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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

From Batavia to Batavia

Wow, I can hardly believe it has been so long since we've posted! Since our last post we braved some raging thunderstorms and flood areas and made landfall in Batavia, IL, where we spent a couple days with Ryan's parents. It was so great to spend time with them! We did some testing of our new solar panel, cleaned our rig, made the most delicious family dinner, and generally worked on the efficiency of our setup.

Next we set a course for Batavia, OH, our base camp for a wedding in Cincinnati in which Ryan was a groomsman. We explored Cincinnati, ate some chili, and tried to entice the feral kitties at our campsite with cheese (they weren't interested). We also saw deer and an eastern box turtle.



My favorite Cincinnati feature had to be Jungle Jim's International Market. I already enjoy grocery shopping, but this was like grocery shopping at an amusement park that is actually fun and has the largest selection of produce and international foods. There was an overwhelming beer and wine selection with a bar, a produce selection like nothing I have seen before with fruits and vegetables I've never heard of, a cheese shop, and a candy land, all accompanied by themed music and a tiny Airstream hanging from the ceiling. I didn't want to leave, but Ryan made me.


This all brings me to the wonderful reason we were in Ohio, the birthplace of flight, to begin with: the marriage of Jason and Maria!  Jason and Maria had a touching ceremony and a beautiful reception, filled with love and brimming with happiness. Joshers gave a perfectly balanced best man speech with just the right amount of laughs and sentimentality. And Megan was the best wedding buddy, answering my never ending list of formal wedding questions.

For those of you wondering why Ohio has the audacity to call itself the birthplace of flight, we looked it up. As it turns out, the Wright brothers were born in Ohio and there is a long standing flight history rivalry between Ohio and North Carolina, the state of first flight. Ohio also brags about being the birth place of the most astronauts.

We witnessed one of nature's most beautiful displays the night we came back to camp from the rehearsal dinner. As we got out of the car, we saw all the lightning bugs (fireflies) blinking on and off, but they were everywhere and up in the trees. I thought it looked like the trees were adorned with blinking Christmas lights and Ryan described it as a bunch of exploding stars. It was incredible and we are so grateful to have witnessed it. It reminded me of a great Radiolab episode that included a bit on how lightning bugs in a hotel room will eventually blink in unison. We tried to photograph it without any success.

We now find ourselves in Michigan, just outside of Ann Arbor at Sugarloaf Lake. This morning we had our car checked for the strange tire noise it started making a couple weeks ago. Turns out that's what it does now and that we should, "turn the radio up" to drown out the noise. Noted.

Tomorrow we will cross the border once again to the motherland which will mark the beginning of a communication blackout. It is very expensive to use data in Canada, so we will be reserving it for way finding. We look forward to spending our first Canada Day in country! We will be heading northeast, hitting up some of Canada's finest cities and eventually emerging somewhere near Maine. We'll see you all on the flip side! And happy Canada Day, eh!

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