We’ve just returned from what we both hope is our last out of state trip for the year. This last vacation took us from my sister’s in southern Ohio all the way to friends on Lake Erie and places in-between. We put 1,300-plus miles on the car in 10 days and slept in four strange beds. We are exhausted! No matter how much fun we have and enjoy being with our family and friends, there is nothing like coming home to our own stuff and routine. Maybe that is one of the purposes of a vacation.

We saw acres of sunflowers in southern Ohio and thousands of acres of corn and soybeans in northern Ohio. In southern Ohio our family took us to an Amish bakery out in the middle of nowhere. It was like being back in Holmes County again with their array of pastries. I was desperate for a good, old-fashioned cream stick like they make at Der Dutchman Bakery in Walnut Creek. We ate one at the bakery and took more back for breakfast the next day.

On Sunday we went to my sister’s charming little country church where the attendance was fewer than 20 friendly people but the gospel was clearly proclaimed.

Next stop was our friends, the Clines, in Hocking County. We visited a hidden cave that we had never seen. It was on land where the Boys and Girls Club have a camp. After that we drove to Fremont to stay with our friends, Dave and Stevie Vodika who stood up with us when we got married. They live in a lovely carriage house behind the home of their youngest daughter and son-in-law. He built the new house so they could be close to the four little grandchildren who live there. They are in the middle of a corn field which is quite peaceful and lovely.

They are not far from Lakeside, Ohio where Stevie’s family owns a house near the lake. I used to go to church camp there when I was in high school so it was fun to see the place again. We spent a day up there looking around, eating and shopping. There was lots of catching up to do so there was hours of talking.

From Fremont we headed back south and arrived in Wooster in time for lunch at The Hero House. It was my second Italian ham sub lunch there in two weeks. I wish they would open up a franchise down here.

From there we stopped for a visit with my girlhood friend, Lois Lang Fowler, and her husband. It is always good to see them and catch up on the news of their kids and grands. The last stop of the day was in Granville at son Alan’s house for a couple nights. Kris made pizza and we walked down to Whit’s for frozen custard on Friday.

Saturday was the traditional trek to the Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and eggs. Dinner that night was burgers on the grill and a cake made by granddaughter Katie for Kris’s birthday. That was after watching an Ohio State football game for the second Saturday in a row.

Sunday we went to church in Newark at the big, picturesque old Methodist Church. They have beautiful stained glass windows and a wonderful choir.

On the way home we spent one more night at the Clines’ before making what could be a seven-hour trip. We managed to drag it out to 10 hours with a few miscellaneous stops along the way.

It wasn’t until the next morning that we learned our hot water heater is not working. Even so, it is good to be back home.