Sweets, Sleep in Columbus

Buckeye cupcake from Expressly in North Market. Lunch not required.

Buckeye cupcake from Expressly in North Market. Lunch not required.

Typically, if I can assure Caitlyn she’ll get to grab Jeni’s ice cream at least twice, I can usually sweet talk her into going to a Columbus Bluejackets game whenever the Toronto Maple Leafs are in town. And, given how little travel we’ve been able to do in recent months since acquiring The Frankfort House (hey, two houses cost money), we were itching to get on the road.

So it was off we went for the 2.5-hour trip to the Ohio capital for a little overnight retreat, while the mother-in-law stayed behind to watch over the animals. In this post, we’ll tackle lodging and dessert.

A good night's sleep at the Renaissance Hotel. Also, they sell Jeni's ice cream in the lobby!

A good night’s sleep at the Renaissance Hotel. Also, they sell Jeni’s ice cream in the lobby!

Lodging

We’ve stayed at a bunch of places in Columbus, and pretty much every one has been great. This time was no different, as we stayed at the four-star Renaissance Hotel (owned by Marriott) downtown after scoring an amazing Priceline Express Deal, which are similar to Hotwire deals in that you don’t know the name of the hotel until you hit “book it.” For about $100 – tax included – it was worth the money.

The bed was comfortable but the pillows stole the show. I’m a light sleeper, but I had no problem falling asleep thanks to the king-sized pillows. Some hotels will just pile up four or five little square pillows, but that doesn’t serve people who flop around in the middle of the night well, so this was a welcome surprise. The décor was definitely tailored to business folks, but it wasn’t dated, as some people seem to argue in TripAdvisor posts.

Get around town on the C-Bus. It's free!

Get around town on the C-Bus. It’s free!

The location was decent – just a block from the C-Bus, a free shuttle that goes from historic German Village on the south end to the trendy Short North shopping and arts district along High Street. This bus saved our hides many times, especially given it was windy, rainy and cold throughout our trip. A route map is available online … or just look at the side of the bus above.

Food – Dessert

We already mentioned Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which has two locations near downtown, one in the foodie paradise known as North Market and another a couple blocks up the road in the Short North. Jeni’s is known for its unique flavors, including sweet potato roasted marshmallow (tastes like pumpkin pie), but Caitlyn opted for her standard salty caramel and dark chocolate the first night. I went for the buckeye and “dark milk” chocolate (whatever that means).

Jeni's is the place to go for wild flavors ... or if you're a hipster.

Jeni’s is the place to go for wild flavors … or if you’re a hipster.

I took the buckeye-dining theme a bit further and ordered up a buckeye cupcake from Expressly inside North Market. The peanut butter-flavored cupcake had chocolate icing and a buckeye on top. The texture was interesting – in a good way – with a crispy top to the actual cake, but moist innards and at the bottom. After eating one, I felt like I could never eat again, it was that filling.

Caitlyn picked up a decadent brownie from Omega Bakery inside North Market and we both agreed we could have shared one dessert and been satisfied, but that’s vacation for you.

Next post: Shopping, meals in Columbus

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