Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Trip To Ada, Oh

Where in the heck is Ada, OH you're asking?  It is a small community 250 miles east of Chicago and an hour and minutes to Toledo.  We spent last night in Toledo and are moving to Detroit today before crossing back into Canada and heading to Simcoe.  I will be telling you about a major trip change in the next few days.  A good change that makes our trip even better!
Anway, Juan did his Fulbright (one of three) in Ada, OH.  He was hired to teach American dancers Mexican folkloric dance from the state of Veracruz but with a twist.  He had to demonstrate the dance as it emerged from the days of black slaves in Mexico to current day folkloric dance.  He did a lot of research before going to Ada including a trip to the west coast of Mexico to study under a dance tutor who is the director of a famous Mexican dance troupe. 
During his stay that cold, cold, winter, he made good friends with the ONU arts director and his staff.  They have remained in contact since.   It wasn't really a plan to go to Ada as we were originally driving through all of Canada.  As the plan changed I realized we were heading that way and I told him that Ada was close to Chicago.  He said, "let's go".  He sent an email and off we went. 
We arrived at the Freed Center for the Arts and walked into the office.   Before we knew it, out come his ex-colleagues to greet us.  One friend, Christine was at home and received a call that we were there and flying down to the university.  Truly amazing to see how much they had missed Juan and how happy he was to see them.  

The first night we stayed at Christine's house.   She lives in town (population 2000 when students are on summer vacation) and insisted we stay with her.  As always, we spent the evening talking up a storm about university changes and where did students go after the dance program.   Christine left on Wednesday for Costa Rica where she will do some teaching and vacationing.  She has learned Spanish and loves to do total immersion.  She is really coming along with her language learning.

Night two was spectacular.   We stayed on a farm about 20 minutes outside of town.  Laurie and Charlie are great hosts and live in a very cool farm house.   They have a large porch with a rocking chair and patio furniture.  We stayed outside for quite sometime before heading in for protection from the rain and Laurie fixed an excellent meal with beef they had raised.  After dinner we headed back out to the porch for a drink and then off to bed. 

Yesterday morning, we sat out on their porch again and talked about rving.  They have a popup and are thinking about changing to something else.  Retirement is around the corner for them and they are considering camp hosting.   That was the conversation and you know how much I love rvs and rving.  We offered to house sit for them anytime they decide to go away for a long spell.  We would fly up and work on the farm mostly doing what I learned at Sal and Barb's, driving a tractor mower.
We drove through Amish country, Pfeiffer Station, after leaving.  Everyone was out in the fields working between the rains but we did stop at a country store after driving around.  We've been talking about getting a Class B like a Roadtrek.  Well, we found a super good deal.   A 97 Roadtrek 190 in excellent condition and they are only asking 12K.   We'll think about it and see if it fits into the Mexican import regulations.

We then stopped in Kenton, OH.  This is a small town and county seat about 26 miles from Ada.  Juan had been there once and we were looking for a small restaurant where he said he had had the best breakfast of his five month stay.  We found it.  We met the owner and you can see her in the picture.  The restaurant has been there since the 30s and her mother took it over in 1982 and then our friend did so in the mid 90s.  The food is fantastic and the town very historic.  We recommend this place.

After breakfast we went for a walk and wanted to visit the county building.   We saw this across the street on top of a building "IOOF".  That was "odd" to me, so we headed across the street to look around.

We walked around inside and the whole time that IOOD was on my mind.  I saw a woman working in the County Commissioner's office and stopped in to ask.  She said she knew all about it and had personal experience.  It is the International Order of Odd Fellows. 

Her husband who is 55 years old is the youngest member.  She was incredibly nice and I'm sorry I didn't get her name.  She showed us the VFW museum next door, printed out information for us and gave us postcards of the building which will be celebrating 100 years next May.  People in small towns are the nicest people you'll ever meet.  Easy to approach, great for local information and just down right friendly.  Thanks City of Kenton, Oh


  1. Our Roadtrek is a 2006 and a 190. Great vehicle We hope it takes diesel and has a Mercedes engine. Great price as long as it fits your regulations and doesn't need a lot of work.

  2. IOOF

  3. I imagine the "Odd Fellows" would welcome you! ;)

  4. Looks like you are making good time and visiting lots of great friends along the way. Travel safe and keep having fun.

  5. So good to see your familiar smiling faces!

  6. Did you get the name of that restaurant in Kenton? So glad that despite the not so perfect weather you continue to have a marvelous time.

    1. Yep, it's called the Fillin' Station! The owner is a hoot.