Our oldest son turned 30 last week and his girlfriend was having a surprise party for him. So we rented a car (tricky thing to do when you don't own a car and therefore don't have car insurance) and headed north. We marveled at the road signs as they appeared - Sarasota, Tampa - hadn't it taken us days to travel that far by boat?
After an overnight stop at Brenda's sister's house (where we enjoyed the homemade bread, casserole and chilled wine they left for us) we arrived in Columbus, Ohio in plenty of time. And boy was John surprised to see us!! We really enjoyed meeting Brittnie's family (there are bunches of them) and sitting outside in the sub-90 degree temperatures.
Then of course there was the Drambuie. Several glasses of Drambuie were poured for a celebratory toast to John.
The next day we toured parts of Columbus. We wandered through a topiary garden designed from an 1884 painting by George Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Grande Jatte. There were ladies with parasols, boats in the pond and dogs under the bushes all made from well-trimmed bushes. Right next door to the park was the newly renovated library. It was majestic. The marble front and inside marble staircase were restored to their original brilliance and the domes in the ceilings were a marvel. Brenda particularly liked the statements placed throughout the library giving testimony to the long-term benefits of getting books in the hands of children.
Then we jumped across town to the Marion Village Garden Tour. This is an older section of Columbus that is bouncing back. Several people opened up their back yards for viewing of their gardens. Very impressive use of space!
We ended our tour with a stop for ice cream before heading back for a salmon bar-b-que and relaxing evening at John and Britt's place. Mike and John enjoyed another Drambuie nightcap ending a lovely visit.
We fired up the rental car and headed back to visit Brenda's sister and brother-in-law on our our way home. A couple days later we finished up our 2700 mile drive back in Punta Gorda. We are so proud of our son and the man he has become. We love you John and hope to surprise you again soon. (In just a couple weeks we get to see our other two awesome kids!)