austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Would you like to go on the Coney Island Steeple

Thursday bunny_hugger and I were to go to the Cedar Point Amusement Park.

We woke up early, for the only time besides my actual departure, woken by an alarm clock. It was strange, for me, after just four days of sleeping in as late as possible to find waking up not objectively that much later than I have to for ``work'' leaving me not at all feeling like a shambling zombie. That's the sort of thing that makes it really hard to defend my current employment and commute. We had to get up early because the unfortunate thing about Cedar Point is that it's in Sandusky, Ohio, and that is not in Michigan, and not particularly near Lansing. There'd be a drive of something like three hours in, and considering that we weren't able to do everything at the rather small amusement piers in Seaside Heights in a single day, going to a full amusement park clearly required getting a lot more time in. We even set off without having a full breakfast, instead taking some granola bars and soda to snack on the road.

Fortunately from my viewpoint nearly all the drive was on Interstates, or at least limited-access highways. So we made pretty good time and along the way I got views of local attractions such as the zoo, the park which used to be open to the public but has become a closed nature reserve due to certain test results revealing polychlorinated biphenyl in the soil, and, farther out, the areas where non-US-made cars start being sold or where the turnoff to the sorts of horribly distant community colleges bunny_hugger had to teach at before landing a reasonably stable position. Before we knew it we were seeing the first of what seemed to me an improbably large number of signs welcoming us to Sandusky County. We had one major stop, in Ohio, for a bathroom break and chance to stretch our legs and to stare at a monitor which had some kind of weather-and-traffic map that didn't seem to indicate much of anything. We also picked up a copy of a locally produced free newspaper which fascinated me and which deserves its own essay in this series.

With time, though, we pulled closer towards Sandusky, a town I otherwise had associated mostly with where vaudeville performers once had a tough show, or companies that door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen represented. In Sandusky we started to see things which evoked memories, such as of a pizza buffet restaurant which we ended up not going to, or --- for another first, in my case --- a real-life example of Menard's, where there's a Giant Spider Invasion of Savings At. We didn't stop there either, for lack of any reason to, but I do wonder how often people at Menard's get out-of-area Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans still excited by that episode. I was, anyway. Eventually the roads gave way to the billboards of Snoopy and posters specifically for Cedar Point, and the roads changed in some way I can't quite define but which is very much like how the road leading to Great Adventure changed in the couple miles leading up to that.

bunny_hugger mentioned as we paid for parking, if I have this right, that the parking lot tag allows one to leave and return once per day, giving people the chance to eat at non-amusement-park prices, although that's more important to cash-strapped families with herds of children than it is to a pair of legally speaking adults with cash-flows that are certainly up to the challenge of an occasional amusement park visit. We ended up with a parking spot not too bad, and I managed in just a few seconds to be simultaneously clever and stupid: I used my camera to take a picture of the nearest location-marking sign so we could find the car later without the burden of remembering the exact location, and tossed the park map that the entrance gate gave us on the car's seat so we were unburdened by its advice all day.

But, naturally, she knew where we'd really want to go.

Trivia: The Roman Emperor Commodius tried to rename the eighth month of the year `Commodus', after one of his many names. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Bananas: How The United Fruit Company Shaped The World, Peter Chapman.


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