miami .... (this is all just within the past year.)  And Columbus has some odd omissions.  No zebras or giraffes?  No platypuses in the Australia exhibit?

I've struck out on my bike a couple of times to explore the downtown.  It's not terribly inspiring.  But with some hunting, good spots can be found, such as the North Market, and this nice independent bookstore, the Book Loft.  The bike trails are OK, and there seem to be some interesting areas like the German Village and Short North.  (why I'm taking notes on these things I'm not entirely sure... I hope I don't ever have occasion to be sightseeing in Ohio again).

When we look back on our time here, we are undoubtedly going to remember the kids bike-riding.  It's the first place (and probably the last) we've ever experienced, where we have a garage, and the kids can just hop on their bikes and ride around the neighborhood whenever they want.  We spent the first couple of weeks practicing diligently with Isa, to get her really independent on two wheels, and now she doesn't need any help at all.  The three of them ride out on their own and I tell them to be back by dinnertime.  They find their friends, they turn in circles, and race, and do who the heck knows what.  It's a remarkable independence for them, and an amazing feeling for me, to let them go.  (more on letting go, in a future blog post!)

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