My favorite thing to do during the fall is take a road trip. The leaves are at peak color and the air is crisp. This year getting out of Erie for a bit was especially important since we never get out of Erie any more! So I dragged my husband on a day trip to Zink's Fabric Outlet and Lehman's Hardware in the Amish Country of Central Ohio. Both are about 2.5 hrs from our house and it was a gorgeous day for a drive.
Zink's Outlet was on top of my bucket lists of places to visit. First of all, I suggest not going anytime in October since the traffic in Berlin, Ohio was literally backed up for miles. It just so happens that God was smiling on us and we were going the opposite direction of everyone else. Even though Holmes County Ohio was inundated by people in search of pretty foliage, we never got stuck in any lines. I had heard you're never quite sure what you'll find at Zink's on any given day. What I did find were two massive rooms of bolts and bolts of all different kinds of fabric - quilt cottons - home dec - Apparel ... you name it - they had so some. My Zink's haul included cotton duck (super cheapie at $3/yd), yardage of fossil ferns (because let's face it - that fabric line fits into any quilt) and a some precuts of Boundless Fabric lines that they bought when craftsy sold out. I also found some MUST-Get polyester sheer fabric with big red stitch dots on it. I have NO idea what I'm going to do with that but it has definite possibilities.
The whole experience was great! The store was clean, easy to navigate, staff was friendly and the prices were good. Don't go there looking for $12/yd name brand cottons though. If you find one here or there fine but this is mostly a place where you have to look through flat folds and off brands of fabric. But really who doesn't love a good treasure hunt?!
After an hour at Zink's (yes I did a lot of shopping in an hour since I had my husband with me) we headed 20 min north to Kidron, Ohio to visit Lehman's Hardware.
Now honestly how they have the nerve to call it a hardware store is just crazy. It really is a 3/4 mile department store of everything country. Once again the place was mobbed but it's so huge it didn't seem to matter. I could have browsed for hours in there. They had a housewares department that just wanted me to look at everything, a holiday department that has quality holiday decor, a ROOM FULL OF CANDY ... yes just candy, a department of lamps and candles, a huge wall of everything canned etc etc omgoodness I was in retail heaven!! (Did I mention they carry 70 types of rootbeer?!?!) You know when they give you a map when you enter the store you're in for a treat. Now the prices weren't cheapie but they weren't outrageous either. We came out with some nice measuring spoons I've been looking for, 1 1/2 pounds of fudge (of course), and an Ohio made crock for Paul's starter (yes he's had a bread starter for years and now it has it's own crock). Oh and I found a hand made little basket that I plan on making into a pin cushion. One thing it didn't have was fabric ... sighhhhh.... but since that section of Ohio has TONS of fabric stores I imagine that's why. We spent a good 2.5 hrs just browsing and I never felt crowded. The store actually has cashiers in every department and the staff was friendly as well.
We ended up the trip heading north to Mentor, Ohio to eat dinner at my favorite Thai Orchid and stop at Hobby Lobby to pick up some framing I left there. I mean why go to your own Hobby Lobby when you can visit one an hour away?! It's the new normal....grin!!
All in all it was great trip. I definitely see us going back for a few days overnight. There is so much to discover. With 37,000 Amish living there, the area has a tons of small businesses explore. Plus you can tell that they understand people who work with their hands. Sometimes, we go some place and they don't understand what drives people to creatively work with their hands. But you can tell Central Ohio gets it. People's handwork is every where.
So What Have Been Up to Creatively?