Fortunately, John and I were able to get to the airport on Sunday at 4:30am in order to be 2nd in line on our free buddy passes and ended up boarding in the "A" Southwest class without any issue at 6am. What a relief that was for me! I didn't want to be nerve-wrecked hoping to get on board the flight, since we would normally board last being non-reservation customers. We flew into Columbus, Ohio and drove about three hours (including some slow construction time) to Alliance, Ohio.
Driving into Alliance was as I thought it would be. Everything including Carnation Mall and State Street seemed so small and so different with new buildings in place of the old ones such as Fred's Root Beer Stand now a cafe and the bowling alley/billiards place now a dollar store. We passed Union Avenue (aka Highway 183) because the intersection doesn't resemble what I remember, and the funny part is our house is on Union *sigh*.