The next day was Friday. The 30th. Our fifth anniversary.
We had brought presents for each other, hidden away by being put on completely different ends of the suitcase. It's a big suitcase. bunny_hugger gave to me a small wooden keepsake box, the sort that could hold a small treasured item. She was respecting the traditional fifth-anniversary gift material. I somehow had the idea the fifth-anniversary gift was silverware; possibly we were looking at different lists. But I was true to my list: I'd found commemorative spoons, one for Michigan's Adventure and one for Sandusky, Ohio. It was the closest I could get to Cedar Point, and it does feature the Breakers Hotel from Cedar Point on it. It also features some of the notable architecture of early-20th-century Sandusky. They're small things, naturally, since we wanted things we could easily carry to New Jersey and back again. But things meaningful to each other.
We eventually set out for the day. I don't think we missed housekeeping another day in a row, but it's possible. This was the really the only day we had specific plans to be a specific place for.
Something I discovered before we quite got on the road: if I had the key fob in my pocket I could unlock the rental car just by tugging on the door handle. I knew this was a strange, wondrous property of new cars that bunny_hugger would hate. She objected, on definition grounds if nothing else, to the `key' being something that just had to be in the car somewhere for the ignition to work. For the key to not even need to be touched to unlock the door would be too far. I would keep it, for a couple days, a weird little magic touch that I knew about.
For lunch we went to a Jersey Mike's. We always used to go to one at least once every one of her visits. Jersey Mike's sub sandwich shops have reached into Lansing; there's two in our area. We never eat there. I think I've picked up sandwiches from them to bring to our home two or three times, and I've eaten there sometimes when I was out for the afternoon. But we've never made it part of our regular life back home, and so it remains something special for trips like this.
One disappointment about the place: the Coffee News thing. It's this one-page kind-of placemat with human-interest stories of dubious reality and trivia of dubious plausibility and all that. It's supposed to get a new issue Wednesdays, but they had the same issue we'd read at the Crystal Diner our first night in town. On leaving I discovered they had some more issues, including the most current. The place just leaves old issues around because I guess it's not like a document talking about weird-news from Ukraine a year ago is timely or anything.
From lunch we drove east, for the destination closest to our hotel, and the site of our first real, important, perfect date: Casino Pier. Or, more generally, to Seaside Heights.
I chose to park at this public municipal lot just at the western border of the town. It's a good, easy-to-find spot, the kind that would keep us from losing where the car was. The unsettling thing is that the lot was empty. I wasn't sure it was still open to the public. But they had a pay station, and that accepted my credit card, so we just accepted the weirdness that it was a lovely, warm, sunny Friday afternoon at the Jersey Shore, just before the fourth of July, and here were hundreds of parking spots that nobody wanted. Unsettling. Bizarre.
Trivia: In 1866 Joseph Dixon patented a wood-planing machine which could process enough wood for 132 pencils per minute; his Dixon Crucible Company of Jersey City would become one of the first mass-producers of pencils. Source: The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski.
Currently Reading: Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America, Josh Lauer.
PS: Some miscellaneous Halloween-era stuff before I get into Halloweekends pictures.
From about Halloween last year: Blind Squirrel Tavern decorated for the horrors of the season with, like, Road Show one of the games to play. The alcove for the majority of the games isn't very large and arguably isn't the entrance to the tavern, but it's enough space for the league nights and they did dress it up for the season.
So here's what a selfie-type-league pinball league looks like. Write down your scores on the slips of paper provided and drop them in the box. bunny_hugger also won a gift card from one of the raffles, just a couple months ago. The creepy demonic head guy left after Halloween.
PPS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Ulam's Spiral, with something tossed in to make sure chefmongoose reads.