Showing posts with label Hocking Hills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hocking Hills. Show all posts

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Glamping Through the Inn at Cedar Falls

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you probably know that I'm more likely to be found at five star resorts than a five tent camping ground.  I've written a few pieces on glamping, but I never really understood the appeal -- until I arrived at the Inn at Cedar Falls.

I'm sure everyone has their own idea of roughing it. For me, it was a cabin with no phone (cell or landline), no television and no Internet, located acres away from other accommodations. It actually had everything we really needed -- two bedrooms, a kitchen with a dining area, a living room and a porch complete with swing. It was cozy and complete, but definitely rustic. I soon realized that the lack of electronic amenities was the only part of the Inn at Cedar Falls that didn't compare with what I was used t.

After we quickly unpacked, Lisa and I headed up to the restaurant, dodging a deer along the way. The restaurant was stunning, with a combination of woodsy and country charm. I had been told Chef Anthony Schultz was a genius in the kitchen and, by the time dinner was over, I was in total agreement.

We started out with the Wife of the Chef Martinis (Ciroc Vodka, Chocolate Liqueur and Chambord). I had a delicious Champagne Pear Salad while Lisa raved over her first Foie Gras. Dinner was incredible as I had a perfect serving of Butternut Squash Ravioli in a light cream sauce with cranberries, asparagus and pecans. Lisa ordered the scallops. They were very large, pan seared with asparagus, and served with garlic-parsley gnocchi.

For dessert, Lisa picked a Creme Brûlée with Burnt Sugar and honey while I ordered the Berry Cobbler, which was filled with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and topped with vanilla ice cream. It was the best cobbler I've ever had.  

We spent a few minutes with our smartphones (there is Internet, but no phone service, in the restaurant) before heading back to the cabin. I had brought a bottle of Emeri de Bortoli Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, a new wine sent to me by DeBortoli, a wine family and had the pleasure of spending time with while I was in Australia.  It was light with just enough sparkle, a semi-sweet wine that was full of both peach and lemon.

Lisa went through the games on the table in the very cozy living room and found a copy of Chat Pack: Fun Questions to Spark ConversationsPersonal Transformation Books). The box said, "Pull out a card and let the fun begin." that's just what we did, laughing like teenagers as we talked about everything from politics to our first boyfriends, to our hopes and dreams. We finished the bottle and Lisa headed to her upstairs bedroom and I went in to mine for a good night sleep, realizing that a night without technology could be a lot of fun.  I was more than ready to see what a full day up in Cedar Falls would bring us.

Location:Hocking Hills, Ohio

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brunch and Spa Time in Indianapolis

I was up in time to catch the view from my balcony at the Omni Severin before Morgan from Indianapolis Tourism met us in the lobby. We walked the few blocks (I love that everything in Indy is so walkable, it's going to be a great place for Super Bowl 2012) to Cafe Patachou for breakfast.

Morgan had been talking about this place and its owner, who had turned the successful restaurants into her own little chain in the city. It was bright and modern, with an interesting menu. Morgan had their famous Cinnamon Toast, which I agreed was delicious. Lisa went for the "Broken Yolk" Sandwich, a massive and gooey plate that she couldn't finish, and I decided to keep it simple with French Toast covered with fresh blueberries.

It's all about using local produce and food as much as possible here, and I'm told that extends to Indianapolis Airport, where the restaurants use products from the area. One thing that can't be grown in Indiana is the coffee. Cafe Patachou has an interesting selection of self-service brews. The coffees selection is worldwide and all seemed a bit strong for me, but both Morgan and Lisa raved about them.

We left the cafe and headed to the Conrad Hotel, where we had appointments at the brand new Evan Todd Spa. It is a beautiful place with all the facilities you could want, including an indoor pool, where we lounged with herb tea before our appointments started.

The facials -- which included some light massage, aromatherapy and acupressure -- were wonderful. I was I pressed with the time the estheticians took with each of us, using completely different treatments on each of us after asking questions and examining our skin to determine that we had different skin types, rather than making you pick your type of facial before you arrive.

We were feeling relaxed and refreshed when we headed over for our pedicures on the other side of the spa. It's one of those things I never find the time for at home and it's great to be at a spa that does it all.

When the treatments were over, we headed back to the Omni Hotel to pick up the car and get on the road. It was a four hour drive to the Hocking Hills area of Ohio. I had never seen this part of the state and it looked beautiful. We climbed a bit from the flatter land of the Midwest, remarking at the signs of fall already noticeable in the leaves on the trees.

The drive was a long one (which, thankfully, Lisa drove most of), but it was all worth it when we arrived at the Inn at Cedar Falls to our secluded cabin. "Redbud" is a log cabin with two bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen and two baths. It was missing a few things, though -- phone service, internet and television, but I had brought along a bottle of DeBortoli's new Emeri Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc to try and we figured we could make it without technology for two nights.

It was going to be an interesting adventure.