Another Look at the Lake Erie Islands

I love it when my expectations are exceeded. Kelleys Island, north of Sandusky in the middle of Lake Erie, was an amazing, unique place. Quiet, peaceful, old. Perfect ratio of restaurants/bars to residents (not that any of the restaurants/bars were open yet, but…). Cute houses, old vineyards, almost-natural parks (how long does it take an old quarry to turn back into nature? So far, 60 years and counting). I can imagine spending short, idyllic summers on Kelleys Island and knowing all the other residents on a first name basis.

I love it when my expectations are disappointed. I expected South Bass Island/Put-In-Bay to be even better than Kelleys Island, but it wasn’t. I thought a small island with two names would be twice as special. But the two names are really a symptom of the island’s identity crisis. Should it be a spring break destination? Or should it be a classy vacation home enclave? Should it cater to drunk college students or history buffs? All of the above doesn’t quite work. The tiki bar (Mojito Bay) looks wrong sitting next to the historic Victorian-style home. If I were here during summer, I’d probably take my chances and swim over to Kelleys Island before I was vomited on by a drunk college student tripping out of Hooligan’s or the Beer Barrel.

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