Earlier I sat down having coffee in the breakfast area of the Fairfield Inn in Lima, Ohio (all hotels in Wapakoneta were sold out), this was the closest Marriott and just 13 miles away) writing up my blog for the day, and hit a weird button accidentally and erased the whole thing. I hadn’t saved it along the way, I was counting on my auto save (think old school word processing) and low and behold… gone! So this is my second attempt for the day, maybe it’ll be even better! This hotel is exactly like all other Fairfield Inns, which is exactly why I chose it. Very clean, quiet rooms no matter where they are located, the most comfortable mattresses, and a good breakfast. All for a reasonable price.
We arrived in Lima in time for a late dinner, and as is our habit asked the desk clerk for a recommendation for a local place to eat (no chains on vacation, whenever possible). We were given two recommendations. The first was a pizza type sports bar, the second was a local Italian place. We chose Italian and was so pleased that we did! This was a third generation run, grandparents originally from big Italian families in Chicago, families from Sicily (we saw all the photographs on the wall, and got the low down from the busboy). Milano cafe was the real deal. The service was outstanding, the atmosphere was pure old school Italian, Frank Sinatra was on the radio and the food was superb! Mark had spaghetti and meatballs, the meatballs were huge, homemade and had just the right amount of Italian spice. I had the tortellini carbonara. Oh my goodness, one of the best I’ve ever had. The flavors exploded in my mouth in a creamy soft white sauce kind of way. If you are ever passing through Lima just off of interstate 75, I highly recommend making the stop for this food! It was reasonable priced for a nicer restaurant and they had an exceptional wine list as well.
I said Day 2, but that was actually the end of day 1. I absolutely had to share this place though.
Off to Wapakoneta (which actually has a you tube video on how to pronounce it) but the locals were just calling it Wah-pok (phonetically spelled). What a quaint downtown. Hard to get a true feel for it when there aren’t 50 good trucks, 50 vendors and two full stages all along it, but folks were flocking to some of the restaurants (was it the food, the cocktails, the actual cloth napkins or the air conditioning at “J Marie’s”?). Reviews were good from folks coming out, and we saw people actually looking for it, so it will be worth a try next time. We instead chose the food trucks, local pulled pork, local breaded tenderloin sandwiches (if you’ve ever eaten a breaded pork tenderloin in Iowa or Illinois-you know how excited I was about this one), and a mountain of hand cut homemade potato chips. Except for the potatoes, the serving sizes weren’t too over the top, it was really, really hot, so were glad to not add to the discomfort.
The downtown streets were all blocked off and lined with vendors and food trucks, the crowds didn’t come until later and when we headed out about 2 pm, folks were just starting to arrive at the beer tents. There were two main area of festivities, downtown with food, shopping, tons of kids games and live entertainment and out at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. The one thing we missed out on (remember, we were flying by the seat of our pants AND last minute) was the 5/10k fun run. They had the best “medals” and t-shirts I’ve ever seen at a race, and I wanted one. I would’ve for sure gotten up and there by 8 am for the run! The medal itself had the spacesuit man and the lanyard part said “one small step, one giant leap”. They were FANTASTIC! The other very cool thing we missed, and that was our choice because we had a more important, higher priority happening, was in the downtown they did a countdown to the exact time that Neill Armstrong stepped on the moon. We saw footage later, it looked fun, but we didn’t quite make it back in time.
Tomorrow I’ll share more about WHY we didn’t make it back for the countdown AND something amazing we found because Mark just read the Wright brothers biography.