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A new adventure: we can cross Ohio off our list of states visited!

We were so fortunate to take a quick weekend getaway up to the Lake Erie region of Ohio over Labor Day weekend.

In Kirtland, OH visiting the Newel K. Whitney store.

It seems like we haven’t had as many trips lately, which is sometimes good (I’m a slavedriver on Saturdays when Jack’s around to help me fix stuff on the house), but we were all in the mood for something fun.

Lake Erie. We were far enough north that our hotel TV had Canadian channels. Sooo close!

Since I’ve got the a goal to visit all fifty states, we decided to go somewhere new: Ohio! We left right after everyone got home from school and work and though we were slowed down by several accidents in Indy (seriously, no one can drive here without a major accident occurring daily), we made it through Ohio without much trouble and stayed a few nights in Sandusky.

Mercifully I remembered to pack a few crayons, paper and snacks to make the boat ride a little more fun.

We ate at Skyline Chili at the behest of several people and though I wouldn’t say it was my favorite nostalgic restaurant (Steak ‘n’ Shake all the way!!!), the workers were extremely friendly.

Kate always wanted to snuggle up with Evelyn.

We made it to our cheap hotel in time to jump on the beds for a few minutes, then sink into sleep. In my rush to pack, I forgot the portable crib. Really, it must have been a subconscious choice not to bring it. Who am I kidding? Kate’s not a baby anymore (at least that’s what she tells me). She just snuggled right up to Evelyn and snoozed all night, with an only occasional, “Mom?” to make sure I was still there.

Watching out ferry’s window.

We rode a giant fishing-boat-turned-ferry to a couple islands in Lake Erie. The girls were sooo elated to be riding a boat. For about ten minutes. Thankfully, I had some forethought and packed crayons, paper and snacks to sustain us.

Paddling past Cedar Point and a lot of other expensive boats.

The first was Kelley’s island, a quaint little tourist island that has some pretty fascinating history. We trudged around for a while but with only one stroller and a couple miles to cover in an hour, we opted to rent a golf cart. We felt sort of snobbish buzzing around but the girls thought it was about the most exciting thing they’ve ever done.

Watch out everyone! Jack’s on the road with a golf cart!

We drove over to the Glacial Grooves (some really cool rock formations etched out by moving glaciers) and looked around a bit before heading back to the boat.

The pattern in the rocks carved by countless years of being scraped by a glacier slowly moving through the area.

Our second stop was at Put-In Bay. That place was crazy. I don’t believe I’ve seen so many inebriated middle-aged people in my life. We took a few minutes to destress at the playground (Kate tried her darndest to master the monkey bars), rented another golf cart and headed out to explore.


South Bass island apparently is home to the largest known geode so we “toured” it by taking a staircase down, crunching together with the other patrons (trying not to touch the crystals so we didn’t forever marr them with our oily skin!), snapped a few photos, gawked, then headed back up.


Though we were determined to swim, we managed to arrive right as an algae bloom showed up. Oh, well. I remember being told how filthy Lake Erie was in elementary school so I wasn’t too disappointed. We zipped over in our golf cart to the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial instead.


Though we didn’t get to ride to the top due to a long line of other people also wanting to ride to the top, we did admire the history of the island (it was pretty pivotal in the War of 1812).  There was even a guy there demonstrating some of the weaponry of the era.


We escaped to an overpriced (yet delicious) ice cream parlor for a brief rain shower and shortly after, were back on the boat, headed home. The girls were out like a light the second we got in the car and by dinnertime, we met up with some longtime friends, ate and they were ready to swim in the freezing pool (thankfully the rowdy college kids waited until we left to swarm the waters and cause a rukus).

A windy ride back to shore!

Sunday, we found a local ward to attend and enjoyed a wonderful sacrament meeting before finishing our trip.

During it’s time, the Kirtland Ashery was equivalent to a million dollar business.

We drove a little further to visit a church history site in Kirtland, Ohio. Though it’s smaller than Nauvoo, IL, it was fascinating reliving some of the history of ancestors of a shared faith.

An important (and original) building in church history: the N.K. Whitney & Co. store.

We toured the N.K. Whitney and Co. store, the Whitney home, the sawmill, the ashery and later, the Kirtland temple.

The Kirtland Temple.

The missionaries explained what life was like and what significant events occurred around that time and gave us time to explore.

A piece of ancient papyrus scroll, translation now found in The Pearl of Great Price.

The drive home was uneventful (thankfully we were able to avoid any of the cops waiting every ten feet to pull someone over for looking at them wrong). The next morning we were up for a pancake breakfast and even got some home improvements checked off the list.

Vacations are hard work!

What a fun, interesting and educational family trip together! I’m already excited for the next…any destination suggestions?

Posing on an old anchor.

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