We're back from a fun and exciting trip to... Springfield, Ohio! I love small-town adventures, quirky tourist traps and exploring new places, so this trip was right up my alley. It's a relatively easy drive from Michigan (about 5 hours), and there are lots of unique things to do to spend a weekend there! I'll be blogging about our trip all week... and first up, we have the Hartman Rock Garden. It's one of the nation's most revered works of in situ folk art, an outsider art phenomena where self-taught artists construct worlds out of concrete, metal, stone, and whatever else they can find. It was interesting to explore and see how much detail went into this garden!
The garden was built by Ben Hartman, at his home in Springfield. In 1932, he was laid off from his job (during the Great Depression) and he wasn't content with his newly-sedentary lifestyle, so he began building a cement fishing pond in his backyard. By the time he was done with it, he was hooked, and continued to build a variety of structures and figures, following the themes of history, religion, and patriotism. After he died, his wife Mary, took over the task of maintaining the garden, and giving tours. After Mary passed, the garden was left and neglected, and in 2008, the Kohler Foundation (known for preserving significant folk art sites), purchased and restored the garden. It had it's grand reopening in 2010 and has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world.
The Hartman Rock Garden is open 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk. We got there right as the sun was going down. It's at it's "best" from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, so if you're visiting Springfield in the summer, be sure to pay a visit! Self-guided tours are free, and you can go in and explore at your own leisure! We walked around for a bit, snapping a few photos, and taking in some of the detail of this site. Definitely a unique treasure of Springfield!
After dinner, we drove back to our hotel at the Courtyard Marriott. I kept seeing signs of John Legend everywhere... and I was like, hmm, and Eric and I looked it up and apparently he grew up in Springfield, which is fun! We decided to walk to dinner at Seasons Bistro, since it was so close. I loved how walkable the downtown of Springfield was! And it was the perfect summer evening for it too (so many fireflies were out!). We had a late dinner at Seasons, which was great. Awesome service, and yummy food. We shared the risotto balls (yum), had Caesar salads (one of the best I've had!), and our own entrees. Eric went for the sirloin with herb butter, and I tried their special - pasta and veggies in bechamel sauce. Delicious!
And lastly... my outfit! I think this is maybe the first time I've worn a crop top on the blog? And this was the most modest crop top I could find. Hahaha, this pasty belly doesn't normally make it's way to the blog. But I love the high waisted pants + crop top look! But I snagged these jeans from H&M and I love them. A little nervous to wear white pants, but I managed to survive this rock garden and our dinner out... so that's a start! But these will definitely get a lot of wear this summer... and thankfully summer is only beginning this week! Woo!
This trip was courtesy of Springfield CVB, but all opinions are my own.