Last weekend we celebrated my hubby’s 26th birthday. His brother came to Columbus, Ohio for the Arnold Sports Festival , the largest multi-sports festival in the nation with more than 18,000 athletes competing in 45 sports. We decided to celebrate Michael’s actual birthday in Columbus (our first time visiting!), meet his brother at the expo and make a day out of it.
We both hit the gym bright and early and I came home to finish off the bagels that were given to Michael at his work on Friday. Don’t mind if I do! I believe I ate the maple wheat bagel and since I have a hard time deciding between sweet and spicy- I went for both! 1 with almond butter and a banana and the other with a fried egg and spicy salsa.
It was a 2 hour drive to reach columbus, so I packed us a lunch of wraps to eat on the go. I prefer to pack my own lunch and snacks when traveling (unless we have a planned restaurant to eat at!) for two reasons 1) it saves a ton of money and 2) I know what I will be eating. I made avocado, chicken, spinach and cucumber wraps. We first got to the expo and were trying to locate my brother-in-law in between the masses of people. In the meantime a couple of police officers and a huge posse of about 20 people started shouting at people to move over to the side and make way. I figured it would be somebody important so I whipped out my iphone to try and capture whoever it was.
I started snapping not knowing who I was going to get a pic of
and look who it is- Arnold Swarchenegger. I wanted to shout “come with me if you want to liveeeee”! but I was a little starstruck. hahaha. I heard it was the only day that he was actually at the expo, so it was pretty cool that we “ran” into him randomly in the midst of the thousands of people who were there.
We made our way in and checked out the booths. We got our picture with Greg Plitt- the bowflex commercial guy, underarmour body mold (apparently they use his abs for all of their stuff!) and the met-rx model. Do you recognize him from the bowflex commercials?
There were a lot of booths with new machinery for people to try out.
And of course we hit up the QuestBar booth for some free samples! The Quest Cravings peanut butter cups were seriously incredible. I had my doubts, but dare I say they almost taste like the real thing?! Yup, I just went there. I can’t believe there wasn’t any sugar in those babies. I highly recommend them if you are craving a pb cup and don’t want all of the fat and sugar of the real thing (hence the name, cravings?!)
In the middle of tasting the pb cups, our jaws dropped when a character from Sons of Anarchy walked right next to us. I was standing there with my jaw open unable to speak and Michael was able to snap out of it and ask him for a picture. It happened so fast, I was still holding half of my pb cup in my hand in the picture. Fellow sons of anarchy fans- he was even wearing the SOA jacket!! Totally the BEST part of the expo! x 100000!
We walked around a little more to check out some of the competitions that were happening and stumbled across a weight lifting competition
Smiles for lots of free samples!
On our way out we had to stop and take a pic with our fitness competition “poses”. When in Rome! Michael’s brother is actually competing in a fitness competition next weekend. Good luck, bro!
The only samples that I wanted to keep for myself- 2 quest bars ( I am OBSESSED with the coconut cashew!), 2 meal replacement packets and 4 pre-workout energizers. I still have yet to try the meal replacements and am saving the workout energizers for when it’s an emergency since I don’t plan on buying anything similar when I run out.
After being surrounded by muscle giants all day, we were inspired to go out and eat at a sausage haus
Not just any sausage haus- Schmidts! We chose this restaurant because it’s authentic german food (we are both filled with german blood) and it was on Man vs Food. We all know how much I love to visit restaurants that were featured on MvF or Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. After ordering a stein of the house brew (Michael gave up alcohol for lent this year….I had to take one for the team and order the beer- we were in Germantown for crying out loud!), we read about the history of the restaurant. As a result of the wave of germans the immigrated to columbus in mid 19th century, a lot of german restaurants were born-Schmidt’s is still standing after opening in 1886. We were talking about how much the restaurant has seen in it’s time- two world wars, the great depression, civil rights…the whole shebang. Plus most of the recipes are still the original! Crazy! The original trademark is the little girl’s face in the bottom right corner of the paper. Too cute.
Michael decided to go with the buffet so he could get a taste of everything (I obliged so I could taste it, too!) and I chose the original sausage patty sandwich on a pretzel bun with kraut. I felt like I had to order their speciality sausage, ya know? Super flavorful and juicy plus the pretzel bun was the perfect accompaniment.
The birthday boy started off with a salad topped with kraut.
Graduated to a plate of different sausages, kraut, green beans, and red cabbage. He smothered everything in the homemade spicy brown mustard.
After we were told that Michael gets a free cream puff (their cream puffs are FAMOUS, btw!), he decided to go with the peanut butter cream. Topped with the birthday candle.
We split it in half and devoured. It was what dreams are made of.
As delicious as the food was, perhaps the best part of it was the adorable polka music that the cutest old men in the world were playing throughout our meal. First of all, the band’s name is Schnickelfritz, which is the coolest name in the history of band names, and the men literally did not stop smiling the entire time they were playing. It’s like they were living a dream. It’s like I couldn’t stop smiling because he was smiling so much. Smiles are contagious!
We left the restaurant with satisfied appetites, full bellies and smiles on our faces. Til next time, Columbus!