What I did (and ATE) while home in Ohio

I love going home from India. It works out that I can go home a month each summer (in Ohio), which is monsoon in Goa. There are about a million reasons why I love going home. We love Goa, but home is where my family and lots of my friends are.

There’s a third “F” though.. Friends, Family, and FOOD! I don’t need to do anything but sit on the couch with my mom watching TV, eat dinner with my family, hang out with friends, and just chill (and snack).

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about meEven though I didn’t make plans, they sort of came to me. I had told the Ohio Tourism board I’d be in town for a month. They ended up reaching out to me and I came up with a couple of fun things to do with my mom (so she can see my job is real, lol).

We also had thought about going on a vacation, but I pitched to my parents like I do a tourism board, a trip to Toronto! I told them how it’ll be so international, cultural, and we’ll have the best time eating the best food and doing to fancy museums. It worked.

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

I bet you’re wondering why Ben didn’t come to the US with me. For one, it’s quite expensive and we were just in Hawaii, he’d just seen my parents in India, and he hadn’t been to England to see his own family since the last time he was in the US….. THEN there was the big reason, the one that made it impossible anyways…. Shanti ate his passport.

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

Some of my favorites things I did while home:

Trip to Hocking Hills with my mom

Hocking Hills is this gorgeous area of Ohio. If you’re from Ohio, you’ve surely heard of it! It’s a big vacation spot especially in the autumn months.

horseback riding hocking hills

spa resorts at hocking hills inn at cedar falls

dining lodge hocking hills

dining lodge hocking hills

Family Vacation in Toronto.

A family vacation in Toronto

A family vacation in Toronto

A family vacation in Toronto

A family vacation in TorontoToronto is only 6 hours away from Lexington, Ohio by drive, it was an easy trip that I think we will make again. We seriously had SO much fun in Toronto and even though I was working with the tourism board, it didn’t feel like work. it was also cool to show my parents my new “job”.

The Bonfire @ Home

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about meThe most memorable thing was a cook out with all our friends just before I left at my house. It was so good to see Whitney’s twin babes, hear Erin talk about her new house, and have Arielle back at her second home. My college friend Colleen came up from Columbus with her boyfriends, and Rochelle my best friend growing up brought her husband over. Of course they ALL brought their parents, who are also my parents’ best friends. There were lots of other people as well, like the Cramers who are like second parents. It was such a good night!

Just chilling with my dog Brandi!

home in ohio about meSo, I had written this a couple weeks ago & now have to edit it because Brandi passed away. So, going through this post is hard since I have pictures of her throughout. I’m glad I was home as long as I was and pretty much spent the whole time with her. She was 12 and had skin cancer. She was the best dog ever. So, I guess her, Huck, and Piso are all running around in dog heaven!

Lake with my mom

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about meWe went up to Lake Erie which is less than two hours away for the weekend. It was pretty much the only sunny weekend we had. It was fun to just relax and sit on the beach. I read The Goldfinch which was pretty good but really long. We also stopped by my friend Jenna’s house and saw her cute baby Hudson!

July 4th @ Cincinnati

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about meI went to Cinci to my BFF Rachel and her husband Ian’s house for fireworks on the 4th… partied with her parents, husband, and Melissa and Brad (Mel is my BFF from HS) & went to a couple breweries. That’s the thing to do back home now, drinking “craft beers” but I just get the lightest beer possible.

More fun things:

I also got to see my Grandma and Aunts and Uncles which was cool. I took yoga class with my mom, started working out (my friend Mel played basketball in college and came to teach me ones I can do at home)… and really we just hung out at home. I also got to meet my cousin, Des’s, baby. It was the perfect 6 weeks away from India! Also look how cool the present I got my dad was!!

home in ohio about meBreaking Bad gifts from etsy

home in ohio about me

Amazing food I ate in the USA and Canada

(obviously the most important thing)

home in ohio about meparmesan wings and breakfast tacos 

home in ohio about meice cream cake
home in ohio about mebroccoli salad is my FAVE

home in ohio about medad’s famous ribs

home in ohio about mepot roast

home in ohio about mepizza hoagie & loaded fries

home in ohio about me

home in ohio about meI made this chicken haha, my mom made literally everything else we ate at home

home in ohio about mePANERA
home in ohio about memexican food… yum

home in ohio about mesteak, wedge salad, home fries

IMahome in ohio about meG_20150719_193019favorite meal ever, stuffed peppers

home in ohio about me



About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Tempesst September 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I had a roommate in college from Cincinnati and she introduced me to skyline chili dip–oh my goshhhhh. One of the best dips i’ve had. I’m thinking about ordering the chili online because I haven’t had it since I was in Ohio over two years ago!

    • Rachel Jones September 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      OMG THE DIP!!! LOL I freaking LOVE that stuff omggggg … you need Philadelphia cream cheese which is sadly 10 bucks a block in India.

  2. Erin September 16, 2015 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Just had the most amazing sandwich from panera the other day….turkey with apples and cheddar….thinking of going back for another lol

    • Rachel Jones September 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      MM that sounds good! I just read an article that the turkey sierra is the most unhealthy sndwich lol that’s what I always order! must be the bread.

  3. Betsy September 16, 2015 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Rachel, I am glad you had fun at home! I love to eat too. All you food pictures are making me hungry. :) And Skyline Chili is amazing!

    • Rachel Jones September 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      I knowww i got some packets and made it here in India!

  4. Dolphina Luchii September 18, 2015 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Great photography Rachael! You’ve really captured the essence of Ohio from your persepctive, and given a glimpse into that its like there! Food looks mouth-watering! Keep up the great work!

  5. Alana | Paper Planes September 20, 2015 at 1:39 am - Reply

    I always eat my fill of bread, cheese, wine and sandwiches when I’m home! ;)

  6. Michelle September 22, 2015 at 2:47 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear about Brandi; Glad you had time with her at the end. Tears.

  7. Veronika October 8, 2015 at 3:57 am - Reply

    All of that food looks so heavenly! I bet you really loved being back at home. Too bad Shanti ate Ben’s passport!

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