Ohio Road Trip

We have only been to Ohio to visit Cedar Point. But this time we decided to fly out of Cincinnati and hit Kings Island for a day or so. So that meant a 4 hour road trip right through the middle of Ohio. We had opened up Cedar Point that day, done a few rides, then hit the road. So as we drove we were looking for a place for lunch. Do I need to say it again…we wanted good food and the search began. We ended up in a town called Bucyrus, and they were having Hobo Days. It was quite fun with a few vendors on the streets. What stopped us was a coffee shop, since sandwiches are a hit at our house this seemed like the perfect place. Plus we are from the NW and we do like our coffee, so had to test it out.

First off it was inside of an antique/amish furniture/gift shop that was all a buzz. At the coffee counter were 3 older ladies taking orders and making sandwiches. We all ordered our favorite coffee drink, and got these great sandwiches with chips and a giant pickle. The whole meal cost us $24. And the coffee was great. We ended up talking with one of the ladies and she found out we were from Oregon and she gave my husband a huge to go cup of coffee, which he thought was really good and very sweet.

Full stomachs and on our way to Kings Island…..

Eating Good around Cedar Point

Food. That always becomes the source of concern when we travel. We don’t like fast food, deep fried food or just plain unhealthy food, so we have to search, and search we do. Before I left I had spent time on the web trying to find some really good places for us. We don’t normally like chain restaurants because they lack good quality taste and they lack nutrition. The first day we were having such a good time in the park we decided to try something just outside the gates and hopefully not too heavy. Heavy never works when you are riding rides all day long. We ended up at Famous Daves, which we didn’t know at the time was a chain restaurant. I ordered a salad, which wasn’t bad, it was all ice berg lettuce (see I’m even a salad snob) and it had a BBQ dressing on it that I was not real fond of. But since it was a BBQ restaurant that is what they had. Everyone else got hamburgers and fries. The Hamburgers were greasy and the BBQ sauce was real thick. I don’t think anyone finished their meals. The kids each got pops and we had water. The meal cost us $48.00. It was a huge disappointment.

We decided for dinner that we would try a restaurant that I had found online. It’s called Red Gables and it’s just a few short miles from the park entrance. It was not a chain and the food was amazing. They have a 2 pork chop special, which my husband and I got and split. My daughter got the crab cake dinner. (We are from Oregon and I try those everywhere we go, and those are by far the best crab cakes I have ever had. Lots a crab and just a little breading.) My son got the 4 cheese pasta. Each meal came with salad and 2 sides. Which means we ended up with 3 salads and 6 side dishes. We had so much food. We even ordered scallops (amazing) as an appetizer and the kids had drinks and we had beers with our meal. I know, it’s definitely a wine meal, but I was craving a beer. My daughter said it was the best restaurant that she had ever been too. The whole meal cost us $90. We got amazing quality food and we got superb service on which we chose to leave a great tip.

Ok, I know what you are thinking. That was by no means a bargain meal. I agree 100%. But we chose to cut corners in other ways. We had a fridge in our room. We started by bringing cereal that would last us the whole time. So when we got there we bought milk, I had packed spoons and we ate out of the cups in the room. So breakfast was cheap and it’s what we all enjoy eating for breakfast. For lunch (because we didn’t want more bad expensive food from and around the park) we chose to go to the grocery store and we bought cheese, crackers, fruits, plus we already had nuts, bars and dessert that we had brought along. So everyday we would leave the park go to our room and eat a snack that would hold us until we left for a great dinner.

The second night that we ventured out we went to Lymans Harbor and ate a very good meal there too. It too was not a chain, they pride themselves in their perch, which was great. It is across the harbor from Cedar Point. So again just minutes from the entrance and plenty of places to sit, quick service, good service and out the door feeling great.

The funny thing was both nights we would go back and pass the TGIFridays and there would be a line out the door, people would be grumpy and they would end up paying just about what we paid. Only our experience was pleasant.

The last night we were there we decided to go easy on the budget and we ordered Pizza. The Red Gables has a pizza place next door so we thought we would give it a try. That meal cost us $15. HINT: You can go into the nice side of Red Gables and order a great meal and they will let the kids order a pizza from the other side if nothing on the menu is to their liking. LOVE THIS PLACE!!

Paramounts Great America, Sunday, April 13th

We started the day again with our GREAT breakfast at The Plaza Suites. The weather was so nice we decided to eat outside.

We actually found yesterday that with the Premium parking you can park really close to the front gate. There are a few parking spots then TONS of handicapped, but just beyond the handicapped there are a lot more regular parking spots. We ended up parking 50 yards from the front gate. Wish we would have seen that sooner.

Today was busier, but still we had the park to ourselves. We ran to the back of the park again. The park opened at 10am and by 10:30 we had done 7 rides.

We snacked, and filled our water bottle multiple times and left the park at 2:00 Caprese Piadine from Tomatinato go eat. The kids wanted In-N-Out Burgers but we wanted to go to Tomatina. I have not tried any pasta, but we have had their Piadines(warm-from-the-oven flatbread topped with cool salads – fold and eat like a sandwich) and Pizza and my mom did have a salad the week before. Today I ordered the Caprese Piadine. It was amazing. Great flavor and very filling. Ryan had had the pizza earlier in a visit and had really liked it, but thought he would try a Piadine as well. He ordered the Chicken Piadine. It was good, but not nearly as flavorful as mine was. The lady next to us ordered the steak Piadine and it was huge and filled with a lot of steak. She couldn’t finish hers.

We didn’t have a motel to go to so we took our time eating and just had some down time, then we went back to the park for one final hoorah…oh and funnel cake. 🙂

By the end of the trip we had riden nearly 75 rides. All because there were no lines.

We got to the airport early in hopes of being bumped, but it was just full not over booked. So we got home at 7:30, had some down time before everyone was off to bed.

It was another great rollercoaster weekend.

I am going to have my kids give a review of the park from their perspective. Those should be up soon.

Paramounts Great America, Friday, April 11th

Plan your trips accordingly and you will have the park to yourself

We got up at 4am to get ready and be at the airport by 5:15 for our 6:15 flight. Since my husband used to travel a lot we have a board room pass. So we just ate breakfast at the board room once we were at the aiport. They have a great seclection of pastries, yogurt, juices, teas and coffees. We landed in San Jose at 8:00. We went and picked up our rental car and drove towards Great America and stopped by a Starbucks and got some drinks and snacks. The kids each got a Jamba Juice. We also took the time to pack some of the snacks that we had brought with us and put them in little baggies. NEXT TIME we would stop and eat a good breakfast at a restaurant so we had good energy and good food on our stomachs. It affects you when you ride roller coasters if you haven’t eaten well. We got to the park right at 9:30, bought our Platium Pass tickets and waited patiently for the park to open.

While we were waiting some workers came through doing a survery and we began asking them how many people would be in the park today. They said that last Friday there were 1100 people. During the summer they run about 10,000+. So we basically had the park to ourselves, because everyone around us had little kids,  they weren’t doing the rides we would be doing.

Once it opened we ran and started on Flight Deck (formally Top Gun). We did any and every ride we wanted as many times as we wanted. The park was empty. [Read more…]