We Take The Most Exciting Vacations: Part 1

This past weekend we decided we’d had enough of New Jersey and headed on out for a long weekend in an exotic locale. Since we both hate air travel, the exotic locale had to be somewhere drivable. And since it’s still the hockey season it would help if the destination had an NHL team. And since we’ve both been bitten by the quilting bug, a place with a nice quilt store would be a plus. We plugged those three requirements into the trusty IPBTravelTron3000 and discovered that the place for us was none other than Columbus, OH! WOOO!!!

The eight hour drive out there was delightful, bucolic, and involved driving through tunnels under mountains. Exotic! The hockey game was amazingly fun and the home team fires a canon after every goal. Exotic! The quilt stores were stunning and we left with piles of fabulous fabric, including some imports from Japan. Exotic! However, with the exception of the spectacular Blue Jackets mascot, Stinger:

March 25 2010

the opportunities for photos at those places weren’t great. So here in this space, we’ll share with you the two photography excursions we went on. The first was the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Driving there, we had visions of Victorian palm houses straight out of an Amanda Quick novel. Once we got there, our hopes were dashed and then trampled upon by the hordes of school children teeming all over the place. Shudder. The entire place was overrun with students with the notable exception of the handful of other adults with DSLRs who were also clearly unhappy that kids in Ohio are ever let out of the classroom. Somehow, though, we persevered and managed to snap a few shots of the place.

Orange Orchids

Bonzai Bark

Purple Orchids

Pink Cyclemen

The Orchid Area


In addition to having several conservatories for different regions — the Himalayas, rain forest, dessert, South Pacific — the conservatory is home to a bunch of art glass installations by Dale Chihuly. Normally, this isn’t the kind of art that floats our boats, but in context, it looked really striking tucked in with the plants.

Blue Glass

Blue Glass Sculpture Garden

Chihuly Cave

Ship Of Chihuly

The best part of the trip to the Conservatory, though, was that both of us were able to check off one of the most troubling items on the Scavenger Hunt 101 list: a waterfall. Pookie predicted we’d find waterfalls in Columbus, and she was right!

Inside The Waterfall


If you’d like to see the rest of the photos from the Conservatory, you can see the whole set here. Stay tuned for Part 2 for the other exciting photo excursion.



Filed under On The Road, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

6 responses to “We Take The Most Exciting Vacations: Part 1

  1. Tram

    Do tell about the quilt shops. I’ve been in tons of ’em and a good one will still get my adrenalin pumping.

    Chiluly – it isn’t the kind of thing I usually go for either, but he is something, isn’t he? Your pictures are lovely. And I must say, you make Columbus intriguing.

  2. Pookie

    a good one will still get my adrenalin pumping.

    I know, right? It’s so exciting to walk in and see bolts and bolts and bolts of possibility.

    The first one we went to was Sew To Speak.


    It was a cozy little place that was mostly trendy fabrics and imports. It seemed like it was mostly geared towards sewers rather than quilters, but we did really well there. (They held the cutest sew-a-mouse contest this past winter.)

    The second place was the Glass Thimble.


    It was HUGE. It went on for miles! It was mostly more traditional fabrics, lots of repros and ’30s stuff. The repro room had a comfy sofa and a fireplace; it would be the perfect neighborhood quilt store, that’s for sure.

    Both stores had really great people working there. They were really friendly and helpful and I can’t recommend either store enough.

    Columbus was very intriguing… until we had a server at dinner who is from our neck of the woods who pointed out that it’s great and all if you’re not used to being able to flit off too New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and DC whenever you want.

  3. I wasn’t sure at first why you guys had picked Columbus (I figured you had friends there or something) but hearing the full story, I totally love how you picked it and planned your trip. I think we all should do this kind of thing more often. Columbus sounds like a really fun place to visit, and the photos you guys took at the conservatory are gorgeous.

  4. hg

    1. Did you see #61?
    2. Those glass flowers were on my cruise ship!
    3. I can’t wait to hear about the culinary side of the trip!

  5. Sarah

    I love the first picture of the orange flower-gorgeous! And what, pray tell, is pictured in your new header??

  6. Schnookie

    elizabeth, we’ve kind of figured out which NHL cities we can drive to, and that’s our entire list of possible vacation destinations. The quilt shops were like gravy on this trip! :D

    hg, yes we did see #61 (but not in the wild)! I’m not sure whether he saw us, though. Or if he did, whether he was impressed… (Oh, OF COURSE he was. He was just too shy to talk to us.) And that’s crazy that your cruise ship was Chihuly’d up! I hope they were as pretty there as they were at the conservatory. And as for the culinary side of the trip, wowza. French pastries, boutique-y cocktails, and microbrews, oh my!

    Sarah, thanks! The header is from this picture of an 18th-century fan we saw on our last trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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