Ohio or Bust!

Old Aug 26th, 2020, 09:31 AM
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Ohio or Bust!

Due to Covid, we had to cancel a UK trip we have been trying to plan for a decade. We thought Disney would make a nice consolation prize and then we had to cancel that. We have long wanted to visit Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and that seemed like a sane plan. We've been waiting for something to go wrong, but we seem to be in good shape and we leave in the morning!

Our first stop is the Avalon Resort in Warren, which should be about six hours from here. It looked very nice, and we want to visit (safely distanced) with a friend in the area.

We've got eight days, multiple stops (mostly in the Sandusky area), and probably a certain amount of chaos. And swimming. There was a certain amount of pool selection going on with our itinerary, including a Great Wolf Lodge. This may be a little interesting with a party of adults, These adults are myself (53), DH (turning 55 on the trip), and DS (25).
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Old Aug 27th, 2020, 12:57 AM
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And we're off! As soon as I finish my coffee.


DS is all ready to go. He has his hat for fishing.
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Old Aug 27th, 2020, 05:43 PM
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After getting everyone and everything into the car, we set off for Ohio, taking 309 up to 22 to Rte 80 and then west. We stopped for breakfast at an IHOP in Hazleton, and arrived at our destination just after noon. They had our very spiffy room (parlor suite) ready for us, and we went and got changed, intent upon the pool.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 04:18 AM
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Pool Area this morning.

I'll post more details (and possibly some photos from my phone) but this resort has been awesome.

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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 04:19 AM
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DH waiting for breakfast, with more pool area behind him.
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Old Aug 28th, 2020, 03:49 PM
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The pool area at that resort is amazing. We spent most of the afternoon there, and even DS, who is luke warm about public pools, jumped in. Lunch was very good too, with a cherry goat cheese cheescake that was really quite different as well as tasty.

After we were done swimmig, we got dressed ane went to meet some friends (distantly, of course) in their wine cellar. They were having a wine tasting event with 24 tastes (of very fancy wines) for $83. DS and I split a tating with my friend and her husband, and we all got some snacks as well. DS and I split a mediterranean board, DH has shrimp scampi, and my friend and her husband also had shrimp scampi, along with a order of scallops. All very, very good.

We talked for quite a wile, and they needed to leave around 9pm, since they have teenagers.

We went back to our room, and DS went to go get some gas and bought some Arbys to fill up any empty corners.
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Old Aug 29th, 2020, 02:58 AM
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I'll post more, and hopefully put up more pictures, but hee's the view from our room at Cedar Point.


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Old Aug 30th, 2020, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for the report. I was raised in that area near the lake, but as kids we just hung out on the beach a lot (not where that resort is). That was before it got so polluted you couldn't do that. That Avalon resort does look nice.
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Old Aug 30th, 2020, 04:11 PM
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We've bwwn having a great time. It's a lovely clean beach, and DS is really fond of wading in the lake, although he hasn't gone fishing yet. We've been having trouble getting him to get out of the water to ride on roller coasters. Although I wil say this park is huge, and we have found the layout kind of confusing. We rode enough to make this seem worthwhile, but it's been a little slow getting on a lot of things.
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Old Aug 31st, 2020, 04:37 AM
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Last morning at Cedar Point. We're on our way to Port Clinton, since we had a reservation here for tonight and the hotel canceled it, since they're closing at noon today. I was a little irritated, but we've been having a good time.
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Old Sep 1st, 2020, 10:07 AM
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glad you had some fun. I'm sort of planning a trip to NE Ohio in a couple weeks and couldn't find any decent hotel I wanted to stay in outside the big cities (I wanted something near Ashtabula) that wasn't just along the interstate, so I'm thinking of that Avalong Resort also, that could work for me and I wasn't aware of it. I'm not really interested in amusement parks, but don't want just a chain hotel near the interstate.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2020, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
glad you had some fun. I'm sort of planning a trip to NE Ohio in a couple weeks and couldn't find any decent hotel I wanted to stay in outside the big cities (I wanted something near Ashtabula) that wasn't just along the interstate, so I'm thinking of that Avalong Resort also, that could work for me and I wasn't aware of it. I'm not really interested in amusement parks, but don't want just a chain hotel near the interstate.
It's a great resort. Not the cheapest, but I'd highly recommend it.

Our friends go there to eat with some regularity, and love it.
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Old Sep 8th, 2020, 05:14 AM
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To finish up, after Avalon, we drove to the Breakers at Cedar Point. Nice hotel, a very nice beach, not nearly as plush as Avalon. We enjoyed Cedar Point, but made an interesting discovery.

DH is kind of past roller coasters. He has increasing trouble with the harnesses, he feels like he's gettting knocked around a lot, and they just have less appeal than they used to.

By the way, while we liked Cedar Point a lot, and would probably visit it again if it was closer, or if we were in the area, we would probably not drive eight hours for it again. DH felt that fell into the category of things worth doing once.

After Cedar Point, we drove to Port Clinton and took the ferry to Put-In-Bay. DH felt that was in the category of things worth doing repeatedly. We really liked it, and next time we would stay there rather than Port Clinton.

After staying at Port Clinton (with some winery and thrift shop/antique stops sprinkled through) we went to Great Wolf Lodge.

It really is set up for people with small children, although we weren't absolutely the only people without them. It's also shockingly comfortable. Very good beds, nicely set up room (other than the bathroom door, which was way to close to the toilet. Food was also pretty decent. We did spend some time in the water park, and did more wineries/thrifting. One of these stops was Sandy Ridge Vineyards in Norwalk. It was really set up more as a restaurant than a tasting room, but the food was amazing. One of the best meals we've had this year, and the best of the trip (which involved a lot of really good food). We would take a significant detour to eat there again.

Speaking of things we would do again, with a deal, I would repeat Great Wolf Lodge if the destination worked for our needs. The room worked really well for us, and we didn't hate the water park. For us, it's not worth a giant premium, but the price I paid was in line with a regular decent hotel room.

After checking out of GWL, we drove back to Eastern Pennsylvania. We had decided to stop in the Poconos, and not do the whole thing straight through. Our destination was Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony. I would not stay there again. It wasn't awful, but it is more than a little worn, and wasn't particularly cheap. It was clearly once fairly high end (the suite we were in would have been the absolute lap of luxury the year I graduated from high school) but not only have they not updated, there's been very little replacement of soft furnishings, wallpaper, etc. The mattresses were not bad, and the sheets were decent, but...

Instead of taking our chances with the one restaurant that was open on property, we drove to the Power Station in White Haven, about eight miles away, and one of our favorites, where we ate the second best meal of the trip.

In the morning, we left for home, stopping in Jim Thorpe for lunch and a wander.
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Old Sep 9th, 2020, 05:28 AM
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Split Rock Lodge was dated 15 years ago. I can't believe they haven't updated anything. At one time it was such a nice place.
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Old Sep 9th, 2020, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by schmerl View Post
Split Rock Lodge was dated 15 years ago. I can't believe they haven't updated anything. At one time it was such a nice place.
Very little as far as we could tell, except for things like mattresses. It was honestly frustrating, because you could tell it had been very nice, and could be again, but it just seemed like nothing beyond the absolute minimum had happened in many years. At least it seemed fairly clean.
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