Wednesday, August 06, 2008

End of the Virtual Vacation

We took three days driving home, compared to the two driving out. But our last drive was basically from the Dells, and pretty relaxing and uneventful, focusing on hanging out in the hotel pool. The whole goal was a slow drive home, stopping whenever we wanted so it wasn't stressful.

Except for Gettysburg. That was sort of stressful. You'll notice I post no photos of the place. That's because unless you're willing to stop for 5 hours or so and get a tour with a guide, I just don't see the point. The place was packed, and the lady at the new visitor center assured Pooteewheet that it was nothing compared to the week before when 3000 reenactors had been there along with thousands of extra sightseers who wanted to see the reenactment. That sounds dreadful. You can't be certain they washed. Imagine that in an enclosed visitor center. As it was, our primary stop over was the gift store where I bought a copy of Confederates in the Attic, a lucky find considering the 25,000 other books on display, an anti-liberal gift shop in downtown where Eryn bought a replica civil war cannon for her diapered dinosaurs to play with, and the Blue Parrot cafe, which had a woeful lack of lunch options, including no fries. We attempted a bit of the driving tour, but the place was bumper to bumper traffic in many places, and the sights didn't seem as nice as what we had seen at Antietam (or Vicksburg many years earlier).

We hurried out of Gettysburg, and drove to where we knew Eryn wanted to go. Hershey, Pennsylvania. Land of chocolate, though surprisingly, none of it much cheaper than you'd find in a store. We also had the good fortune to be there on the day the Jonas Brothers were going to be playing a concert. There were tens of thousands of teenage girls wandering around, all with "Mrs. Jonas" on their shorts and skirts, avoiding the porta potties for the concert in favor of the indoor bathrooms. We avoided them for many hours by taking a rather silly sing-a-long tour on a bus/trolley, where I learned that Hershey used to give every VP a home for a dollar. Quite the incentive.

Here's the factory. They told us it wasn't air conditioned because that might affect the chocolate. Sounds like something a manager would tell you. Um...oh yeah. Damn it. Hey. Did you know that air conditioning contributes to slower fingers for developers and cold eyeballs for content employees?

Eryn in front of the black and red twizzler fences. I thought about buying my niece the 3# bag of Twizzlers, which looked to be about 3 feet long, but I was pretty sure it would be wasted money, LissyJo tossing it before A. ever got her mitts on it. Then I had the dark chocolate milk shake and became very ill and wanted nothing at all to do with candy. The Hershey's Kisses Eryn took in the car kept setting off my stomach for days.

Eryn at the factory worker area loading her plastic gear full of Hershey Kisses. In order to properly process your Kisses, you have to dance with them. I feel that's an area in need of process improvement, although I suspect it's good for morale.

Taking my turn as a factory worker. I wore the hat, though I did not dance.

The downtown streetlights are designed to look like Hershey Kisses, alternating wrapper on and wrapper off. This is what convinced us not to go to Intercourse, PA. We were afraid of what might be alternating on the lampposts there.

Second to the last day. We stopped in Youngstown, Ohio, and found Mill Creek Park. They didn't have a pool, but they did have a small cement area with four sprinklers. Eryn was ecstatic that we let her loose to spend several hours dancing in the water. The park itself was beautiful, although seemingly underutilized for a weekend.

On the way out of Mill Creek Park, we saw this very strange UHaul building. Turns out it's sort of famous as the site of an Isaly Dairy, Isaly being the inventors of the Klondike Bar.

Rounding the lakes, we stopped at Michigan City, Indiana, to check out the dunes. It was almost tropical, dotted with multi-million dollar houses and a number of beaches. It was also scorching, and everyone was out on the water, which was perfectly temperate, not at all like that frigid thing that embraces Duluth. But it wasn't too hot to wear your bonnet (and sunglasses).

And the power plant was a strange addendum to the million dollar houses, big boats, and white beach.

Eryn and I in the surf. It is good. Not sure why I've never heard my sister in law mention the beach.

It really looks more like we're in Florida or California than in Indiana slash almost Michigan.

A great lakes lighthouse. Squint if you want to see bikinis. Here, I'll help. But I'm secretly wishing you have a 28.8 connection.

Eryn and me cuting it up at the end of vacation


Anonymous said...

So, yeah, Indiana Dunes. I have stories that involve many police officers and lots of people being arrested. Myself not included. I always found Warren Dunes in MI to be prettier and less cop infested.

Scooter said...

My family wasn't doing anything we could really get arrested for. I'd say that's step one in avoiding the police. I'm guessing that was after dark and alcohol was involved?

Mac Noland said...

Those girls look to be about 15. I've contacted the police.

Scooter said...

It's illegal to take a picture of a lighthouse and end up with girls in bikinis? I didn't say it was for you - I'm not responsible for you being a skeevy perv. But perhaps there are 15 year old girls out there who are wondering what the latest swimwear fashions in Indiana are so they can be prepared and not mocked for inappropriate beach attire.