And fun with alliteration too. After a rocking good time in Cincinnati, we headed north for time with the Urbanski and Kromer sides of the family. We were not disappointed as we got to meet up with friends and family in Columbus, Tiffin, and Findlay before the big gathering of Kromers on Sunday where we had nearly 60 of us for a big old holiday party.
We made a stop first in Columbus to visit Justin and Allison (our yarden cousins). They’re both excellent cooks too and made homemade butternut squash soup, roasted brussel sprouts, and a salad. For our treat, we went to Jenny’s for some high quality ice cream. I again went with the unique “One Night in Bangkok” sundae: Spicy Peanut Butter Thai ice cream with salted caramel, whipped cream, a wonton, topped with a cherry. Awesome! We then had our usual debate on society, its ills and potential solutions until the wee hours of the morning.
The next day was the drive to Findlay where we met up with the Rooney guys for their weekly Friday lunch, this time at Mi Tequila’s, my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. It was finally our turn to treat after seemingly showing up every time Phil is scheduled to pay. It was fun catching up and answering all of Uncle Jim’s questions.
We then headed to my parents to rest up before making our way to Tiffin to visit with old friends from grade school and high school, Brian and Bobbie. I’ve known Brian since I was 5 and since they now live in South Bend, IN and have 4 kids, we don’t see them much. We were able to catch the kids before they went to bed and then go out for a nice dinner. It was great getting to catch up and have some quality time with them.
The next morning was supposed to be a long, 4 hour run in Findlay with Jeff and his friend Eric, our Leadville teammate. Oh Ohio in December. And no sleep. And being sick with a sinus infection and pink eye. Oh another long run that didn’t happen. We all got up and got going shortly after 6am. Unfortunately, none of us were able to get a good poop out before the run and by 45 minutes in, I was lucky to find an open gas station that had an open bathroom because I was to the point of trying to spot good bushes along Main St. where I could lighten my load. It then started snowing and we all decided to call it a day after a little over 2 hours and 15 minutes of running.
It was then a hurried clean up to meet with our friends Andy and Natalie along with their two cute kids, Urban and Lucy. Since they’ve moved to Findlay, it’s been really nice getting to see them as we roll through town on these quick visits. Their kids are growing up quickly and Andy and Natalie seem like really good parent role models.
After all this, it was time to prepare for the big party. My Mom is one of 9 kids and she was in charge of hosting the family Christmas this year. My parents got the garage all cleaned up and set for lots of seating. They arranged the menu and by shortly after noon on Sunday, we had close to 60 Kromers packing our little house. It was so much fun getting to see everyone. All but one of the 9 brothers and sisters showed up along with a large amount of their kids. We had cousins all the way from Oklahoma for the party. We had a euchre tournament, Christmas tunes, lots of good food, and visiting galore as I hadn’t seen many of my cousins for a long time.
The house cleared out around 4 pm and after helping with the clean up, we then packed our car to head off to our Alabama destination, 15 hours down the road. We were exhausted upon arrival but exhausted from having such a good time and seeing so many loving faces. Thanks Ohio for such a great holiday visit (even though we’re certainly glad to be out of your cold winter climate).