Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great Lakes Update 1

Thursday, I hopped on Delta at Fort Lauderdale for a non-stop flight to Detroit. Arrived at DTW and as I walked off of the aircraft into the terminal, I could almost smell my tax dollars as I looked for baggage claim.

It's kind of funny... I was reading the in-flight magazine and there was an article on how 2 billion dollars was being spent to turn Detroit into a tourist destination... there is a new MGM Grand hotel and Casino... yeah, just what I think when I'm planning a family vacation...Detroit, Michigan. I can see the T-shirts already.
"I'm So Bad-assed, I Vacationed in Detroit!"

Rented a car for the 30-some-odd mile to the Toledo Beach Marina. Fairly nice facility... it's not the end of the world. But you can see it from there. The boat is in impeccable condition. The seller, Tom, has had a dozen boats and spares no expense on their upkeep. This will make my job easier. Mechanics where going thru the systems and changing the filters and oil in preparation of the trip.

I climbed down into the aft crew quarters... ARGHHH! Not enough room to swing a cat. So I thru my bag back up on deck and moved into a utility room that has a pullman berth. A little tight, but I have a hanging locker, an actual cloth covered mattress (plastic back aft) and, if I get bored, I can watch the laundry go round 'n round.

So, Friday morning, I hop into the rental and look for signs of civilization... and breakfast. Except for I-75, there is a myriad of back country roads. I found Grace's Kitchen in Point Place; your typical chat 'n chew, with the locals checking me up and down as I walked I the door. A gum snapping Shirley DeFazio look-a-like with a throwback hairstyle from the 1970s grabbing my order... and as I sat and contemplating just where the heck I was, I realized that I didn't know anything about Toledo, Ohio. This went over and over in my mind as I enhaled my omlette until it hit me... Corporal Klinger from M.A.S.H. was from Toledo. Not having an inner monologue, I let slip out that they probably have a Jamie Farr Park when someone who overheard me said, "why yes, it's just down the street." So, you just know I had to go see it. In the photo below, you will see a pedistal behind the sign. Upon it once stood a bronze head of Cpl Klinger. It has sense been stolen. The building behind the sign is the local soup kitchen. Tough neigborhood.

Klinger also talked about the Toledo Mud Hen baseball team and going to Packo's from a Grecian Dog. Right across the street from Mud Hen Statdium, I stepped into Packo's and ordered the M.O.A.D., the Mother Of All Dogs, and their delicious apple strudell. Unbelievable.

More to follow...


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