It’s odd, I know, but Ohio has to be one of my favorite places. I can’t really place my finger on the reason why but there is just something so beautiful about this place.
Jon and I took a trip to Ohio last year for a show he was doing and we got the blessing of being able to attend this year as well. This year we did some different things, saw some different things and sure ate some different things! It was definitely another one for the books!
The trip started out with a red eye flight to Cleveland. We haven’t had much luck with red eye flights lately and this one certainly wasn’t any different. If anything it was much worse. I will skip the long, boring details and say that United Airlines did not handle the situation well, and I will be in contact with their customer service department. After arriving an hour late we made our way to the car rental center to pick up our rental car for the trip. We got upgraded for free which was nice after the unpleasant experience we had earlier.
We are planners, we like to plan everything, down to the details so that when we get to our destination we can just have fun and not worry or spend time trying to figure out what to do. We started with breakfast at a highly rated breakfast joint in Lakewood, Ohio which was on our way to our next destination. When we got there we almost left because we didn’t realize that they only took cash and that metered parking was the only parking available. Luckily we had $30 cash and just enough coins to fill the meter long enough for breakfast. I have to say we were very happy that we didn’t leave. Jon opted for the philly cheesesteak benedict and I got the banana nut stuffed french toast, we also shared a side of their Home Fries. All of it was absolutely delicious! The only thing we would do differently next time is add queso to those home fries because the queso was delicious and the potatoes could use some seasoning!
With full tummies and only about an hour of sleep we made the 2 hour trek to Dearborn, Michigan. Here we planned to mark another state off of our list as well as visit the Henry Ford Museum and eat some more yummy food. Our first stop was the museum. If you know anything about Jon it is that he loves Fords, specifically the Mustang. This was a must on our list for this trip. This museum was so neat but so big. There was so much we wanted to do and see but we just did not have the time. We spent a couple of hours getting through the automobile and train portions of the museum which was so much fun! We definitely want to come back to see the rest of the museum and visit Greenfield Village which looks really neat.
Ford’s Garage for burgers was a last minute addition to our itinerary. When we saw that they brand the buns with the Ford logo we knew we had to go there. I have to say the food was mediocre, but the experience was something that could not be missed, especially for Jon. When in Michigan, go to the Henry Ford Museum, eat at Ford’s Garage oh and pick up some Detroit style pizza for the long drive back to the hotel and that is just what we did. Buddy’s Pizza was one of the highest rated pizzerias close to the museum so we stopped there to pick up some pizza to go. We got the Detroiter with sausage and OMG it did not disappoint. I consider myself a pizza connoisseur, and this pizza was up there with the best I have ever had. Think Pizza Hut pan pizza but on a gourmet level, that is Detroit style pizza.
Pizza in hand, I took the drivers seat and we made our hour and a half journey back to our hotel in Sandusky. We were pooped and Jon of course fell asleep, he is notorious for this. It took everything in me to stay awake (I do not recommend driving on an hours worth of sleep, by the way) but we made it! The coastal drive along the shores of the Erie was just absolutely stunning. I wish Jon would have been awake to see it… and photograph it.
After checking in to the hotel, we threw on our bathing suits (we got a second wind) and went down into the lazy river for just a bit before heading back up to the room and passing out for about twelve hours.
I’d like to say that the next morning we were well rested, and well we kind of were but not one hundred percent. We stopped for some breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to the speedway to set-up the booth for the show later that afternoon.We set-up the booth quickly and then headed back to the hotel to rest a bit before Jon had to go back to the show to work.
I dropped Jon off and did my usual driving around and exploring a bit. After that I went back to the hotel room where I relaxed, binge watched HGTV and waited for Jon to text me that he was hungry.
A few hours later I got the text and made my way down to the shore to pick-up some Great Lakes Grinders for lunch before heading back to the speedway. As usual Great Lakes Grinders came through with some delicious “grinders”!
We finished off lunch with some ice cream from the speedway. If you haven’t tried Velvet Ice Cream and you find yourself in Ohio, try the butter pecan with cashews, you won’t regret it.
After the show we headed into the little town of Norwalk for some dinner at Freight House Grill & Pub. The place is cool, it’s a mix between an old saloon and a old train depot. The food definitely has a Polish flair to it as they offer menu items such as bratwurst burgers and dessert pierogies. We decided on the bratwurst burger, bbq burger, gouda mac & cheese bites, and a cup of chili. Everything was alright with the fries (that came with the burgers) and gouda mac & cheese bites being the real stand out winners of the meal. After dinner we headed onto main street to take in the beauty of this small town before heading back to the hotel and turning in for the evening.
The next morning we woke up later than we had planned and stopped at McDonald’s for a quick breakfast before I dropped Jon off at the speedway. After relaxing at the hotel for a bit, I got the text from Jon that he was hungry so I headed to Taco Bell to pick-up some lunch. We enjoyed some more Velvet ice cream at the speedway before the show was over. We quickly tore down the booth before we headed back into Norwalk for dinner at Suki. Suki is a sushi spot in town, and I’ve got to say I was a little nervous, well we both were to get sushi in the middle of Ohio. It was a highly rated restaurant on Yelp though and we had a craving for sushi so we took our chances and we were blown away! It was very good, on par with California sushi. We will be back for sure!
After dinner I wanted more ice cream, haha. I had read about the oldest dairy in Ohio, Toft Dairy and I knew I had to stop there. We shared a scoop of black walnut and gosh was it delicious. You could tell the milk they used for the ice cream was extremely fresh. It was a really fun experience to get ice cream from a dairy, the oldest one in Ohio at that.
We woke up fairly early the next morning because we needed to check out of the hotel, grab some breakfast and head to one of Jon’s customers a couple of hours away. Breakfast was at Inn On Coventry. This whole area is really neat and the food was super yummy. We each got a version of eggs benedict, me the traditional and Jon the crab cake benedict and then we shared a lemon ricotta pancake. We both agreed that the hollandaise sauce was on par with the homemade one we make and that the lemon ricotta pancake was to die for!
We drove a bit before finally back making it to Jon’s customer and after stopping there we decided that we were pretty close to the border of West Virginia, that we might as well stop on by and cross another state off of our list. The drive was beautiful, and West Virginia has these neat small town charm to it. We stopped by the Mountaineer Casino before headed back to Ohio where we would spend one more night.
Before heading to the hotel we stopped at Swenson’s, another chain in Ohio for a quick bite to eat. If you’ve had In & Out, I would say that this burger is a pretty close second. The melty cheese makes it a close contender to what In & Out offers.
We made our way to the hotel, the Hyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake/Crocker Park. This hotel is so neat! It is smack dab in the middle of Crocker Park which is a huge outdoor shopping mall. We decided to take a quick dip in the pool before heading outside to explore the area. Unfortunately we didn’t plan to well and all the stores were closed, however Graeter’s Ice Cream was open, so you know we had to make a stop. I got the Amaretto Ice Cream and it was so yummy! We decided last minute to grab some late night grub at Blue Sushi right next to our hotel. This sushi was pretty good. I think Jon liked it better than I did.
The next morning it was off to Los Angeles, back to our home. Until next time Ohio, I’ll miss you!