Too bad we didn't realize this until Tuesday night.
I started researching driveable vacation spots that night with my laptop in bed while Scott made disapproving "I'm trying to sleep and that thing is bright" huffs at me.
My first idea was Lakeside, Ohio. I remember going there as a kid and really liking it. Booked.
How about just Sandusky or Marblehead? Oh those rooms either have bedbug horror stories or are over $200/night. Next.
I randomly found this book on Amazon and leafed through the sample pages.
Frankenmuth, Michigan. Michigan's Little Bavaria.
So we went.
From what I can tell, one family owns the entire town. There are gift shops everywhere, but no real attractions. The main tourist drag is easy to maneuver with a double stroller, but after awhile, all of the trinket stores start to look the same.
|There was very little wool in the woolen mill.|
For dinner the first night, we ate at Zehnder's Restaurant (the Zehnders are the family that owns the town). It was a family style chicken dinner. Let's be honest, it was Amish food. It was good Amish food, but nothing I'd drive 5 hours for again. It was also quite salty. Scott said the sodium content was "yes."
|Waiting to be seated at Zehnder's|
We went back to our hotel and took the kids to the pool. We stayed at the Springhill Suites, which was in walking distance to the main drag. The kids loved the pool and the free hot breakfast the next morning.
We were out walking around town by 8:30 on Friday morning. We went to the Bavarian Inn and explored the stores in their basement. Lily and I headed back to the hotel for her nap while Cora and Scott did more exploring.
|Who decides these are a good idea?|
|Of course I had to buy one.|
After Lily woke up, we checked out and headed to lunch. The restaurant was outside of the tourist area. You can only eat so much Amish food, so we opted for Italian. Cora finally ate, which was a bit of a relief.
PS - Kids meals can suck it. From now on, we're getting fruit and veggies from a grocery store and bringing it in to restaurants for her to eat. Who decided grilled cheese was so great?
Our hotel for the second night was Zehnder's Splash Village. Cora's aggressively into fairies right now, and this indoor waterpark is fairy themed. Check-in wasn't guaranteed until 4, so we got our wristbands and went to the water park. Cora was a big fan of the waterslides made for kids her age as well as the lazy river. We played for a little over an hour until it was apparent that we were late for naps. Our room was ready by 2, and the kids napped hard for 2 hours.
The actual room was laid out nicely and clean. My only complaint was the A/C. It was blowing cool, but damp air. Directly into my face all night. I think it might be the reason the kids have runny noses right now. This hotel is further out of town too, right next to the huge Christmas store that we didn't go to. Of the two, I definitely prefer Springhill Suites. The main benefit of the Zehnder's hotel is that the cost of the hotel includes water park admission for 4 people.
We were in search of non-Amish food for dinner. The Bavarian Inn's Roof Garten restaurant seemed to be one of the only restaurants offering "German" food not offered family style. It wasn't what I would call good. There was a roving accordian player that Cora enjoyed though.
Overall, it was a nice trip but there wasn't actually much to do aside from eating and shopping.
Frankenmuth, putting the "meh" in Michigan. Or where gift shops go to die.