When the Sun Comes Out…

…Columbus suddenly comes to life! I’ve heard great things about summer in Columbus, and I’m already getting a taste of it. There is certainly no shortage of open markets, festivals, outdoor movies, and concerts. Here are a few things I’ve done this past month. Can’t wait to see what July will bring!

Over Memorial Day weekend, Aja and I took a trip to Amish country. It was on my bucket list of things to do in Ohio and, although Aja was skeptical, we had a great time! We stopped by the little historical town of Roscoe Village before eating our way through the 15 different cheese samples at Guggisberg Cheese (the Amish butter cheese was one of our favorites). We were surprised by how cheaply priced all their cheese was – a giant IMG_2681cheese wedge was only $6-8! The drive through Amish country to Berlin, OH was extremely relaxing. While I expected most of the terrain to be flat and brown, in actuality we ended up winding through green rolling hills. Not quite as tall as the mountains back home, but still beautiful in and of itself. After we grabbed a quick bite to eat in Berlin, we went horseback riding at Equestrian Valley Farms. Luckily the majority of the trail was through a forested area, which provided some much needed shade relief from the sun. Although my horse Boon almost ran me into a tree, I really enjoyed the ride!

That same weekend was Asian Festival, which kicked off what is shaping up to be a summer of festivals every week here in Columbus. I happily indulged in crab rangoon and stir fried noodles and watched some cultural performances across their various stages. The representation of South, Southeast, and East Asian countries was impressive!

Next, there was the Columbus Arts Festival where local and national artists came to display their craft. Glass art, photography, ceramics, paintings, metalwork…you name it and it was there! Below are examples from two of my favorites at the festival.

Yani Sheng (http://www.yanisheng.com/) – “Fighter”

Yani Sheng_Fighter

Karina Llergo (https://karinallergosalto.com/) – “Embrace Yourself”

Karina Llergo_Embrace Yourself

I can’t wait for the day when I can fill up my own place with beautiful artwork!

The latest festival in Columbus was ComFest (short for Community Festival). It’s a ComFest_Jazz Stagewell-known, hippie gathering held in Goodale Park every year. For the first part of the day I volunteered selling drink tokens, and in return received a free t-shirt, water and snacks, Gateway movie coupons, and $20 worth of food and drink tokens! Most of the volunteers were serious supporters of ComFest, having volunteered for the past 4-5 years. In fact, one couple came all the way from North Carolina JUST for ComFest AND they volunteered all three days of the festival. That’s some serious dedication! I loved the variety of music and performances at ComFest. Where else can you listen to spoken word, jazz, folk, and rap music all in one place?

20180623_210520[1]

Speaking of music, I decided to treat myself and go to Sam Smith’s concert – The Thrill Of It All! It was the first time I attended a concert I was truly enthusiastic about, and I absolutely loved it! First of all, his stage set-up was beautiful and captivating (the picture doesn’t do it justice). He seemed extremely humble, down-to-earth, and his music sounded even better in person. I especially appreciated how he introduced his entire band and back-up singers individually and let them finish out one of his songs. Definitely a night to remember. And while he acknowledged his music can be a *little* bit depressing at times,  he wanted us all to leave the stadium with a “heart full of love.” I definitely left feeling uplifted, optimistic, and full of joy.

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