Cedar Point…fun and challenging

16 Aug

On Saturday, Jason’s parents took the entire family to Cedar Point (in Sandusky, Ohio) for the day. Though the day started out hot, turned rainy in the afternoon and then cleared for the evening, a great time was had by all — roller coasters, thrill rides, and some serious people-watching! Since I’m still dealing with a messed-up neck from the car accident, I spent most of my time with Logan and anyone else who was too small to ride whatever coaster everyone else was going on. It was Logan’s first trip there and he had a blast (other than the extreme disappointment and tears that followed when he found out he was not big enough to drive the antique cars).

The most challenging part of Cedar Point, and probably any other amusement park, is the food choices. The place is loaded with food stands and restaurants that serve sugar-laden, cheese-covered, fatty foods. After my experiences with the meals at Girl Scout and Cub Scout camp, I wanted to be prepared. I got online before we went and studied what was available for a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy. The plan was to pack lunches and then get a nice dinner in the park. I read the descriptions for all the sit-down, air-conditioned restaurants and found three that would work. Johnny Rockets offers a salad bar, but other family members said the food there isn’t that great. Next on the list was Chuck Wagon which listed Montgomery Inn BBQ ribs and organic salads in its description. Since some of the family had eaten ribs the night before, I suggested The Red Garter Saloon. Its description said they offered sandwiches, salads and more. Plus, they had a live show every hour. So that’s where we headed for dinner.

Let me just say it was not at all what I expected. The tables were tiny little rounds. We had 10 people in our group so we pulled 3 tables together and grabbed every chair we could find. Sadly, this left some of us without a space to set food on the table. After a few minutes, the show started. It was a fun, upbeat performance of island music such as Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys. I think everyone enjoyed the show — I know the kids had their eyes glued to the performers. But, the menus arrived in the middle of the show and it was so dark in there that you could barely read what was offered. In addition, the show was so loud you had to yell to try to talk to anyone.

Here’s what was on the menu:
Hotdog or Chili Dog
Loaded Nachos
Chicken Caesar Salad
Taco Salad
Ham & Cheese Sub Sandwich

That was basically it. The kids couldn’t find anything they really wanted. And my choices were the Chicken Caesar Salad minus chicken and parmesan cheese and the dressing — basically lettuce. Or I could go with the Taco Salad minus cheese, beef, sour cream. Basically lettuce, tomatoes and salsa. Ugh. And I couldn’t even imagine yelling to the waiter all my deletions and the kitchen trying to get it right.

We watched the rest of the show and then left and headed toward the Chuck Wagon with the “ribs and organic salads.” The place was empty, air-conditioned and the food smelled great. But — no organic salads. They had a big bowl of iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, cheese and croutons. They made up large and small salads and set them out for you to grab on your way through the line. I had them make me a large one with no cheese. We made our way down the line with everyone finding something tasty to eat. I was looking for anything with protein. At this point, I was just hoping to find something without meat even if it had some butter in it. I ordered a side of baked beans knowing it probably had been flavored with bacon. It arrived with whole strips of soggy bacon in it. I didn’t eat it. I should have ordered an ear of corn on the cob. Jason gave me his biscuit and that was dinner, with the iceberg salad.

But the day didn’t end on a bad note…

It was 9 p.m. by the time we finished dinner so we decided to head home. On the way to the exit, we passed a coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee. YAY! I asked if they had soy milk to make a latte with. He checked the fridge and said they had just enough left for a small one. DOUBLE YAY! I had an iced soy latte for the ride home.

When we got in the car, I dug through my glove box and found a small bag of roasted edamame. I ate that and a granola bar.

All-in-all a great day of fun with the family. Lesson learned (again!): pack my own food or find a salad bar.

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