Ohio Has It All!

GrapesThis past weekend I visited three different wineries, an Ice Cream factory, and the second largest Irish festival in the United States. And I did all of this without leaving Ohio.

On Friday, Jennifer and I visited Firelands Winery, The Mon Ami Winery and Restaurant, and The Sand Hill Winery and Vineyard, followed by a seafood buffet. Jonathan and Carmel also happened to be visiting wineries this day, although Jennifer I were in a different part of the state. We tasted various wines of many different varieties, and learned about how wine is made. My favorites were the red dry wines, although a good dry white is always nice. Unfortunately for my wallet, I enjoyed the expensive ones the most. We also had a chance to walk through a vineyard and get a close-up look at some grapes, which are still green at this point.

I enjoyed visiting all of the wineries, but the Firelands Winery had the largest variety, the least expensive tasting, and a self-guided tour, which caused me to enjoy it the most. All of them were very nice and tranquil settings, and one hosts local musicians regularly. After visiting all of these wineries and seeing how it is done, I think it would be fun to make wine.

On Saturday, after a day of shopping near Cleveland, we made dinner and then got some Ice Cream at Toft’s Dairy, an ice cream parlor attached the actual factory itself! I had my usual, Cake Batter and Pistachio on a waffle cone. MMMM…I want some now!

Irishflag_1On Sunday, we visited the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival, which is the second largest in the United States. It was a very warm day, and I think we drank down over 100 ounces of Iced Tea each, in addition to eating plenty of good food. We started the day off with an outdoor Catholic Mass at the festival itself, and got in free because of it. Then we walked around the festival, visiting the different vendors and cultural booths. I figured there would be a lot of Catholic items for sale, seeing how Ireland is a Catholic country, but was surprised how many neo-pagan items were for sale. They outnumbered the Catholic products I think.

While we were there, we saw some good Irish music, namely Tommy Makem and Brigid’s Cross. I particularly liked the Irish song "Red is the Rose", which Tommy Makem performed. The music is available here, and it is the same tune as the Scottish song "Loch Lomond." We also saw some Irish dancing, which was rather impressive, seeing how young most of the dancers were. I was hot and exhausted by the time we left at 4:30 PM.

This is not an advertisement for the Ohio Tourism bureau, but who would have guessed  a Midwestern state like Ohio would entertain me this much!

Image of grapes from: http://www.fostertravel.com/