1. Our first ever family vacation took place at Maumee Bay Lodge, one of the Ohio State Parks that has a full resort, lodge, golf, cottages, you name it. And, since it's still a State Park, it's huge and offers lots of places to just hang out and enjoy the natural beauty.
Our drive up to Maumee Bay (just east of Toledo) only took a few hours which was nice, too, since the kids didn't hit the I'm-so-bored-of-sitting-in-the-van-that-I-can-only-speak-Whinese stage of traveling.
2. This is right behind the picnic table in the first picture. On Friday and Saturday nights in the summer, there are free concerts here. We're looking forward to enjoying those next summer when we return for a full week.
3. What we spent a good portion of our days doing. This is the inland beach (as seen just behind the ampitheater in the picture above). There's also a nice beach across the road on Lake Erie.
4. There's a 2 mile boardwalk that goes through the marsh (which is part of what remains of the Great Black Swamp that went south from Lake Erie to just past Bowling Green, Ohio, and stretched west into Indiana). A very cool walk despite the flurry of complaints from Tom, who, in his words, "Just can't take it anymore!"
Of course, that night, all he could talk about was just how much he liked the boardwalk, seeing the deer, climbing the observation tower, and - the biggie - peeing on a tree. We're classy conservationists, peeps.
5. There's an awesome nature center (because it is, after all, an Ohio State Park) right by the entrance and exit to the boardwalk. We spent about an hour or so in there exploring, waking up the sleepy Screech Owl, oohing at the other animals, and just being nerdy outdoor enthusiasts. The butterfly gazebo was just outside and was full of Monarchs. COOL!
6. We took our remaining member of the Insane Canine Posse with us because they have pet-friendly cottage rentals at Maumee Bay. Every morning, I walked Brownie for about three miles, past the golf course, around the lake front and back. It was so quiet and so peaceful.
It was also slightly perilous to walk at that dawning hour because the deer were everywhere - like, 10 yards away from me in the road, moseying their way across. They didn't seem too worried about me and Brownie, critter-hunter that he is, was in awe of their size and of no use at all as a canine protector. I'm just glad that none of the deer charged at me!
Casa de Cottage
7. Our cottage, which was really a small house with everything we needed, especially privacy. It.was.awesome.
Maumee Bay, we LOVED ya! We'll be back July 2011!
If you're interested in renting a cottage, they have summer rentals for 2011 open now and they fill up FAST! So call and book soon!
Oh, and this is just me talking in this post - no solicited review, no compensation, nothing like that. ;-) I just wanted to share this local Ohio treasure with you.
Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to click through the links at Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes posts!