Sunday, September 21, 2008

One More Great Lake

Sept 19-20, 2008

Being so close to Lake Erie, it was impossible to imagine simply getting onto the interstate without dawdling our way along the lakefront for a while. Who ever thinks about Ohio's "north coast"? Our first stop was Sandusky, Ohio, which is famous for Cedar Point Amusement Park. We sat for a bit on the wharf, with the roller coasters visible right across the small bay.

Then we drove on a small 2-lane road with the lake visible through the trees until we came to Vermilion, Ohio, "A Small Town on a Great Lake", as the signs said. Vermilion has a little historic downtown with buildings from the late 19th century, and a Maritime Museum literally adjacent to a small sandy beach. We sat on the "boardwalk" benches and I was threatening to doze off, because it was so perfectly warm and lovely. Joe woke me up just as I was drifting off, however, so I took a delayed-shutter photo of us with the lake in the background.

Then we walked on the main street to get ice cream. I also had to take photos of the two shops we saw, because they were obviously put there to welcome us to the town! Granny Joe's was especially entertaining. The sign informed us that it is one of the oldest buildings in Vermilion, built in 1850, and it was also the first funeral parlor. So the building now serves up "ice cream and desserts to die for!" It was a difficult choice between that, or Admiral Debbie's place... in the end, we went to Granny Joe's.

We finally had to start driving in earnest after that. We picked up I-80 again, and made it as far as central Pennsylvania before stopping for the night. We had a bit of a challenge, due to the fact that we made it exactly as far as Bellefonte--a town only a few miles from State College, PA. For people who just visited the College Football Hall of Fame, we were pretty dumb not to think just a little bit ahead. We had a specific KOA campground in mind, and we certainly could have called in advance. But we didn't. We arrived shortly before dark to find the campground full of Nittany Lions with RVs all decked out in Penn State decals and regalia (the KOA campstore looked like a Penn State Spirit Shop!!) Not only were they full, but so was the campground a mere 1/2 mile away. In the end, we drove another 30 minutes east before stopping at a campground which had room for us. Joe quickly grilled us a steak despite the darkness, and we had a great dinner, which did a lot to mollify our moods (we were cranky after having our first campground frustration on our very last night.)

We crossed the Delaware River at noon, and stopped for sandwiches at a scenic overlook back "home" in New Jersey. And so our wonderful vacation finally came to an end at 2 pm on Sunday, Sept. 20. It's not that we are sorry to be home.... but vacation was a LOT more fun. We watched the odometer go around 60,000 miles just after we crossed the river. Now it's time to plan for the next 10,000!

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