Heart of Ohio Antique Mall – Springfield, Ohio

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Because of back problems the past two years, I haven’t been able to travel too far and my daughter and I have taken one day a week during the month of September for a “staycation” day in an area that doesn’t require too much driving.  We enjoyed our last day of this year’s staycation traveling about 1-1/2 hours to Springfield, Ohio.  We pass through the charming town of Yellow Springs and love to have lunch at Young’s plus a stop on the way back home for one of their renowned Bull Shakes made with cream from their own Jersey cows.

It’s about 30 minutes from Yellow Springs to a huge antique mall called “Heart of Ohio” with 650 dealers.  I found a treasure -a  handmade book rack that I would date to the 1940s with my favorite Scottie theme.  I imagine it was made from a kit and includes flaws like the very visible screws and holes drilled in the wrong place, but that made it more lovable to me.

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When we got in the car, my daughter handed me something she had bought as a remembrance of our trip.

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It’s Roseville and the chips (which I don’t mind) made it very affordable.  I love the little dog lapping up the spilled milk.

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On the way home, I was telling my daughter I had seen a small “Made in Japan” Dutch planter which I talked myself out of buying.  Later that evening, she came out with another package that she was going to save as a Christmas gift – the planter I wished I had picked up.

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This was a very successful day.

One week of our staycation we went to a favorite restaurant (Grand Finale in Glendale, Ohio) and our favorite local antique mall (Ohio Valley Antiques in Fairfield, Ohio).  We’re at these two places so often, I didn’t think about taking pictures.

Last week we visited an Adams County, Ohio, store.

The first week we stayed local with lunch at our favorite barbecue restaurant (Eli’s in the East End of Cincinnati) ….

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…Stopped off at Avoca Park in Terrace Park …

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…and did some antique store browsing in Milford, Ohio.

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I’m beginning to really love this staycation idea.

A Staycation Day in Adams County, Ohio

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For many years, my daughter and I traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, to spend several days in Amish Country.  I can’t travel too much any more and we have been taking one day a week during September to visit an area that is not too far away.  This week, we decided to drive about an hour and a half to a small Amish community in Adams County.  It was well worth the driving time and, in fact, the drive was a really enjoyable part of the day.

We started off the day with brunch at a Cracker Barrel in nearby Milford, Ohio.  I recommend the pecan pancakes but unless you have a hearty appetite, order just two pancakes – not three as I did.  They are huge!

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We wanted to visit Miller’s Amish store in West Union and I was especially anxious to shop in the Bulk Foods building.  I bought some hard-to-find items along with pumpkin fudge to eat on the way home.

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They have a large selection of furniture and I especially liked this glider with the morning glories.  My daughter said it was very comfortable.

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My daughter loves to travel the back roads and we passed many houses with the familiar Amish clothing drying on clothes lines and an occasional buggy.  We also passed one buggy on the road, trying to contend with automobile traffic on a bridge.  These horses were beautiful but kept their heads hidden behind a fence.

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This was one of the back roads we traveled with no traffic at all.

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We were able to cross over a perfect covered bridge.

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To me, it was a condensed trip to Amish country with everything we wanted to see, only there was less of it.  A very successful staycation day.

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Last Day of Vacation

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We completed the last of the once-a-week vacation days that my daughter and I have enjoyed this month.  I’ve had medical problems the past year that have been manageable as far as going out for lunch or dinner, but have not allowed me to stand and walk long enough to browse through antique shops.  Since I’m better, this is what I chose for our annual fall vacation.  Fortunately, my daughter also loves antique shops and has patiently been the driver and dining companion.  For the last day, I chose a location that is about an hour from our home – Waynesville, Ohio.  The village was founded in 1797 and was an important Quaker settlement.  There are still over 200 historic homes, most of them in the shopping area of several blocks and side streets.  We stopped for lunch at the Hammel House Inn which was built in 1799.  The original brick walls are still visible and the fireplace is homey and charming.

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Our table was near an open window where we could look out onto the long front porch.

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We had a lovely lunch.  I chose the English Grille.  The salad with strawberries was especially delicious.
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My daughter ordered a Reuben sandwich and the cheerful and efficient waitress took our picture.

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We don’t usually have dessert, but couldn’t resist some really good quality vanilla ice cream with just a drizzle of chocolate, pecans and whipped cream.

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In just a two-block area, we visited three antique stores.  The Olde Curiosity Shoppe is one of our favorites.
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I found three items to add to my collection – a baking dish and pitcher with the poppy motif that I love and a Roseville bud vase in the freesia pattern which was reduced in price because of a chip that I didn’t mind at all.

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There’s also a great quilt shop, Fabric Shack, which is familiar to a lot of my quilting friends around the country because of their excellent online service.

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On the way home, we stopped off at a farm market called Hidden Valley to check out their very well stocked rustic store.
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There were even a few animals to see…

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…and we bought some fudge and cookies to take home.

I’m glad that my daughter and I were able to share these days and enjoy so many beautiful things that southwest Ohio has to offer.

Click on pictures to enlarge

An Eating and Antiquing Vacation Day

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My vacation plan this year is to spend one day a week during September to have lunch and browse an antique mall with my oldest daughter.  This week, we revisited Glendale, an area near Cincinnati that we love.  The village was begun in 1851 by 30 gentlemen who wanted to live in a rural area but still work in downtown Cincinnati.  The first house was built in 1852 and many of them from the pre-Civil War era are still standing and in beautiful condition.  We like to just ride through the streets and look at the old homes and gardens at different times of the year.

A more modern addition in an old building is the Cock and Bull Restaurant.  We had never eaten here before and in the spirit of vacation adventure, decided to give it a try.
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We sat by a window with a view of one of the early houses in the village.
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I don’t usually order fish but staying with the Cock and Bull theme, I decided to order fish and chips.  It was wonderful – two large portions of thick white fish with a great, light, crispy topping.

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My daughter ordered a fish sandwich and a glass of Guiness.

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After lunch, we drove a short distance to Fairfield, Ohio, to the Ohio Valley Antique Mall  This is a huge mall and a favorite of ours.  My daughter rented space and sold antiques here a few years ago.

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The store occupies 65,000 square feet (plus an in-store café) and every inch of it is filled with pretty booths and displays.  I liked this booth which included a lot of replacement lids along with its other treasures.

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I was drawn to this old refrigerator and thought a bit about buying the paper storage unit on the wall with a Dutch motif.  I liked it a lot but I just don’t have the wall space for it.

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I did buy a small creamer pitcher that I love.  I like these little pitchers for serving sauce for dessert or for a small arrangement of flowers.  The piece was marked Germany.

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When I got home, I realized I had a sugar bowl on the mantel from the same line, only with a water lily instead of roses.

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I’m really enjoying this vacation.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Another Vacation Day at Home

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I’m unable to go on my regular vacation this year, so have planned to take one day a week through the month of September to go with my daughter to a nice restaurant for lunch and then on to some antique store browsing.

Both the restaurant and antique mall I chose this week are old favorites and both are housed in early 1900s buildings nestled in historic neighborhoods.

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We’ve been going to the Grand Finale Restaurant since it opened in l975.  It’s located in a beautiful, old community called Glendale (Cincinnati) and the building started out in the early 1900s as a saloon, and then from 1928 to 1970 was a corner market.  The building is sedate even on a busy corner…..
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…with lovely Victorian décor throughout a large dining room and patio area.  Our table looked out on a small, lush garden, one of my daughter’s favorite spots.

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The staff is excellent as is the food – starting with salad and hot rolls.

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My daughter ordered our #1 favorite on the menu, Chicken Ginger with Spinach Crepe.

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This time, I decided to try their Chicken Potpie with Puff Pastry Topping.

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It was perfect.

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After lunch, we drove about 30 minutes to Ross, Ohio, to check out the antique store.  It’s housed in an early 1900s building which was the entertainment center for the surrounding neighborhood which is still rural.  Until the late 1940s, there was a restaurant (with chicken dinners) on the first floor, bowling alleys in the basement, and a huge dancing pavilion on the second floor.

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Now, every floor and every nook and cranny is filled with antiques.  The outside of the building looks very similar to the way it looked in the 1920s.

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It was a lovely visit to a great old store and I even found a little piece of 1930s-40s era ovenware to add to my Dutch collection.
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Click on pictures to enlarge.

Barbecue in the Old Neighborhood

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Medical problems are going to keep me from going on my normal vacation trip this fall, but I wanted to do something special and decided to take one day a week during the month of September to go some place a little different for lunch and then browse in an antique store.  This week, we went to a restaurant called Eli’s Barbecue .  It’s located in the East End section of Cincinnati where I grew up on what is now called Riverside Drive (in my day, it was Eastern Avenue).

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The decoration is funky and fun ….

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…with old LP records being played on a turntable inside.

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There’s a big tent for outdoor dining, but my daughter and I prefer to eat inside and see the traffic going by the front windows on busy Eastern Avenue (oops – I mean Riverside Drive).

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Barbecue is the specialty and the heady smell of the outside smoker fills the entire neighborhood.  We like the pork barbecue and baked beans – and an Orange Crush goes well with this meal.

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The restaurant sets one block from the Ohio River bank.

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The back view of the building shows the changes that have come to Eastern Avenue and the things that have stayed the same.
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After lunch we went to a small town called Milford and I found this pretty plate at an antique shop.

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It was a perfect vacation day.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Tea at the American Girl Place, Chicago

Every year in June, my two daughters take the two grandchildren (known here as Dolphin and Jellyfish) on a special, kid-friendly trip.  This year, they chose Chicago and in addition to all the museums, shops and parks, they visited the American Girl Place.  Dolphin had just received her first American Girl doll, Kit from the 1930s era.  Her mother asked me to make a dress for each of them to wear for their visit.

I used Simplicity Pattern 2675 for Dolphin’s dress, and McCall’s M4336 for Kit’s.

At American Doll Place, they walked into an American Girl doll wonderland with all kinds of shops and displays.

There was an exhibit for each doll with vintage items.  Kit’s display included an old school desk, a pencil box and her pink sweater.

There was a beauty shop where Kit could get a pedicure and hair styling.

Kit looked beautiful after her visit to the beauty salon.

In the afternoon, they attended a tea in a beautiful dining room.

The selection of little sandwiches and pastries was wonderful.



Dolphin enjoyed the pink lemonade.

Everyone enjoyed the food.

Big brother Jellyfish was a good sport at a very “girly” affair.

Later, he took a nap in the lobby after American Girl Doll-overload.

For her 8th birthday on July 1, Dolphin chose another doll to join Kit.

It was a great visit to Chicago for all of them and OK with Jellyfish because he also got to see dinosaurs, dolphins and whales.