Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lake Erie Love - Part 2 - 7/30/14

Welcome to part 2 of our family vacation!  If you missed it, go read part 1 NOW!  We are half way through our super fun week! Today we get to take a boat, a bus, and go underground!

We got up Wednesday morning and the weather was BEAUTIFUL!!  So we decided to take the ferry and head over to South Bass Island or as you may know it, Put-in-Bay! Although Mr. S doesn't look thrilled I promise he was excited!
There are my loves on the boat!  It was all the kids' first boat ride! I couldn't believe I'd never taken them before but here they are so excited to head to the island! We decided to take Miller's Ferry this time and it was a great ride for a great deal!  I would definitely recommend it! The staff was friendly and helpful.  The man announcing the ferry at one point said "If you don't know if you're going to Middle Bass Island, You aren't going to Middle Bass Island."  Mr. J and I laughed at that the rest of the day. 

Once we got to the island we needed to get downtown where all the shops and restaurants were. The cheapest and most fun for the kids was the "Downtown Bus" driven by the craziest "Captain Buck".  This was just an old school bus that takes you into town for cheap! But this was Miss V's first time on a bus and she was very excited. The boys ride the bus to school each day so riding this bus was no big deal, other than they leave the door open. But Miss V was so excited to ride her first bus! 

We went to visit the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial while on the island.  It's a memorial to the men who died in the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 during the war of 1812. It was really beautiful memorial. We decided not to go the top but I have heard that the view is amazing! 

Next up was a great treat for the whole family! We did a combination cave & winery tour.  The kids really wanted to see the cave and I really wanted to do a wine tasting.  Best of both worlds! The Heineman winery & crystal cave was a great deal for our family!  First up the crystal cave!

Sorry to this tour guide but this picture makes me laugh. Apparently the crystal cave isn't actually a cave at all, it's the world's largest geode.  A basic geode looks like a rock but when you crack it open it's full of crystals.  This one was found when miners were looking for water for the winery. The walls and ceiling were covered in these beautiful white crystals. They even told us that the Smithsonian had come and taken a large piece of it. She also pointed to one specific crystal and said it weighed around 120 pounds! It was really neat to see.

Next we went through the winery and how they made wine. I love doing wine tours. I think it's interesting how the different wineries make their wine and how they do the blends. This was a great tour and the lady had a lot of great information for us! 

LOVE this picture of all the wines (minus the random guy's hand). 

Next up, and conveniently right across the street, was Perry's cave.  This was an actual cave that we were somewhere around 50+ feet underground.  This was a really neat cave. There is a lot of history and interesting stories about this cave. 

Perry's cave even has an underground river.  The water is crystal clear despite what this picture looks like.  They said there was even an underground opening in this river that divers swam through to see if they could find an opening into lake Erie. Our tour guide was hilarious and had us laughing all the way through!  Well worth the money! 

Lastly on the island I wanted to visit the other winery (I couldn't show favorites!). The Putt-in-Bay winery is just outside of downtown on the GORGEOUS Doller House Estate.  I didn't have time to do the full tour but it sounded so interesting so I guess we will have to go back.  Not only did they offer wine tasting but they also had grape juice for the kids.  So we bought them a bottle of juice and went to sit outside on the beautiful ground while I had my wine tasting. 

Catawba white grape juice! Delicious! 

There is my flight of wine for my tasting.  They had so many places to sit and things to do. They really made this a great place to get a bottle of wine and relax for the afternoon.  We didn't have time for that either but we did sit for about 20 minutes and really relax and just enjoy our time as a family. Mr. S even had me rate each of the wines that I was tasting.  He is too funny! 

Pretending to stomp grapes the old fashion way! 

We were definitely sad to leave the island. I want to go back and explore some more. I think Mr. J and I might have to go alone for a weekend get away.  This would be a really fun couples trip!  I feel like we only saw a small part of the island. There was a nature preserve I wanted to see and so much more. We will definitely be back South Bass Island!  

Question of the day!
Have you ever been to Put-in-Bay? What was your favorite part?

Love, Lacey