Thursday, September 8, 2011

Road Trip: Chuck Wagon Dinner!

On one of our random drives - we saw a road sign for a Chuck Wagon Dinner - how could we pass that up?! Unfortunately I sort of forgot about it with all of the activities of summer. Luckily I remembered just in time to hit the LAST ONE of the summer (every Saturday in June, July & August). We also invited our friends - Jen & Neil - Jen has written a book called Cincinnati Day Trips - it's great! I urge everyone to go buy a copy. You'll learn and explore Cincinnati! 

Before we could chuck wagon - we decided to just drive around the area that afternoon and explore. First we came across a dairy bar that also serves food. 

It's the Dairy Point in Blanchester. It was good stuff - the soft serve was about a foot tall for a large!!! Larry also got a hamburger and it was definitely a homemade patty (all misshapen and stuff - mmm good!).

Dairy Point on Urbanspoon

This is just a random building - I think in Blanchester. Loved the top of the building - it was open. That would be a great porch!

Then we stumbled across A&M Farm & Orchard (22141 State Route 251 - Midland, OH). They have apples & grapes in October - so you can head out any time! It's a pick your own - or head inside and they have some pre-picked. We got Galas, tomatoes and then these other small tart apples - I don't remember the name - but they're more like Granny Smith and that's what Larry likes. They also have fresh cider!

Be sure to pick up their brochure before you leave - it has great recipes for Apple Crisp, Apple Sauce, Jam, Pies and more! Leave a comment with your email if you'd like the recipes.

This was definitely discovery day for us - next we came across Chatfield College in St. Martin. It's a 2 year private catholic college that offers an Associate of Arts degree.

It's a beautiful campus - albeit very small. I could definitely picture myself sitting by their pond studying. It was so peaceful!

They only have 200 students and the class size is between 5-15. 

Here's the pond - yeah - that would be awesome! 

We also came across a state park with a beach - maybe Cowan or Stonelick? We just did a drive-thru to check out the beach. It was pretty nice!

And now we arrive at Bonnybrook for our Chuck Wagon Dinner! When we pulled up - Jen & Neil were right next to us - perfect timing! We knew it was going to be a good night.

Okay - and what is it with these giant green bugs!?! They love my truck - this one popped up on the windshield to greet us! Yuck!

Here's the front of the farm - it's a really nice impressive building. Only bad thing I could see is that they don't have restrooms inside - just portapotties. :-( They were very clean and had a handwashing station outside of them.

Before the dinner you can just wander around the farm - they have a big animal barn (Stop #1 of course) as well as games and such.

Seriously - how cute is he?! Or she? With that belly - we're thinking pregnant mama!

We all loved petting the horses - they were so friendly. Neil even got one to laugh!

This same horse had an obsession with gnawing on the metal bars. He even bent the bars sticking his nose through so much!

There's a pond - you can bring fishing gear and try and catch some before dinner if you like!

They also had a 40 foot slide in a tunnel - Jen and I went for it! She's in there somewhere...

Then the giant slingshot! I was really looking forward to this! We had a blast launching tennis balls into the field.

Neil had the aim down - he was the first (and only) one of us to hit the target. Good job!

Next it was time for dinner! It's buffet style with pulled pork, chicken salad, side dishes and fresh tomatoes. Good stuff! The chicken salad was just how I like it - no apples or nuts or anything - just chicken, celery and mayo. The mac & cheese was delicious. But my favorite was the fresh tomatoes - so simple - but so delicious. They had heirloom tomatoes as well - the lady said I was the first to try them - and they were AWESOME!

Larry went for the pulled pork and really enjoyed it. He wasn't such a fan of the zucchini! But we all liked it quite a bit.

The whole event here is $27/adult (less for kids) and we used their web coupon for 15% off a reservation of 4. When you figure in the entertainment value, the ride and the great food - it's a good deal for a night out. There's also free lemonade, sweet tea and water the entire time you're there. And the tea and lemonade was HOMEMADE and delicious!!!!

They had cowboy hats for kids - we had to get Larry to try one on. :-) Next up was the actual wagon ride portion of the evening.

Time for cute couple shots! Seriously - could they be any cuter?

Getting Larry to smile - takes like 4 shots...this was the best we could do! And look - you can even see the yellow beast truck in the background.

We took the wagon ride down to the creek for dessert!

On the way we see the owners house - it's right on the pond with a HUGE deck. Um - yeah - I could live here.

Riding the wagon through the woods...they said this used to be an old state road of some kind.

They have wagons and such along the way...

Um - this part looked a little spooky! Probably for a reason - because although the dinner rides are done for the year (only June-August) - they have Lantern Light Wagon Rides every Saturday in October! And there are 5 Saturdays this year! They go from dusk until 1030pm. The wagon rides are only $8 and they have food, beverages and pumpkins for sale as well.

We arrived at the creek and they had a couple of wagon trains set up with desserts for everyone! There was apple & peach cobbler along with fresh cookies. Good stuff.

The peach cobbler was really good - really really good. Of course - that is probably one of my favorite desserts on the planet.

Jen is as much of a picture hound as I am! She was snapping away all night. They also had a couple of campfires going so you could roast marshmallows for smores.

And to think - this is all only 20 minutes from Kings Island! You feel like you're a world away.

I hope you check out at least one of these locally-run businesses when you're out and about this fall! There's a lot of fun to be had in the tri-state! And don't forget the Chuck Wagon next summer!
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