Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Will we ever see the Band of Flight again land at the Farmpark?

Flying under the radar, Lake Metroparks is working to (again) secure the Dayton-based Air Force Band of Flight for an encore production of the summertime "America The Beautiful" concert.

The concert was held for several years at the Kirtland-based Farmpark and which drew thousands to the free musical program that was followed by a fireworks display.

However, the Air Force sailed away from its participation, not landing here for the past two years. That disappointed a lot of area residents who looked forward to the concert, which was co-hosted by The News-Herald.

Efforts are now underway to again secure the Band of Flight with Lake Metroparks having supplied the Air Force with a number of potential summer, 2011 dates.

An answer is expected, perhaps by Feburay, says the parks system's marketing manager, John Venen.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Geauga County Scavenger Hunt

Last Friday, Cheryl and I took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and embarked on a tour of Geauga County for the Tourism Council's Fall Scavenger Hunt. The trip took us to 10 different stops throughout the county, where it was our task to answer questions about each location. We visited an Amish variety store, an alpaca farm, an orchard, an antique store, a historical manor home and more fantastic places in Geauga County.

This was taken at  our first stop, Big Creek Park in Chardon.
Friday was a perfect fall day--great for a drive through Geauga County.
While I grew up in the area--lived most of my life in Mentor--I rarely got out to the depths of Geauga County. This was such a great way to see so many places that I otherwise would have never discovered. Needless to say, we definitely have a list of places we would like to visit again. They are mostly food places, like Belle's American Grill in Burton, which is known for its award-winning chili, and the Cherry Dining Room at the Punderson Manor Lodge, which boasts beautiful views of the lake and park.

The gorgeous view from the Cherry Dining Room
at Punderson Manor Lodge.
Belle's American Grille in Burton proudly serves its
award-winning chili all year.
Cheryl and I got lost in Second Time Designs, located in the heart of Chardon. There were so many beautiful pieces of jewelry, old toys, antique furnature, and amazing pieces of vintage and retro clothing (Cheryl walked out with designer items at prices she will happily brag about). We probably spent more time there than anywhere else, and we both are excited for a return trip.

We also splurged at the Blue Jay Orchard Farm Market. There were many varieties of jams, jellies and other spreads, as well as fresh apples and other fruit products. I bought a jar of peach jam, a jar of three berry jam and a jar of the most amazing apple butter ever for a total of $7.50. It was well spent, and I've had at least a little of one of those spreads every day since. I can't wait to go back and stock up, the spreads are all so fresh and tasty.

Another highlight was our visit to Silver Rose Alpaca Farm in Novelty. When we arrived, we were greeted by two friendly kittens, and later discovered a whole family of cats lounging in the warm sun. Of course, we also enjoyed visiting with the alpacas, especially one who came right up to us to check us out through the fence.

Cheryl likes the one dark alpaca peeking his head in
as though he is photo-bombing this.

Alpacas are really very friendly, and curious about humans.
And soft. Very, very soft.

We finished the tour in one day and only got turned around once or twice, thanks to Danielle's great navigation skills and map she planned out in advance.

We ended the day with dinner at Mary Yoder's in Middlefield. It wasn't part of the Scavenger Hunt, but no trip through Geauga County is complete without a stop there. It's fabulous--if you haven't been, you must go!

It was a great day, and it's safe to say we would encourage more people to participate in the hunt. It ends this week (Oct. 16) with  the Hometown Hoe-Down, so there's a little time left to join in. If the event is slated for next year, you can bet we'll be willing to do it again.

--Danielle Capriato
Cheryl Sadler