Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton Ohio

getting our “date-on” in dayton

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and I stayed downtown for the weekend and experienced a “day in the life of downtown,” almost like an out-of-towner might experience it. We had a “date” with Dayton (and Mr. Dayton), so to speak, and we hit up the city for all it had to offer. After a cozy night in (full of Star Wars and junk food) we got up in the morning and rode bikes to Second Street Market, where we had the BEST breakfast in town. And I’m a breakfast person, so I don’t dish out that compliment lightly… (the only close runner-up that comes to mind is Bagel Cafe’s turkey sausage, egg and cheese on asiago bagel.) But I digress…. Breakfast at Second Street is always fantastic. Thanks to the culinary skills of Dana and Beth, owners of Black Rooster Pasta Bar, I enjoyed eggs carbonara – an egg scramble with onions, peppers, sausage, spinach and cheese with a side of breakfast potatoes and sourdough toast. And if that wasn’t enough, Ryan was in sugar heaven with their giant puffed sugar and cinnamon doughnuts, and we got a 3 inch thick slice of stuffed french toast to split three ways. After we walked through the market for a bit, we climbed back on the bikes and rode back to the Oregon District. Onward to Phase II of our Dayton Extravaganza….

After our break-feast had settled, we walked over to Urban Krag and got our climbing certifications – if you haven’t been to the Krag, GO immediately! Karl is awesome, and the walls they’ve built in this old church are amazing. After our debriefing session where we learned how to tie several important knots (hey, by the way, these knots hold you in your harness, pay attention…), Ryan headed over to the bouldering walls while Richard and I tackled some of the smaller “big” walls. We took turns climbing and on the belay (whew, hard work!), Ryan bouldered a little, fell onto the mats a lot, and when we were tired and grubby we headed onward to Phase III, which was a surprise for me…

The next stop was Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark to see the Dougherty Exhibit, a giant woven wood sculpture made out of intertwined willow branches. I shot photos while Ryan and Richard wandered through the willow maze, and it was just an overall beautiful day to be out and about. After we were finished playing in the gardens, we hopped back over the river and checked out the Spanish Festival at Riverscape…tons of fried plantains, drinks that came in wooden monkey heads, and enough chorizo to kill a horse. Needless to say, the food was killer (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little). Ryan decided the fountains looked like a nice way to end a hot afternoon, so he lost his shirt, rolled up his jeans and made me remember how awesome it is to be six years old and completely happy just running through fountains.

Once the fountain dashing was over, we found the car, called it a day and headed up north to spend some down time with family for the rest of the weekend…we cooked a big lunch on Sunday, took a motorcycle ride, and got caught in the rain. You know what’s that’s called? A banner weekend. I loved every second of it.

Here are some shots I took of our lovely date with Dayton….I hope you’ll enjoy them. I loved experiencing a different side of our city, relishing all the wonderful things it has to offer, and finding new ways to consider it “home.”


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