Wednesday, May 18, 2011

crafts & fancy

Saturday was lovely.  I drove around with my new Christopher Williams CD playing on repeat and ventured out to a place I had never been to before.  They call it Westfield Center.  It's not even a mall, but rather a town slightly bigger than Perrysville.  Thankfully, my GPS recognized the zipcode.  

Something I've noticed about every Ohioan city so far is the gazebo. Clearly, it doesn't matter the size of the city, a big white gazebo will always greet you.  Even Westfield Center has a gazebo, and that's how I knew I had arrived.  

The reason I went here was because my friend invited me.  Her name is Karen and she is crafty.  Literally.  She makes handbags, candle holders, gift baskets, burial beds for pets, hand painted decorations and gardening pots, and other nicknacks.  It was fun to see her wares and support her livelihood.  All of the proceeds for that day's event went to the steeple repair fund for the local church.  Is that neighborly or what?  

My other friend, Geri, was also there, so she and I walked around the little fair together looking at plants, baked goods, garage sale items and chocolate.  Then she asked if I wanted to go to Mack's with her. I had never heard of Mack's, but boy do I know now!  Mack's is an unassuming grocery and liquor store in Lodi that houses some of the best homemade beef jerky, sausages and smokies.  

Armed with a sweet Hawaiian flavor and spicy habanero, I came home bearing gifts.  Chris was sold on the jerky as much as I was, and I'm already thinking ahead to our next barbecue.  Mack's offers some fine cuts of meat, in addition to deli items.

After my morning in Small Town USA, Chris and I got dressed up and attended a Friends & Family pre-grand opening event at the newest restaurant in Brunswick called Melrose Grille.  

Our friends, Greg & Kelly Clement, basically rescued this national tourist destination from closing it's doors for good and revamped the entire operation.  Melrose Grille is attached to a property called Mapleside Farms.  Read more about it's rich history here.  

The Clements hosted a fine affair, complete with tours of the facility, house wine and cider tastings, creative appetizers, homemade apple butter and cupcakes, live music and a festive atmosphere.  Greg and Kelly have fine taste, but without the added pretense.  The restaurant reflects their personality and includes a neo-rustic decor and quality menu offerings, while maintaining a comfortable ambiance.

Did I mention the view from the upstairs dining area?  You can see for miles on a clear day.

I am really impressed.  Chris and I were given a tour of the property a month ago when it was skeleton pieces and dressed in dust. Now, it is a magical place where I cannot wait to make our dinner reservations. They already have festivals and concert events planned for the summertime.  

This is my kind of country living.  

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