Friday, July 22, 2016

Monday, July 18th - Exploring Sandusky

Last night there was a vicious lightning storm and a torrential downpour of rain. It was so bad I actually woke up, which usually does not happen. The kids of course did not wake up, in fact they sleep so hard on the boat I can’t imagine anything waking them up.

We filled up the boat’s water tank, checked out of the marina and sailed the short distance over to the town of Sandusky, one of our favourite places on the lake. We decided to try out a new marina so we went to the Dock of the Bay marina and got ourselves a slip. The marina manager came out to meet us and gave us a tour of the facility. He was a very nice fellow and the facility was immaculate. The marina was located right close to downtown so we went for a walk, but it was very quiet as a lot of the stores were not open. We did find a cool nautical shop so we browsed around in there for a while – long enough for me to bump into a table and knock this eighteen dollar kitchy sailing knick knack onto the floor.

It was time to embark on a serious shopping mission so we took at cab to an area just outside of town where all the big box shops and shopping mall are. Now the only thing I ever shop for in the US is booze and I really do enjoy that, but since the ladies wanted to browse the clothing stores in the mall Magnus and I went to the outstanding book store and spent an hour in there. They had an impressive line of gun magazines, probably about 60 different magazines, and I learned a lot about how to conceal a weapon, the fastest way to draw a pistol from your holster, why it’s better to carry two pistols instead of one, where to aim at a house intruder (in the face, the article suggested), a dozen cool modifications you can do to your AK-47, where to buy discount ammo online, why Democrats should be armed too, and a lot of articles on how a heavily armed population makes the country a safer place. Magnus even checked out a couple of them, but he was mainly interested in the pictures of the animals (about to be blown to smithereens).

After the ladies were shopped out we head out for the Meijer store, which is a bit grocery and merchandize store. Now here’s how you can spot visiting boaters in any coastal US city. Just look for a small group of people walking across a steaming asphalt parking in the middle of a blazing hot day. Nobody in their right minds walks through any parking lot in the middle of a hot day in July, because if the heat and tar fumes don’t’ get you then the erratic parking lot drivers probably will. They will usually be carrying a bunch of bags and one of them (the dad) will have five cases of cheap US beer balanced delicately on his head.

After crossing two hot parking lots, a grassy field, one major highway and the grounds of Great Wolf Lodge (where Magnus stopped to take a leak) we reached the sweet air conditioned habitat of the Meijer. I went straight to the beer section and picked up the required supplies. They had a huge selection of wine and beer but not much for spirits so we’d have to find those elsewhere. We picked up a few groceries including a tube of that awesome US pork sausage that I just couldn’t wait to fry for breakfast on the Bella Blue.

We called for a taxi to take us back to the marina, but he was going to be 20 minutes and because it was 2pm I could sense a feeling of hanger coming over the group so I went over to the deli counter and bought a bucket of fried chicken for seven bucks. I felt like such a super star dad when I brought the steaming chicken out and we all stood there in the parking lot around our cart full of beer feasting on greasy, delicious fried chicken – a classic boater snack.

Our driver was a right cool dude named Rick Robinson and we had a great chat on the way back, discussing Trump (of course), Obama, guns, Canada, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. People in the US are just so damn friendly, they always make you feel welcome wherever or whoever you are.

After packing away our gear we had lunch and then went back for4 another walk downtown. This time we stopped at the West Marine (a boater cannot pass a West Marine without going in) and also found an awesome guitar shop downtown. The ladies visited some clothing shops while Magnus and I tested out a dozen ukuleles, basses, and guitars.

By now we were catching that end of day intense heat so we cruised back to the sweet air conditioned comfort of the boat and had a nice chill out session before having a nice simple noodle bowl supper. Ana did a load of laundry, we loaded a bag of ice into the Yeti ($1.50 for 7 pounds) and then watched a movie with the kids. What movie?  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. So at least now they will understand when all of a sudden I start saying, “Bueller…..Bueller….Bueller….Bueller.”

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