Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Excuses, excuses, excuses….


Clearly, I’m a bad, bad blogger. I’ve hardly been by your blogs at all recently and it’s taken me a month to tell you merely just a pitiful half of the tale of our trip to Ohio. Wow. I am truly sorry about that. A lot has been going on. Seriously. In fact, I haven’t been home in two weeks. I’m in Seattle right now (kinda sorta against my will) (it’s complicated) (just roll with it) and I will be until mid-August.

You’d think I’d have more time for blogging, bumming around my mom’s house like this and all. But apparently not!


Don’t worry. Things are fine. Scope and Wednesday are here with me (at least for part of it), there’s literally TONS of cake floating around, and all of this will be explained some other time after I get around to finishing our Ohio stories.



….The tons of cake?

Oh. Well, in the fourteen days that I have been here, there has been a constant stream of birthday parties, one graduation party, and it’s not nearly done yet. My brother-in-law’s birthday is next week, and—taadaa!—mine is today. And it’s a big one too.

Yep. I’m 40. And I’m absolutely 100% happy about that. :-) Rumor has it that two kiddos I know have spent hours in secret decorating not one but two birthday cakes for me for later on today. Awww.

Anyway, that’s my list of excuses Blogaritaville. I hope all is well with you. I will be back in full bloggidy swing once things settle down, swearsies!

© Coracabana

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On the road again…. (Part 4)

Scope, Wednesday, and I took a big family vacation with my in-laws to Ohio a few weeks ago, which I have been sloooowwwwwwwly telling you all about. (For part 1 of this story click HERE, for part 2 click HERE, and for part 3 click HERE. *whew!*) Here’s what happened next….

DAY 5:

Our 5th day in Ohio, we spent our time in Cleveland. We hopped in our cars bright and early and started our day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive from our rental home, but it was definitely worth it.

Keeping guard around the outside of the RNR Hall of Fame pyramid was an army of giant guitars, all gussied up and looking simultaneously artsy fartsy and rock and roll-y.

We saw Johnny Cash’s tour bus lurking outside too.

Now, if you know Wednesday at all, then you know what an intense country music loather she is. Hate doesn’t even begin to cover it, people. That girl is just flat out murderously disgusted by country music. Thus, upon seeing the Johnny Cash bus parked outside, saying “nanny nanny boo boo” at her, Wednesday started to feel queasy and fretful that the RNR Hall of Fame would be nothing but a six hour tour of suckage and would house nothing in it which would interest her whatsoever.

That’s right. Nothin.’

Ohhhhhhhhh, how mistaken she was! As soon as we set foot inside the building, she let out a big ol’ squeal because she saw her “other name” in lights. :-)

And then she let out a second squeal when she saw a giant Alice Cooper guitar.

AND then there was a third squeal over this bunch of funky U2 Zoo Tour cars that were hanging from the ceiling.

That makes three. Three squeals and we hadn’t even left the lobby yet. (So, kiss it, Johnny Cash!) We bought our tickets and they took a green screen picture of us to, inexplicably, make us appear all pale and shifty-looking before letting us loose inside the exhibits.

And they also accessorized us with their nifty plastic bracelets.

Just outside the exhibit doors, we saw a slew of guitars in shiny glass cylinder cases, including Sting’s bass guitar from the Synchronicity Tour in ‘84.

Yeah. It says “badass” on it. Duh.

But wait!—It gets WAY better! We also saw Alex Van Halen’s drum kit from 1980….

….Joan Jett’s Jaguar….

….ZZ Top’s Eliminator Coupe….

….and the massive moving “teacher” puppet from Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall" music video, which was looking down on us from the ceiling.

I mean, really. How cool is THAT?! And we weren’t even inside the exhibits yet! Of course, once we did set foot inside the exhibits, we weren’t allowed to take any more pictures.


But what we saw was an amazing collection! We saw things belonging to pretty much every person you can imagine in the world of music. Some things were just kind of fun to be in the same room with, like Michael Jackson’s zombie and werewolf costumes from the Thriller music video and Elvis’s over-the-top cheesy bedazzled jumpsuits. However, other things were just more quirkily informative than anything else.

For example….

Until I saw his clothes on display, I had no idea Mick Jagger was that runty. I mean, really. The dude is no bigger than a toothpick. Both in width and in height! How did I not know that all these years?!

Likewise, until I saw his clothes on display, I had no idea Jimi Hendrix was that robust and tall. You could have fit five Mick Jaggers inside Jimi’s shirt! (I didn’t know that? Did you?!) The man was practically a giant! Criminy, I think I have a crush on Jimi Hendrix now….

But anyway….

I think the most important and valuable thing I learned inside the RNR Hall of Fame is that I wish I were Stevie Nicks. There, I said it.

This was a little unexpected, admittedly, because I have never once wished I were Stevie Nicks before. But I just couldn’t help myself. The chick had a whole vast array of the most gorgeous outfits I have ever seen. I just stood there drooling, I won’t lie. I couldn’t help thinking that I would soooooooooo rock those flowy fairy dresses and knee-high boots, c’mon! In fact, I suddenly felt like such a total bum, loitering there in my scuzzy slip-on sneakers, tank top, and capri jeans. What the hell is the matter with me?! I’ve been wasting my damn life away in stupid sensible clothing from effing Target, when I could be strutting through the world looking fabulous in fluttering dresses and kickass boots!!!!

How sad.

I need to do something about that.


But anyhow….

Have I ever told you that Wednesday is a big Food Network fan? One of her favorite Food Network chefs is Michael Symon, who has a restaurant named Lola in Cleveland. We had planned on stopping into Lola after we were done with the RNR Hall of Fame, however, time sorta slipped away from us while I was wandering dreamily through Stevie Nicks’ wardrobe inside that glass pyramid, and by the time we wandered back out into the daylight, it was too late. We had tickets for the Indians game that was about to start and we had to get our butts over to Progressive Field—like NOW!

(Sorry, Michael Symon. We’ll ooh and ahh in your bistro next time. Pinky swear!)

So, we all scrambled back into our cars and bolted for Progressive Field. We rushed through the gate, grabbed out free Indians t-shirts, plunked down a perverse amount of money on stadium hotdogs for dinner ($35 for just the three of us!) (Seriously?!) and then made a mad dash for our seats…. only to realize that our seats FACED DIRECTLY INTO THE BLINDING, SCALDING, MOTHEREFFING SUN.

I couldn’t see a thing. Nothing but a blaring, hellish, fiery, larger-than-life orb of annoyance. And, worse, my sunburnt hands had had it with me and all my recent sunny vacation-y crap and had decided to get their revenge by, painfully, swelling up, just like at the end of our Seattle to Chicago road trip last summer.

(Yes, yes. I’m a freak. Just roll with it.)

With my eyes watering, my skin on fire, my hands ballooning up, and my head spinning around like Linda Blair, I turned to Scope, hurriedly excused myself, and left him there to ponder all the many, many joys of being married to a redhead, while I went running like Edward Cullen for the shade with Wednesday hot on my heels.

Once I was in the shade I was fine. Wednesday and I plopped ourselves down on the floor inside the stadium and had a little powwow….

….and a lot of M&M’s.

About an hour into the game, while Wednesday and I were still sprawled on the floor in the shadows, deep in conversation about the sheer awesomeness of Twinkies, the evil flaming orb in the sky chose to dip below the buildings just enough for people to actually see the Cincinnati Reds getting their butts kicked on the grass in front of them. Cool. So, Scope went searching and found Wednesday and me hiding under our rock and lured us back out into public with his all his yay-we-are-at-a-baseball-game cuteness.

Now, I should probably point out that I don’t give a flying fart about baseball. Wipe that shock off your face. But I do LOVE taking pictures and watching people, and Progressive Field turned out to be a fantastic place to do both. Admittedly, I was far more entertained by the people in the seats around me than by anything going on out there on the field, but so what? I still had a genuinely great time at the game. And why wouldn’t I when I had this flirty little cutie sitting right in front of me?!

Likewise, Wednesday couldn’t care less about baseball either, but she is quite the fan of candy, and—whaddayaknow?—Progressive Field ended up delivering big on that joy as well.

So, everyone was happy. :-)

As the game neared its end, the people in the crowd got really hyper and scream-y and started spelling out Ohio with their hands.

It basically looked like this. But with more beer.

Well, anyway, the Indians won and the crowd went crazy, singing Cleveland Rocks. And, y’know what? It kinda did!

[….to be continued….]

© Coracabana

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On the road again…. (Part 3)

Scope, Wednesday, and I took a big family vacation with my in-laws to Ohio a couple of weeks ago, which I have been sloooowwwwwwwly telling you all about. (For part 1 of this story, click HERE and for part 2, click HERE.) Here’s what happened next….

DAY 4:

On Day 4 of our vacation, we all decided to take a boat tour and to spend the day exploring a couple of the islands in Lake Erie. We got up bright and early and met up with everyone at Jackson Street Pier after breakfast.

The pier was swarming with seagulls which made me feel kind of grossed out (ugh), so Wednesday and I wandered off to take some non-seagull-y pictures closer to the street where it felt much safer. While we were taking that picture right above there, poor dear Scope and his sister both got bombed by the vile winged rats. Grrr. Thus, the remainder of the time we loitered on that infested pier, Wednesday and I pretty much stayed huddled under a tree, trying to avoid a poo-pelting. See?

And, yeah, that’s 15 year old Wednesday. HUGGING. ME. IN. PUBLIC. She initiated it too. She’s the BEST teenager in the whole history of the world. Clearly. :-)

She also does a spiffing Sean Penn impersonation. Just saying.

But anyway….

Soon, we boarded our boat, The Goodtime I.

Some dude had a Marilyn Monroe mannequin standing on his balcony right beside our boat, so we ogled it with much giggling and mocking until we set off.

(Pffft. Okaaaayyyyyy.)

Pretty soon, we were on our way toward Kelleys Island. Along the way we passed Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Hey, check out these people on one of the roller coasters! God, I love my telephoto lens! Hee hee hee.

We passed Marblehead Lighthouse.

And we saw lots of cormorants flying in rows over the water and we were told the tale of how these massive black birds were valiantly saved from near-certain extinction…. only to end up overpopulating the area, killing the vegetation and soiling the lake with their super-acidic poo, and otherwise causing a literal sh*tload of environmental woes. (Whoopsie on that one.)

When we docked at our fist stop, Kelleys Island, Scope’s parents, his sister and her family decided to rent a golf cart to drive around to see the sights. (‘Bye, guys!)

Scope, Wednesday, and I decided we would rather walk the island instead of wasting money on a golf cart since the boat was only docking there for one hour, so there probably wasn’t that much to see. What could we possibly need a golf cart for, right? So, off we set on foot to explore.

Right off the bat, we found a fudge shop. Wednesday was DEEEEEELIGHTED!!!!

She picked out some peanut butter fudge and some postcards and then we walked across the street to check out Kelleys Island’s teeny tiny little police station.

It wasn’t much bigger than a toddler’s playhouse, I swear. And, look!—Even the police drive a golf cart there!

Ha! How funny.

Right around this time, we got a call from Scope’s mom telling us that there was something uber-splendiferous to see way, waaaayyyyyy down the road, and that we would definitely need a golf cart to make it back to the boat in time if we wanted to see it. They offered to give us their cart because they were done with it, so we met them outside a little cafĂ© and off we zoomed up the street to go catch a glimpse of what they had found.

Scope was driving and Wednesday wanted to sit up front with him.

So, I was the caboose.

Along the way we saw a wild turkey cross the road.

And soon we found ourselves at Glacial Grooves State Memorial Park.

Holy wooly mammoth! The Glacial Grooves Memorial was amazing! It’s this long stretch of limestone where glaciers once carved grooves (duh) about 30,000 years ago. It’s fenced in, of course, but you can walk up one side of the grooves….

…..then cross a bridge at the end….

….and then walk back down the other side.

And it’s just flat out awe-inspiring to know that those rocky ruts and ridges were carved by mere ice.


But there was only so much gaping we could do at the grooves. Time was ticking by and, not wanting to repeat the awkward moment when our tour bus stranded Scope and me on our honeymoon, we were quite motivated to get back to our boat within plenty of time for departure. So, we climbed back in our golf cart and putted back down the road toward our boat.

Hey, whaddaya know? The turkey was still there by the roadside on our way back.

Wednesday was totally digging the golf cart and was kind of bummed to have to return it at the dock.

As we exited our golf cart, some stranger offered to take our group picture. (Awwwww. Thank you, Thoughtful Stranger Chick!)

We found Scope’s mom and dad as we approached our boat. (Say cheese, everybody!)

Back on the boat, we headed off for South Bass Island. Along the way we passed by the Benson Ford Ship House, a real actual boat which was recycled into a vacation rental home on a cliff side. Cool, huh?

And guess who we were told is staying there this summer?….. No, I mean it. Guess…. Wanna know?…. 



Yes, really. I know! How cool is THAT?! Captain Jack Sparrow stays in an actual BOAT HOUSE when he’s on vacation. Ha! Wednesday about passed out when she heard that news!


We also got a gorgeous view of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Lighthouse (woo—there’s a tongue-twister!) as we approached South Bass Island.

Once we docked, we were starving, so we rushed straight into the Boat House Eatery for lunch.

The Boat House Eatery was full of delightfully spazzy pirate-y goodies, like this.

And this.

And (ahem) this.

Fun stuff for sure! But the food service? Sooooooo sloooooooowwwwwww. We were given three hours on South Bass Island…. and it felt like we spent at least two of those hours just waiting on our food.

*hungry snarl*

Once we (finally) left the Boat House Eatery, we decided to rent our own golf cart to assist us in all our island-y adventures. Wednesday was thrilled and decided she wanted to be the caboose this time around.

So, off we went, putt-putt-putting down the street with hundreds of other putt-putt-putting golf cart-riding tourists. (Seriously, how frustrating must it be to live on that island and attempt to drive your car anywhere when the roads are swarming with slow-moving golf carts driven by tourists who have no idea where they are going?! I bet that has to suck.)

Our first stop was at Perry’s Peace Monument, which we had seen from our boat. But, as they were doing some restoration work on it, it was fenced off and we weren’t able to get close enough to touch it or anything. It was still quite impressive though. Check it out, you can even see the work crew about 1/3 the way up it.

Alongside Perry’s Peace Monument were British, Canadian, and US flags, flapping in the breeze and looking all majestic and International Peace-y and stuff.

From there we putt-putt-putted around the roads randomly, just to see what we would stumble across. We ended up down the end of a dead end road which went right up to the beach.

We lingered there for a few minutes, walking along the painted concrete blocks and taking pictures, when suddenly a big dog came swimming by out of nowhere and then walked out of the lake to say hi to us. Wednesday’s entire day was complete now: Fudge AND a swimming dog too?!?! What more does a girl need? Nuthin’, that’s what! :-)

The dripping wet dog said hi to us for a little bit, then she suddenly turned around and went right back into the water and left. How funny!

That dog definitely had the right idea though. It was hot as all heck on the island that day and we, too, were in the need of something to cool us down. But forget lake water; we had something better in mind.

Thaaaaaaaaaaaaat’s right. Ice cream. But you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to actually find a place that sold ice cream there. Weird, right? On a popular tourist island. In summer. On a 95 degree day. You’d think ice cream would be sold practically everywhere. But nope. We actually had to stop and ask directions to find a place that sold it.


If I ever move to South Bass Island, I am soooooooooooo opening a chain of ice cream stands. I’d make a killing. That much I know for sure. But anyway….

On our way back to the boat, we saw this fabulous, shark-tastic golf cart parked along the side of the street.

Awesome, huh? I know.

We took the boat back to Sandusky and had dinner at the Thirsty Pony, where Wednesday and I shared a chicken alfredo pizza. Mm-mm-mmm.

And then we went back to our rental house to make plans for the following day when we would be visiting (….wait for it….) the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Awww yeah.

[….to be continued….]

© Coracabana