This day started off gloomy with the promise of more new snow, so my husband Jack and I weren’t planning to venture away from home except – maybe – half a mile up the road to fetch a half-gallon of milk. But then, I saw a Facebook posting, apparently from the “Garden Cafe in Mill Creek MetroPark,” announcing today’s “Grab & Go Specials” by The Georgetown. I’d seen similar postings on Monday and Tuesday but shrugged them off – our information was that The Georgetown’s vendor contract at the park’s cafe ended Jan. 1.
We also knew the cafe has been closed for renovations longer than originally planned, so after seeing the multiple announcements by The Georgetown on Facebook and wondering if something’s afoot (and in the interests of satisfying our need to take photos), we grabbed our cameras and said, “Let’s go.” Truth is, it doesn’t matter much to me who’s taking over, but when I see advertising that doesn’t quite add up, my journalistic nose starts twitching. Besides that, I wanted to check out the used book sale that’s a happening thing in the Antonucci Horticulture Library in the visitor center. Admittedly, I haven’t read a “real” book in probably five years – both of us are diehard Kindle users – but hey, a bargain is a bargain.
As for the cafe, sorry to say we didn’t learn much except that the signs announcing the early February reopening have been replaced by “opening soon,” so guess we’ll just have to wait to see who’s going to be running the show. On the plus side, though, there are still plenty of great books for sale – on topics like gardening, entertaining and cooking – at bargain-basement prices (including several on Christmas crafts and from lifestyle guru Martha Stewart that are almost coffee-table worthy).
Beautiful orchids of all colors and types continue to take center stage in the main area of the visitor center, and there are some really cool things for sale in the newly redone gift shop (Jack snagged a couple of decorative items he’d seen on our last visit and kicked himself ever since for not buying). Always on the lookout for textures that I can turn into abstract designs, I poked around and found a few possibilities as well as some really neat pots for planting. While I still miss that gorgeous jewelry, everything in the gift shop is artfully arranged and very appealing to the eye – definitely worth a look if you haven’t been here since the remodeling.
From there, we made the obligatory stop at the Lily Pond – it looks frozen, but skating is prohibited so chances are looks are deceiving. As always, it’s beautiful in the snow. From there, we left the park to grab a bite at the Coney Island Hot Dogs Bar & Grill in Austintown (the butter garlic wings are to die for, BTW). We made it back home just as more snow started to fall, and since the temperature is supposed to drop below zero again tonight, I’m guessing we’ll stay in our snug house for another day or two. At least I’m happy with my park photos from this morning!