In Heaven There is No Beer

My fingers have been itching to write for days now.

With all this travel i've been super stimulated and inspired by many things to write and now I sit here not knowing where to start. Not knowing if i want to take the time to suck on every last succulent detail of my trip to Cincinnati or if I want to take the time to tell you about trip to the boonies for a farm show. (Is that worth documenting for generations of my children and grandchildren be forced to relive?)

For the sake of time and sanity I leave you with a short story:

The weather was that "perfect-don't-even-notice-it-because-its-neither-hot-nor-cold-and-there's-absolutely-nothing-you-can-complain-about" type of weather. They flyer said "in between Ross and Hamilton" and "across from the dragway." In case you aren't aware, it's never a great sign when something is happening between two never-heard-of-before small towns and is across from a place where you can see things like a school bus doing a pop-a-wheelie while sparks fly. Our expectations were low.

They weren't changed much as an old man with skinny, pale legs wearing lederhosen directed us to our parking spot in a grass field at the foot of a seemingly large hill/mountain.

A line was forming at the foot of the hill to take a golf cart ride to the top where we were sure our low expectations would be confirmed by a handful of people. Some crappy beer, and the Michaels, as usual, sticking out like a sore thumb. We stood in line and waited. Waited some more. And waited some more as the two shuttle carts putted up and down the hill shuttling 3 people at a time. About 1/2 way through we realized we were the only people under the age of 70 waiting in line for the golf cart, but that there was indeed a line and perhaps we weren't going to be the only people at this event.

The boys- Josh, Doug, and Michael- decided to walk and took off up the looming mountain while the girls decided we had already waited too long and needed to stick it out. We were next in line, so surely we would beat them up the ".25 miles straight up hill" climb.

We were wrong. An old man who started up the hill at the same time as our cart passed us...As we crested the hill, D snapped pictures of our slower-than-molasses cart. The buzz of a crowd filled our ears and we realized that the Oktoberfest between Ross and Hamilton means business.

Hopping off our chariot at the entrance, we realized everyone there was obviously small-town german. And everyone there was obviously our kindred spirits.  We spent the rest of the evening "shuffle boarding" a huge glass beer stein to win prizes. $1 for three tries. On the rare occasion that you hit the target a little old lady with chicken lips and a hunched back would inspect to see if the stein was in fact all the way in the target. If you were one of the favored few she would lift a huge cow bell and the crowd would cheer with excitement as the lucky winner was handed their prize - a t-shirt, liter glass, or bottle opener. I still think I was robbed.

Of course, playing that game, we worked up our appetite and rather than waiting in the long line for sausage and sauerkraut we went with warm salty pretzels, chocolate covered bavarian cream puffs and of course a limburger cheese and onion sandwich on rye bread. (worst thing i've ever tasted, BTW). All washed down with frosty warsteiners in giant beer mugs, laughter, and the tunes of tubas, acordians and trumpets blasting another rambunctious verse of "In Heaven there is No Beer". I beg to differ. This is heaven...and there's beer all around me.

Low expectations turned into a first rate party and memories to last a lifetime.

p.s. Pictures to accompany this post will come later...


  1. Chocolate covered Bavarian cream puffs. You're right. You were in heaven.

  2. I wanna vacation like the Michaels!

    I think the golf cart ride would have been fun - even if walkers passed you by. Remember when you all wanted to go see Papa at Otterbein so you could ride around campus with him in the golf cart?