We checked out of Great Wolf Lodge within minutes of the 11 a.m. time and stole a final visit to the arcade so J.Hooligan could show me how he plays Guitar Hero. The incomparable animatronic show was playing as we walked out the door, which was somehow fitting.
Late breakfast at Bob Evans, and then we started our drive. Backroads the entire way; we took 250 through Wooster because Diamondqueen decided she wanted to see Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron. The kids fell in love with a couple of old-fashioned jack-in-the-boxes, except S. chose Curious George and J. chose a sock monkey. Expensive, but they both had their own money to spend.
We took a few backroad detours on our way to Berlin to see some of the Amish farms up close. J. seemed interested initially, especially in the fields of horses and cows, but he and S. were too distracted by their new toys to pay as much attention as they should have. We staggered into the Comfort Suites in Berlin around 4 o’clock. The hotel is fairly new and the room is spacious and pleasant.
After a rest, we drove up to the Troyer market for their hand-dipped ice cream. We tried to visit around downtown Berlin, but most of the shops appeared to be closed by then, even on a Friday evening, so we gave up and returned to our hotel, which is just a short flight of steps downhill from the shops.
We lounged around for several hours, which included me taking a bath and reading Thurber, me stopping up and clearing the toilet, and S. locking the bathroom door from the inside and then pulling it closed behind her so we couldn’t get in. Diamondqueen and I fiddled with a credit card and small pocketknife. We wound up completely taking the knob apart (not necessarily on purpose), but finally the knob came loose and we had bathroom access again.
S. then turned the bathroom into her private art studio/office, sitting on the toilet bowl with the lid shut and using the top of the tank as her desk. Diamondqueen suggested a drive around the area before it got dark. When I went to the bathroom, I could see that S. was working on her own picture book about a caterpillar, with the words sounded out so they reflected her unique spelling style.
We took a nice dusk-time drive down through Charm and back. We saw a big gathering of Amish young people playing volleyball in a schoolyard, and another gathering at someone’s house. By the time we came back the same way, the house gathering had broken up. There was a constant stream of carriages with headlights coming at us on the left, and Amish families wearing reflective wristbands walking along the right side of the road. J. saw lots more horses and cows, which he seemed to enjoy. S.Hooligan, who seemed to have taken an extra dose of Rotten Pills this morning, talked loudly the entire time. She got onto the subject of heaven and something about being allowed to ride in the trunk when she died and went to heaven. Both kids agreed they thought heaven meant getting to do anything you wanted to do.
We finished out the evening quietly back at the hotel, hoping to get to bed a little earlier. However, it appears there’s a line of thunderstorms headed this way, so we’ll see how restful our night’s sleep turns out to be.