Our Ohio Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 417 miles, and drove for 12 hours during our week in Ohio while avoiding highways.Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Factory tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Ohio over the past week.

Famous person: Jamie Farr "Klinger" from MASH

Famous food: Sokolowski's Pierogies Cincinnati Chili

Roadside attraction: World's Biggest Rubber Stamp

State Capitol/Museum: Columbus

National Park: Perry's Victory International Peace Monument

Historic Location: Sun Watch Indian Village

Can't miss attraction: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Factory tour: National Air Force Museum

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas: $114.00


$ 1.88 gal. in Columbus, OH was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.04 gal. in Cincinnati, OH was highest price paid.

Groceries: $161.00

Walmart $56.00

Costco $76.00

Aldi's $29.00


We are improving in this area by spending less in Walmart. Let’s keep up the good work!

Dining out $100.00

Gold Star Chili $18.00 (Budgeted and delicious)

Monster Egg Roll $ 7.00 (Unbudgeted but a once in a lifetime experience)

Savory Crepe’ $ 8.00 (Unbudgeted and delicious)

Whole Foods $24.00 (One of three Whole foods Restaurants in the US)

Skyline Chilli $14.00 (Unbudgeted but we wanted more Cincinnati Chili)

Starbucks $ 8.00 (Unbudgeted but we needed W-FI)

PF Changs $14.00 (Unbudgeted Nasty Chinese food)

Soft Serve $ 7.00 (2 small soft serve cones)


We are eating out WAAAY too much, and need to cook more.

Entertainment: $91.00

Sun Watch $ 7.00 (Budgeted Admission x2)

Rock HOF $38.00 (Budgeted Admission x2)

Ferry $22.00 (Ferry to Put-in-bay x2)

Golf Cart Rental $24.00 (Transportation on Put-in-Bay)


We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $0

Walmart parking lot x6 $0

Cracker Barrel parking lot x1 $0


We did great in this category again! Yippee!

Miscellaneous: $26.00

Parking in Cincinnati $8.00 (Unbudgeted)

Parking in Columbus $10.00 (Unbudgeted)

Parking in Cleveland $ 5.00 (Unbudgeted)

Laundry $ 3.00 (Budgeted Wash only then line dried)


Finding an open lot to park Rosie in the city is becoming an annoying, but unavoidable expense

One Time Expenses $194.00

Walmart $ 29.00 (Extra fan for a very hot night)

Home Depot $ 43.00 (Extra fan for a very hot night)

Auto Zone $ 35.00 ( 3 Bulbs for Rosie that burned out)

Midas $ 87.00 (Oil change Tire Rotation, & changing bulbs)


These one-time expenses were necessary, unavoidable and are not figured into our budget. They were paid from our emergency fund.

Ohio Expenses Grand Total: $492.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Ohio Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 8

“Ohio is the 9th most populated state, and everyone we saw appeared to be working”

Lori: 9

“Even outside of the major cities, the suburbs and small towns were flourishing, and I did not see many places out of business”

Economy score: 8.5

Cost of Living:

Nate: 7

“The highest bracket for the state income tax is 5.33%, and the sales tax is 5.75%, and both are slightly lower than Connecticut”

Lori: 9

“We paid $1.88 per/ gal in Columbus, OH, the lowest price we have paid so far on our trip.

Cost of living score: 8

Quality of life:

Nate: 7

“In the cities and the small towns, I always felt safe everywhere we went”

Lori: 7

“I found most of the state clean and well maintained”

Quality of life score: 7


Nate: 8

“There are lots of sport teams in Ohio, and the Football Hall of fame”

Lori: 7

“Large art and music culture throughout the state including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”

Culture Score: 7.5


Nate: 7

“Due to the large population traffic and commutes could be an issue.”

Lori: 7

“Even the suburbs are moderately sized so long commutes to work would not be necessary”

Environment Score 7

The verdict is in:

The final score for Ohio was 7.6 below the score of 8.0 required to make it to the next round of consideration as our new home state. As a result, Ohio will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Virginia 6.6

Pennsylvania 6.5

West Virginia 6.0

Kentucky 4.9

Missouri 3.5

Illinois 1.9