(However, the location could have been a little better than in That State Up North [TSUN].)
We don't say that name in our household. Mr. B is slowly getting used to this rule.
So, you can imagine how I felt crossing the Ohio line and seeing that huge WELCOME sign. Something inside me screamed, "It's not worth it. Go back!" And I felt the sudden urge to chant, "O-H!" But really, this odd feeling came over me and I felt sick to my stomach. I'm dead serious. It was weird. I think I'm allergic.
Anyhoo, we like to get started before dawn around here, and on our way we decided to make a stop at Cabela's (a huge hunting store), you know, since we were early. Early is an understatement. We were so early Cabela's wasn't even open. Mama and I decided we'd wait the 15 minutes until it opened, along with the other eight men waiting in their trucks...decked out in cameo and gun racks. Never did I ever think I'd be waiting for a hunting store to open. Not that I'm against it (I'm all for tagging a deer....deer meat is delicious), I just don't hunt, personally, and neither does Mr. B. But I have hunters in my family. I've never had the need to go into one of these stores.....I take that back. We went into a Gander Mountain and I found the cutest Ohio State vest. It's my favorite. Ummm, never mind, now that I think about it I'm in these stores quite often...
So....we go in the store and the first item I see is a camouflage sweatshirt with TSUP's logo on it, and I really wanted to ask the salesperson if they had this in Ohio State. But I was raised to be respectful, so I didn't. Mama and I found some shirts for the men in our lives, coffee mugs and I don't know how many pounds of fudge, but I was stoked when I came across these beauties.
After our Cabela's pit stop (which, surprisingly, was an hour) we hit the road, heading to a diner called Tony's. Mama and Daddy raved about this place and their humongous portions when they went up back in October. It did not disappoint. Mama had a huge side order of bacon with some gravy and toast (I found it very odd they could not spare her a biscuit...next time we'll stop at the KFC across the street to buy a biscuit to have with her gravy) and I ordered an omelet.
After, we tried to check in to the hotel, but they had a "No check-ins before 3 p.m." policy. What's a girl to do? Good thing there was an Outlet Mall down the street. And it had a Pottery Barn!!!!! I have no pics, but let's just say I know what I'm getting for Christmas from Mama. And Mr. B might not jump for joy. We only hit up a few stores because
We passed a Starbucks, which was silly, so we turned around for our favorite beverages and continued on our way. Deciding that we wanted to see Bronner's at night, we went to the River Place Shops down on the...well, the river. I had many favorites on this trip and this was one of them. Filled with so many cute shops, I was able to find a lot of Christmas gifts. We also stumbled upon this gem, Sugar High.
Sugar High was the winner of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" episode in season seven of Cupcake Wars. The place was cute and fantastic and packed.
On our way to the clock shop (I forget the actual name) we saw these horse-drawn carriages. They were all over downtown, and the horses were beautiful. I wanted a ride but felt I should probably spend the money on somebody's Christmas present instead.
After the clock shop, where I found a fabulous and perfect gift for a certain in-law, we headed to Bronner's (where it's Christmas all the time!). Christmas was everywhere! There was a never-ending line to see Santa, and fortunately Mama didn't make me wait in it to take a picture with yet another creepy character. There were ornaments every where you turned, separated by categories and colors and themes and holidays and careers and hobbies....it was holiday insanity. And I loved it.
Shockingly, I was able to display some kind of control and not buy the entire store, but I did find a few must-have items. Almost three hours later we found our way outside to snap a few pictures of their extravagant light display. And we just had to head into this quaint church and sign the guest book.
It was getting close to 6 p.m. and I was growing hangry, and I really wanted to eat at The Brewery. So we headed back into town, placed our name on the hour-and-a-half long waiting list, and walked around downtown. I found the cutest all-natural shop (a favorite!) where Mama bought some lovely teas, and I a few amazing bath salt combinations. There was some more candy buying and wine buying and some nasty cheese trying, but we eventually made it to dinner. I had the chicken parmigiana and Mama had the bratwurst and to say we were full and extremely happy is an understatement. The Brewery is a must when I go back! Another favorite.
Finally, we made it back to the hotel a little before 10 p.m., where we sampled our earlier cupcake purchases. We enjoyed Drumstick, Maple Bacon, and Mudslide.
Along with some wine. Hello, wine.
We slept in and almost missed the continental breakfast. Shocking, I know. I think we were tuckered from all the walking we did...I know Mama was. She actually slept nine whole hours! I don't think she's ever done that. Ever. The breakfast was a complete failure. Hardly a selection, packed, not a lot of seating, and anything I did want they were out of. (This is why Mr. B wakes me up at 6 a.m. on vacations...so we are first in line for breakfast.)
Feeling bad that we pretty much demolished the cupcakes, therefore having none to bring home to the men in our lives, Mama and I just had to go back to Sugar High. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the eight cupcakes we bought...but the Toxic Turtle was my absolute favorite (mmm....lemon-lime, you know I like a good pucker.) And I brought home a Quatro Leches cupcake for Mr. B, which he actually liked. That recipe is here. On our way out, Mama found the popcorn store, which was too packed to go into yesterday. Thank goodness for this stop! THE BEST. Let's just say I can't wait to open my stocking :)
Mama said this should be a must for us every year. A girls' trip. I agree.
With Love and God Bless,