You guys, this is my BFF, Luanne Storer. She’s made this blog a few hundred times!
She is a totally amazing friend, and as I’ve told you before, she’s also a very talented confectioner! Her confection of choice: the cake lollie. It’s cake. Mixed with frosting. Rolled into a ball. Dipped in chocolate. ON A STICK! Lulee’s Lollies are TO DIE FOR! Look at all the amazing creations she can put together:
This weekend, at the party Emily and I threw for Tide Coldwater, Luanne invented especially for us, a total game-changer: the Ice Cream Lollie. It’s a cake pop on top, ice cream underneath, decorated to look like an adorable cone. AMAZING!!
Luanne has big plans for Lulee’s Lollies, but to accomplish them she needs YOUR HELP! That’s right my readers, I am begging for your help for my friend. Luanne has applied for a $250,000 small business grant, but in order to even get her application considered she has to get 250 votes on the grant’s Facebook app. She just found out about the contest today and it is over June 30. So she has less than 4 days to get 250 votes. So, I know there are about 1,300 people that subscribe to this blog daily. I need ALL of y’all to go vote to Luanne! It will only take you about 30 seconds and it’s EASY! Here’s how:
Because, I am ASHAMED to say, as a born-and-bred Ohio lifer, I knew pretty much NOTHING about our state north of Coluumbus. And that’s just SAD! I wanted to learn more! I mean my husband SAILS SAILBOATS, why have we never been to Ohio’s Great Lake?
PLUS, they totally said I could bring a friend!! Since Emily was unavailable (responsibilities = lame), my BFF Luanne accompanied me. Which was awesome because we had not spent any good quality time together in a long time.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands (the name for their convention & visitors bureau) put us up at the lovely Sawmill Creek Resort. It’s a huge hotel on 235 acres adjacent to a nature preserve AND it has it’s own private strip of Lake Erie beach! Can’t wait to go back there to the beach in the summer!
It also has a gorgeous set of shoppes in an authentic old barn, it’s seriously like a giant department store in a beautiful barn, and they carried some of the coolest fashions, gifts, jewlery, accessories, and toys. I especially liked this apron:
We had a wonderful dinner and dessert in the restaurant at the resort, then we hit Sawmill’s in-house bar, the Black Bear Saloon, for a little Mommy Blogger dance-a-thon. Which may or may not be on video. (Fortuntately I am mostly hidden but Pauline is a SUPAHSTAH!)
The next morning we were off bright & early to Kalahari Resort, which OHMAHGAH is FLIPPIN’ HUGE! And I didn’t even know it was there! It’s like what I imagine a Disney resort to be like. GINORMOUS, with indoor activities (including a bazillion restaurants and candy shops and the largest indoor waterpark IN AMERICA) and outdoor, like it’s own ZOO with 350 animals, splash parks, a rope course, and a zipline. Oh, and did I mention they HAVE A SPA!? It’s soooo nice! I know this firsthand because we got treated to treaments. Here’s how I was feeling after my massage:
Here are some pics of Kalahari. The water park was indescribably huge and breathtaking. I am DYING to take my big kids there, they will be in heaven. I can really see just plopping our stuff down and staying there for hours, even with Jonah. The baby area was AMAZING.
The rest of the day was a blur of FUN and activity. We made chocolate bars at Tre Sorelle Ciococolato, where we all RAWKED the hair net. It was really fun AND yummy! They do birthday parties and kid’s chocolate-making classes, if you live up there you should TOTES get in on that.
Next, we were off to Firelands Winery for wine tasting and lunch. I brought Emily home a big ol’ bottle of bubbly which I shall have to let her review sometime. But I thought it was super cool that all the grapes for Firelands Wine is grown on one of Lake Erie’s Islands – North Bass Island!
Next, we went to the Wendy Kromer Bakery, (she’s only contributing editor for Martha Stewart Weddings – NO BIG DEAL!) where I ate the best thing I have ever eaten in my life . Not exaggerating, not joking, across all food groups, all food types, EVERYTHING, this is THE BEST THING I have ever eaten:
Then we headed to the Merry Go Round Museum, where we got to take lots of cool pictures of tons of vintage carousel animals and of course, go for a Merry Go Round ride! It was very fast & fun!
Finally, we finished out our day at the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, where we literally got just about scared to death in their haunted house (dudes, they are NOT KIDDING with that thing). But, we also had some fun! They have 3-D mini-golf and other fun indoor rides and games, plus a skating rink, snack bar, etc. – it’s another great birthday party destination. And the married couple who run it and their baby are so freaking ADORABLE. It’s a great little family business!
I really can’t tell you how much fun Luanne and I had on this tour. Hanging out with other bloggers Jen of Big Binder (who has lots of amazing pics on her post), Pauline of Classy Chaos, and Valerie of Social Moms Around Columbus was also a huge part of the fun. I really, honestly, TRULY can’t wait to take my family back to the area this summer so we can explore the beach and Lake Erie’s Islands and maybe Bobby can get in a sail or two!
To check out all that Lake Erie Shores & Islands has to offer, click here.
Thanks to LESI for providing my lodgings and meals! And for letting me bring a friend! It was a great trip! And of course all opinions about it are my very own precious opinions.
Ain’t no party like a last-minute party! This is what I learned yesterday after some wild and crazy impromptu fun with some girlfriends and their kids. You see, it just so happened that by chance, several of my girlfriends’ husbands were either out of town, working late, had class late, or in my case were at a good ol’ RAWK CONCERT! So my friend Jen, not knowing everyone’s situation, put a message out on our “house church ladies” facebook page saying “hey late’s have a late play date at the park if you can because my husband is out” – so I joined her, because I always do what Jen says. 🙂 Our friend Celia was thinking of joining us as well, but she wasn’t feeling well so she didn’t show (lame). After awhile, it was getting close to dinner time, and Jen decided to take her brood to Skyline. Now, I HATE Skyline, so I planned on taking mine home and feeding them peanut butter. But then, the clouds parted, the sun shone, and I saw THIS (thank God for SmartPhones!)
Cortney’s Facebook status. She was unexpectedly husbandless for the night as well! I immediately texted her: “Whatever you’re getting, get me some too”. And she texted back, “Come on over! We’ll order pizza!” And I was all, “Can Jen come too?” and so Jen and I gathered up our large number of children and headed over to Cortney’s house. While we were in process, Celia called – she was feeling better and wanted to see if we were still at the park – “Come to Cortney’s house!” I said. (Cortney LOVES it when I invite people over without asking her!) So Celia and her kids came also. Within a few minutes Cortney went from a night alone with her two boys to her house being packed with 4 moms and eleven children!
And it was awesome! So, so much fun. We fed the kids, threw the big kids in the finished basement and we sat up and talked with the little ones. It was such a nice way to spend a husband-less evening, with friends, laughing and eating, instead of being tired and frustrated and counting the minutes til bedtime (not that I do that…).
So thanks to Cortney for her hospitality and to Jen and Celia for being flexible! And thanks to my Droid for letting me see Facebook from the park so I could impose!!