This was our last weekend in Columbus for this year. Crazy how fast the last couple of weeks have past. On Wednesday we’ll be on a plane to Miami to spend a couple of days (hopefully) in the sun before we fly back to Stockholm on Monday next week!
What better way to spend our last weekend in Columbus, than with some Christmas shopping and trying out new restaurants…
Shopping in Columbus isn’t like shopping in Stockholm. You don’t go downtown, you take the car and go to the mall. We started our shopping at Tanger Outlet, which is located 25 minutes outside the city. The outlet itself is super boring so you don’t want to be there longer than necessary. But they have a wide range of stores and great deals. I had to buy a new suitcase so we went to the Samsonite store and found a package deal with a stroller and a big suitcase for only $170. I think the original price for just the big suitcase was $350. So you can really find good deals.
After Tanger we went to my favorite place for shopping in Columbus, Easton Town Center. It’s only a 15 minute drive from downtown. And what I like about this place is that it’s both an indoor and outdoor shopping center. They have a wide range of restaurants, coffee shops, a movie theater and of course shopping so you can easily spend money and a lot of time at this place 🙂
As you know we are foodies, which means our common hobby is to try new restaurants. This weekend was kind of a jackpot, because we got to try three new ones!
Comune – an all-vegetarian restaurant in German Village. We went there for lunch and we both ordered their Brussels sprout melt Sandwich and it was amazing. This place opened about a month ago so I really look forward coming back and try the rest of their menu.
El Lugar – this place is also located in German Village and also recently opened. A small and genuine tapas/ pinchos restaruant. I liked it and I will definitely go back, but not for dinner. The problem with tapas, you almost always pay way to much compared to what you get. So you end up drinking a lot of wine instead. 😛
Cafe Istanbul – a hidden gem serving mediterranean food in Bexley. We went there with some friends and we all thought the food was amazing. It’s not like a buzzing place, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you want great mediterranean food.
After our tapas night we ended up at our favorite chocolate bar – Winans. I think we visit this place at least three times a week. They are located in our building and their sea salt caramel are probably my biggest motivation to my daily work out.
This Sunday we had our big Christmas event with Scandinavian Club of Columbus. I’ve been working as a volunteer and board member in the club since I arrived to Columbus and its been a fun and very educational year.
My plan was to join the club to meet people I could hangout with. The only problem was that the majority of the members were 70+ years. But they had started a journey of rejuvenating the club, so I figured I could probably be at some help.
The club arrange events every month but the most popular events are the midsummer and Christmas party, this is when the families with kids show up.
This year we had a more upscale Christmas party (no pot-luck!). We didn’t want to cook all the food and do all the cleaning ourselves, so we had booked our event at the Clintonville Womens Club. Such a nice place for a Christmas party and we had a great turnout with more than 100 guests!
The purpose of the Christmas party, called JuleFest, is to celebrate the Scandinavian traditions. So one of our members had brought homemade glögg, harring and snaps to start off the event. And for dinner we were served meat balls of course.
I was placed next to Carl (80+) for dinner, and he kept asking me about Swedish authors writing about Finish history all night long. He couldn’t accept that I didn’t know any of the authors he talked about. He was like; “how about this author…?”, “No”, “how about this author then….?”, “No”, “but you must know about this one….!”, “No” HAHA He wouldn’t give up! 😆 It was very amusing.
After dinner the kids changed to their Lucia outfits and we had a Lucia procession. It was so cute seeing all the kids walking out in their costumes, holding their candles and trying to sing-a-long to the Christmas music. A tradition they had forever in the club, are the cookie procession. So when the kids are done singing, they all get a plate filled with homemade cookies that they hand out to the guests. It felt like the kids really enjoyed having a task and being a part of the celebration like that.
The day continued with a visit from Santa Claus and his wife. They handed out gifts to all the children and let the parents take a million pictures.
I feel like JuleFest was a good teaser, and I’m more in spirit for the celebrations to come!
At the art bootcamp I went to this summer, I met some people that now have become my friends. We get together once a month for some breakfast that usually turns into a lunch. It’s a fun constellation of people, Elizabeth, 60+, a graphic illustrator and professional organizer, Brian, 25, a photographer who also makes amazing photoshop artwork and Yvette, 35+, an art therapist and art teacher.
Somehow we found a common ground in the world of art and developed a friendship ☺️
This weekend it was time for our monthly breakfast again, but this time we had decided to also pay a visit to the Winterfair that was taking place at the Ohio Expo center.
The Winterfair was founded in 1964 and has grown to be an exhibit that features 450 artist exhibiting works in clay, glass, wood, fiber, leather and more.
Even though we spend 3 hours at this place I didn’t find anything that I really wanted or needed. But these were my favorites:
I forgot to write about a workshop I went to a couple of weeks ago. It was a 3 hour workshop of making your own clutch, at the Idea Foundry, here in Columbus.
First of all – what a great idea the Idea Foundry is. I wonder if we have something similar back home? Their idea is to empower people and their ideas. And they do that by offering members a warehouse of tools, technologies, space, teachers and like minded members to help you develop your ideas. It could be furnitures, building a drone or maybe inventing a video game. And besides all of that, they also offer classes/workshops.
Second of all – why haven’t I taken a class like this before? It was so much fun! The teacher had prepared leather pieces so we just had to choose a style we liked and then start working on the design. After a lot of conflicts in my mind about what kind of design my clutch should have and a lot of glue and banging, I ended up with this little bag…
On our second day in Nashville we decided to explore more of the city’s different neighborhoods. Our first stop went to East Nashville. This neighborhood was described as thriving, eclectic, historic and hip. “The citys’ most desired area to live and play.”
It wasn’t really what I expected. Maybe we went to the wrong streets? Maybe I just put to much hope in to the description? Anyway, it was a nice neighborhood, but everything was very far apart. There was a block with a couple of shops and cafes, then you walked 20 minutes to the next block, where you’d find another small strip of cafes and shops. Even if it wasn’t what I’d expected, it was a perfect day to stroll around. And we ended up having a great brunch at Café Roze AND I found a super cute skirt and a bourbon smelling candle. 🙂
We started talking to one of the locals who recommended the 12 South neighborhood. So after deciding we were done with East Nashville we took a Lyft to check it out.
12 South was definitely a more vibrant area. A long street filled with restaurants, cafes and shops and people everywhere! We spent the afternoon doing some window shopping and drinking margaritas.
A thing I’ve experienced before but not in this volume, were the amount of people lining up to different murals to take photos. And I have to admit there were some famous murals I recognized from Instagram. If you google “murals in Nashville” you get over 2 million results – here is one of them. Could this be our generations substitute for going to old churches and taking pictures? Or is that just a European thing? ;P
For our last dinner in Nashville I had made reservations at 5th & Taylor. This was truly one of the best meals we have eaten in the states so far. If you like meat – this is the place to visit. Look how happy this guy was after dinner 😀
It was kinda funny because when we walked in to the restaurant we saw a group of asian hipsters, who we’d also seen at Café Roze and at the 12 South neighborhood earlier that day. HAHA I guess we had read the same blog…
I must say that I really enjoyed this weekend in Nashville! But good to know before going here – the tax on liquor-by–the-drink are super high. Tennessee is one of the few states in America with no income-tax. With high tourist traffic to citys like Nashville, they take an advantage of that and have higher sales-taxes instead. The law of liquor-by-the-drink, is quit complicated but depending on how much alcohol there is in your beverage, you can pay more than 24 % in taxes! And don’t forget about the tip ;P
Anyway – I’m glad we got the opportunity to go to this crazy town and explore the place where hipsters and hillbillies collide.
We just got back after spending the weekend in the city of whiskey and country music – Nashville! This city is just a 5,5 hour drive away from Columbus and it’s the perfect place for a weekend trip.
We arrived Thursday afternoon, on Thanksgiving day. After we checked in at our hotel downtown, we went to the first bar we could find and ordered a drink, with whiskey of course!
For thanksgiving dinner we’d made reservations at the Thompson. It was a set menu with a four meal course and everything tasted amazing. My favourite was the turkey, which was served with a family style side dish (=4 side dishes!!). With full bellies we got back to the hotel and fell asleep right away.
We hadn’t booked any activities for this weekend, our plan was just to stroll around and make a lot of pitstops for drinks and food. The city was quit familiar to how Columbus is structured, with a lot of different neighborhoods. So our first stop on Friday was The Gulch neighborhood, I had read that it’s “a hotspot for young urbanites”. A cute area were we had breakfast at the very popular Biscuit Love. And we weren’t the only one who had read about this place…
After breakfast we headed to the famous Broadway street, also called “Little Vegas”. I think it was about 11 am when we got there, and you could hear live music playing from every bar. These bars are called Honkey Tonk bars, I had to Google and see if I could find a definition of what it meant and this is what I found on Urban Dictionary:
Honkey Tonk – A loud, rowdy bar that plays “honkey tonk” country music. Typically full of drunken hillbillies having a good ole’ time. To go out “honky tonkin” is to go out on the town to honky tonk bars and get drunk.
Broadway was filled with tourists, so between the honkey tonk bars there was a lot of souvenir boutiques, selling cowboy shoes/hats and Jack Daniels merchandise. Not our preference of shopping so after agreeing on that it wasn’t to early for a beer we walked in to the Legend Corner Bar and listened to live country music for a couple of hours.
We decided that we wanted to see this Honkey Tonk spectacle at night as well, so we made dinner reservations at Merchants restaurant. A restaurant placed in the heart of Broadway in an old building from 1892. This historical building was in the early 20th century a popular hotel for traveling salesmen. And in its origins it also operated a pharmacy, were it’s said that infamous outlaws of the Wild West, like Wild Bill Hickok and Jessie James visited frequently. You could really feel the historical vibe while having dinner. A funny thing they did was to offer shoe shine while having dinner. So Andreas had his dinner in these lovely socks…
With shiny shoes and another great meal in our bellies, we walked out to the craziness of Broadway and ended our day listening to more live country music.
Took to many photos!! 😛 I’ll continue in the next post…