Monday, May 30, 2011

Choose a Romantic Cottage for Your June Honeymoon or Anniversary

June is known as the month of weddings and many people are looking for a special place to honeymoon or celebrate an anniversary.  The owners of the multi-award-winning, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast have the solution: a Romantic Cottage.  A little over a year ago they built 2 luxury cottages where couples can be pampered.  Each romantic cottage has a Roman-style Jacuzzi tub with big white pillars on each side and tile surround, a peninsula fireplace, Amish-made cabinets and bed, a pillow-soft mattress on the bed with 600 thread-count, cotton-sateen sheets, a kitchenette with a mini refrigerator and a microwave oven, and a 23 foot private porch off the back that faces a field where their Amish neighbor grazes horses.  To insure that guests have full privacy they put privacy shades on the porches of each cottage so that when you sit outside you won't be looking at your neighbor.  These cottages in Ohio even have romantic names: Falls Kiss Cottage and Springs Desire Cottage.  Cottages at Garden Gate Get-A-Way is located in the middle of Holmes County, Ohio, so whether you want to visit wineries, cheese factories, museums, shop, etc., you will be close by just about everything.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shop 'Til You Drop in Holmes County Ohio

If you are one of those people that likes to "shop 'til you drop' then you won't want to miss Holmes County, Ohio.
Many people know this area for the Amish community but you will also find fine gifts, flea markets, antiques, and more in Holmes County.
If you ask the owner of an
Amish Country Inn near Berlin
about shopping you will get an extensive list of places:

  • AMISH BUSINESSES:  Lamp & Light Candles, R.W. Leather, Swartzentruber Quilts, Millers Quality Crafts, Prairie Lane Furniture, Millers Bakery, Hershberger's Farm & Bakery, Farmerstown Furniture, Erb's Stove Center, Ashery Country Store, Ruth's Amish Dolls, basket makers in Amish homes, etc.
  • FINE GIFTS:  Berlin Village Gift Barn, Carlisle House of Gifts, Dutch Valley Gifts, Bowden Bells, Treaty Line Pottery, Holmes County Pottery, Berlin Creek Gallery, Blue River Gallery, Eagle Song Studio, Polish Niche, Pine Tree Barn, Tis the Season, Wendell August Forge, P. Graham Dunn, etc.
  • ANTIQUES: Starlight Antiques, Pretty Penny, Hershberger Antique Mall,  Shaker House Antiques on the Square, Walnut Creek Antique Mall, Berlin Village Antique Mall, 55 West, Antique Mall at Schrock's Amish Farm, etc.
  • FLEA MARKETS:  Holmes County Flea Market, Walnut Creek Flea Market, Flea Market at the Mt. Hope Auction, Flea Market at the Kidron Auction
  • FOOD SHOPPING:  Coblentz Chocolate Company, Heini's Cheese, Guggisberg Cheese, Walnut Creek Cheese, Breitenbach Wine Cellars, Broad Run Cheese & Swiss Heritage Winery, Gateway Place Wines, Der Bake Oven, Mrs. Yoders Kitchen, Millers Noodles, Nature's Food Market, Troyer's A Country Market, Troyer's Trail Bologna, Java Jo Coffee Shop, Winesburg Meats, Doughty Valley Meats, etc.
The above mentioned businesses do not include quilts, fabrics, miscellaneous gift shops, many furniture stores, craft malls, thrift shops, museums, animal ranches, historical homes, and more.  You could easily spend a week in Holmes County, Ohio Amish Country and do something different every day.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awesome Amish Adventures in Autumn But Book Your Ohio Amish Country Getaway Now

Did you know that October is the busiest month of the year for an Ohio Amish Country getaway, or even a day trip?  The Fall colors throughout the rolling hills are just breathtaking but there are many festivals and events every October as well.  Every year people assume that because kids have gone back to school that they don't need an advance reservation and they will find a room to spend the night.  Innkeepers struggle to find those people a room in Holmes County or the surrounding area.  Some of the 2011 events in October include:

  • October 1st is an Apple Festival at Schrock's Amish Farm in Berlin
  • October 1st is the Annual Williamsburg Festival in Shreve
  • October 1st is Apple Butter Stirring at Yoders Amish Farm near Walnut Creek
  • October 1st is an Oktoberfest at the J.E.Reeves Victorian House Museum
  • October 4th-8th is the Street Fair in Loudonville
  • October 7th is Charm Days
  • October 8th is Apple Butter Stirring at Yoders Amish Farm near Walnut Creek
  • October 8th is Octoberfest at Heini's Gourmet Market in Sugarcreek
  • October 8th-9th is the Holmes County Antique Festival in Millersburg
  • October 14th-16th is Apple Butter Stirring & Fall Festival at Roscoe Village
  • October 14th-15th is Behind the Scenes Tour of Zoar
  • October 15th is Apple Butter Stirring at Yoders Amish Farm near Walnut Creek
  • October 28th-29th is Haunted Halloween at the Victorian House Museum
  • October 29th is Halloween Ghost Walks in Millersburg
Add all of these special events and festivals to fall colors, farm stands, apple picking and fresh apple cider, etc. and it makes for a very busy time.  If you want to guarantee a room reservation at your favorite lodging establishment you should consider making your reservations 4-6 months in advance.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Antiques & Amish When You Travel Ohio Amish Country

When some people decide to travel to Ohio Amish Country they plan on visiting Amish places and antique shops but there is one place to do both, Hershberger Antique Mall.  It is located on State Route 557 just south of Charm, Ohio.  There is one thing to note when planning an antique adventure:  Some "antique malls" sell collectibles and not authentic antiques.  Hershberger Antique Mall sells authentic antiques and some of them are 75-100 years old.  Ben Hershberger, a local Amish man, broke the stereotype that Amish only farm for a living when he started his antique mall several years ago.  Antique furniture was something that really caught his eye.  The old pieces had beautiful dovetailing and intricate details and that is a big part of his business.  In addition to furniture you will find lamps, clocks, Carnival Glass, and more.  There are 3 buildings on the property, one of which is a bargain building with items in need of repair or refinishing.  It is quite common to see a customer in the store trying to sell their antiques to Ben.  Hershberger likes to focus on unique and unusual pieces that you don't just find anywhere.  In his years of retail business Ben Hershberger has learned the importance of customer service and can help you find just what you are looking for.  Unlike most Amish businesses that close at 5 p.m., this antique mall stays open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday but they are closed on Sunday.  While you are in the area you will want to visit downtown Millersburg, Walnut Creek, and Berlin for more antique shopping.  If you travel the township roads near Hershberger Antique Mall you will find Amish-owned businesses such as candle makers, furniture builders, leather belts, brooms, and more.  The next time you travel to Ohio Amish Country stop in and see Ben Hershberger.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Carol's Favorite Wines from Ohio Wineries

Over the past five years we've found more people planning a weekend getaway around where they can visit or tour Ohio Wineries.  Many people don't realize that there are wines out there for every taste.   "A good wine is one that you like" is what one local winery owner told us.  As I have visited and tried wines I have gone from enjoying sweeter wines to preferring a dry wine.  While the following list shows my top picks, the wineries represented serve many types of wine from dessert wine to dry wine:

  1. White October.  This wine is available from Ravens Glenn Winery.  It is similar to a Chardonnay but much better!  It goes great with everything from chicken to cheese to pasta but a chilled glass by itself is wonderful too.  It is made from Chardonel grapes and has won a Platinum Medal in 2010.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon.  My favorite Cabernet is also from Ravens Glenn Winery.  I love the oak undertones and the smoothness of this wine.  You'll pick up the taste of currants when you drink this wine.  It goes great with steak, pizza, and heavy cheese.
  3. Chambourcin.  Al-Bi Winery on Atwood Lake makes this wine.  This is a dark, dry, red wine with oak undertones.
  4. Ares.  This wine is made at Rainbow Hills Vineyards in Newcomerstown.  It is a dry red wine with flavors unlike typical dry red wines.
  5. Festival.  Breitenbach Wine Cellars produces this wine.  It has a blend of 3 grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.  This goes well with red meat or sharp cheeses.
  6. Cabernet Sauvignon.  Another Cabernet that we like is from JC Wine Cellars in East Springfield.  It is located in an old auto repair garage and has a gourmet restaurant on site.  This wine goes well with meat and pasta.
  7. Red Raspberry Wine.  This dessert wine is from Ravens Glenn Winery and goes down great with their Chocolate Zinfandel Cake from their restaurant.  I'm not usually a sweet wine drinker but there is a time and place for this wine ...the place is paired with chocolate.
  8. Foreplay.  This wine is from Al-Bi Winery and is another dessert wine.  It combines a couple of berry flavors and is perfect for dessert or just sipping by itself.
  9. Old Dusty Miller.  Breitenbach Winery makes this semi-dry wine.  It pairs well with seafood or salads.  It is also great for just sipping on a glass of wine.
  10. Eclipse.  Winery at Perennial Vineyards makes this wine from a Chambourcin grape.  It goes great with their homemade pizza and Lappolito, which is one of the Grandmother's recipes.
You can drive your own vehicle around for wine tasting but why not grab a group of friends and stay at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast.  You can charter their tour bus and have a designated driver for all of your winery stops.  Ask about the dates for their planned wine tours.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ohio Weekend Getaways Include Car Shows

There are so many things to do on your Ohio weekend getaways but this June you will want to check out a couple of car shows.  On June 10 & 11, 2011, Sugarcreek, Ohio is hosting the 21st annual Fabulous Fifties Fling.  This car show has grown each year!  Not only are there 50's cars and 50's food and 50's music, but you will find cars on display from many different model years.  This show has been named one of the Top Downtown Events by Cruisin Times Magazine.  On Friday night there is a cruise-in for cars of any age.  On Saturday, participating vehicles must be from 1975 or older.

The second event in June is the Corvette Cruise-In at Roscoe Village in Coshocton.  That is held on June 12, 2011, so you can visit both car shows on the same weekend.  The main street going through the village is closed off for Corvettes on display.  There is food, shopping, and history all packed in to this one place.  This event is hosted by Classic Glass Corvette Club.  They are expecting 200 Corvettes at this event.  As you stroll the streets of Roscoe Village to see the cars you will be entertained with music of the 1950's and 1960's.  The event starts at 10 a.m. and goes on until 4 p.m.
When you come to visit both of these car shows consider staying at a bed and breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio which is about half way between the two car shows.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Amish Country Tours in Holmes County Ohio

This past winter Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast purchased a tour bus in order to offer Amish Country Tours to their bed and breakfast guests.  The B&B is surrounded by Old Order and New Order Amish neighbors.  The owners of the bed and breakfast have gotten to know their neighbors and learned quite a lot about the Amish culture.  In addition they have scouted out the area to find places that their guests may be interested in visiting so that they can share their knowledge with the guests.  They started with an all-day wine tasting tour and got outstanding reviews from guests.  This summer they are offering 2-hour and 4-hour tours on the weekdays which will teach their guests about who the Amish are and how they live.    Along the route they will make stops at Amish-owned businesses such as bakeries, general stores, basket makers, furniture, and more.    If you choose to take one of these tours keep in mind that the Amish don't have telephones and electricity so you cannot purchase items in their stores with a credit card.  Some places do not even accept personal checks so you should have cash with you if you plan on shopping.  Another itinerary is a Sunday Special Tour that guests will take after they check-in when most businesses are closed.  It will be a sunset tour at a special price and they will travel the back roads of Holmes County, Ohio  teaching people more about the Amish.  When small groups take over 4-5 guest rooms at the bed and breakfast they can request a customized tour where they pick the length and kinds of places that they would like to visit.  Garden Gate Get-A-Way B&B will work out a price for the customized tour.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Easy Lemon Muffin Bites from Ohio Bed and Breakfast Recipes

When choosing recipes for our bed and breakfast in Ohio I love to find those that are tasty, perhaps gourmet, and yet easy to make.  These lemon flavored muffins will remind you of pound cake.
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. lemon extract
1 3/4 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease some mini-muffin pans.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add eggs and extracts; beat well.  In a smaller bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.  Do not over mix.
Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full.   Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Note: Do not cook until brown or they will be tough)
Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pan to a cooling rack, combine glaze ingredients, and drizzle the glaze over the top.  Yield about 2 dozen.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Reflections of an Amish Mothers Day

An Ohio bed and breakfast owner reflects on the Amish and Mothers Day.
Growing up I've heard my mother talk about when she was young.  There were no televisions or computers or modern conveniences.  When Mothers Day rolled around all of the children and their families would head over to the mother's home for a special family day.  People would gather outside in the yard and sit around in lawn chairs or folding chairs because there was no air conditioning.  Mothers were highly respected and a family member would not dream of staying home on Mothers Day unless they were sick.
This past Mothers Day, in May 2011, I looked out my living room window and saw a grouping of Amish buggies and cars parked across the street.  All of the children and grandchildren came to the Old Order Amish home to celebrate Mothers Day.  The family was gathered in a circle of lawn chairs visiting with each other.  The young children were running around the yard and screaming with giggles and delight.  There were no televisions, no electronics, and no one was missing.
Seeing the Amish family really made me stop and ask myself what has happened to our world?  In the non-Amish world where both the husband and the wife have jobs outside of the home very few families get together on Mothers Day.  Some families don't even send a card or a gift to their Mother.  Many mothers sit home alone on that day without as much as a telephone call from their family.  Why does this happen?  Many say that they are too busy, and that they are mothers themselves, and they can live with the little bit of time that they dedicate to their mother each year.  Many that do call their mothers on the telephone do so in route to work or the store so the conversation gets cut short.
I thought that it was bad enough that many families don't sit around a dinner table together any more.  I think that it is worse that some can "put their mother out to pasture" because they are "too busy" in their own lives to take the time for her.  There is definitely a good lesson to learn from the Amish.  In the Amish community you will see that God and Family always come before the job and other outside distractions.   I wonder how many more lessons one could learn from the Amish?
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Friday, May 13, 2011

Canoes, Cliffs, and Cardinals near Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg Ohio

Nature lovers will find canoes, cliffs, and cardinals on river trips and nature hikes near a bed and breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio.  Just a short way down the road from Millersburg is the "Canoe Capital" of Ohio.  It is located in Loudonville!  There are several canoe options from 1/2 hour trips to multi-day trips.  The Loudonville Canoe Livery on Main Street is the oldest canoe livery in operation at the same location in the State of Ohio.  Mohican Adventures located on State Route 3 in Loudonville is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2011.  In addition to canoeing Mohican Adventures also offers adventure golf and go karts.  In the same area is Mohican State Park where you can go hiking, bird watching, horseback riding and more.  The parks boasts 6000 acres that are hilly and full of cliffs from glacial formations created by the Wisconsin Glacier many years ago.  A couple of the highlights at the park include Lyons Falls and Clear Fork Gorge.  The gorge is over 1000 feet wide at one point and is surrounded by Hemlock and Pine trees.  It is 300 feet deep and is a National Natural Registered Landmark.  

Another site to see in the Mohican area is Lyons Falls.  There are both upper and lower falls.  The upper falls are near Lyons Cave and drop 40 feet.  The lower falls cascade through Clear Fork Gorge and drop 30 feet. There are marked trails in the Mohican State Park.  If you are in to bird watching you will see native birds such as the Cardinal or Eastern Bluebird as well as some rare specifies, especially during migration season.  The park has picnic areas so be sure to pack a picnic whether you are canoeing or hiking or bird watching.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

Monday, May 2, 2011

Do You Know How to Relax?

In today's world many couples work 14-16 hour days and when they come home they have work in the home and yard, grocery shop, and do other chores and errands.  If you ask a doctor we need to stop this destructive behavior and learn to relax more in order to have good health.
One way to force yourself to relax is to book a stay at a bed and breakfast.  Choose one that is not in the middle of a busy city.  Don't get on the Internet to explore where to shop, what to see, what to do, etc.  Book that bed and breakfast as a destination.  Pack yourself a "stress buster kit".  Your kit should include some books and magazines, comfortable clothing, some bath salts, and a bottle of wine (or your favorite beverage).  You might even challenge yourself to leave any televisions turned off and focus on de-stressing.
Many people don't think of booking a bed and breakfast as a destination and yet it can be so relaxing.  Many bed and breakfasts offer massage therapy in your guest room which gives you one more way to beat the stress.  Your innkeeper will pamper you with some great breakfasts and can recommend some very peaceful dining options for lunch and dinner.
At bed and breakfasts like Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast in Amish Country, Ohio, you will find porch swings where you can sit outside and view flower gardens plus each evening you can gather around a campfire with other B&B guests and watch the stars come out.  Flowers and campfires definitely can promote relaxation.
Write yourself a prescription for good health and book yourself a stay at a bed and breakfast and go there as a destination.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608