Over the weekend, we were invited to a beautiful wedding for one of J’s childhood friends up in Covington Kentucky. Covington may as well be Cincinnati because it quite literally is a hop, skip, and a jump over the river away from Ohio. It’s also about 45 minutes away from where J went to law school, so we opted to make a weekend adventure out of it.
Ohio is filled with all kinds of fun stuff, my brother included (what up, M?). Cross the river separating Kentucky from Ohio, and suddenly you are above the Mason Dixon line – my territory. The people automatically become more rude, the driving becomes more aggressive, and evidence of a defunct rust belt are immediately apparent.
Ohio houses one of my all-time favorite torture devices for J: IKEA. I could wander around that stupid store for hours, stop and grab some Swedish meatballs, and go for hours more. My patriotic obligation to purchase Swedish-made things that I don’t really need usually supersedes John’s patience. Silly J, he didn’t even know that we needed this clothes drying octopus, a STEAL at $4.99: So aside from Ikea, Ohio also has Tim Horton’s. Timmy Ho’s – Canada’s version of Dunkin Donuts – has trickled down from The Great White North, but only as far as West Chester, Ohio. I make it a huge spectacle to stop there because, for me, it’s a Northern specialty that I hold near and dear to my heart.
You miss this kind of stuff when you can’t get it anymore, Ok? Either way, if you have one near you, consider yourself lucky. If you don’t, keep your eyes peeled and at the very least, get an iced cappuccino and a box of TimBits (donut holes). Once your sugar-induced coma subsides, you will thank me.
A melancholy part of our trip came when we passed the ever-popular Ohio landmark, Touchdown Jesus. Touchdown Jesus used to look like this:
A 62 foot high statue dictating his call heavenward. Sadly, in 2011, T.J. got struck by lighting and burned the ground (the symbolism here does not escape me). The church rebuilt, and now, Touchdown Jesus seems to resemble more of a ‘Complaining about the Call’ Jesus:
and the risk of rubbernecking accidents on I-75 has been significantly reduced. Ohio will never be the same.
Perhaps the most significant reason we were happy to drive the 4 hours north for said wedding (aside from watching 2 people in love, proclaim their commitment to each other, obviously) was to come here: Tank’s is a hole in the wall bar in the middle of a shiesty part of town that has, and you can quote me, the BEST Reuben sandwiches on the face of the Earth. I didn’t even really like reubens until I came here and now, this is probably one of my top 5 last meals. Get the Reuben with bacon. Get the fries couch potato style (covered in Chili and cheese, or chili on the side if you are a trying to be dainty like me). It’s sloppy, and good, and pairs perfectly with a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. So get the porter too. If you are ever in Dayton Ohio, (because so many people flock there) just go to Tanks. You probably don’t even need to bother going anywhere else, and can leave the city after your meal, but I promise you won’t regret the drive.
Boy, do I give a great list of random crap to do in Ohio or what?