TRIP TO LAKE ERIE ISLANDS

Rob and I took our first trip away since having L. It was really hard for us to leave her, but it was really nice to get away just the two of us (we had forgotten what life was like with no schedule 😂). We didn’t want to go too far away so Lake Erie was the perfect choice.

Lake Erie is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half away, depending on which part of the lake you want to visit. Once there, you can stroll along the quaint streets of Marblehead, island hop to Catawba Island, Kelly’s Island, Johnson’s Island, Put in Bay, or South Bass Island, enjoy the many local wineries, or simply relax at some of the many state parks and beaches. We did a little bit of everything and I’m sharing some of the highlights below!

LAKE ERIE

Marblehead State Park

The first stop on our trip was to Marblehead State Park. Marblehead is home to one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. In use since 1822, the lighthouse is one of my favorite landmarks on Lake Erie.

The Lighthouse property offers breathtaking views of Kelley’s Island, South Bass Island and Cedar Point. The last time we visited we climbed the 77 stairs to the top of the lighthouse and I highly suggest doing it at least once for some incredible waterfront views.

In addition to the Lighthouse, visitors can enjoy the Keeper’s House Museum and the Lifesaving Station. The Keeper’s House includes a history of the Lighthouse and Marblehead area.

The Lifesaving Station offers an exhibit about boating safety, history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and its formation into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, and information about shipping on the Great Lakes.

East Harbor State Park

If you are looking for a smaller, tucked away beach, East Harbor State Park is a hidden gem. Visitors can enjoy boating, camping, fishing, and swimming.

The 1500 foot sand beach offers swimming and magnificent views of the lake. Pack a picnic lunch, bring a book, and plan on camping out on this beach for a nice relaxing day.

ACCOMMODATIONS

South Beach Resort

Tucked away on a quiet part of the lake, The South Beach Resort offers gorgeous waterfront views. With a private beach and marina, it was the perfect place for us to relax and enjoy some time away.

The resort includes a four story inn and 18 cottages spread over eight acres along Sandusky Bay. It also includes three swimming pools, kayak and jet ski rentals, sand volleyball, tennis courts, and other recreation amenities that are family friendly.

The boardwalk around the marina offers quaint gazebos where guests can sit and enjoy the calming sounds of the lake. Rob and I sat in one of these gazebos for several hours and watched the sunset. It was incredible! This is exactly what we needed for a quiet weekend away.

FOOD

Mon Ami Winery

Our first stop for lunch was Mon Ami Winery. Mon Ami Winery is probably the most popular attraction on Lake Erie. Located on Catawba Island, the sprawling historic winery is the second oldest winery in Ohio and one of the largest on Lake Erie.

Located along the southeast shore of the peninsula, the winery boasts a charming setting for delicious food and homegrown wine.

Rob and I were able to snag a table on the outdoor patio where we enjoyed a delightful meal featuring local perch and walleye, a glass of Mon Ami Pinot Grigio, and a wheat beer from a local brewery. I had never eaten at the restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised by the magical atmosphere and top notch cuisine.

After our lunch, we wondered along the grounds to the gift shop, which includes a wine tasting room and finished our lunch with a flight of dry reds from the winery.

Mon Ami is definitely a must if you are looking for local fish and Ohio wine!

Red Fern Inn and Rocky Point Winery

The last time we visited Marblehead we stumbled upon the Rocky Point Winery and fell in love. Located in downtown Marblehead in the old historic schoolhouse, the Rocky Point Winery and Red Fern Inn offers a perfect setting for a weekend away.

The winery offers more than a dozen delicious wines available for tasting (our favorite is the Pinot Noir). Enjoy a glass on their back patio with live music from local musicians and a fresh breeze blowing off the lake.

Twin Oast Brewing

This was probably the hidden gem of our trip. Twin Oast Brewing was recommended to us by a few people and it did not disappoint! Located on Catawba Island, the 60-acre farm estate offers incredible views of rolling hills, terraced fruit trees, and natural caves.

Pair the incredible views with one of their amazingly delicious craft beers, and you won’t ever want to leave. They also offer a small menu of seasonal food, with many of the items grown on the farm. It was hands down our favorite meal and favorite atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for families too . They have a sprawling lawn with corn hole, yard games, and a stage for live music.

And to top it off, they have a small road side stand where they sell their delicious homegrown produce. We bought some peaches for the ride home and they were the best peaches I’ve ever tasted! It’s seriously an amazing experience and we are already planning our next trip back!

SHOPPING

We actually didn’t do a whole lot of shopping, but we did stop in the Pink Perch, Ferguson Art and Glass Gallery, and the Marblehead Mercantile.

The Pink Perch is everything preppy, nautical and girly. I could have bought everything in the shop, but I was good and shied away from purchasing anything I didn’t need. The Marblehead Mercantile is a fun collection of antiques and all things nautical. Definitely a must if you enjoy unique finds. Our favorite though was the Ferguson Art Gallery. Beautiful glass pieces and original artwork of Lake Erie, the gallery surprised us with all the cool finds and we definitely plan on going back.

I know this was a long post, but this is only a glimpse into the different aspects of Lake Erie living. I feel so fortunate to live so close to one of the Great Lakes. I’ve made so many friends and brands with ties to the lake and I hope I can play a part in helping to save our lakes!

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO LIFESTYLE BRAND

A few weeks back I shared the cutest nautical baby box from one of my favorite Ohio brands – Erie and Anchor.

Erie and Anchor is an Ohio based company that sells unique nautical products.  It’s a lifestyle brand designed for anyone who loves to live and play on Lake Erie.  From cozy sweatshirts, to lightweight tees, to canvas totes, baseball hats, and wine tumblers – Erie and Anchor has something for everyone!

Launching just over a year ago, Erie and Anchor is committed to supporting the Great Lakes.  For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come.

I had the opportunity to visit Lake Erie recently and let me tell you, the Erie and Anchor sweatshirts are amazing for the beach!! With temperatures only in the mid-50s and a strong wind coming off the lake, the Erie and Anchor sweatshirts kept me warm and cozy while I relaxed and enjoyed being close to the water.

The unisex sweatshirts come in a variety of colors, styles, and logos.  I think my favorite one is the navy hoodie with the anchor logo (who’s surprised!), but the kelly green hoodie and grey crewneck with the crosswind logo are close seconds! I love the fit of these sweatshirts – I am wearing a size small in the grey and navy, but chose a medium for the Kelly green because I wanted one that was slightly oversize.  

In addition to the sweatshirts, I am obsessed with the baseball hat! This hat is offered in white and navy and the white goes with everything! I’ve been wearing it on repeat these days, especially when the baby life doesn’t allow time for me to wash my hair.

I can’t say enough good things about this brand.  The quality of their products is outstanding, the styles are current and flattering, and they are a dream to work with.  I highly recommend checking them out and supporting this Ohio brand! Plus, if you use the code NORTHCOAST at checkout, you can receive FREE SHIPPING!

This is a great opportunity to purchase some locally made Ohio products, support a family business, and give back to Lake Erie!

Slainte,

Shannon

TRAVELING SOLTS – LAND OF SCOTCH, TARTAN PLAID, AND HARRY POTTER (PART 2)

Last week we shared our Scottish adventures in St. Andrews!  Today’s post, is all about Edinburgh!

EDINBURGH

We took two day trips to the city of Edinburgh.  What a cool, historic, eclectic city!  We did a LOT of different site seeing over two days so I’m breaking this post up into different activities.  First up is all about The Royal Mile and Edinburgh City.  But before I share pictures from city life, I have to share some photos of our train ride.  Riding through the countryside was seriously some of my favorite parts of the trip.  Scotland’s countryside is absolutely gorgeous with the rolling hills, views of the sea, and the cute little Scottish towns.   I’m for sure buying a house here some day. [I wonder if I’m part of that plan?]

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My dad and sister Allie!

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Royal Mile and City Life

Edinburgh is home to the Scottish crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and it’s the birthplace of Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling wrote the books in several coffee shops throughout the city).

Edinburgh is a VERY hilly city.  Once we embarked off the train, we had to climb up several streets just to get to The Royal Mile.  But there is so much to see, you forget what a great workout you are getting!

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This man’s outfit is on point with all that tartan!

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Magic is everywhere in Scotland!!

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The architecture in Scotland is unbelievable!

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Famous Victoria Street! (Inspiration for Diagon Alley for all you Harry Potter fans)

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline.  The castle is over 3,000 years old and has provided sanctuary for many of Scotland’s kings and queens. The castle is home to the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  Within the castles walls there is SO much to see!  The Crown Jewels of Scotland are housed here.  You can also explore St. Margaret’s Chapel (the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh), the Scottish National War Memorial, the One o’Clock Gun, the Prison Rooms, and the National War Museum of Scotland.  Plus, there are some epic views of the city!

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Inside St. Margaret’s Chapel

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Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is a rocky summit that towers over the city of Edinburgh.  Arthur’s Seat is a great place to escape the business of The Royal Mile while getting a view of the whole city.  It takes about an hour to climb and if you can make it to the top (I sadly did not) you are in for a treat with some magical views of the city! [Shannon’s sister said that it was just a “wee hill to climb.” It was not. I’m pretty sure that we looked down on Mt. Everest. At least I had thighs of steel the rest of the trip…]

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Ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel.

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Sisters ❤

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[I’m on Arthur’s Seat, so I’m basically king of Scotland]

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The group that made it to the top!

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What an incredible view!

Harry Potter Tour

One of my favorite activities we did in Edinburgh was a Harry Potter tour!! We walked all around the city, checking out sites that inspired J.K. Rowling while she was writing the books.

 

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Our fantastic tour guide! [I’m so excited, my eyes are closed]

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Practicing our spells! Wingardium Leviosa

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Voldemort’s family tomb!

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I got sorted into Hufflepuff. [Raise your hand if you are surprised]

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Graveyard that inspired the graveyard in the Goblet of Fire!

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Prep school that inspired the Hogwarts houses!

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I know this was a lengthy post, but there was just so much to share of our days in Edinburgh!  We took hundreds of pictures that we wish we could share but this should give a pretty good glimpse into all the fun that is Edinburgh, Scotland!

Up next, the Highlands (get ready Outlander fans!).

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

Note: These pictures were taken collectively by myself, hubby, my parents, siblings, and in-laws! Thanks to everyone for sharing all the pictures!