Adventures on a Tiny Island in Ohio

Lake Erie has a tiny two by four mile island — “Put-in-Bay“, known as Ohio’s premier summer-time party spot, located only 20 minutes by ferry from mainland.  Every year my friends and I organize a long weekend away that usually includes relaxation, hiking, good food, fun, and a hot tub!  We enjoyed our trip to Put-in-Bay so much last year, we decided to return for this year’s annual get-away.

This shot was taken early Saturday morning just as the sun was rising…

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Friday morning we drove from Cincinnati and caught the 12:30pm Miller Ferry ride (during high season they conveniently leave every 30 minutes) to the island.  We left our car parked (it’s free) in their lot and carried our bags on board.

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Once on the island, having reserved a golf cart (the preferred method of transport on the island) through Miller Marina, we were able to fit six women and all of our stuff on it!  Yes…it was only for the weekend!

Miller Marina in Put-in-Bay offers public transient dockage with a private club atmosphere and family friendly setting. It is located one block West of downtown Put-in-Bay, close to island attractions, yet far enough away from all the distractions. Miller Marina offers grills and picnic area, pavilion, modern restrooms/showers, WiFi and golf carts are available for rental.
 

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We stayed at the Island Club Condos aka Put-in-Bay Condos at a beautiful end unit with a view of the pool and Lake Erie to the left.  Our two-bedroom/two-bath condo was perfect!

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Put-in-Bay’s split personality ensures that everyone has an unforgettable time…think Gatlinburg and Key West on steroids! While exploring the island with your fun mobile, make frequent stops for shopping, dining at one of the colorful outdoor cafes while listening to live music, and cooling off at a swim-up bar with a frozen tropical beverage in hand. When or if your senses become overloaded from the people watching and intoxicating excitement, hop back on your cart to experience the other side of Put-in-Bay, where you’ll find serene and tranquil spots to gaze at the sailboats gliding by on the glistening blue lake.

When we weren’t out exploring, you could usually find us out on the patio enjoying nature…

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Nightlife at Put-in-Bay

Feeling like Cinderella with less than an hour or two left, our day at Put-in-Bay was going to end at 9:30pm (our Jet Express ferry return time) so we knew we had to squeeze out every bit of fun we could in the time remaining.  Walking down the street, the sound of a musician belting out a foot tapping tune from an outdoor lakeside venue, led us to take a rest and listen for a while.

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The colorful umbrellas and people up ahead were incentive enough for me!

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While my friends relaxed, I did my thing…take photographs.

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There’s more to Put-in-Bay than Partying

Exploring South Bass Island on our golf cart, my girlfriends and I discovered the other side of Put-in-Bay.  The side that makes you want to pull up a comfy lounge chair and let the world go by.  We admired the lakeside homes with the glittering water shining through their windows…

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Sailboats gliding quietly through the blue waters…

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First Stop on the Girls’ Weekend…Butler Winery

When I prepared the itinerary for my annual girls’ weekend this year, I included a stop at two of Indiana’s beautiful wineries.

After driving three hours from Cincinnati and getting lost a few times on the back country roads, we were ready for a glass of wine!  I had Google map directions and my friends had smart phones, but some of the streets didn’t have signs and we lost signal with the phones.  Butler Winery, located just five minutes from the Vacation Rental By Owner, was a convenient and fun stop!  They offer six complimentary tastings.

Notice the reflected vineyards in the window…

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Walking Columbus

 

Columbus, Ohio is a beautiful City!  I visited there this past weekend for my annual girls’ weekend and loved it!  We stayed in the downtown area and walked almost everywhere.

After spending a couple of hours at the Columbus Museum of Art, we walked down to the riverfront…and as you can see…it was gorgeous!

Cindy’s having fun in the fountain!  We love to take advantage of photo ops!

There was a festival with live music and booths filled with art…

This artist obviously makes art from mirrors…

I took about four photos of this sculpture.  While reviewing them later, it was interesting to see how moving a couple of feet or changing the direction from which I took the photo, could so greatly impact the color and visual feel of the photo.

My friend Cindy just bought an Olympus camera (I also use an Olympus) and isn’t familiar with some of the settings yet.  She took this photo and wasn’t sure what she pushed to get the effect, but I definitely like it!

If you have girlfriends…let them know how much they mean to you and if you don’t…get some!!

 

The “Artsy” side of Columbus

My annual girls’ weekend was in Columbus, Ohio this year and one of the places we wanted to visit was the Columbus Museum of Art.  We passed a number of beautiful churches walking from our hotel to the Museum.

The doors were simply stunning!

The weather was beautiful and sunny!

I loved the fence around the museum!

We were impressed with the museum itself!  The architecture was beautiful and their use of color and light was amazing!

This area for dining was so open, light and airy!

The “Chihuly” art was spectacular in the sunlight!  I first became aware of Chihuly sculpture while on a trip by myself to Las Vegas.

This sculpture was suspended…

This painting was a favorite of mine…

I’ve always enjoyed pieces that resemble sun bursts!

There was a design show being held at the Museum and the representatives were there to sell the pieces.  They had free drinks and food…so of course we had to partake!

Leaving the Museum, there was another photo-op!

Just loving the sky and the buildings on the walk to the hotel!

Thurman’s Cafe in Columbus, Ohio

 

My annual Girl’s Weekend was in Columbus, Ohio this year.  It’s only one and one-half  hours drive there from Cincinnati, but I had a great time…as usual!  For the past five years we’ve been going to Cities…Nashville, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Lexington!  Anyway, this Cafe was made famous on the travel channel show–“Man vs. Food“.  They’re known for their huge hamburgers!

Every square inch of the interior was filled with an interesting mix of signs, games, art, and photos!

The four of us split two burgers and they were deeelicious!

We stayed at “The Residence Inn by Marriott” in a two bedroom suite in the heart of downtown and loved it!

The decor was modern, stylish and functional…

Although we only used the kitchen to make coffee and to make sandwiches for lunch one day, it’s nice to have!

Let the games begin!!

 

 

Reasons to book a “Vacation Rental by Owner” VRBO

Whenever I travel, I typically book a “Vacation Rental By Owner” (VRBO) for lodging.  Some of the reasons why they are a superior choice over hotels are:

  • They are almost always less expensive;
  • They have a kitchen (full house);
  • You’re helping individual businesses…rather than large chains; and
  • You can usually find one located in a unique part of the City.

My girls’ weekend trip to Lexington, Kentucky this past weekend was no exception.  For a three bedroom 2 1/2 bath home, located in the Chevy Chase district of Lexington, just a few miles from the center of downtown, we only paid $475 for two nights, which included the house cleaning fee.  The next few photos are where we stayed…

This was the bedroom I slept in.

Everything was updated and we all loved the decor!

This eclectic bookstore was located down the street from our rental…as well as quite a few restaurants and other boutique stores!

In Cincinnati we have decorative pigs everywhere and in Lexington there are horses everywhere…

I stayed at another beautiful VRBO this summer in Seattle, Washington that was located on Puget Sound.  If you’d like to check it out…click here.

Hope your weekend is great!!

Lexington…by day and night

To finish the walking tour of Lexington, Kentucky from yesterday’s post…this is the First Baptist Church.  I just LOVE the colors of this church…the pink and red just POP!

Resting and soaking up some Kentucky sunshine!!

We walked through the local farmer’s market which was located in the “Cheapside Park” area.  This had been the site of slave auctions and abolitionists’ passionate speeches!

We ate at Cheapside Bar & Grille.  Here’s a photo of my hamburger with caramelized onions and bleu cheese!

Next…we went to the Barrelhouse Distillery and had samples of their Pure Blue Vodka, Devil John Moonshine and Rum.  Woowee!!  We also received a quick run-down of how you make alcohol.

After arriving back at the VRBO, we took our time snacking, drinking and primping!  We had fun with our photo shoot…

That night we went to Bogarts at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  We got there too early and it was mostly people in their 70’s!  Then we went to a new nightclub called “Trust”.  It was too hoigty toity…so we went to the Skybar.  It was fun, but we never found the bar that quite fit us!

“Fall” in Love with Lexington

On the second day of our girls’ weekend, we went for a two mile…self-guided walking tour of downtown Lexington, Kentucky.  As you can see it was a glorious “fall” day!

Some of the sites we passed were the First Baptist Church, Mary Todd Lincoln‘s house, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, and many more…

This is “Gratz Park”…with lots of beautiful historic homes lining the streets surrounding this Park!

This is the old Courthouse…

 

Transylvania University is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains and the campus is beautiful!

Tomorrow, I’ll finish our walking tour…see you then!!

Wine and Women

Our second stop of the day on our annual “girls’ weekend”, was to Talon Winery in Lexington, Kentucky!

Here is the tasting room.  As you can see, the grounds and scenery were lovely!

For $5.00, you receive six tastings and they were yummy!  I had two Chardonnays, a Traminette, a Syrah, and their Chambourcin Reserve.

According to Wikipedia…the oldest known winery is located in the “Areni-1” cave in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. Archaeologists announced the discovery of this winery in January 2011, seven months after the world’s oldest leather shoe, the Areni-1 shoe, was discovered in the same cave. The winery, which is over six thousand years old, contains a wine press, fermentation vats, jars, and cups.  “The fact that winemaking was already so well developed in 4000 BC suggests that the technology probably goes back much earlier.”

It’s a good thing this glass wasn’t used!!

The Glory of a Lexington Horse Farm

After researching “things to do in Lexington” for our yearly “girls’ weekend”, I decided having a tour of a private horse farm would fit in nicely with our schedule and would be a unique experience with a personal touch!  I chose Taylor Made and our guide was “Emily”, the young lady in the next photo.  She was knowledgeable, professional and sweet!

The 1500 acre farm specialized in breeding and has received up to $8 million dollars for one conceived “baby”!  Usually, it’s more like $100,000…but still, that’s a lot!

While we were there for the hour tour, two gentlemen had arrived for their appointment to check out a couple of stallions for possible breeding, so we were allowed to watch them being brought out for show!

The farm was beautiful…even though it was an overcast day!

It was breathtaking to watch these horses race up the fence line!

 

 

They even had a small horse “cemetery”…

Here are the girls…from left to right….Gina, Cindy, Me, Sherry, and Michele.  Dee came the following day for the second night.

 

We learned quite a bit…this is the breeding room.  It usually takes about 45 minutes and they have someone restraining the stallion, so he doesn’t get too rough with the mare…such as biting her.  They videotape it for proof!

Here is the Mare‘s compound…

The tour is free…but you tip the guide.  We really enjoyed it!

 

What girls do on a girls’ weekend

 

This weekend I went on my annual girls’ weekend with my friends Sherry, Gina and Dee.  This was Dee’s first trip with us.  The tradition started almost 20 years ago with a trip to Put-n-Bay and the destinations have included Myrtle Beach, Red River Gorge, Ky, Indianapolis, Shawnee Nat’l Forest,  and Nashville, to name a few.  Typically, we would find a cabin with a hot tub and the weekend consisted of eating, drinking, talking and hiking.  But more recently we’ve been heading to cities for sight-seeing and listening to bands.  I’m usually in charge of finding the accommodations and booked a 3 bedroom condo in the Highlands section of Louisville for the weekend that I found through VRBO online.  It was in a great location, within walking distance to restaurants, boutiques and a large park with walking trails.

The Highlands reminds me of Yellowsprings, Ohio.  It was an eclectic blend of boutiques selling handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, books and wares from around the world; cozy coffee shops, a yoga studio, art galleries, and many restaurants that varied from Indian to Asian.

 

This painting caught my eye in one of the shops!

 

 

An interesting sign…

 

 

While walking down the street we were stopped by a local T.V. reporter wondering if we’d be interested in giving our opinion on pornography pop-ups on the internet.  So…being it was a new experience…I volunteered.  I don’t remember most of the questions, but I’ll be able to view it on their website.

 

We had fun trying hats on in one of the shops…a little pricey for me at $190 per hat!

 

 

 

It was a beautiful fall weekend for our escape…so we went hiking in Cherokee Park.

 

 

We went to a bar that caters to the over 40 crowd called Jim Porter’s Good Times Emporium.  Boasting three live bands (Pop, Rock and Blues) we had a great time dancing most of the evening!  Our husbands don’t particularly enjoy dancing…so we indulged ourselves!

 


The following evening we dressed for Halloween and our first stop was 4th Street Live in downtown Louisville.

 

 

We stopped a man on the street to take our photo before we left the condo…he was a bit shaky I believe!  As you can see, Gina was a girl scout!  But what was remarkable about it, was that it was her uniform from when she was 9 years old!

 

 

After having a very tasty dinner at the Red Star Tavern, our plan was to party downtown…but it seemed a little dead…so we took a taxi back to Jim Porter’s.

 

 

 

 

Being “Supergirl” I had to pick someone up, so I chose this girl…but the photo turned out too blurry to post!

 

 

This girl “the naked girl costume” won third place in the contest at Jim Porter’s.  I didn’t think it appropriate to take a picture of the front, although it wasn’t real!

 

 

 

 

My husband thought I should call this post “Cougar’s Weekend”!  Hope you had a Happy Halloween!