The Hotel Lakeside needs no better advertisement than Lisa Ottman, the friendly lady at the front desk who was one of our favorite attractions from last month’s visit. When an issue of the Lakesider newspaper included my mother’s quote and picture answering the question, “What Do You Enjoy Most About Lakeside?,” Lisa sent it to her with a thoughtful note. Upon its receipt, we decided that Lakeside would be the perfect setting for Nails’ 76th birthday party.
This time, we treated ourselves to a stay in the Hotel Lakeside’s Barbara Lane Memorial Suite. Honoring the memory of a loyal Lakesider who dedicated her time and talent to restoring the hotel, Room 538 is a lovely, comfortable haven that rivals some of our accommodations at favorite vacation destinations like Colonial Williamsburg and even Sea Island.
After stopping at Miss Mercedes so I could acquire some new hair ornaments and Vera Bradley’s “Happy Snails,” we lunched in the Hotel Lakeside’s dining room, carefully savoring its tasty lemon poppyseed house salad dressing so we could try to recreate it at home. In the afternoon, we walked around Lakeside’s entire perimeter, enjoying the view of the lake, recognizing familiar faces, and admiring cottages we hadn’t seen during last month’s visit.
It’s a Lakeside tradition to fold 1,000 paper cranes during Peace Week, so we stopped by the Rhein Center for the Arts to see the results of this year’s origami-folding event that had taken place the day before. According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a lucky crane, such as for recovery from illness. The event honors the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who tried to combat her illness from leukemia as a result of radiation from Hiroshima by making 1,000 cranes. Held together by strings, the Lakeside cranes will become part of the world’s prayer for peace.
After a picnic supper by the shore, we arrived at Hoover Auditorium for a concert by Nellie McKay and the Aristocrats. Twirling around onstage in a fancy coral gown, Nellie and her tuxedo-suited trio paid tribute to Doris Day’s music, performing “The Very Thought of You,” “Send Me No Flowers,” “Do Do Do,” “Crazy Rhythm,” and other selections from her Normal As Blueberry Pie album. Playing the piano and the ukulele throughout the concert, Nellie also treated us to some of her original compositions, such as “Beneath the Underdog,” “The Dog Song,” and “I Wanna Get Married.” Best of all were her renditions of Ella Fitzgerald’s “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and “It’s So Peaceful in the Country.” Nearsighted people like me would have appreciated that she had to leave the stage to get her glasses before she played that number!
Settling down to sleep after a generous dip of Toft’s ice cream, it wasn’t long before we were enjoying Lakeside scenery again. Saturday marked Lakeside’s annual gladiolus show, where gladiolus growers and exhibitors from northwest and central Ohio and southern Michigan participate in an exhibition and competition that has been held for more than 50 years. We admired the rows of single stems and creative arrangements of glads on display and learned about a pretty, specially propagated “Pineapple Cream” glad from a talented glad grower/arranger.
Before we left, we stopped by the Lakeside Pavilion to stock up on Laffy Taffy and more flavors of Cow Tales than we’d ever seen. So the birthday celebration could continue into Sunday, we also took home a carryout of cake doughnuts with assorted toppings – like coconut, peanuts, cinnamon sugar, chocolate glaze and sprinkles – from The Patio, another Lakeside tradition. Just a few weeks of the Lakeside season remain!