Our Anniversary Weekend in Port Clinton, OH

Monday, November 23, 2020

On November 11, Mike & I celebrated three years of marriage, a mile-marker than still sometimes feels hard for me to believe. Prior to meeting him, my longest relationship was three & a half years, & frankly, I wasn't very good at being in that relationship, so it's astonishing to me that I have so easily & responsibly managing a healthy, happy marriage for three years already.

We usually take a trip for our anniversary, but this obviously isn't the year for that, so we made do with what was available to us: my mom's friend's floating house in Port Clinton, OH, where we spent some time over the summer.

Our actually anniversary was on a Wednesday, & we both had to work, so we didn't do much except get dinner from Chicken Run, the new, more COVID-friendly pop-up from SoHo Chicken + Whiskey (which was delicious & which we definitely plan to do again soon). On Thursday, after work, we headed up to Port Clinton, which is a little bit more than an hour's drive away, arriving around dinnertime.

We didn't want to go anywhere Thursday night, so I whipped up some of the food we'd brought: gnocchi from Ohio City Pasta, topped with pesto, walnuts, & a little bit of manchego. We were both tired, so Mike settled in with a book while I watched the return of Station 19 & Grey's Anatomy, texting my mom & friends all the while. Romantic getaway, I know. Shh. 

Mike had to work on Friday, so I slept in & got a latte & a pumpkin cookie (so good) from Coffee Express, which is, as far as I can tell, the only coffee shop in Port Clinton. I thought about doing some shopping but didn't want to go into any stores in-person (because pandemic), so I just settled in with a mystery novel for most of the day. It was super cold & windy out! 

When Mike got off work early, the wind had calmed down a little, so we headed to Twin Oast Brewing, a large brewery, restaurant, & outdoor event venue with absolutely gorgeous grounds. We were the only people seated in their heated outdoor pergola, which was perfect for an intimidate anniversary date night. We ordered a smashburger, fries, & a BBQ chicken pizza to split; the latter was just OK, but damn, that burger was something special

Their beers were good, too. I went with a crisp blonde ale called the Old Ohio, which is one of their year-round options; Mike went with the Rutherford B. Haze, a pineapple-based IPA he also really enjoyed. Before we left, we bought four-packs of both of them so we could enjoy them later, as I don't think they're sold near us. 

The only bad part of the evening came when a group of people stormed the pergola & announced that they were there to host a surprise party. That, of course, totally changed the vibe of the space, & we were not enthused about either the noise or our proximity to so many other humans amid a pandemic, even outdoors. How annoying is that?! 

We moved to one of the oasts (a structure formerly used as a hop kiln), where we huddled around a fire & stayed for a few more hours, mostly warm & much happier than we would've been surrounded by a surprise party. 

That night, we watched Training Day (I was not a fan), & in the morning, Mike went out & got us McDonald's breakfast because neither of us had eaten in years, & why not? It's the little things, man.

The weather was a little gloomy but not too cold, so we walked off our McGriddles at East Harbor State Park in nearby Lakeside Marblehead. It's a really cool, really large state park with lots of space for camping. In the summer, there's a busy public beach that makes me nervous during COVID times, but it was practically empty this time of year, which made for a nice three-mile walk down the path near the beach. 

Afterward, we headed to Rocky Point Winery in nearby Marblehead, which turned out to be mostly outdoors. Convenient! There were a few fires going, but the seats around them were taken, so we settled in with $2 beers (seriously) to enjoy the live music happening in the courtyard area. 

Most of the places in this area shut down for the winter months, reopening at the start of tourist season, so some of them, like the winery, were running down their supply of certain things, like beer. There wasn't a big selection left, but for $2, I couldn't find a single thing to complain about.

Eventually, we got a little too chilly, so we headed back to the floating house for carryout subs from Bell Mell Tavern & Pizza. Nothing gourmet, but damn, that Philly cheesesteak was satisfying.

When we woke up on Sunday, a storm was rolling in, & the floating house was rocking – like, to the point that we could barely stand up or walk around for fear if getting seasick. And because it's a floating house (anchored into the water rather than built on solid ground), stuff was sliding all over the place. We had to move a lamp to the floor for fear it would fall & shatter. Here's a video that gives you a small sense of the level of movement.

It hailed for awhile, & even when the storm passed, it remained so windy that it was difficult to make our way down the walkway that led us over the water, from the house to the parking lot. We were holding onto the railings for dear life! 

By the time we made it home, we were pretty relieved to be there – but overall, it was such a nice, peaceful, quiet weekend together, celebrating three years of marriage & looking forward to many more, together. May next year bring some much-missed travel! 

Have you been able to do any "travel" like this during the pandemic? Where are you hoping to go when it's finally safe to truly travel again? 

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