By Dr. Anton Anderssen
The Christmas season is nigh; a woman used pepper spray to fend off her competition at WalMart, assailants hit a man in the head and shot the woman in the leg as shoppers rushed home with their presents, and police used stun guns to manage crazed crowds. I saw about 500 people lined up outside Best Buy, vying for one of the 18 televisions for sale at midnight. That’s not my idea of celebrating the Christmas season; I envision more of the “Silent Night” concept, staying in a romantic cabin near a warm fireplace – the type of picture one sees on fancy greeting cards. Yes, Virginia, there is a place where the picture-perfect Christmas exists: the Hocking Hills of southern Ohio.
We had an extremely romantic stay in one of those fabled abodes, courtesy of Hocking Hills Cabins. Nestled among Christmas trees and snow-laden hills, our cabin was to die for. Called “Sweet Seclusion”, our romantic log house had every imaginable feature associated with the ultimate Christmas cottage: a giant fireplace, king-sized bed, full kitchen, satellite TV, gorgeous surroundings, and most importantly, a peaceful setting. An oven provided the opportunity to bake gingerbread cookies, or as my Italian sweetie decided, sweet rolls and baked lasagna.
One evening, we dined out at a nearby romantic restaurant: The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls provides a casual, fine dining experience in the Hocking Hills, offering unique, seasonal gourmet meals. Located on the Inn property, in its original 1840′s log cabins, the Inn restaurant seats 45 people; the cabins are quaint and intimate, with most tables accommodating 1-2 couples. Innkeepers Ellen Grinsfelder and Terry Lingo have consistently set a high standard for excellent cuisine served in a quintessentially American restaurant setting. Seasonal dishes always revolve around local produce and charming themes.
Our friend, Amy Weirick took us to area craft shops, where local artisans made one-of-a-kind gifts. There are entire little towns that are comprised of craft malls, gift shops and outdoorsy adventure providers. Do you feel like riding in a one-horse open sleigh? No problem, Hocking Hills has that too!
Back to our heavenly hideaway at Hocking Hills Cabins, there is plenty of time to enjoy chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Kids from one to ninety-two will enjoy a holiday cabin stay, away from the craziness of competitive commercialism, at any of these gorgeous deckhouses. This is the kind of place where memories are made.