Friday, 4 July 2014

Port Clinton, Lake Erie

The drive from Buffalo to Port Clinton, Ohio took about 4 hours.  A pretty straight drive along the edge of Lake Erie. 

We had booked a condo through VRBO on the Waterfront II complex.  It wasn't directly on the lake, but you could still see it through the gaps of the other condos.  We were a little early getting there, and the owner was just cleaning up as we arrived.

We got settled quickly and headed to the pool. This was a very nice pool…..

With water sprinklers by the side which the kids loved.  

We played for a while before heading back to the condo and trying to decide what to do for dinner.  Port Clinton is probably best known for being the gateway to Lake Erie's islands, Put-in-Bay is probably the best known of these.  We had already decided not to visit the islands, we were here to relax after the craziness we had just been through!

We decided to walk to check out the town, so we headed out over the draw bridge in the direction of town, passing the boat terminal on the way.

There is not a lot in Port Clinton, 2-3 restaurants and a couple of bars.  We eventually settled on McCarthy's.  This is an irish pub/ restaurant that was pretty popular.  We were seated quickly in the window.  The server was very prompt, polite and friendly.  I ordered a Shocktop, Paul had a Harp, and the boys all had sodas.  Once we had our drinks, we ordered our food.  Typically Isaac and Seb had grilled cheese sandwiches, Oliver had a cheese burger.  Paul can't remember what he had (so should have done this a while ago), but thinks it was chicken of some description.  I decided to go with the Irish Stew, hoping it was like my mum made.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. It didn't taste quite right, almost like it had too much celery in it.  Such a shame, as I had ordered a large portion. I did my best, but it wasn't great.  Everyone else finished theirs though.  I did make my thought known to the server, so hopefully he passed on my comments to the chef.  Other than that, its a good restaurant, very accommodating with a good atmosphere.  

Mc Carthy's Restaurant & Pub on Urbanspoon

On our walk back, we were fortunate enough to see the bridge open to let some sail boats through.

The next day was spent relaxing.  The whole point of coming to Port Clinton was to relax.  We spent some time on the lake beach,  nice to play near dead fish.  I must admit, although Lake Erie's level of pollution has improved, we are still not very keen on Lake beaches.  Maybe we will come round one day.  We spent most of the day going between the pool and the condo.  Being on holiday in the States is awesome, particularly by the pool.  There are always plenty of people with a beer in their hand, even at 10 in the morning!  Makes you want to join the party as early as possible…..

We decide to try Dock's Beach House for dinner that evening.  This place is on the beach, and a 2 minute walk away.  You could hear it from the condo in the evening.  There was a bit of a wait for a table, but we were able to grab a couple of seats at the bar for the boys while we waited.  We all indulged in drinks, the boys with soda, I had a frozen cocktail and Paul had a beer.   

We waited about 15 minutes before we got a seat outside.  The boys ordered the usual (same thing they had the night before).  We are 100% sure we both had a steak, though I think they may have changed their menu since we went.  

Although the place was busy, the server was attentive at just the right level.  The food came in a timely manner.  The boys meals were served on frisbees (awesome idea), and they demolished all of theirs.  Mine and Paul's steaks were delicious, really nice and tender, and perfectly cooked.

We headed home, nice and full.  We awoke the next day to this…..

It rained all morning.  We decided to have lunch at Dock's.  It just stopped raining as we headed out the door.  It was not as busy as the night before, and we didn't have to wait to be seated.  We ended up with the same server again, which was nice, as she remembered us.  Turns out she was from Bali, so we swapped many stories about living in a foreign country.  We ordered drinks, Paul and I decided to try an Ohio Rose wine.  It was lush, and the bottle was gone in no time.  The kids had the same food again, though Paul and I went with sandwiches this time.  Paul had the grilled chicken on a Kaiser roll, and I had the Beachhouse Chicken Sandwich on a croissant.  Again, the food and service did not disappoint.  It was raining again, so we decided to have dessert.  We shared 2 chocolate melting puddings between us, and they were yummy.  Paul and I barely got any, as the boys loved them.  We really liked Docks Beach House, it has a real holiday feel, very comfortable, friendly and well managed.  We ended up wit h6 frisbees, and Paul and I both purchased a t-shirt (something we hardly ever do…..)

Docks Beach House on Urbanspoon

After all that rain, there was a lot of puddles around the condo complex.  It would have been rude to not  let the kids splash in the puddles…..

We kicked around the condo in the evening, just relaxing before the next stage of our journey.  We did sneak out to take this beautiful photo of the sunset over Lake Erie.  Stunning…...

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