My family (sans Eric, who decided at the last minute not to join us) made the long drive to Columbus, Ohio on this lovely long weekend! The kids were surprisingly well behaved for the trip, especially since we were on the road for eight hours! I have some tips for long car rides with young children, but I will save that for another post.
We arrived at the Hilton Columbus at Easton around 7:30pm. The hotel is huge, and the rooms are lovely. We are in adjoining rooms. Mike and I have a king size bed in a smaller room (although very nice), and the kids’ room has two double beds and a pull out couch. Would you believe they fought over who got to sleep on the couch?! Crazy kids! The beds were comfortable, although a little high because Griffin fell off the bed twice and hit his head off of the night stand both times, and I was very happy with how clean the rooms were kept the whole time we were there. I was disappointed to find that there was no fridge, internet or breakfast included with the rooms. These things are all big money savers when away from home, so if you are planning a trip to the Hilton at Easton, be sure to plan for the extra expenses of these items or bring snacks and breakfast items for the kids that don’t require refrigeration.
The kids were absolutely thrilled with the pool at the Hilton, and they couldn’t wait to get in it. It is perfect for kids because it isn’t really deep and there was a hot tub for the grown ups too. Next to the pool was a fitness room too.
Once we determined sleeping arrangements for the first night, we decided to take a little walk to the mall across the street to the Easton Town Center. Easton is like a town of it’s own. There is really great energy there, and something to do for everyone. I could have spent our whole weekend there and not regretted it at all. There is comfy outdoor furniture on the corners, brick roads and decorative signs and lights everywhere. Whether you are a family out to enjoy the day and do some shopping, or a young couple out for the night, Easton had something for everyone. Many of the restaurants have patios, and there are great shops and some places that we were excited to see because we hear about them in The Big Bang Theory, P.F. Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory. There is a mall that includes a movie theater, several restaurants and of course, lots of shops. Our first night there, we headed over to the mall.
When we got to the mall, we went in search of California Pizza Kitchen, because it was recommended to us and we hadn’t had supper yet. We found it easily and we were quickly seated. The kids received their menus/activity books and crayons and we settled in to make our choices. Kellen and Avery played it safe with pepperoni pizza and Griffin opted for mac and cheese. I told him it was curly macaroni (fusilli) but he wanted it anyway.
Our waitress (Jessica) took the kids’ orders and then asked us if we had been there before. When we said no, she was so excited to tell us about California Pizza Kitchen and to share a little about how they do things there.
They offer a lot of unique and interesting menu items that I may not normally try, but their policy is to let you try it and if you don’t like it, send it back for something else at no charge! That makes it easy to try things! I asked Jessica’s opinion on the California Club Pizza and she quickly told me that I had to try it, so I took her advice and ordered it.
It has lettuce on it.
And it was awesome. I would never think to put lettuce on a pizza, and if I didn’t know that I could send it back if I didn’t like it, I would never have ordered it, but thankfully I did and it was great. Mike ordered the Barbecue Chicken pizza, which he also loved. Kellen and Avery liked the pepperoni pizza, but Griffin was not a fan of the curly macaroni. He started crying for pizza, and Jessica ordered him a pizza instead of his macaroni. I don’t think Jessica ever stopped smiling. She was so bubbly and fun, and seemed to really enjoy her job. She convinced Mike to try some fun flavors of lemonade, like Raspberry and Kiwi, and he enjoyed them.
The drink refills were free. The service was fantastic (and that’s what always brings me back to a restaurant) and the restaurant itself was really nice. I love the pizza box art around the room….very original! Before we left, Jessica gave us a coupon to bring back the next time we visited. It said we couldn’t open it because the staff have to open it at the next visit, and we could win a discount off of our next meal, or as much as $100,000! She also told us we had to try the Chipotle Chicken Pizza and the Avocado Club Egg Rolls the next time we visited. We took her up on her offer a couple of days later.
After dinner, we took a little walk around Easton and visited the Lego Store and a couple of children’s clothing stores. The Lego store was fantastic, although there were too many things that the kids wanted. I love the feel of Easton. We enjoyed just walking and browsing and didn’t even mind having the kids up late to do it. They were having a great time too.
We finished our first night in Columbus with this walk and everyone settled in to get ready for another big day in Columbus!