[ Late; I'll be on abnormal schedules through to Monday's posting, for reasons which will follow if they aren't caught on to already. ]
The close of that day in Cleveland --- I'm going to finish this trip report no matter what, and I mean to this week --- which turned out so remarkably better than anyone had anticipated was a dinner cruise, in which we got on a small boat after waiting endlessly for the party --- all wearing plastic wrist tags for some reason --- given the upper deck to arrive so they could go up. I believe we're still waiting for that group. But after that was a pleasant enough cruise along the shore of Lake Erie, looking for any gaps in the breakwater wide enough to let a dinner cruise through, which took just long enough that it was time to turn around and go back. The key points of interest here were the kids excited to be eating on a boat, as who wouldn't be, and the final tray of appetizers which by the end of the night somehow managed to always be one-fifth full of cheddar cubes and celery sticks no matter how long we waited and how many people took napkins full of them out again.
Ultimately we got back to the hotel at 11 pm, after discovering that there actually was no path using the roads to get back from the boat to the hotel, and my mother declared we should be out and on the road for Niagara Falls by 8 am. This struck me as terribly optimistic under any circumstances but particularly after two museums and a dinner cruise in one day, but what do you know, my parents more or less stuck with the idea. We started out a little late, but we also got the hotel buffet breakfast and don't ask me why we didn't the previous day either, and somehow we were all stuffed in the car before 9, anyway.
Driving out of the city we gave the GPS mapping thing a rest (I think unfairly), and listend to audio CDs after I pointed out the Idiot Talk Radio that the car inexplicably landed on was intolerable (``Well, if Obama supporters don't want him called a SOCIALIST that must be because he's a COMMUNIST'' and I am not making that up). We had taken out a couple of books on CD, with the confidence that we had plenty of book to cover the whole drive. What we had on this leg, though, was The Republic Of Pirates, about the Golden Age of Piracy circa 1720, and it was ... well, a bit leaden. Also inexplicably the narrator had been directed to read what I have to suppose were tables in the book, listing common prices for different types of ship and armaments capacities of various kinds of cannon and ...
Well, somewhere around the Pennsylvania triangle my mother drove onto the rumble strip and concluded someone who wasn't so sleepy should drive. She attributed it to the less-than-compelling audio book and we retired that for the drive; I still suspect the schedule and the waking hour of complicity. We took in the charm of another tiny roadside tourist information booth and my father drove the rest of the way.
Trivia: At its completion in 1370 the Leaning Tower of Pisa's tilt was measured as 1.6 degrees from vertical. Source: Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa, Nicholas Shrady.
Currently Reading: The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered The Language Of Symmetry, Mario Livio.