Every year Netter asks me this question as my birthday approaches, and every year I have absolutely no idea how to answer.
While I think birthdays are special and people should take one day to celebrate themselves, I think we can all agree that as the years advance the thrill wears off. The magic of the birthday subsides.
While 13 makes one a teenager, 16 means you can drive, 18 brings adulthood and 21 means you can consume alcohol (responsibly of course), and then 30 or 40 mark milestones of sorts, what really is the difference between 40 and 41? Right?
Still there was the question last Thursday night. We had a 3-day weekend with a few commitments to work around, my birthday was on Monday - "What did I want to do?"
So, I tried to come up with something... "Let's go down to the Short North," I said. "We've been meaning to go walk around and discover a little bit. Let's do something different, go to lunch, and then just explore."
This was the plan for Friday -
And then it rained.
So, I punted. Let's go to lunch at that TGIFriday's in the mall where they have the California Club I like so much, I'll get my glasses adjusted, we'll walk around, it will be different. Shopping at the mall is different. We're usually shopping at Walmart. We walked around Easton last year, let's walk around Tuttle today.
Friday's was closed with facilities issues. Undeterred we headed for another restaurant in the mall, had a nice lunch, and continued on our way.
Malls are quite different than what I remember from my younger days. For example, what exactly is this guy selling? Seriously, I didn't even have to go into the store (I won't say which one.) to see this. It screamed at me as I walked by.
To be fair, this isn't a phenomenon unique to malls I guess. We did see this gem among others when we visited Walmart last week. Apparently Halloween costumes are now required to bare as much skin as possible, at least for the ladies. We saw a similar costume for Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, sexy witches, you name it. This one of Cinderella made me remember a quote from the movie Pretty Woman. Unfortunately, I cannot find a good clip, and while I can find the text at IMDB quotes to paste it here, it just looks awkward. It was toward the end of the movie and came from Kit.
But I digress.
Shopping these days is different, and this is how I want things in my life to be right now - different.
Nonetheless, on Saturday, we took a break from different and did the same thing we do almost every Saturday during the fall. We watched college football with our friends in the "nayvorhood," (another post, another day). We love driving to the hood and hanging out. That will never change.
Sunday we returned to "different" and finally made the trip to the Short North. First, we attended "How I Became a Pirate," (K is a member of the stage crew), at The Columbus Children's Theatre. We followed that with a trip to the North Market, and a walking tour of the rest of the Short North, as well as parts of Columbus' downtown and Arena District.
That's right - we walked. We walked a lot. My feet were tingling when we were finished that's how much we walked.
For many, many reasons, I loved every minute of it. I love downtowns. I love eclectic. I love seeing things we don't ordinarily see, and I love discovering things for the very first time.
I've driven up and down High Street in Columbus hundreds of times in the 26 years I've lived in the area. Never once, had I seen this. Right there, on the side of the road, through the guardrail.
Who knows where it leads?
When I stopped to take this picture, Netter and I started talking about the railways in Columbus. She told me about the train station, that used to be here and which tracks went where. She reminded me that an arch from the train station is on display in a park near Nationwide Arena.
I've always wanted to ride on a train. A real train, not that goofy thing at Kings' Island or Cedar Point. I know that passenger trains have mostly gone the way of the Dodo, but a fella can dream can't he? I want to take new journeys and blaze new trails.
I know there's a way. I just have to find it. That's what I really want to do.
14 hours ago