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Nov. 5th, 2012

Happy birthday to my dear bride, [ profile] bunny_hugger!

After a couple hours at the Merry-Go-Round Museum we figured it was time to pack everything up and go back home, understandably. The satellite navigator --- which spent a considerable portion of our trip to Cedar Point trying to get us not to take the Ohio Turnpike --- was eager that we should take the Turnpike back, though [ profile] bunny_hugger noted that it was probably not significantly longer to take some of the state routes instead. And we always take the Turnpike. So on an impulse just before the turn we took off, driving by way of the non-toll roads, to see what we might see.

The first thing, and the biggest thing to recommend Route 2 (or whichever) over the Turnpike, is catching glimpses of the Cedar Point skyline, not just the once but repeatedly as city and suburb moved into and out of view. It looked odd with the Space Spiral gone, but the Windseeker tower was at least somewhat similar in being a tall tower ride, even if it wasn't running.

One of the roadside attractions we expected to pass was the nuclear power plant and indeed it was there, with a delightful series of increasingly tense signs surrounding it. One of the roadside attractions we did not expect to see was a former airplane in the middle of a field. Apparently some time ago someone hoped to open a novelty restaurant in which people would enjoy fine dining in a former real airplane, and they got as far as buying the airplane --- from the Moonies, because of course --- and moving it to a field in rural Ohio before the project collapsed. But the airplane's since gone away, we can only guess where.

The thing we did not expect to see, and which [ profile] bunny_hugger could not remember ever seeing before, was a drive-in theater. Yes, a real actual live drive-in theater, showing current movies (I want to say ParaNorman). This wasn't a new theater, remarkable as that would be --- we found that it'd been open sine the late 50s --- but that she didn't remember such a singular thing despite driving along that route a good number of times is remarkable in its own way.

We did stop at the official Michigan Welcome Center on the highway back, hoping to stretch and use the bathroom (successful) and to see what flyers advertising stuff going on was around (successful) and to pick up some vending machine coffee (utter failure) or at least a diet soda (they were out, something the machine only bothered to reveal after we'd scrounged up enough change). It's probably for the best we're both sold on Michigan already, since the vending machines were letting the state down. And so we got home, in the early evening, in time to relax and enjoy being back home again.

Oh, yes, and Windseeker? Which was closed the entire time we were at the park? It turns out the week before Cedar Fair, the corporate overlords of Cedar Point, had closed indefinitely all their Windseeker rides. [ profile] bunny_hugger learned that the 300-foot-tall swing rides have suffered a number of technical glitches, including several cases of the swings getting stuck at or near the top of the ride and leaving passengers stranded several hundred feet in the air for over an hour. I'm not particularly afraid of heights, but thinking of being stuck in a swing for two hours leaves me uneasy. Plus I just know I'd be stuck looking at nothing interesting.

Trivia: At the time of the Gunpowder Plot, while the government claimed a monopoly on powder production, English soldiers were required to pay for their own gunpowder. Much was sold on the black market to defray the costs. Source: Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics: The History Of The Explosive That Changed The World, Jack Kelly.

Currently Reading: As She Climbed Across The Table, Jonathan Lethem.

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