Of Cornfields & Coolers: A Fast Weekend Trip North

Please note that after a week of rainy days the blue sky and puffy white clouds made me happy.

OVER THE WEEKEND we drove 4.5 hours north through central Ohio farmland, seeing cornfields hither and yon, so that we could go see Zen-Den’s mother.  She’s now spending her days in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home. We also wanted to meet up with Zen-Den’s sister and her husband who live about a half hour away from MIL.

We hadn’t seen any of them since November 2019 because of all the Covid-19 restrictions, yada, yada, yada.

The weather for our drive was great, summery warm but not humid. I’ll admit that it was mesmerizing to be on the road after 16 months of staying at home.  Everything looked the same, but different.

Mother-in-law was able to chat with us for about 45 minutes before she was tired.  Considering her situation she seemed in a good place mentally, physically, and even spiritually.  Never one for small talk, we knew that it’d be fast visit with her so we also planned on visiting with SIL and her husband.

We met them at a lovely, Mediterranean-esque vineyard and had a delicious lunch outside on the patio under a large umbrella where adult libations flowed.   Then we walked around the beautifully landscaped multi-acre grounds that included a pond, walking paths, a gift shop, and a swanky bar with a hip vibe.

It was a pleasant, relaxing afternoon outside in the sunshine, walking a little, drinking some, and laughing a lot.

I mean A LOT of laughter.

Please note that the empty wine glass, with visible dregs of red wine, was left on the rustic lamppost near the vineyard parking lot.

SO THAT WE could break up the 9 hour round trip drive, on the way back home we stayed at a Hampton Inn.  Naturally something goofy happened while we were there because that’s how it goes with us.

When we travel by car we put bottles of water on ice inside a small Igloo-brand cooler that holds about 6 bottles.  It’s nothing special, just practical and durable.

As we were getting ready to leave the motel in the morning Z-D went to get ice from the machine on the first floor near the reception desk.  He had the cooler with him.  When the woman working behind to desk saw him with the cooler she started laughing.

At him.  He was baffled, not upset.

She said that she was used to seeing large Igloo coolers on wheels, the kind families take with them, but our little cooler was just too cute for words, a miniature cooler that for some reason tickled her.

Z-D explained that the little cooler was just for the two of us, so it made sense. According to him she nodded her head in understanding, but kept chuckling as he walked away.

Thus it came to be, what I can only describe as, a situation wherein Zen-Den was COOLER SHAMED.  I mean, really, who goes around publicly criticizing a man’s cooler? 🤨

Anyhow that’s what we did over the weekend. Just a weekend, kind of normal, like they used to be.

What did you do over the weekend, my gentle readers?

Please note that this is the cute little cooler mentioned above.

213 thoughts on “Of Cornfields & Coolers: A Fast Weekend Trip North

    • Kate, somehow our little cooler seems to be looking good. Of course, we haven’t been going anywhere much over these last 16 months which might be part of it. Hear, hear, to more fun on the weekends!

      Liked by 7 people

  1. LMAO, “cooler shamed.” That’s a new one.

    Well, nothing for it. You’ll just have to get Z-D a giant cooler for his birthday so you can fit in on your next road trip. Never mind the wasted water in ice tonnage or materials. More important to impress everyone with his big…cooler.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Molly, I felt that Z-D handled the situation well, but I agree that cooler shaming is not cool. Yep to the cornfields. If’n farms are your thing then the drive is scenic, otherwise it is kind of monotonous. 🥱

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Your talk of long drives through Ohio reminds me of the trips we made to that area when my son was playing competitive baseball. So beautiful. I miss being able to pop easily across the border. When we travelled we had the big cooler, for sure, but also a smaller one similar to yours for easy reach to cold water in the car. There is no shame in a small cooler! Smart is what it is.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Arlene, once you get outside the major cities there are lots of fields and barns in Ohio. I can see why you remember them.

      There’s nothing wrong with large coolers if you need one, but for the two of us this little Elite works just fine. I agree, we’re being smart. Plus we have it, so why not use it?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful day ! Love the pictures, even the empty wine glass. Getting away and having great conversations and much laughter sounds wonderful.
    We spent a little time with the grands before they left with their mothers for Disney World Monday.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Beth, this was our first time out in the world since March 2020. It was a small adventure to see how things would go and we did okay. No angst, just lots of people everywhere which was an adjustment for my introverted self. The cooler shaming was a hoot.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Deb, I’m low-key and I like to accomplish things so your weekend sounds good to me. Our little road trip was fun, but it was odd to be around people again. Especially ones who criticize coolers. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I also own a Little Playmate cooler. However, mine is not “Elite” so now I do feel a bit shamed that I have a 2nd class cooler. Still does the job tho.
    Glad you had a good family visit. My oldest son and I traveled to northern Wisconsin for the day on Sunday to visit my second oldest son and my 2 granddaughters so that was a great day!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ellen D, I’m sorry that you feel shame about your cooler. It was not my intention to shame you about your cooler. How we ended up with an Elite cooler is anyone’s guess!

      Your Sunday sounds like it was fun. It’s great when you can travel to go see those you love. Perhaps that’s one of the lessons from the pandemic, be grateful.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ally, maybe the next time you travel, YOU will have to take the cooler to fill it with ice. In order to spare your husband the humiliation of being “cooler shamed”, you know.

    Your weekend sounds wonderful. We spent some time laughing with my SIL and her hubby last weekend too. It seemed almost normal!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Laurie, good idea. I’ll take it upon myself to be the fetcher of ice because that’s the kind of good-hearted wife I am. Who knew there was cooler shame?

      I agree that our weekend seemed almost normal, too. It was odd to be out among people, but great to see these particular people.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Um, we have been using that exact Little Playmate cooler since the ‘80’s, but ours is red! Those darn things are durable! And I love that vineyard that you visited. My oldest daughter got engaged there. Aren’t the grounds lovely? Have been wanting to go back again, but worried how busy they are on the weekends. Was it crazy?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bijoux, a red Elite cooler would be as cute a this blue one. I don’t know when we got ours, but it does a great job of keeping the water cold.

      The vineyard was VERY busy. People everywhere on the patio, in the bar, along the paths. We had to drive around the parking lot a few times before a space opened up. It was great to be outside, but after 16 months away from people it seemed odd to be around them.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I was sitting here reading this and thought, “Good grief, that woman is shaming him for his cooler!” and then I read what you wrote…thanks, now I am smiling and can’t help but giggle…seriously, what is wrong with people? Shaming over a cooler…get a grip on reality folks ((grin)). ANYWAYS, what did we do over the weekend? It was my weekend off and so we headed 45 min. north in a monsoonal rain to visit a flea market. Where we stopped for lunch at an Amish rest. and where a woman tried to shame me for not wearing a mask (we were sitting there E-A-T-I-N-G our lunch) . I swear to you, the world has gone mad, Ally. grin

    Liked by 4 people

    • Linda, I think [hope] the woman talking with Z-D about the cooler was being light-hearted, but who knows? You said it: “what is wrong with people?” Your weekend adventure sounds like fun, minus the mask shaming incident. Maybe you were supposed to ingest the food by osmosis? That way you could keep your mask on. 🙄

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I laughed at the cool cooler story.

    I was alone last weekend, family either working or playing with trains. A great part of one day was chatting with a faraway daughter for hours and attending a wedding on Zoom. I enjoyed both.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Lovely to get a peek into your world Ally Bean. Definitely an adventure given that it was a lonnnngggg while since you’d been out on the road and seeing various in-laws (no outlaws?) The cooler is too dear. We use those kinds too, they’re so neat and compact and fulfil their purpose.

    It was a lovely weekend – warm weather, long beach walk. The weather has turned dramatically, it is cold and wet. My son and DIL are arriving this evening. Been making everything as nice as possible. Prepping also for US visitors next week. My husband is FIL, I am MIL, my daughter in law is MIL, and my older son is BIL – these appendages given us by my DIL.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. We had or have one just like that and it is the best. Most of the time there is no need to haul around a huge cooler! It sounds like a lovely trip. It IS refreshing to get out and travel a bit, see people, and go out to eat/drink. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Margaret, the cooler is nothing special but useful. However I don’t think insulting it was necessary! It was a good fast getaway and has been a long time in coming. This was my first time going out to eat since March 2020, so a bit of wine was called for.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. We carry our little Igloo cooler everywhere with us – ours is red. They can shame away and I will care not. We finally had some much needed gentle rains over the weekend. It was a welcome relief.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful journey seeing family there. And, except for that cooler comment, it would have been perfect. We have a cooler that size as well. It never occurred to us that it was something we would be cooler shamed for. I’ll have to remember to hide it the next time we head out of town or just plan ahead for the moment of shame. LOL!

    Liked by 5 people

    • robin, I tell you we got the biggest kick out of Z-D’s cooler shaming. We’d had a good day before seeing his family and somehow the comment struck us as hilarious. I do believe, knowing what you know now, you should be prepared for a possible cooler shaming. It can happen.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Well it is a cute little thing – from now on you have to go get the ice or he needs to carry a larger cooler to keep from ever being cooler shamed again lol. I’m so glad you were able to get away for a quick trip to see your mother-in-law and glad you had such a nice afternoon with your sister-in-law and her husband too. It sounds like it was a fantastic!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Martha, I can honestly say that beyond usefulness I never thought one single thing about our little cooler until this shaming happened. People can be weird. It was a fun adventure north and a good way to get back into the world again after all these months at home. Plus, there was wine.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. That IS a cute cooler, but I don’t get how that would tickle someone. So strange. When we stayed at the hotel that had the fire alarm go off in the middle of the night, almost every floor had an ice machine. Almost every ice machine was broken. At last, the one of the first floor worked. Sometimes the floor would get wet there where ice sometimes scattered around. There was a ‘WET FLOOR’ sign set up.

    I was waiting for the elevator when a woman with 2 toddlers and McD’s take out bags went to the front desk and said: I’M SORRY BUT I DROPPED A CUP OF WATER NEXT TO THE WET FLOOR SIGN. I JUST WANTED SOMEONE TO KNOW THERE’S A PUDDLE THERE NOW.

    She got in the elevator with me and I just couldn’t stop laughing. I told her: WELL DONE. IF EVER YOU’RE GOING TO DROP A CUP OF WATER, YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT IT YOU DROP IT NEXT TO THE WET FLOOR SIGN.

    She and I shared a good laugh. She gave me a nod later that night when we stood in the parking lot after the fire alarm. Her toddler was trying to sleep on her shoulder.

    Last weekend I made lots of meals so I could free up my weeknights a bit. Plus I watched Curly play travel basketball and I drove my sister to the airport.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ernie, that’s a great story. Absolute perfection all things considered. Thanks for sharing it here. I’m laughing.

      As for the woman behind the reception desk throwing shade on our little cooler, all I can say is go figure. It seems like a respectable cooler to me, but obviously not everyone understands its charm.

      Making meals ahead is a good idea. Basketball watching and airport transport sound like they filled in the hours.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Sounds like a perfect weekend AND the perfect cooler for 6 bottles of water. Glad Z-D got to hook up with his sister and see his mom and enjoy some laughs.

    We have a small cooler for 6-8 drinks for day trips. And another one for longer trips (12 drinks). You need the right cooler for the right job. Maybe that Hampton clerk was laughing WITH Z-D while laughing AT folks who cart about enormous coolers that are bigger than necessary?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Nancy, the weekend was fast but fun. As for the cooler shaming ’tis possible that the reception woman was laughing with Z-D, but he felt like she was laughing at him and our little cooler. He was able to overcome the perceived mockery and soldiered on like the trooper he is!

      Liked by 3 people

  16. You had a very exciting weekend compared to me! I don’t think the woman meant to coolershame Zen-Den but you do have to be careful. I’ve insulted strangers with comments I thought were harmless. You never know.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Jan, I agree with you. I’m sure the woman at the reception desk meant no harm, but Z-D was surprised by her comment. He came back to the room bemused. I mean, it’s a cooler like a thousand other ones. You’re right about how you do have to be careful with offhand comments. People are triggered by the darnedest things anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Cooler-shaming: there’s a new one on me! Well, say to your Zen-Den: It’s **your** little playmate and no one elses’ so there!
    Thanks for taking us/me along with you on your trip. The laughter I could join you in, in tandem with the reading – I tend to guffaw, BTW!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Laura, the cooler seems benign to me, but apparently the woman at the reception desk saw something different when she saw it. Funny what people will say, isn’t it? Just part of a good fast adventure, so I had to write about it here. Had to!

      Liked by 3 people

  18. My little baby six pack cooler has disappeared. When I drove cross country I had a big (manly?) cooler full of sandwich fixings and yogurt and such, and my little baby cooler for easy to reach drinks while driving. Of course, a taller cooler would be more useful these days. But no road trips for me. I live in the south where SURGE is the word of the day.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. That is a rather cute cooler. I say just be glad you gave the woman a good laugh during what may have otherwise been a rather dull day. I suppose it could only be funny to someone with her job, and the rest of us wouldn’t get the joke. Aw well.

    I’m glad to hear you MIL is doing well, that you got to see SIL and hubs, and that the adult libations were flowing. I loved that phrase. Not one I’ve heard for a rather long time. They likely contributed to the laughter. Glad you had a nice time without worse incident than the cooler shaming. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  20. How fun that you got to go on an excursion! Our cooler is even smaller than that but we’ve never been cooler shamed. My hubby’s mom lives about 9 hours away so while I wouldn’t mind the drive, there’s no way he could handle that so he flies. He’s actually up there now. I was just thinking the other day that I miss laughter. I mean out and out belly laugh laughter. Thanks for sharing your weekend. Glad you got to visit family.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Janet, I don’t know that cooler shaming is all that common, but leave it to us to have it happen. Harmless enough, of course– but a great story.

      I agree with you about laughter. I hadn’t thought about how we weren’t laughing with other people during these last 16 months, until we four were sitting around and just cracking up over the dumbest things. Much silliness, much needed. Highly recommended.

      Liked by 3 people

  21. I have a tiny cooler so I guess I would be cooler shamed.
    Over the weekend I did what I’m doing now (well not currently, since I am answering this)–edited the book I’m contractually obligated to edit. I am behind, which is why I haven’t posted on my blog in a while or read many blog posts. But I needed a break and your blog is entertaining, so here I am!

    Liked by 5 people

    • L. Marie, thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. I do try to keep it light here. As for editing a book, that seems insurmountable to me, but obviously you know how to do it.

      [And now I’m worrying about my word choices and grammar and punctuation. Oh dear, please forgive me if I err.]

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I used to use a cooler like that for my work lunches. They are quite handy 🙂
    Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. I finished a 6-week writing workshop on Saturday (well, actually, Sunday because I needed to provide feedback to my workshop friends’ on their last submissions). Now I did have a two-hour FaceTime visit with a friend in CA. That was fun! Maybe next weekend I’ll do something more interesting. Maybe not 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  23. How funny about the cooler shaming. Even funnier – it sees we all have at least one. They ARE the perfect size, you know.

    Last weekend we were supposed to have a cul-de-sac block party – which I was shocked to discover I was kinda looking forward to it (color me shocked – but I guess that’s what a year and a half of quarantine will do to an introvert). Everyone old enough had been vaccinated, so it felt safe. But they cancelled it due to weather (which also relieved me a bit – I know, I’m a conundrum even to myself).

    We are supposed to head up to Connecticut in September as my MIL turns 90. And while I can’t wait to get there to see her I am dreading the entire trip between here and there. This whole delta variant and the rising cases…who even knows. Some days I am convinced that I will never leave this house again.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Gigi, I understand what you’re saying about how everyone has this cooler and about being an introvert who looks forward to but then is relieved when social events don’t happen. I soooo get that.

      As for traveling I’ve been concerned about the Delta variant and wondered if we should go, but we really needed to go see MIL. We’re both fully vaccinated, but you never really know about anyone else around you.

      I figured that it being summer and there being fresh air everywhere we went it was about as safe as we could be. But if the Delta variant takes over, I’ll be like you staying at home. What a mess, huh?

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Cooler shaming. Ha, ha!! We have a small cooler about that size or smaller. That’s the one I keep near me when driving on a long trip so I can get at my food without taking my eyes off the road. I have a somewhat larger one with an ice “pack” that goes in the top and then if we’re really going somewhere where we need a lot of food a/o drink, my husband has a large, red metal Coleman cooler from lo these many years ago, years even before he met me (imagine that many!!) Not only does it do a great job cooling, it can serve as a seat and the color is great for attracting hummingbirds. What’s not to like?

    Your trip sounds just what the doctor ordered, although perhaps not Dr. Fauci. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Janet, the convo about the little cooler was a funny thing to happen but also kind of wacky. No harm insulting our cooler, Z-D rose above it.

      You have quite a collection of coolers, each with a specific purpose. That’s impressive you know. I remember those metal Coleman coolers from when I was a kid. I haven’t seen one in years, decades even. I bet it’s very useful for food and fooling the hummers.

      I don’t know where Dr. Fauci stands on travel. We were as safe as we could be considering there were people everywhere. Now we wait 2 weeks to see if we caught anything even though we’re both fully vaccinated.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. I have the Three Bears of coolers: a small square one, a medium square one that’s tall enough to accept a bottle of milk or orange juice, and a big, hunky one that’s good for a week at a cabin or bringing home shrimp on ice. It mostly sits in the closet, and come December, the medium square one turns into a stand for the artificial cedar that serves as my Christmas tree. I don’t think I could shame any of them if I tried.

    It’s only Tuesday, and I had to stop and think: what did I do last weekend? The highlight of Saturday was pickign up a crate of peaches at the farmers’ market. I shared a few, but froze most of them.On Sunday, I left home about 7 and made a swing through Brazos Bend state park and Nash prairie. On my way home from Nash, I found a whole field of lotuses in the Brazos River backwaters, and talked to a rancher who was glad to see me wearing my snake boots, since he’d just shot a ten-foot rattler.

    Liked by 5 people

    • shoreacres, obviously you’re good at cooler management, using them for specific reasons, re-purposing one when needed. I love that the medium one shows up at Christmas as part of your tree support system. Smart.

      As for your adventures over the weekend I’d like it all except the rattlesnake. Glad you had the proper boots on, but *ick* it was a poisonous snake. 😳

      Liked by 2 people

  26. We helped our daughter and son in law butcher 60 chickens. They needed more cooler space and so I went to Costco and bought the biggest hugest white igloo cooler you can imagine. It hardly fit in my SUV and took 6 bags of ice to fill the bottom! Henceforth always to be known as the chicken cooler. Would fit about 12 of the minis! Wonder what the reception lady would say about it!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Judy, it was pleasant to get away from the house [that I love] for a couple of days. It seemed so normal to go where we did, but it was all different. Yes, if you go flaunting a small cooler be aware that people can be [inexplicably] judge-y. 😊

      Liked by 3 people

      • Normal but different – yes, that is what it is this summer. Our full vaccination rate here is just a little under 60%. We ate ‘inside’ a restaurant for the first time this week, and I kept looking around thinking about that. It was not comfortable, and the next time we hanker for their good food we’ll be sitting outside at a picnic table.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Over the weekend our dining and drinking was outside so I felt comfortable, but I’m not ready for inside dining. Our full vaccination rate is much lower than yours and this makes me wary. It’s difficult to want to be around people who can’t be arsed to get [free] vaccinations.

          Liked by 3 people

  27. Maybe the woman working behind to desk was amused by the name of the cooler? Sounds like a wonderful weekend, especially good to enjoy a lot of laughter and share fun times with loved ones again. We’re still avoiding people on the weekends and visiting the birds at the beach weekday evenings. We’re not summer people.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Barbara, excellent point. The name Elite does stand out on the little cooler. The little cooler has attitude and knows how to show it.

      This was our first socializing since the beginning of the pandemic. I was hesitant but we needed to see MIL and then getting together with SIL and husband made it perfect. Now we wait two weeks [fingers crossed, prayers said] to make sure we didn’t catch the Delta variant.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jean, that’s the truth of it, isn’t it? Why our little cooler made the woman laugh is anyone’s guess, but at least she was happy. And that’s a good thing in our world wherein haters get all the attention.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Little Playmate DOES sound like a sex toy. We used to have that same cooler only red.
    Also, don’t you remember my husband’s little cooler from our anniversary, the vomit cooler? It’s around the same size. We always bring that when we go on road trips for the same reason you do.

    Liked by 5 people

  29. I can imagine getting out for a trip was uplifting after everything going on in the world and laughing lots and leaving your wine glass randomly over a good photo shot for the blog sounds like my sort of evening, too lol.

    Oh wow over “cooler shaming” haha. I live in Wales, UK although dated a man in Kentucky for seven years until Covid and whilst we got a heatwave for a few days here at the mo, we don’t usually need coolers or air con as much. When I visited to see him 6x over the KY summer, it was a cultural difference to need a cooler but when we did it was a small one in a bag thing that preserved a few soft drinks and leftover food 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Katy, yes it was uplifting to go somewhere, anywhere, that’s not here. We were long overdue to go visit MIL and really wanted to see her plus Z-D’s sister and husband. It was fun.

      The whole cooler shaming incident got both of us laughing. Why our little cooler was so entertaining to the woman behind the reception desk is… well, an unknown. Kentucky summers can be hot and humid and muggy. Having a cooler of any size is helpful. Those ones in a bag are especially portable.

      Liked by 2 people

  30. We have a red one! (and a smaller blue on that was kid’s for field trips and stuff)
    People always used to laugh at me as I was always packing a cooler – but it’s just so convenient.
    Trip sounds lovely. Nice you were able to chat with Mother-in-law. No matter how short it was good for all.

    Liked by 5 people

    • philmouse, people can laugh all they want but having a cooler with some cold water is great. It keeps us moving down the road.

      You’re right, visiting MIL was good. She’s well, but older and declining so we thought it was a good idea to check in with her.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. Being retired and having retired friends, weekends are the same as any other day. This weekend I just stayed home, but my sister and a friend came over on Thursday. We went shopping at my favorite ladies clothing store and then went out to lunch. It doesn’t sound exciting, but, like your road trip, when you haven’t been out much for a year, it was very nice.

    After the pandemic, fashions have become more creative and colorful. After years of plain colors, prints are back. That’s fun. We ate at the outdoor tables at a favorite seafood place on the waterfront. The weather was perfect, the breeze gentle and the seafood delicious. I had oysters, and the next day I heard that the hot weather and the warmed ocean had sickened oysters, and we had to be careful. So far so good.

    So that’s what I did on the not-weekend.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Nicki, I can understand how your retirement lifestyle means weekdays and weekends merge into just days. Not-weekend. I like that idea, in fact. Looking forward to when we get there.

      I haven’t been out shopping for women’s clothes, other than Kohl’s which is more about basics than style. I didn’t know prints were back. I’m happy that you had a great time going out to lunch, it sounds delightful BUT the whole oyster scenario sounds potentially lousy. Sometimes you can’t win for losing, as my mother used to say.

      Liked by 3 people

  32. No shame in a small cooler, just practical. As for me, I’m going to go to an actual movie tonight in an actual theater, first time in over a year and a half. I’m tickled. Have a great weekend, Ally.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. LOL! She was probably amused b/c yours was little and cute…like our little cube one we take! I will never forget this story now when we take it and He-Man fills it with ice before we check-out! 😂

    I am so happy that you got out and Z-Den got to see his Mom, Sister, and you had a week-end get away!!

    A girlfriend from CA came up for the week-end and we hiked, birded, and oohed, and ahhed over all the pretty wildflowers in bloom up in the high country.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. My husband actually has a cooler similar. It’s orange. He carries it most everywhere because I think he might die if he has to go without Diet Dr. Pepper for any length of time. Speaking of coolers, I recently just bought a picnic sized igloo cooler because they’re doing a whole retro throwback thing and I’m a sucker for that AND because we only a super large one for transporting food back and forth to the cabin and the tiny one for my husband’s DDP. I wanted a good midsized one for day adventures with the fam. Any….way…

    I’m glad you had a good visit with the in-laws and that many laughs were had. Sounds pretty wonderful.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Katie, I like the idea of having a picnic size cooler. We have the little one, source of shame, and we have a couple large ones that are for putting beers + waters on ice at a party, but not a goldilocks one that is just right for a picnic. I’ll look into this.

      It was refreshing to be on the road again, even if for a short time. And we did laugh. I don’t know why but everything seemed to strike us as funny. Of course the adult libations helped with that. 🍷

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ann, your reasoning is our reasoning. Our little Elite cooler is perfect for us when we travel. It fits perfectly in the area behind the driver’s seat which means it’s out from under foot and the front seat passenger can easily grab drinks for both of us. Win win.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Maybe she was censoring herself from saying “have a nice stay with your …. Little Playmate”? We used to bring a cooler and sometimes a case of beer when we stayed in a hotel on family vacations, and my mom always got made fun of for trying to throw a blanket or something over the cooler while walking through the hotel lobby because “we look like hillbillies!” I have no idea why she thought hillbillies would stay in a hotel with a cooler.

    Liked by 3 people

    • bibliomama, I like your take on what this woman was really thinking. You have a good point, it was polite to not mention something that could be taken as salacious. Your mother’s perception of what you’d look like carrying a large cooler through the hotel lobby is funny. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought one way or another about a person carrying [or pulling] a cooler into a hotel, but maybe some people do. Judgers gotta judge, so maybe your mother thought it was best to not be judged.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Maybe the words “Little Playmate” that are on the side of the cooler tickled her, as she thought of it being a kid’s cooler, though kids sure aren’t resourceful enough to think to pack cold drinks. Cooler shaming is not cool IMHO either!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. I’m thinking the receptionist’s reaction is more about how dull her job is than anything else. She sounds like a fun-loving type, all said. Glad you got to get out and have a nice weekend. I think ours was spent working on Cane’s house. I can’t really remember, because all the days have a been a blur of house-working. But we’re finally done! Except for a few small things. We took all of yesterday off and it felt heavenly. Seems like we humans need some deprivation to help us appreciate “normal” things—like a weekend road trip or a day absent of chores.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Rita, you could well be right about the receptionist. She wasn’t mean, just overly amused… in our estimation. It’s a lovely little cooler, poor dear.

      I know you’re correct about humans needing to feel deprived in order to fully appreciate normal things like we did over the weekend. I’m glad to read that you’re almost, just about, finished with Cane’s house. That’s a big project to take on. YAY!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. It’s funny that she found the cooler funny. Huh? I think it’s really cute!
    I’m so glad to read that you were able to visit with your MIL and Zen Dens sister. And wine. And laughter. All the things I love!
    You asked what I did this past weekend, but here it is Friday night and I could not tell you what I did last weekend. I can tell you that we have a very busy and eventful week and I’m ready for a quiet weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Suz, the conversation about the cooler was funny/odd because I don’t think it’s that unusual to have a small cooler with you when you travel, BUT MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS, eh? It did get us laughing so that’s good.

    I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend here, too. If I hadn’t written this post about last weekend I don’t know that I’d have remembered it either. Aging gracefully, that’s me. 🙄

    Like

  40. Pingback: The week gone by — July 25 – A Silly Place

  41. Who would have thought a couple years ago that a road trip could be so much fun? I miss the ease at which we would spontaneously take one. Now it seems that the newest variant has put us back to restrictions. So glad we took advantage of the brief window of opportunity while we could.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. It’s so amazing to be doing normal things again, right? So glad you had a wonderful time. I do think it’s weird to laugh at someone’s cooler, though.

    Like

    • J, you said it. What we did was just about as normal as anything we’ve ever done, but this time it was so weirdly unique. The whole cooler conversation had us befuddled, but laughing.🤷‍♀️

      Like

  43. Hi ally
    The road trip, laughing and visiting with family sounds like such a fun way to refresh!
    The wine glass on the lamp post is such a great shot! Makes you wonder if someone was accidentally taking it home and then did not ha e energy to go all the way back so left it there for the crew to get the next day.
    Or maybe it was there as a marketing ploy – luring in some customers who see that wine glass and light up?
    Or not….

    And regarding the cooler – I remember when the boys were in sports and we upgraded to a big badass cooker with wheels and tray – and recall how many families had the large coolers so I can see why the hotel
    Clerk thought the small one was charming – or maybe it was the playmate name? Just kidding
    Anyhow – we spent a good dollar on our big ok cooler and only used it maybe two or three times until we donated it to a team – was sad to see it go but it was sitting in the attic –
    And we do have a small one we use for road trips – the size of yours but the lid comes all the way off.
    And it is perfect size for road tripping

    Like

    • Yvette, we had a good time on our fast trip north. Considering we had to be on the go most of the time it turned out to be a relaxing adventure. I wondered, too, if the glass was some kind of marketing ploy to remind you that you could drink wine without a care in the world. Leave your glass here, we’ll take care of it– and you.

      You’re right it could be the name of the cooler that got the woman behind the reception desk giggling. Who knows, huh? It was a harmless conversation, but unexpected. Despite her chuckles I like our little cooler.

      Like

  44. We have one of those coolers. We also have the one size larger. And then not a regular size, but a huge size monster. And various small cloth/padded coolers. Husband has celiac so we carry stuff everywhere we go. Nobody better cooler shame him or I’ll knock their ice block off.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. We once had a cooler like that! We too took it with us on short trips to keep drinks cool. I’m so glad you had a good weekend!
    P.S. I wanted to hit “like” on your post but couldn’t find the button. 🤷

    Liked by 1 person

  46. “Cooler shamed” haha this gave me such a good chuckle. Hey you made her day and got a good story out of it. I spent almost ten years living in Cincinnati, and therefore I definitely relate to driving through the countryside in Ohio. It is interesting how perception can change so much. Glad you got to have such a rich weekend with family and good laughs.

    Peta

    Like

    • Peta, I can only guess that the woman behind the reception desk was good at entertaining herself while watching the people go by. Z-D took the *shame* in stride. Didn’t know you’d lived in the Cincy region. You definitely know how the Ohio countryside can go on forever, it’s mesmerizing to see how flat it is after the hills of southern Ohio. We had fun up north, so for our first outing since March 2020 was great. Of course now with the Delta variant spreading, it may be our only outing of the year.

      Like

  47. Why, I thought that was a very lovely looking cooler myself! I would be lucky to have it! Lol… That’s Actually a great idea, to keep your drinks cold (or beer in my husband’s case, for destination consumption)! 🙂

    We had a busy weekend of entertaining… Just the one day… For like 7 hrs… Exhausting! Is it me or is entertaining post-lockdown quite draining?! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • BossyBabe, I like your positive cooler spirit– and any spirits you’d like to put in a cooler. Don’t know why that woman was so tickled by our Elite but she was.

      I agree with you. Entertaining, doing anything social, drains me now, more than it ever did before. I’m glad we went to see Z-D’s family but the idea of chit-chatting with other people every weekend, well– that’s too much for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Ally,
    Not going to lie, I’d have been giggling too. It’s a mind in the gutter thing, I think. Playmate Elite, indeed! Glad y’all had a fun trip. Laughter is so nice! I don’t remember the weekend. I’d like to say I enjoyed it. That we (Ry, David and I) enjoyed it. Damn, what did we do? Blank. My mind is totally blank. I’ll have to get back with you on that. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mona, you made laugh. You’re right it could well be a mind in the gutter thing. I can see who the words on our little cooler could be interpreted… differently. I often have weekends that I know I enjoyed but couldn’t tell you what I did. A total blank makes sense to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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