Two weeks ago, my family went on vacation. It was much-needed, and despite the extreme cold weather, we all had a lot of fun!
We went to Amish Country, in eastern Ohio – peaceful, quiet, and a chance to slow down. The drive was beautiful. Rolling hills, snowy fields, and old barns dotted the landscape. Of course, anytime I spotted cows I had to alert my husband and son. They got in on the game.. and we expanded it to horses, sheep, goats, basically any animal we saw. Ha!
We stayed at the Carlisle Inn at Sugarcreek, in Sugarcreek, Ohio. I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. It was gorgeous and when we walked in, we were greeted with a smile and friendly hello. Our room was on the fourth floor. It was incredibly spacious, complete with a separate dressing area, a desk, a sitting area, and a balcony.
The hotel itself had plenty of room. The front lobby had many seating areas; there was a library with a fireplace and a table set up for playing checkers. The second floor hosted the fitness room, pool and spa, as well as a spacious seating area. There was another fireplace, plenty of magazines and books, and a wide selection of board games. A gorgeous baby grand piano sat in the corner. Light refreshments were served each evening from 6p-8p. We chose the hot breakfast upgrade our first morning and it was delicious! Bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, waffles, hot coffee, and a variety of other breakfast foods were served at the Dutch Valley Restaurant, which was just across the parking lot from the hotel. Our waitress, Pearl, was very sweet. The second morning, we went with the complimentary continental breakfast, which was also very good! There were a variety of options to choose from, including donuts, yogurt, bagels, cereal, hot sausage, waffles, coffee, and juices.
After we arrived and settled in, we drove 15 minutes to Walnut Creek to dine at the Der Dutchman. This is a restaurant we all love. There is one in Plain City, Ohio that we visit a few times a year. So of course, we had to go to this one. The food was amazing, as expected. I had the country ham, my husband had the roast beef, and my son… had a hot dog. (Kids. Ha!) But my favorite part about the Der Dutchman is the salad bar. It is always fresh and has a variety of options that will suit any taste. This is a restaurant that I highly recommend!
Right near the Der Dutchman is Coblentz Chocolate Company. After dinner, we had to stop in. This was one of three places on my list of must-see/must-visit. Immediately upon walking in, you are transported back in time to your childhood. A selection of classic candies lies to the left. There is an entire wall of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans that you can mix and match and a giant candy dispenser filled with the classic jaw breakers; there are giant lollipops, rock candy, candy sticks, pretty much any and every sugary treat you loved as a child. There is taffy and fudge, a display case full of handmade delectable chocolates, as well as interesting and unique gifts and trinkets. Because Easter is just around the corner, they also have a variety of homemade Easter chocolates and candies.
Everything looked delicious! After about 15 minutes, I finally chose some chocolate covered espresso beans (one of my favorite treats) two pieces of salted caramel chocolate, and two pieces of English toffee. I also got some espresso fudge (YUM!) and peanut butter fudge. We had to get a few candy sticks and a chocolate bunny too. And I’m pretty proud to say that it took an entire week and a half to finish the fudge, I still have some chocolate espresso beans in the fridge and candy sticks in our candy dish, and my son and I just finished the chocolate bunny.
If you are in the area, stop in and check it out!
You can also check out their website coblentzchocolates.com and order treats online.
Tuesday we woke up to snow. This was the view at 7 am.
Peaceful. Quiet. Still. Just gorgeous.
..but also quite cold. The hot breakfast was perfect.
After breakfast, we decided to get out and explore. We drove around, taking in the landscape, while it continued to snow.
We decided to stop in at an Amish Country staple – Heini’s Cheese Chalet. This is one of the places you have to visit when you are in the area. Everyone loves Heini’s. My husband and I hadn’t been there in at least 15 years. The outside was not like we remembered, but once we climbed the stairs and stepped in, we knew we were in the right place. We grabbed a basket and got in line. The good thing about visiting in March, and having a cold, snowy day – no crowds. There were only a few other people in the store.
Heini’s is one of my favorite places because they offer a variety of samples – cheese, sausage, fudge.. I tried a few different cheeses, including ghost pepper. I love spicy food, but neglected to see the warning above the cheese until it was too late. Ghost pepper is delicious, but very spicy. I’m more of a fiesta jack and jalapeño pepper gal. 😉
After Heini’s, we drove around the countryside, taking in the sites.
However, the snow kept coming down, and in some spots, the squalls reduced visibility so much that we could barely see in front of us.
We ended up driving back to the hotel and relaxing for a while. I enjoyed a nap, while my son and husband watched TV and played games.
The nap was quite wonderful and I woke up rested. My son wanted to go swimming, and we all headed down to the pool.
The pool and spa is enclosed, and windows surround the entire room. It was pretty cool to swim in what felt like a tropical environment, while watching the snow fall outside.
Sitting on a white wicker table in one corner was a Mimosa Plant. A sign in front explained that the plant was sensitive to touch, and that if you lightly touched the leaves, they would close up. It was pretty neat. I would definitely like to get one for my house.
Luckily by late afternoon, the falling snow had taken a break. We decided to visit Berlin Farmstead Restaurant for dinner. We were not disappointed. The food was delicious! My husband and I both had the meatloaf and my son had… a hot dog. (ha!) We also had the salad bar. Everything was fresh and there were many different options to choose from.
While driving around the area, we spotted this cool, retro fire truck….
That ended our time in Amish country. The next morning, we woke up and enjoyed a quick breakfast. After checking out, we braved the 13 degree weather and made the long drive to Toledo. It was a pretty drive, the sun was shining and the sky was a gorgeous powder blue. We saw many cows, to which we made mention.
We stopped in at the new Dave and Buster’s.. which was something I was excited to do! About 8 years ago, I was a recreational coordinator and I would take my residents all over the state. One of our favorite places was Dave and Buster’s. My favorite was the one in Cleveland. It was bigger and there seemed to be more games than the one in Columbus. My husband and son had never been, so I was looking forward to this part of our trip.
Dave and Buster’s in Toledo is right near the Franklin Park Mall (Now called Westfield Shopping Center.) It’s the perfect location. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the friendly staff. You can choose to be seated and eat, or you can visit the front desk to purchase/load up your power card. The game room is completely separate from the dining and bar area, which is nice, especially if you are just looking to play (like we were.) It was quite different from what I remembered.. the game prices were higher, even though we went on half-priced Wednesday. My favorite claw game was a disappointment. (The one with all the big animals, basketballs, etc.) The claw was extremely loose. The guy ahead of us had a pig in the claw. Once it started moving to the door where you retrieve your prize, just a few inches of movement, it dropped the pig back into the pile. He walked away unhappy.. and I thought, well, maybe I’ll give it a try. This was my game back in the day. The same thing happened to me. I tried the smaller claw game and experienced the same result. I was pretty disappointed.
But, despite those changes, we had a good time. There was a nice selection of games to play, it was quite spacious, and while we were there, we noticed that they were doing upgrades on some of the games, which is cool. Another change – the tickets you win all go on your card now, instead of having to carry around the big cup with your paper tickets in it. I thought that was good. We all had a lot of fun.
Of course we stopped in at the mall afterward. We dined on pizza and did a little shopping. We visited a few friends and had fun going through the automated car wash, before making the long drive home. It was a nice day.
The next day we enjoyed spending time with family and I got to see my favorite feline.
It was a wonderful, relaxing week. ❤