Posts Tagged ‘Sandusky Ohio’

Our very full day started at Perkins, where S.Hooligan constantly harassed the servers by yelling, “Hey! More bacon!!!” We had to intercede each time to make sure we weren’t up to our chins in bacon (at that, S. had an adult side order to go with her kiddie breakfast). Our waitress, when she brought the bill, said, “I just had to tell you, she reminds me so much of that little girl in the Our Gang shows.” We told her we’d noticed the resemblance years ago; we did NOT tell her that for awhile our nickname for S. was “Darla da Hood.”

We drove back down to Sandusky to board the Jet Express boat to Put-in-Bay. The weather was warm and sunny with variable clouds, but the wind was stiff, whipping the surface of the water into whitecaps. As soon as we boarded the boat, it was clear the voyage was going to be rocky; and Diamondqueen, who succumbs to motion sickness rapidly, had her head down on the table soon after we’d accelerated toward open water.

I, on the other hand, don’t have problems with seasickness – at least, not on a rough Lake Erie – so I got to enjoy the scenery, not that it was always visible. Water shot back and splashed against the windows, which we found out pretty quickly because of one window that was open by our table. Just the same, it was pleasant to view the rides at Cedar Point, Marblehead Peninsula with the lighthouse, and the boats and other sites on the water.

We made a brief stop at Kelly Island, but we stayed on the boat. I went out on the open deck in back for a breath of fresh air and to snap a couple of photos. Back in the boat, S. and J. grew more subdued as the trip continued. Diamondqueen raised her head at one point, and I pointed at her: “See, guys, ‘turning green’ isn’t just a figure of speech.” J. said, “Wow, you’re right!” while regarding the cast of his mother’s face. By the time we were circling South Bass Island, J. was leaning his head against me and muttering, “I’m feeling kind of weird.”

Our first business in Put-in-Bay, after bathrooms, was to find somewhere that carried Dramamine. Fortunately, a small drive-through sold it, and while we were there we picked out drinks we planned to carry across the street to the park and drink. However, we discovered that every picnic table was matted with some kind of lithe insect with fluttery wings, which set the kids off.

We went around to the front of some official building with a low brick wall out front. Diamondqueen tried to dole out Dramamine tablets with instructions on how to swallow them while the kids screeched about bugs, whether in the air or on our clothes. The bugs were everywhere, including all over the porch and steps of a shop in one of the Victorian-style buildings, but we cajoled the Hooligans through the gauntlet and into the shop.

There we found a replacement ring for S.Hooligan; nothing like the one she lost, as this one was a huge glob of loudly colored plastic. S. also spotted a bottle opener with a small plastic flamingo floating inside and cried, “We <i>have</i> to get this!” (She’s gotten into flamingos this spring and does a mean flamingo imitation with those long, skinny legs.)

J.Hooligan loves sock monkeys, so his take-home was a miniature sock monkey on a clip. He also chose a pirate necklace. Down the street at a fudge shop, he turned down fudge (“I’m getting a little tired of it”) and chose some commercial candies instead. S. selected one of those suckers that comes in a plastic bottle or some such weird thing. (Candy is all novelties now, lots of dye and corn syrup and cheap plastic gadgets.)

We hadn’t planned to stay on the island long, so we headed back to the dock for our 2:30 return cruise, leaving enough time for tickets and a couple of bathroom stops. The boat to Catawba Island was getting ready to load for a 2:00 departure, and we were astonished to see the dock loaded with Amish of all ages. Since we’re heading to Holmes Co. on Friday, I pointed out the people in the bonnets and straw hats and explained who they were. It was a site to see them gathered on the top deck in the sunshine as the boat pulled away.

We sat on a sunny bench waiting for our own departure. Because of the wind, it wasn’t hot at all. We could see all kinds of activity around us – sailboats, seagulls and cranes, a brightly painted speed boat that the kids found interesting. They sucked on their individual forms of sweet gunk, with S. asking every 30 seconds, “When does OUR boat get here?”

We sat in virtually the same place as before. Diamondqueen’s head went down on the table immediately. The kids were quiet, whether because of the Dramamine or boredom or plain fatigue wasn’t clear. For a different perspective, I moved to the front of our section where theater-like seats faced the front windows. Shortly before we reached Kelly Island, J. and then S. joined me as well. On the final leg, J. fell asleep. S. remained awake, but her eyes were glazed and she just stared at me whenever I asked if she was okay.

Fortunately, we weren’t parked far from the dock, so we were able to get right into the van and start back to the hotel. In the room, I, Diamondqueen, and even S. crashed for naps (unheard of for S.), and J. got on the computer to do something with his dinosaur games. We all roused around 5:00 and went to Friendly’s for an unhealthy dinner of sundaes. (S. chose a hot dog and fries since she hadn’t eaten much but bacon at breakfast.)

We went straight to the arcade upon our return to Great Wolf for a brief session of games. S. really wanted to swim again, so Diamondqueen went off with her. J. and I played for awhile, then returned to the room. I’d settled in with my crocheting when Diamondqueen and S. arrived, and I learned that S. wanted to go see the puppet show in the lobby again, so I dug out my clothes and got dressed. I’d won a toy fan at one of the arcade games, and I gave that to S. She brought it with her, and she curled up next to me on a sofa in the lobby where we could watch the show, all cozy in her PJs and opening and closing her new fan.

We finished out the evening with snacks, television, an hour of rented Nintendo games for the kids, baths, etc. We hope for an earlier morning tomorrow for our longer drive to Cleveland.


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After Bob Evans for a very late breakfast, we drove to downtown Sandusky just to look around and see what’s what. It was a cool, gray day with intermittent drizzle, but it was pleasant walking around. We strolled out to a promenade on the water (Jackson Street Pier?) where we watched gulls and a crane, peered over at Cedar Point and it’s many looping coasters, and just enjoyed the peacefulness of the wide expanse of bay. J.Hooligan took his digital camera around taking many interesting photos. S.Hooligan just annoyed everyone; we kept our eyes on her to make sure she didn’t pitch headfirst into the bay. (Diamondqueen got up from a bench and turned back just in time to see S. licking the bench. Gotta watch that girl like a hawk…)

Sandusky has a beautiful modern plaza with a fountain, while all around are these fascinating old buildings from several eras. Water Street with its ancient-looking stone foundations reminded me, for some reason, of Savannah. We entered the foyer of a grand-looking movie theater from more elegant times. J.Hooligan seemed disbelieving that there were such buildings for just going to see movies. We couldn’t get into the theater proper, but there was a gift shop off to the side where S.Hooligan fell in love with a black labrador hand puppet and whined and howled about it through the streets of Sandusky.

We had spotted a metaphysical shop near the lot where we parked, so we stopped in there. Buying a couple of new stones distracted S. from her tears over the dog puppet; she rebounded to become cheerfully obnoxious, making the clerk in the store laugh to a point. (By the time we left, though, the clerk told Shannon, “I’m going to take back that sucker I gave her.” She was kidding only in part.)

Driving back to Great Wolf Lodge, we saw some spectacular houses and mansions. I could have been entertained endlessly just by driving around and looking at architecture. Back at the lodge, Diamondqueen and S.Hooligan went to the arcade. J.Hooligan couldn’t wait to play a dinosaur game on his hand-held unit, and I caught up on the computer. I took a lovely nap on the couch after Diamondqueen and S. returned. By 4:30 we were heading to the water attractions again. I swam for awhile in the lazy river with S., then sat reading Thurber while “keeping an eye” on J., who was going down the big slide over and over.

We went out for a late dinner around 7:30. Too hungry to care, Diamondqueen and I spotted an Applebee’s, so we went there, much to the kids’ delight. I got a frozen margarita which tasted wonderful but gave me no buzz at all, to the point I wondered if there was any real tequila in it. S.Hooligan was high-spirited throughout the meal. At one point she was playing with Diamondqueen’s sunglasses. I told her to watch out, she was getting fingerprints all over them. She slipped them on, glowered at me, and drawled, “There’s a new sheriff in town.” I nearly choked on a piece of burger that caught in my throat while I was laughing.

Then tragedy struck. S.Hooligan had gotten a cheap ring out of a gumball machine yesterday at Otay’s Pizza which she treasured and made over in the ensuing 30 hours or so. She’d been talking about the ring at dinner, and apparently she put it down on the table and forgot it when we left. We were almost back to the lodge when she shrieked that she didn’t have her ring and sobbed as only S. can sob.

We turned around and headed back to Applebee’s. The hostess accompanied me back to our table, which had been partially cleared. We found the little bottle of hand sanitizer J. had left behind, but no ring, not even under the table. I wanted to see if the server had found it, but the hostess wasn’t at all encouraging, saying they probably wouldn’t save something like that if it was obviously worthless, or it might have even been scooped up with the trash and thrown away. S.Hooligan was inconsolable, but started coming out of it when Diamondqueen said she could have this dippy chenille worm toy she’d seen in the lodge gift shop.

We made it back to the lodge just in time to get the worm and then find places for the 9:00 animatronic show. It was just me and S., and she insisted I sit on the floor with her. The show was lame and boring, although S. seemed to pay attention throughout. Then it was back to the room for a round of baths, TV, and generally pestering. The kids finally gave up around 11:40 and turned in to their “wolf den,” although J.Hooligan continued to play dinosaurs in bed.

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Our trip north was fine, although a little gloomy and cool. We got off I71 a lot sooner than I thought we would and took smaller highways all the way north. Mrs. Garmin and I had many disagreements – I’m sure she was screwing with my head several time – but we made it with only a few twists and turns. There were several literal detours: The main thoroughfare through Bucyrus is completely torn up, and Route 4 at one point was completely closed down. This took us on a 28-mile detour; I thought I could have gotten us going quicker¬† by taking one of the county or township roads, but Mrs. Garmin disagreed.

It was pretty land all the way, green farms and interesting old huge barns and old brick houses. Water formed new ponds in quite a few of the fields, and I wondered how all the moisture was impacting the crops.

We drove on across Sandusky Bay to Marblehead. We needed lunch, and out of hunger and desperation for bathrooms for everyone, stopped at a place called Otay Pizza.¬† It was an interesting little place, with a bearded waiter/cook in a strange hat who kept commenting on the news stories on CNN. The pizza kept starvation at bay; at least it wasn’t as bad as the “road kill” pizza Mom and I had in Vandalia last September.

It was a bittersweet return to Mystery Hill and Prehistoric Forest, the dinosaur attraction J.Hooligan so loved the first time we visited about six years ago. Both Hooligans seemed to enjoy Mystery Hill, with its weird feats of gravity, although S.Hooligan commented we better “get out of there” before the people who really lived in the house came back and found us rolling tennis balls uphill and leaning off the edge of their table.

Our trek through Prehistoric Forest got off to an interesting start with the tunnel under the “volcano” with its little scenes of skeletal remains and dino heads threatening from pools. Diamondqueen got scared by a snake that leaped out at her when she peered through one of the holes in the tunnel wall. That was my favorite part, especially the way she screamed and jumped.

J. wasn’t as enchanted with the dinosaurs this time, partly because he was too distracted by the mosquitoes, which swarmed and whined all around us. S. was about as bad. Diamondqueen thought a mosquito probably flew into her mouth, and I got a gnat in the corner of my eye.

The Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky is like a compact cousin to the one near King’s Island, although it actually was built first. J. was a little taken aback by some of the features he found lacking, although he was as pleased as Diamondqueen to find out this lodge offers room service. We almost had disaster when we reached the water attractions and realized this Great Wolf doesn’t have a wave pool. I took J. off to pout in the heated whirpool; I said, “While you’re out of your mother’s sight, go ahead and have a good cry.” He did. Then he rebounded, enjoying the lazy river (which is the laziest version I’ve seen yet) and climbing the tower with all the water features and careening down one of the slides several times.

We got a late dinner from room service and lounged the rest of the evening. S.Hooligan went out on the balcony for awhile to sketch and look at things through the telescope she got at Mystery Hill; when I joined her, she talked endlessly and was disappointed when Josh joined us to lecture on dinosaurs for about 20 minutes.

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