Monday we started out without any particular plans or goals. That was a slightly odd necessity. We weren't sure how well bunny_hugger's mother would feel, and we hadn't known just when her brother would arrive at night and how long he'd need to sleep. Her mother still wasn't feeling well, and never really would feel up to doing anything. And this would be all right, really. It encouraged our week to be one of less activities, and smaller ones, and time spent just being around each other instead of running off to see things. In last year's visit we had done one day of trying to see Glen Arbor and the Point Betsy lighthouse and visit Joe's Friendly Tavern and all that in one packed day, great for memories but also a bit ragged a day. We wouldn't have anything nearly like that this trip and that's at least as good.
Indeed, if my camera's photo information doesn't mislead me we didn't even leave the house until after 3:00. We kept ourselves usefully occupied, of course, eating cereal and listening to bunny_hugger's brother playing guitar. And setting Columbo on his leash to take him outside. He again showed good form in handling and ambling around on the porch. He was even better on the huge lawn that Stephen had spent so much of the previous year eating. He did some patrolling, but only a little nibbling. As I've said, he's a suspicious, picky eater, and he wasn't much up for fresh grass or fallen leaves or the like. He did try to pull me over toward the dropoff where bunny_hugger spotted poison ivy, or at least possible poison ivy. (The trouble in telling is that it turns out poison ivy can take on the form of any plant at all, including vines, trees, grass, ripe bananas, durian, mangoes, and two-toed sloths.) He would warm up, over the course of the week, as he got time outside and got to trust that actually all this stuff was things he could eat if he chose.
When bunny_hugger and I did set out it was on foot, walking down the short path to Omena, the tiny town we were in. Also examining to try working out what parts of the former Omena Inn were still recognizable as a former hotel. We noticed one of the homeowners there had set out a doggie dish full of water as well as a plastic bin with dog biscuits inside, ``Please Take A Treat! Compliments of Kelli!'' Adorably friendly. We stopped by the beach, which back in the 80s when bunny_hugger's family visited was always empty. It had a good number of people there, as it would just about every time we passed by, including someone swimming in a mermaid-bikini bottom that I didn't know was a thing now. So it is.
We had already missed the open hours for the Omena Historical Museum, again. But the Tamarack Gallery was open and we could poke around looking at what they had on show. It all looked familiar, similar artists with similar styles and media and projects as in past years. I'm not sure that anything was exactly the same, apart from the closet that's the shrine to their lost dog Eugene. Which is still corny and overblown and delightful --- it has felt-cutout birds carrying a banner, ``No Accolade Does Justice To His Greatness'' --- but that doesn't make it less warm and delightful.
We walked back home, well before sunset because that far north (above the 45th parallel) and that far west in the time zone and that close to the summer equinox the sun doesn't set until about 4:15 pm the next day. If I remember right bunny_hugger's brother made shish kebabs, using the grill we had been so anxious about using the previous year, and we stayed on the porch and floating in and out of the house until late enough to consider playing Mice and Mystics on the dining room table. We did play that quite a few nights running, with bunny_hugger's brother taking up with surprising enthusiasm one of the characters that normally bunny_hugger has to play as alt. And we made a lot of progress in the campaign during this. But I don't remember whether we played it every single night and if so, whether we beat the scenario we were on that first night. It's the sort of thing we were doing, though.
Trivia: In 1860 the Kalamazoo, Michigan, city council granted permission for baseball players to use Bronson Park, though the village president would regularly stop in on games to warn, ``go on and have a good time, boys, but don't hurt the trees!'' When the players switched to the harder baseballs becoming available permission was revoked. Source: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris.
Currently Reading: The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, Alex Storozynski.
PS: some last wandering around Cedar Point's Halloweekends last year.
A chilly ride on Gemini, which had only one of its two tracks running, but two trains on that track. Note Short Captain Janeway on the right side there, ready for the next car.
I'm like 40 percent sure this is just a repainting of the old Mantis sign holder. Also you see how many different faces they've got carved into pumpkins now that they blanket the park with jack-o-lanterns.
Night shot of Iron Dragon, with the Power Tower and the Rougarou (formerly Mantis roller coasters behind it. Also the wonderfully textured clouds lit by the park and the fading sun.