Fifteen steps on how to have a fabulous day at Put-in-Bay with your thirteen year old daughter.
Step One-Realize that she has three days left of school and therefore can afford to miss one day having a great time playing tourist on an island that she has been going to all of her life. Make the mistake of calling it a "Mental Health Day" when you call her off of school so on the 60 minute trip out to the ferry you have to explain to her that no she isn't dying and no I don't think you are going to have some sort of breakdown before school lets out.
Step Two-Get to Miller Boat Line to acquire your tickets for the ferry trip. Watch as she tells other about her family and the cottage on the island. Then when the nice man from Lake Erie Shores & Islands asks you if you are related to 'The Chicken's middle name' 'Our very uncommon last name that I didn't realize anyone has' that works in his office, you spend the next ten minutes explaining to your 13 year old that no, she isn't named for some relative that you didn't know you had because she probably isn't your relative.
Step Three-Let out a huge sigh of relief when the ferry pulls into dock and The Chicken gets distracted by getting on the ferry.
She has made this trip hundreds of times but has never been as excited as she was that day.
Step Four-After the twenty minute ferry ride take the short walk up the hill and over to E's Carts where The Chicken proclaims that getting this cart is indeed a Put in Bay miracle.
Although truth be told upon leaving the cart shop Lady Gaga died and we ended up with Joe Dirt. Hopefully The Chicken learns to not proclaim miracles when there aren't miracles and no more golf carts will be smited because of it
Step Five-Once you mourn the loss of Lady Gaga and get acclimated to Joe Dirt, head into town to Isola Day Spa to get your nail polish changed out. Making sure that you carefully consider all of the crazy options that your daughter lays out before you. Also, remember these key words in helping her pick out a color, "But how do you like that color dear?"
Isola was lovely and the staff was super friendly. While they do take walk-ins I would highly recommend an appointment.
Step Six-While your nails are still drying head over to Del Sol Gifts where you can verify for your daughter over and over that no they didn't paint your nails with color changing nail polish and why yes that would be an excellent cross promotional idea for these businesses. Then you will wonder how your thirteen year old knows about such things as cross promotional ideas and realize that you may have been blogging too long. Get your color changing bag and chuckle when your daughter asks for one as well. Enjoy the biggest smile ever when they hand her her very own bag.
Step Seven-With your newly painted nails & your color changing bag, put the pedal to the metal in the golf cart to get yourself over to the Put-in-Bay Butterfly House to see all of the butterflies and flowers inside. After an hour make sure that you tell your daughter that you are hot and tired and would like to visit other things on the island. Those additional 64 minutes that she makes you stay in there because she rescued a drowning butterfly will seem to breeze right by.
Step Eight-Realize that you both are starving and head over to The Boardwalk for their famous lobster bisque. Decide while you are there that you need some seasoned fries to enjoy as well.
While I loved the lobster bisque-the fries were a great deal at $4 and were super tasty-the bird that The Chicken kept giving them too probably agreed
Step Nine-After lunch drag your teenager over to the Perry's Monument and Visitor Center so that she can use the "cleanest bathrooms on the island."According to the park ranger. Afterwards convince her to look around in the museum where we find that she has a schooner with her name that fought in the Battle of 1812. Argue that it wasn't named after her because in 1812 I wasn't even a blip on the radar, no matter how old you think I am at times, then give up when you realize that you aren't going to win this argument because she will tell you about she remembers when her older sister was born. Go outside to listen to the demonstrations where your thirteen year old will learn that she was probably more educated than a lot of the doctors that worked on the military back in 1812. Make ash cakes and then eat them. Then after chatting it up with the reinactors drag your teenager away so you can see more stuff, although stopping to take a really cool iPhone photo with the monument in the background first.
Step Ten-Head over to Heineman's Winery & Crystal Cave to take the Crystal Cave tour . Transcend down the 40 feet to a much cooler temperature and oooh and ahhhh over the crystals. Offer to take some random strangers photo in the largest geode in the world and then happily let them take your iPhone so you can get a photo of you and your daughter. Try to push those thoughts of Are they doing to drop it on the ground and smile.
Step Eleven-Go across the street to Perry's Cave because your daughter tells you she wants to pan for gold, have some fun in the gift shop, then get drug back into The Butterfly house for another 40 minutes.
Just two girls having a purr-fectly good time.
Step Twelve-Head over to Big Man's Burrito to get the sampler plate. Enjoy the time in the back patio area, realize that you can't get the wifi to work, get frustrated, leave happy and full.
Step Thirteen-Drive Joe Dirt over to the Museum to get the tour, realize that because you have spent nearly three hours of your life in the Butterfly House that day that the tours are over. Let your daughter convince you to drive around back to see if the Museum's Thrift store is open and sing a happy song when you get to walk away with all of these glasses for $2.00.
Step Fourteen-Realize that you need to get Joe Dirt back by 6 PM and you really want to make the 6 PM ferry back to the mainland so you pay no attention to the fact that your daughter is taking photos of you while you are driving behind the people who thought it a good idea to shake out their sandy beach blankets while we were driving down the road and thank goodness you have glasses on because there is no windshield on the golf cart.
Step Fifteen-Relax. You made it on the boat. Enjoy the twenty minute ride back to the mainland and realize that your daughter, who hasn't stopped talking all day long, is finally quiet and enjoying the sights on the way back.
Playing along at InstFridays over at Life Arranged -even if you don't have an iPhone or Instagram I suggest you check it out-great posts and such fun photos!!
Disclosure-my family & I were invited by Miller Boat Lines to come and #RediscoverPIB for the day. While they did supply ferry passes and got all of the businesses to let us play tourist for free all of the opinions are of my own. Many thanks to Julene Market and staff from Miller Boat Line and to all of the businesses listed above. We had an excellent time and next time we are at the island we will make sure to play tourist again...you know on our dime.