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A Day Drive During Quarantine Life

Hey friends!  It’s been awhile.  If you follow me on facebook or instagram (please do), I have mentioned that one of our favorite quarantine activities is getting in the Jeep and taking long drives.  Our drives range from three hours to eight hours, all within the state of Ohio. For those of you concerned, we are being super careful. We pack drinks, snacks, and hand sanitizer while we explore the back roads of this state. Sometimes we find a local ice cream shop, a local coffee shop, or a local restaurant to support.  Sometimes, we find all of the above!  These are sweet finds that make each trip richer.  

A breve from Luckman’s drive-thru to start our last road trip.

I love soft serve (that’s a medium cone)!

This last trip we took all backroads which led us to Yellow Springs, John Bryant State Park, and Caesar’s Creek State Park. We had lunch at Young’s Jersey Dairy, a place very dear to my heart. We enjoyed burgers, cheese curds, and ice cream while sitting in the safety of our car. Speaking of safety, I was super impressed with the safety and efficiency of Young’s makeshift drive-thru. I love seeing how people and businesses are adapting to the times we are living in right now.  It’s always been important for me to support locally owned businesses so we make a point to find those as we go.   

Young’s Dairy

This burger and cheese curds . . so good!

Strawberry ice cream!

The parks we visited were so impressive.  I remember visiting John Bryant State Park a couple times while I was in college, but I don’t remember exploring many of the trails. And there are many trails jetting off to various scenic spots from various locations in the area. I’m looking forward to going back when it’s warmer to do some hiking. If you want to go now, I suggest going on a weekday so that you encounter less people. Remember to keep your distance and wear a mask. To this point, the people I saw hiking were wearing masks and stepping off to the side to let others pass at a super safe distance. There were a couple people playing tennis and no one came around them. I saw a family playing volleyball, and again, no one else approached them.  I do know that staying in the house is the best way to avoid getting sick right now or passing that sickness on, but I also believe in the restorative power of nature. So while I’m not advocating that you go out, I personally need these drives for my own well-being.  

I love a scenic drive.

Photo Credit: Korie Frost; John Bryant Park

Our backroad travels also took us through little towns like Corwin, Clifton, Roxanna, Waynesville, Spring Valley, and Harveysburg. Our drive from Yellow Springs to Caesar’s Creek took us past horse farms, goat farms, cow farms, and llama farms– so many farms and I loved it.  I also realize that even though we live pretty close to Caesar’s Creek State Park, I’ve never been. As we cruised the country roads around and through the park, we saw so many creeks, a couple lakes, and lots of rolling hills.

Caesar Creek State Park. Isn’t my driver so handsome?!

Caesar Creek.

Photo Credit: Korie Frost; John Bryant – a trail.

Any bikers out there?  And by bikers I mean cyclists.  And by cyclists I mean people who ride bicycles for fun.  If so, take your bike on this day drive because the Little Miami Scenic Trail goes through some of the very places I’m referring to such as  Spring valley, Corwin, and Yellow Springs. 

Photo Credit: Elyse Burk Wells; Bike Trail.

Photo Credit: Elyse Burk Wells; Bike Trail.

All of our quarantine drives have just made me more excited about warmer days and no more sickness.  I’m eagerly anticipating where all of our scouting will take us.  We have so places to go back to, to explore further, and to support!

P.S.- Thanks to my friends Elyse and Korie for offering up some photos.  We were not at these locations together; I just knew these two had, on separate occasions, visited some of these sights recently.

GO THERE (take a scenic drive)!  TRY THAT (explore your state)!

 

Big Ash Brewing

Photo of five beers on the patio

There’s a new beer house in town and this one happens to be just down the street from me!  The Cincinnati craft beer scene is exploding (well, it has been for years now) and it’s nice to see a piece of that progress in my own neighborhood.  And, it’s not just a bar, it’s a restaurant and gathering place.

Bar at Big Ash

The Bar at Big Ash Brewery

What makes Big Ash Brewing super unique is its approach to serving craft beer.  Everything is on tap and self-serve.  At Big Ash, you go in, get a card, and use that card (vending-machine-style) to taste as many beers as you’d like.  Each time you insert your card and make a pour, it adds to your tab.  Pretty clever because you can try as much or as little as you’d like.  If you know you love a particular dark stout, fill a tall glass.  If you want to try many different options, go for the smaller tasting glasses. On two of our visits, we actually spent less money and yet tried more drinks.

Photo of Big Ash tap with card

Try as little or as much as you like!

Big Ash also has hard cider and wine on tap plus a nice lineup of beers brewed on site.  They have an impressive selection such as a Coffee Blonde, Pineapple Cherry Sour, New England IPA, American Amber, and a Vanilla Cream Ale.  Their Baltic Porter was delicious and my husband really enjoyed their Milk Stout.

If you’re hungry, you can grab pizza and pretzels inside. Think flatbread pizza — thin, light, and crispy.  Big Ash dishes up signature pies and build-your-own creations.  Again, there are not servers per se.  You place your own order when ready.  There are experts around to provide direction or input if needed.

Now, full disclosure, I do not really drink.  I’m actually alcohol intolerant.  Super similar to an allergy.  But, I still love breweries and distilleries.  I like trying sips (lots of small sips) of various drinks, especially those made locally.  I enjoy a bit of hard cider now and then as well. If you like cider, you have to try Blackberry Wild by Cider Boys!  What I really like about breweries is the atmosphere.  I like gathering and talking.  I like the casual vibe and the ability to just show up and stay as long or as little as wanted.  On our last visit, we sat for awhile and played Gin Rummy!  Merchandise at Big Ash Brewery

Big Ash Brewery MerchCheck out this locally owned and operated Cincinnati business.  Take a break.  Have a seat.  Grab a drink.  Meet a friend.  You deserve it.

GO THERE (Big Ash)! TRY THAT (a tap of this and a tap of that )!