Monday, August 2, 2010


It's been  a couple of years since I visited Sandusky.  At that time my company was considering doing some development in the downtown area and we visited the town a few times getting the lay of the land and talking through some details.  Although our talks didn't lead anywhere for our involvement, I was tremendously impressed with their plans for the redevelopment of the waterfront and downtown. 

Fast forward a couple of years and my first trip back showed that these folks are doing a very nice job with their revitalization plans.  New condo projects, a new ferry servicing Kelly's Island and Put-in-Bay and new restaurants all along the main thoroughfare.  Nancy and I had decided to take a trip up to ride the ferry and it turned into a fun day wandering both Sandusky and South Bass Island.  We arrived early for our ferry, so we strolled up past the fountain and along Columbus Street to admire the new shops and restaurants and ogle the facade of the old State Theater (which appears to be reopening).  We made a quick stop at quaint Mr. Smiths Coffeehouse for a glass of tea and a muffin then hustled down to the wharf to pick up the ferry.  The Jet Express now leaves the dock several times a day and our boat was standing room only on the way over and back so it appears plenty of people are taking advantage of the service.

Both Nancy and I love transportation of all kinds - riding trains and ferries are part of the fun of exploring.  For us, the ride to Put-in-Bay was half the fun of the whole trip.  Once we hit town we wandered a bit looking for a golf cart to rent but since they were already all taken settled instead on taking the tram tour.  Although Nancy has been to the island a couple of times in the past year or so she was good to allow me to do this since it was my first visit in nearly 20 years.  I had not seen more of the island than just the town, so this was a treat for me.  We spent some time in the butterfly house, where I enjoyed chasing the butterflys around with my camera.  The tour highlighted a lot of the local architecture and quaint victorian homes dotted all along the island.  Many of these reminded me of homes I saw in Key West so I'm not surprised that Put-in-Bay's nick name is The Key West of the North. 

Of course there were plenty of people partying all over the island and the ride on the ferry back home was filled with far more happy people than on the way over.  Once we hit the mainland we walked back up to Columbus Street to have dinner at Zinc Brasserie.  Nancy had talked about the new Zinc opening in Cleveland and was surprised to see one here in Sandusky and it wasn't difficult to talk me into stopping there for our evening meal.  We sat on the patio overlooking the main street and waterfront and I enjoyed a great glass of Trivento Malbec from Mendoz Argentina with my Beet Salad with a Pistachio Crusted Cambozola cheese.  I blogged here a couple of weeks ago about about this fantastic cheese and was surprised to find it on a menu so had to try it.  It really made a great addition to the beet salad.  Nancy had the Goat Cheese Ravioli and it must have been good because she cleaned her plate pretty well too.

Our company outing was Sunday at the boss' loge at the Stadium.  We made it a good ballpark experience with hot dogs, soft pretzels, popcorn and beer.  Now if only the Aero's had not lost the game 11-3 it might have been a really great day. 

I always am impressed by this ballpark in downtown Akron. In the decade since it's been built the surrounding downtown area has indeed made a comeback creating a fun and entertaining district for people of all ages.  Families come to the ballpark for the games and many of them stay for dinner after the game, then giving way at night to the UA students who flock to the area to go to the new bars lining Main Street.  Since the installation of Canal Park the area is now boasting new housing for students, a dozen new restaurants and at least as many new bars and nightclubs and more are coming on line on a regular basis.

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