Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 4 – Dayton, OH

I love the hotel Tara picked out for us. It’s really nice!

My only complaint is the slow internet. But the hardwood floors, tall ceilings, and upscale amenities more than make up for that.

Yellow Springs is a hippie mecca in the heart of conservative Ohio. The internet describes it as a charming small town in rural Ohio. It feels almost like a different world from the rest of the area and state, as there’s a pretty strong hippie/progressive/liberal vibe.

Just our speed, in other words.

Today was a good day! We got to sleep in for the first time on our trip. Didn’t get out of bed until 7 a.m. Then we mosied downstairs for coffee, which we enjoyed on the wraparound porch. It was raining but warm. We had time to spare, so we grabbed breakfast in the hotel restaurant before heading to Fairborn. Destination: my childhood home.

Chasing Ghosts

On my road trip 10 years ago, I drove to my childhood home. Rang the doorbell. There was no answer. This time around, somebody answered the door. I didn’t really have a plan as to what I would say, so I shoved this picture in his face…

I told him hey, I lived here 40 years ago, look what your house looked like back then!

He could not have been more unimpressed, ha. As Tara pointed out, at least I got somebody to answer the door this time! 10 years ago, the person who lived there ignored me. Progress! When I come back in 2031, maybe they’ll invite me into the foyer.

After walking around my old stomping grounds, which has been turned into a disc golf course now, we drove into Dayton. I wanted to show Tara another favorite from my childhood, Carillon Historical Park.

The Wright Stuff

Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre park and museum that is home to one of five carillons in the U.S. If you don’t know what a carillon is, it’s this:

A giant bell tower, basically.

We used to visit the park often when we lived in Fairborn. There are historical buildings with guided tours covering early Dayton history, transportation, and of course, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s pioneering aviation innovations, including the Wright Flyer III…the very airplane they flew for 40 minutes over the skies of Huffman Prairie in Dayton, following trial flights in Kitty Hawk. It’s fascinating if you’re a history or aviation buff!

Tara was impressed with the displays. We spent over three hours there, and even got to ride the carousel.

After visiting Carillon Park, we drove into downtown Dayton. It was mid-afternoon and we were hungry (and thirsty), so we stopped at Coco’s Bistro for cocktails and an appetizer.

By this point we were pretty worn out from adventuring, so we headed back to the hotel, then walked a few blocks into downtown Yellow Springs, where we killed a couple of hours at Peach’s Grill. The whiskey was strong and the jukebox, loud. Walking back to our hotel, we took a detour through the woods, where we saw hundreds of fireflies lighting up the skies! That was a magical moment for me. I love fireflies. They remind me of my childhood. We don’t have them in western South Dakota, so seeing them is a very rare treat.

Tomorrow we’re headed to Cincinnati. We have no real destination; we plan to just walk around and see what’s interesting. We might meet up with a long-time blogging friend for lunch.

Ciao for now!

23 thoughts on “Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 4 – Dayton, OH

  1. The parks look really nice. Is your home a duplex? If so, I suspect that’s the issue. Renters are not going to care about the history of a house.

    Have fun in Cincy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a duplex, yes. Ours was the left side in this pic. It’s also base housing for airmen/airwomen at Wright-Patterson AFB, so I’m not really surprised. If the average stay is three years, as ours was, there have probably been at least 13 families that have lived there since us. Hard to get attached to a place under those circumstances (though it didn’t stop me).


    1. I’m kicking myself for not taking any pics of the inside of our room. I’ve never stayed in a hotel that had hardwood floors in the rooms! Prior to this trip, I was on a Super 8 budget.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This hotel looks great, even from the outside. I sometimes take our fast internet for granted until we travel. A huge variation in speed and sometimes paying for gigabytes. Driving up to your childhood home is a big deal. Mixed emotions. I just now googled fireflies versus glow worms (I am always learning something new from you, Mark) Lots of info online. We saw glow worms when we visited New Zealand a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I did a mini Google search and of course lots of information online. You are right, Mark. I still recall the amazing, surreal, huge glow worm cave in NZ. Fun and interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. He nodded his head, grunted a little, and was probably mentally telling me to scram, lol. I tried this 10 years ago and the woman who lived there at the time never even answered the door. I know she was there because I saw her leave a short time later (I was still in my car out front looking through some photos). I would have LOVED to see the inside, but I figured with COVID and all, the odds were going to be really slim.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe she was in the bathroom getting ready when you rang the bell.

        I went with my dad to visit his childhood home. The people were friendly. Came outside and talked, but no invitation to come in. This was pre-pre-pre-Covid. Maybe they were embarrassed by how messy the house was. Or maybe having random people inside your house is a safety issue. Also a possibility.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I figured the odds of getting an invite inside were extremely slim given COVID, but I had to try, you know?

        A few months after we bought our house, Doris’s daughter came by and we were happy to let her in to take a look around. I was hoping to capitalize on some of that childhood home karma, but alas, it was not to be.


  3. How fun to see your childhood home!
    The park and museum look amazing and I had no idea what a Carillon was.
    So far, this looks to be a great get away for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

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