Monday, July 12, 2010

Ohio Part IV: Fireworks on Lake Erie

After we visited the farm on Sunday, Kurt and I decided to do a little more tooling around Salem while the rest of the family loaded in the Martigs' motor home and headed north. Mr. and Mrs. Martig, Erik, Silvia, and Oxford all went up to Cleveland to see a park that Erik has been working on at his firm which is currently under construction. Kurt and I planned to meet them all after our scooter ride at a park on Lake Erie for a cookout and fireworks.

The drive to Geneva on the Lake takes you up through a few Amish towns. There is a pretty big population in the area and we saw several horse and buggies along the way. The Amish are particular about having their photos taken, so I was apprehensive to snap any shots. When driving through one small town, they were having a big market and festival (the Ox Roast pictured above). It would have been fun to stop and survey all the goods but we had a schedule to keep, so we continued on. I guess I didn't need a handcrafted basket anyway...

I was glad we hurried on to the lake because it was such a beautiful day! I've never been to any of the Great Lakes (random but I love this print), so it was a new experience. There is a little bit of a sandy beach but the wave action isn't too rough, so there are a lot of rocks and shells on the shore. Some people with delicate feet may have a hard time walking on it without shoes but it's really not bad. The water was really nice and clear and not too chilly. I was disappointed we didn't get to go swimming but spent lots of time playing in the water with Oxford.

Sir Oxford at his finest! Ox is the Martigs' super adorable chocolate lab. He has so much intensity and approaches everything like a bull at full speed. He has this fetching game where he dives in the water to retrieve a log and brings it back to shore only to repeat it several hundred times. The problem is he will swim out whether you throw the stick or not and just keeps going. You have to hurry up and throw the stick where he can see it or he'll swim nonstop until he reaches Canada.

The Martigs came prepared for an amazing cookout. We had lamb sandwiches, potatoes, corn on the cob, and delicious berries with whipped cream for dessert.


The sunset over the water was beautiful. Slowly, boats started moving out into the lake and away from the shore as it began to get dark. It must be a great vantage point for fireworks.

One of our very serious missions for the weekend was to build a firefly flashlight. There was a advertisement in Outdoor magazine once about how to survive when stranded in the wilderness using MacGyver-like materials. The firefly flashlight called for a Starbucks cup with a clear plastic dome lid. You line the inside of the cup with a potato chip bag (the foil kind) and then throw a bunch of lightning bugs in it and tape the top shut. Supposedly, it will light your way in a pinch. Silvia says fireflies do not exist in California, so she was especially excited to catch a bunch and test the flashlight.

The only container we had was a clear plastic bottle but we filled it with as many bugs as we could catch. They must have had stage fright which made their flashes few and far between. It was also impossible to get them on the same rhythm. Dim at best. Now we didn't follow the directions exactly, but I'm going to advise against relying on a firefly flashlight for any of your illumination needs. Nice try Outdoor magazine.

Ohio is on the western end of the Eastern time zone, so the sun doesn't set until really late. It didn't get dark enough for fireworks until after 9 or so. Once we were tired of chasing lightning bugs, it was just about time for the shows to start. We hadn't really researched where they would be setting fireworks off from, but luckily we found a good spot in the park where we could view several at once. I've never been a huge fan of fireworks shows but it was nice to see them in the distance and not feel like they are right on top of you.

The drive home from the lake was a bit of a fiasco and we didn't get back to the house until late. We were rushing back to see Kurt's friend Allen and his fiance Christina who were having a cookout at their house. Luckily, they stayed up late to wait for us, so Kurt and I went over for a visit. We stayed for a beer and some stories and saw Allen's house which has fixed up himself. We were both exhausted from the long day, so we couldn't stay for long and headed back to the Martigs' house to get ready for our long drive back to NYC the next day.

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