Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods...

I know, I know, I know... it's been two weeks, and I haven't posted. I'm sorry. But you'll see why. Rachel and I have been very busy these past two weeks. We went from Wheeling to Chippewa to Geneva College to Chippewa to Canton to Chagrin Falls to Cleveland to Canton to Wheeling to Columbus to Springfield in the past two weeks. In order to help you get a visual for where we were and what we did, this post will largely be photographic in nature. I hope you enjoy! We sure did!

Wheeling, WV to Chippewa, PA

Our little niece Ellie was born on Wednesday, May 16th so we went to Chippewa to visit her. We spent a lot of time with family and held the baby for a long time... it was really fun for us.

Ellen "Ellie" Renee McCowin

Cora had Ice Cream and a lot lot of fun with all the guests and attention.

Chippewa, PA to Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA
Ok, so Geneva College is only like three miles away from Jarrod and Heathers... I'm still counting it as a stage in our travels.

I went to Geneva College for a week for training with the CCO. During training, we took two three hour classes each day, and then played lots and lots of Ultimate Frisbee in the evenings. (Usually till the sun went down and we couldn't see the disc any more.) Fortunately for me, I accidentally packed the Right foot of my White tennis shoes and the left foot of my grey tennis shoes, so I got some really bad blisters and my calf really locked up on me after the last day. Other than that it was amazing. I learned a ton, and can't wait to see some of my students so that I can start putting some of that stuff into practice. If you want to know more, ask me about one of the following next time I see you:

1. The college transition
2. The logic behind the order of Ice-Breaker Games
3. Songs on the Radio and Christianity's Cultural Relevance
4. The 5 dysfunctions of a group

We talked about many more things, but these were the most important to me and my learning. I also got to know some of the CCO new staff pretty well. It was a treat to room with Joel Harris, Dan Turis, Jeff Bergeson, Johnny Cagwin, and Chris Ansel. Hopefully Johnny Chris and I will make good on the "Dude's Night" we discussed.

After a week of training, we spent one more night in Chippewa with the fam.

Ok, sorry... I said I wouldn't talk much. Back to the pictures:

Chippewa, PA to Canton, OH
A two hour drive that Rach thinks most other people could do in an hour and a half.

The drive to Canton seemed to take forever to Rachel, but for me it went really quickly. Probably because I was busy listening to the Radio and recording what I thought the songs were about.

Jason "Lloyd" and Suzie Lantz's daughter Caris has grown soooo big. I showed her how to check the quality of a car by kicking the tires. Sorry Jason and Suzie.

After hanging out for a while, we went to Bab's house where we made stands for the Angleball poles. Those of you who have never heard of the game don't know what you're missing. It's super fun and a great workout.

I saw quite a few of my old Canton friends while I was in town. It was a good time. Not everyone was there, (we didn't get to see Matt & Mandy, and the rest of the Hoopers...) but there were a handful of people, and it was really nice to see who we saw. We started a fire at Bab's house after Angleball and sat around making smores and catching up on things. Great times.

This is the way most people see Cristin when there are more than three people in the same place.

Brandon rode his bike to Canton. Here he shows you how to catch a quick Junebug Happy Meal.


Canton, OH to Chagrin Falls, OH
The next morning we went to Chagrin Falls to catch the Blossom Festival.

The Giz tries to pick up a PVC pipe that's seven times larger than her. No wonder she has a hernia.

The crew on our way to the Blossom Festival.

Strangely enough, the path to the Blossom Festival was DANGER!ous

Heather, Ryan and Widget (Gizmo's sister).

Chagrin Falls, OH to Cleveland, OH
After the Blossom Festival, people came to my Mom and Dad's house for a bonfire. Again, not a long trip, but one leg of the two week's journey nonetheless.

Rachel, Gizmo, Molly, the Baby and I had a nice little picnic at the river on Memorial Day.

I spent another day at home playing with the dogs and catching up on MythBusters.

Cleveland, OH to Canton, OH
On Tuesday I went back into Canton to catch up with Babs, and Branden. I got to see a couple other folks as well, and the Cavs won game 4. Sorry, no pictures.

Canton, OH to Cleveland, OH
I left Canton and went back to Cleveland to hang out with my brother Tim, and to help him take down the wallpaper... my favorite.

Cleveland, OH to Wheeling, WV
On Thursday I drove from Cleveland to Wheeling to pick up Rachel. We left Wheeling at 5:00 for Columbus.

Wheeling, WV to Columbus, OH
We arrived in Columbus just in time for bed...

and we got to sleep on THE Craft-0-Matic Adjustable Bed!!! That's right! It vibrates, AND goes up and down. It's like Cedar Point in your sleep! I had every desire in the world to wake up in the middle of the night and start playing with the thing until Rach woke up, but fortunately I didn't do anything of the sort. Still, it was a sweet bed.

Columbus, OH to Springfield, OH
The next morning we got up and drove to Springfield to hang out with Sean and Julie. He said it was a half an hour drive... it took me an hour and fifteen minutes.

Sean and I played 18 at the nicest $15 golf course I've ever played on. It's probably the nicest $15 course I'll ever play on because there's no way I'll find a better course at that price. After Golf, we ate dinner (yum) and played a few games of Hearts. Then we watched "When College Hill Attacks" one of the best movies ever made, before we got in the car and drove back to Columbus.

Springfield, OH to Columbus, OH
Again, an hour and fifteen minutes. Not a half an hour...

Heather and Ryan were great hosts. Saturday morning was especially fun, we woke up and Heather made pancakes while Ryan unpacked Settlers of Catan. We had pancakes and Settlers for breakfast. Talk about FUN!

We went to the zoo on Sunday. I absolutely loved it. Columbus has one of the best zoos I've ever been to with TONS of stuff to see. This was from the Aquarium, we got there just in time to see the SCUBA diver feed the fish. Though the kids were just as fun to watch as the fish. But the Gorillas were by far my favorite.

Every time I see Gorillas or Chimps, I think about how human they look. I can't get over it, it's almost haunting.

At times, seeing the crowd gathered around the Gorilla, I couldn't help but wonder who was watching who. Here you get a good feel for the massive size of these animals. I have so much respect for them, and I wish we were doing more to protect them. Such beautiful creatures.

This big fella took a nap right up on the glass. I managed to snap a photo just before he opened one eye and looked right at me. It was a very strange experience. I could have sat and watched them for the whole day.

This big guy was especially fun to watch. He would sit behind the tree on the right there, and then when enough little girls came by, he would stand up, walk over and slap the glass as hard as he could and go running around the room. Every time the girls jumped and ducked and scurried away. It really made me think we were the ones being observed.

Rachel's favorite animal is the Elephant. She wants to decorate the nursery in Elephants, but I reminded her that we live in a college dorm and we can't decorate the nursery. Plus, we won't have a nursery so... oh well. At least we got to see some of these gentle giants.

They even did us the favor of taking a bath in the pond there while we watched. Very, very cool.

These guys were my second favorite. These are called Flying Foxes because they look a lot like a fox, and because they are almost as big as a fox. If you stick your arm straight out, and measure from the tip of your middle finger to the inside of your elbow, you'll get a feel for how big they are. Their wingspans can be over six feet long! But the best part of the flying foxes was the bat that's second in from the right.

They were all sleeping, when he woke up, reached up with his little bat hands and grabbed onto the cieling. Then, he dropped his feet so he was hanging right side up, and spread his wings way out. Then, while he was spread eagle in the air showing that thin black cape of wings, he peed right on the guy on the far right there. It was absolutely hilarious, he just spread his wings and peed right on the other guy's face. Poor fella woke up shaking his head with bat pee spraying at him like a hose. It went in his nose, in his ears... he couldn't do anything because he was hanging upside down, so he just shook his head a lot and started licking it off.

I'm really, really glad I'm not a bat.

Here's Heather and Ryan at the end of the day. It was a very fun day for me.

Here's Ryan at the last animal exhibit. They had PEOPLE! It was so cool... we just sat there and watched them interacting in their natural habitat. It was just so strange how much they look like gorillas.... I mean seriously... wierd.

After the zoo, we ate Hummus Crusted Chicken for dinner (YUM) and went home.

Columbus, OH to Wheeling, WV
It rained really hard on the drive. We got home around 11:00 and hit the sack. Monday was a big CCO picnic so we had to rest up. It was a great, great weekend.

To finish it all off, I'll show you my Fat-Bellied Buddha Plant as it looks now. I started this guy out as a seed last year, it's a slow growing plant, but it seems to be doing just fine in our window for now. It should start to flower in about three years.

One year ago it looked like this.

Now it looks like this.

Here's the whole trip. Two lines reflect two trips... We had an absolute blast the past two weeks. I can't think of a way to pack more fun into two weeks... My bad math adds up the drive time to 17 hours. The same amount of time it takes to get to New Orleans...


JR Rozko said...

flickr your pictures!

Joshua said...

You flickr your pictures... uh... I will I just have to set aside some time to do it. I want to flickr more than what I posted, and it took forever to post. By and large, I have more people checking the blog, so I'll flickr latr.

Tim 2 said...

Flickr your ...err...it rhymes with flickr...you know flick your...oh man...I am sorry.

Looks like a lot of trip there, thanks so much for taking time out of that insanity to help me clean wall paper paste off the walls. I feel bad now seeing how much rambling around you two crazies did!

Now I just hope we remembered to plug the fridge back in...

Joshua said...

Fortunately, we never unplugged it. And don't feel bad, I wouldn't help if I didn't think it was reasonable to help. Besides, I got free dinner. (Thanks Mom!)

Jim Elek said...

sounds like a fun little trip. tell babs tat he is holding his drill wrong, it is not an extension of his.......

Sara B said...

I totally just named the post I made "Over the River and through the Woods - to New Orleans I go" without even looking at this post first! You guys did a heck of a lot of travelling. Hopefully it was of the non-stressful vein of travel!

I missed you guys last night at Luke's par-tay, but hopefully, I'll get to make a trip to the Wheels when I get back from New Orleans in August. I'll definitely be in touch with you and Rachel this summer while I'm in NOLA. I hope all is going well with the move to Steenrod and the lovely baby.