Cross Country Trip

Wholesome Midwest Fun: OH to MI

Providence Church, Avon, OHLast night I flipped through the phone book and then looked around online a bit, in order to find a good place to go to church on Sunday morning. We settled on an Evangelical Free Church called Providence Church, located in Avon, OH, which is about 20 minutes west of Cleveland.

So we got up early, showered, packed, and were actually ready on time! I was so proud of us. We packed up the car, got on the road, and actually made it to the church early.

It’s great to know that we can be anywhere in the country – probably anywhere in the world – and find a place where we can worship. We felt very at home at Providence Church even though we were only there for about an hour and a half. A few different people introduced themselves to us, and we enjoyed their reactions when we told them we were visiting in the midst of a three week road trip. Everyone was very friendly. They had a full praise band (including a drum set encased in a plastic booth, and an electric guitar player with a mohawk) and the music was great. The pastor actually didn’t preach this morning, but instead the preacher was one of their deacons, who works as a chaplain with the Cleveland Browns. He gave a great sermon on the second half of Philippians 2.

The congregation is about 10 years old, and they just moved into this new building in November. For a modern, “multipurpose” kind of space, it really had a lot of inspirational elements to it. Too bad we don’t have any pictures of the inside for you, but of course that would have been tacky.

We could have stayed for their church picnic, but instead we hit the road. We were disappointed to discover that the Ohio Turnpike doesn’t take the EZ Pass. I guess it’s time to retire our friend the EZ Pass! It’s been a while since we’ve had to come up with cash to pay for a toll… bummer. Being on a turnpike also limited our lunch options. It worked out in my favor, actually. Dave was craving Burger King, and it made my stomach churn just to think about having greasy BK burgers. Eating at a turnpike plaza, it was just like eating in a food court – Dave had the Angus burger, and I enjoyed a slice of Hawaiian pizza from Sbarro.

Michigan borderNot too long after our lunch break, we crossed from Ohio into Michigan. Not that the terrain changes much. We kept driving until we got to Ann Arbor, where we decided to take a little side trip to take a few photos of the campus especially for our UMichigan alumni friends. That little side trip took a bit longer than we planned, because we didn’t plan too well and we ended up driving around Ann Arbor for a while looking for the campus. Today was another sunny day, and Ann Arbor in the summer is leafy and green, so it was enjoyable. Of course, it gave me pause to think that perhaps I wouldn’t have such a high opinion of Ann Arbor if I visited it in the winter… I imagine it goes from green to white rather quickly.

So it took us longer to get from Cleveland to Saginaw than we’d planned, but it was okay. We arrived in Saginaw a little before 5 pm, and pulled into the driveway at the home of Dave’s cousin Jeanne and her husband Scott. They have three kids (Mac, Emerson, and Gwenyth), a dog, and another baby on the way. We hung out with Jeanne and Scott as they made dinner, and kept ourselves amused with watching the kids run around. Scott and Jeanne were thrilled to be able to make dinner for grownups, so we had an awesome meal – spareribs, corn, salad, potatoes, wine… yum! And I can’t forget to mention the peach and raspberry crisp Jeanne made… double yum!

Jenn and GwenythAfter dinner, we just hung out watching the Sox game. (Here’s a cute picture of Gwen & me watching the game.) Dave the Yankee fan had to be careful not to make too many negative comments – despite being located in the middle of Michigan, the Woodbury household is a part of Red Sox Nation. But Dave made up for his anti-Sox attitude by looking at Dell catalogs with Scott to help him pick out his next computer. Now to finish up the laundry, then off to bed!

1 thought on “Wholesome Midwest Fun: OH to MI”

  1. Nice pics of UM! Elyn and I lived like 4 blocks from the State Theater… we used to walk to the Urban Outfitters next door and window shop. I think Ann Arbor is one of the nicest college towns in America. It’s got this great small town-big town feel to it.

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