Thursday, September 23, 2010

Experience Columbus Days! October 8-11, 2010


This is such a great four days in Columbus that I definitely do not want any of you to miss it. Seems like the last several posts have been about events. But there is so much happening that I just have to tell you all!!!

"Now in its seventh year, Experience Columbus Days, October 8-11, has grown to include discounts to 24 area attractions and 50 area restaurants. The program was created by Experience Columbus to make the capital city the place to be during Columbus Day Weekend through offering great incentives.

Experience Columbus has again partnered with area attractions and Dine Originals Columbus, to offer visitors and residents alike 50% off admission to top area attractions and 25% off food bills to unique Columbus eateries.

To receive the discounts, visit between now and October 11 to download two flyers, one for attractions and the other for Dine Originals Columbus restaurants. Upon arrival at a participating attraction or restaurant, simply show a printed flyer or display it on a mobile device to receive:

· 50% off admission when you present the attractions flyer at 24 of the city’s best attractions including perennial favorites such as the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Wilds, COSI and the Columbus Italian Festival as well as new participants like Columbus Food Adventures, SegAway Tours of Columbus and more.

· 25% off the total food bill (excluding beverages) for up to two people, when you present the restaurant flyer at all 50 Dine Originals Columbus restaurants, including 11 new members such as Barrio Tapas Lounge, Black Olive, Moshi Sushi, Spinelli’s Deli, Skillet and others.

“Now in its seventh year, the goal of Experience Columbus Days is to get people out to explore Ohio’s capital city and expose them to all that makes Columbus unique,” said Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “This program would not be successful without the support from our partners at area attractions and restaurants. They truly see the value of tourism and creating ambassadors locally, which is what Experience Columbus Days is all about.”

In 2009, with only social media, viral marketing and word of mouth efforts used to promote the program, more than 4,300 flyers were redeemed at area attractions and more than 860 were redeemed at Dine Originals Columbus restaurants.

Visitors from 30 states as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and Switzerland took advantage of the program’s discounts.

For complete details, a full list of participating attractions and restaurants and to print off the flyers, visit"
Excuse me while I go download...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taste of Columbus

This promises to be an amazing event for such a good cause! And a party on the pool deck at the Renaissance, hosted by Latitude 41 is always a great time! Here is a wonderfully fun evening out that will benefit the new Kobacker House. Go ahead ... you deserve a night out!

A Taste of Columbus event to benefit
HomeReach Hospice slated for Sept. 28 at Renaissance

(COLUMBUS) – Six of the best locally owned and operated restaurants are coming together to host the first-ever "A Taste of Columbus" event on the pool deck of the Renaissance Columbus Downtown on Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will benefit HomeReach Hospice – the largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit hospice program in central Ohio.

Participating restaurants include:
• Barcelona
• Basi Italia
• G. Michael’s
• Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
• Latitude 41
• The Refectory

“We are so grateful that these restaurants and the Renaissance have all stepped up to make this evening possible. All proceeds will be used toward the construction of a new Kobacker House, scheduled for opening in late 2011,” said Karen Morrison, president of the OhioHealth Foundation.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased exclusively online at Each restaurant will have a sampling station, there will be a silent auction featuring travel and dining opportunities and live music by Victor Zancudo. Dress for the evening is cocktail/business attire.

The Kobacker House is a free-standing inpatient hospice facility that was created to offer a home-like setting for hospice patients requiring 24-hour medical supervision. The new Kobacker House will offer 24 patient beds – more than double the capacity of the current house.

The Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel approached OhioHealth HomeReach Hospice to partner on the event to raise much-needed dollars for the facility. Additionally, Chef Dave Maclennan of Latitude 41 reached out to the chefs of the other participating restaurants to round out the evening.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in central Ohio who hasn’t been positively impacted by HomeReach Hospice; we applaud their mission of providing quality end-of-life care for central Ohioans,” said Geri Lombard, general manager of The Renaissance. “We are committed to being an excellent community partner, and we have the space and setting on our beautiful roof-top pool deck to create a wonderful event for OhioHealth HomeReach Hospice. “

About HomeReach Hospice
HomeReach Hospice is the largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit hospice program in central Ohio. It is part of the OhioHealth health system.

A team of specially trained hospice caregivers -- physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, chaplains, aides and volunteers -- are dedicated to providing the highest quality end-of-life care to patients and grief support to their families. Services offered by HomeReach Hospice, which is supported by the OhioHealth Foundation, include 24-hour inpatient care at Kobacker House (the first free-standing inpatient hospice care facility in central Ohio), as well as extensive services and support for patients who are able to remain at home; specialized therapies, including massage, art and animal therapy; in-home visits from physicians; family support services; and grief support programs for larger numbers of people, including school children who have lost family members, coworkers or friends.

About Renaissance Hotels & Resorts
Renaissance Hotels & Resorts is an upscale modern hotel collection with more than 140unique properties in 28 countries -- from historic icons to ultra-modern masterpieces -- that speaks to passionate travelers in search of authentic local experiences. Whether a trip is for business or pleasure, Renaissance believes there's always something wonderfully new to be found.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Drunken Fruit Skewers

Labor Day weekend has come and gone. (Heads up ladies; no white shoes! Is that even a “rule” anymore?) Anyway, back to what I was saying before I interrupted myself. The cookouts, bbq’s and feasts of gluttony have come and gone with the holiday. Thank goodness! My hips just couldn’t take anymore!

But the memory of the appetizer that we took to both cookouts we attended lingers. It was an idea that was resurrected by one of my favorite blogs … which they got from another blog! Oh, don’t you just love the food blogosphere? I sure do! The delight I am speaking of is (drum roll please) “Drunken Fruit Skewers”.

Now anybody that knows us can tell you that my dear husband has a penchant for liquoring up just about everything he gets his hands on (don’t go there, my friends). He was in the kitchen mixing up the liquid in which we would macerate the fruit and was he a scientist in all his glory! Remember the rocket scientist story? That’s my Bob! This was his kind of recipe. Actually, there isn’t even a “recipe”.

We purchased a fresh pineapple, kiwis, plums, strawberries and honeydew. Bob concocted the most delicious mixture of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, and Cointreau. He added just a wee bit of Splenda (hey! We’re watching our figures over here!) added cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.

The Kitchn blog tells us to “Simply cut your fruit into bite-sized pieces, put them in a container, and cover with the liquor of your choice. Let this sit for anywhere from a few hours to overnight.” However, we found that 3 hours for the pineapple, honeydew and plums was perfect. The strawberries and kiwi were soaked only for about an hour. The liquor bleaches the fruit, and the skewers are so much prettier when the colors are vibrant. We threaded the fruit onto wooden skewers that had been soaked in water, and Bob tossed them on the grill. Okay, he very gently arranged them in a perfect formation to be grilled to absolute beauty.

And boy-howdy were those things good!!! They packed a punch, too.

Try these at your next party. You will no doubt be the host/hostess with the mostest. Oh good Lord … even I can’t believe I just said that!

Friday, September 3, 2010

WaterFire and Dwight Lenox & the Lenox Avenue Jazz & Dance Band

Are you looking for something fun to do on a Friday night? I have a suggestion for you!

Last week we attended “WaterFire Columbus”. What fun! And to make the evening even better, the music was provided by our very dear friend and favorite jazz singer and his band! Why yes, that indeed would be none other than “Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express Jazz & Dance Band”! What an incredible evening!

First let me tell you about WaterFire in case you aren’t familiar with it. Here is an excerpt from their webpage:

WaterFire Columbus

WaterFire opens all of our senses to our surroundings; it allows viewers to savor the artwork's surprises, view the city's landscape and mingle with fellow citizens.

WaterFire Columbus is becoming one of the most exciting art exhibits in Central Ohio. The magnificent array of bonfires was first established on the three rivers of downtown Providence, Rhode Island in 1997. In downtown Columbus the flames reflect on the waters of the Scioto River. Audience members gather for an evening of natural art, music and activity featuring this remarkable display on the east side of COSI in front of Genoa Park.

WaterFire Columbus has created seven events for the 2010 Burn Season partnering with different performing arts organizations. The board's goal is to expand relationships with additional performing arts groups in Central Ohio.

The event has expanded from 19 braziers in 2008 to 37 for 2010 Burn Season. WaterFire also gives viewers the opportunity to purchase tables where individuals have the choice of sitting down and enjoying dinner along the river during select events.

We began our evening by setting up our chairs and spreading a blanket over the ground in front of them. There were vendors selling food and we brought some of our own. When I spoke with the gentleman at Experience Columbus, he advised me that they asked that drinks be purchased there. Wine, beer, water and lemonade were available. We made our selections and returned to our spot. There we laid out a cheese plate & crackers and fruit & dip that we'd brought along to compliment our purchases. We then proceeded to feast!

Just about the time we finished noshing, the music began. Oh how we love to hear Dwight and his band! As the sun began to dip behind the COSI building and the sky turned golden, Dwight’s luscious baritone wrapped itself around us and seeped into our bones. The strains of the instruments, individually and collectively, danced as one melody led into the next. We lost ourselves in the glorious sound that is uniquely Dwight.

As dusk settled, the band took an intermission and Dwight was taken out on the boat to light the first of the fires. How thrilling! What a vision the boat, the flames, and the figures in the boat made against the dwindling light of the night sky.

It really was amazing to see those fires burning on the Scioto River! And then there was the wonderful smell of a wood fire, while the heat from the flames could be felt on the lower levels of the amphitheater.

The boat returned Dwight to dry land and the music began once more, with what sounded to me like a renewed sense of soul and character. There was spontaneous dancing in front of the stage. We were even fortunate enough to have a young couple entertain us with what could only be the result of some serious ballroom dance lessons! They were charming. And underneath the music, you could hear the chatter and laughter of a great party.

What an evening! Dwight played well past the 10:00pm mark. I believe he and the band were having as much fun as we were!

There are only three more WaterFire events taking place this year. I’m sure the entertainment will be lovely. But for me, Dwight & the Lenox Avenue Express made a special evening even more spectacular! I so hope they do it again next year. If so, stop by front and center to say hello to us … because that is exactly where we will be!

Genoa Park
303 W Broad Street
Columbus, OH

2010 WaterFire Burn Schedule:

•Friday, September 3rd: In partnership with Music in the Air, performance by BalletMet Columbus
•Friday, September 17: In partnership with Riverfront Art Festival, performance by Opera Columbus
•Saturday, September 18th: In partnership with Riverfront Art Festival, performance by Ladies of Longford

Photos courtesy of Dwight Lenox