Exploring Dublin, Ohio for a week.

Stopping to collect dandelions at a truck stop other than the one we keep hunting.

Every couple of years, we pack the family into the spaceship and jet off to Dublin, Ohio for a week-long visit with my dad, Pam, and Grandma Vicki. Every year, it seems that the King spends the entire trip checking maps and reconfiguring old memories to try and locate the truck stop where he asked me to marry him.

A statue slumbering on the front porch of Bunicu’s abode.

Every year, the truck stop eludes us and the memories grow a little fuzzier. In a way, it’s like the Holy Grail of our relationship- this elusive, mysterious location where the King proposed holy things and I surprised myself by doing what I vowed I would never, ever do, namely, marry a male of the homo sapiens sapiens variety.

We arrived safely in Dublin with none of the usual spaceship troubles. Bunicu and Pam were overjoyed to see us. Apparently, they had forgotten how much non-stop, noisy fun occurred during our previous visit. I figured it wouldn’t take long for them to remember.

Prophet and Gnome find some friends on the front lawn.

I was taken by surprise to find snow in the forecast for our first few days. Alas, I had packed light coats and cardigans- but nothing anywhere near a winter coat. After spending the full course of an hour complaining about the cold weather and reverting to less mature version of my teenage self, it finally struck me that whining was ultimately the most boring activity of all. All the nearby thrift stores were be hosting end-of-season sales for winter coats, so we made off with $10 and winter wear to last us through the next day’s snow.

Undeterred by their mother’s self-pity festival, the kids found ways to amuse themselves almost immediately. Much to the surprise of Doru and Pam, the kids decided that the silver lawn art was made for riding. Their superior horsemanship skills stunned my dad into admiring silence.

Even the town of Dublin, Ohio boasts its share of cowboys.

All the exciting activity on the front yard of a Dublin historic home inspired us to set out on the first stroll of many. The cold weather kept us moving and exploring.

We noticed several homes in which people kept bees.

“What is that white tree with flowers that looks like a fountain, mom?” inquired the ever-curious Eldest. When it doubt, resolve to figure it out. I made a note to snap a picture and save it for identification.

The beautiful weeping cherry tree opens its white blossoms in April.

Our gallivanting landed us at Monterey Park, where the Eldest organized acorn boat races down the small creek whose baptized name slips my memory.

Prophet’s acorn was marked with a yellow dandelion flower, which she promptly rescued after a brief shipwreck. I love how this photo captured the presence of her reflection as well as her shadow, one super-imposed upon the other.

My dad’s fancy-pants wine cellar.

After strolling for several miles, the little people got tired. So we ventured back, where the dudes played so many rounds of Dominion that the girls found themselves inventing songs with “dominionate” used as a verb in a lyric.

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