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.