Day 17 – COSI in Columbus, and Hooters in Cincinnati

• We left Washington, PA and headed further west towards Cincinnati, OH. Due to the way the state borders are drawn, this means we went from Pennsylvania, to West Virginia, to Ohio in the space of an hour or so. We’re practically in Europe at this point, crossing borders every 5 minutes.

• On the way, we stopped in at Columbus, OH to visit COSI which is a science centre. Erin was super excited about my plans to spend a day at the science centre and attached museum. If I was still a kid, this place would have been rad as heck because it’s super orientated towards children with all touching stuff and little puzzles and fun animations etc. As an adult it all just felt a bit weird being there, so didn’t really enjoy it all that much. Spent more time hoping the various parents around didn’t think I was a creepy old man, and wiping my hands in sanitiser constantly because kids make every surface they touch sticky somehow? Like permanent jam on their fingers or something. Definitely a recommended place to take your kids if you’ve got them though. The simulator was a heap of fun. I don’t know how much they cost, but I’d like one at home to play Colin McRae Rally in.

• The attached museum was slightly better, with longer words used on the displays, and urinals in the restroom mounted more than 2″ off the ground. No “real” bones here, it’s all casts from other museums. But the displays are still really well done, if a bit short. Made it in the door of the “special exhibit” which was about Barbie. Saw what was essentially a Toys R Us store inside full of little girls running around and pulled an Xbox 360 straight back out again.

• After having enough science and children for the day we went for a wander towards the city itself, and either it was a public holiday or Columbus is the quietest and calmest city in the world. Everything is so clean – even the homeless hanging out on park benches smelt lightly scented and lemon fresh. Wide paths, plenty of open green space, beautiful buildings, cool little swings around the place instead of boring old park benches. Easily the nicest city we’ve been in thus far. Drivers were calmer too, I don’t think I heard a single horn blast. Everyone was working as a team, because it’s ColumbUS, not ColumbME. (PS – I’m available for contract work, Columbus Tourism board)

• Had a feed at a cafe on the other side of the river, which would normally be lovely because it’s right next to a large public fountain… except they’re currently rebuilding the whole thing so instead of the gentle trickle of water it was the clanking of a Caterpillar dozers tracks. Calamari, and a pulled pork roll. They also had Dr Pepper on tap, god bless America.

• Then we carried on following the instructions of the Pet Shop Boys, and went west. Deeper in to Ohio it gets flatter, and the farms bigger. I’ll say one thing for Ohio, they sure do grow a lot of corn. We passed at least three giant John Deere dealerships on the highway. I also “pumped gas” again just because it was there. It is nice fueling up and paying right at the bowser instead of having to go inside. I think we should adopt this practice in Australia

• We pulled up to camp just outside Cincinnati because hotels are like a quarter of the price once you go about 20 minutes from the CBD, and we have a car so don’t need to worry about access as much. You know this hotel is classy because it has a Hooters directly outside. Erin insisted that we go, so I reluctantly tagged along. I didn’t even look at a single boobie. We had a Philly cheese steak (not the best, that award stays with Charley’s), and some curly fries (which were pretty great), and maybe a pina colada or two, and of course Dr Pepper on tap 😍

• Classic collapsing pillow trick pulled by the hotel again, so looking forward to sleeping on the bedding equivalent of a crepe.


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