Tuesday, May 20, 2003

toledo daydreamin'

Where was I before conking out the other night...on the way back to Amherstburg. Got back for dinner Friday night, then rested out for the family weekend roadtrip to Toledo...

Started off with the first of many nods during the day to past trips. On a whim, we went over to Grosse Ile (the chunk of the States directly across the river from my hometown) to check if the bakery we used to get great sugar cookies and pudding cakes from was still there. Went 2 for 3 - the bakery was there, as were the cookies (bought the last half-dozen - polished the last one off tonight), but no pudding cakes this day.

Downtown Toledo is one of those city centres where the city planner had a malicious sense of humour. Every street is one way and never goes the way you want it to. We missed most of the confusion this time around, as the freeway leading into downtown (I-280, notorious for its traffic jams) was closed for construction. The exit we took led us directly to our destination, the Libbey Glass Outlet. Turned out to be a profitable stop, as a Mexican-style dining set I liked last time I was there was on sale for $20. Suspect this was due to a old design for the box. Should make the next dinner party more festive...

Next stop was Perrysburg, where we used to vacation. Once or twice a year, we'd go down to the French Quarter Holiday Inn, which had a deluxe pool, indoor mini-putt, one of the first video arcades I remember and free popcorn while you watched classic Tom and Jerry. I wandered in the last time I was in the area, finding that except for a beer garden in place of the mini-putt and a paint job throughout, it looked the same. The area around the hotel is becoming your typical big box zone, where we spent a couple of hours.

We went to another old haunt, the former TG&Y store south of downtown Perrysburg, where my father used to pick up notebooks. Now it's a Big Lots, a closeout chain always full of surprises. Mom finally found the oddball sized Kleenex boxes she likes for the car, confirming her suspicions that it was no longer in production. Several years worth of Kleenex were thrown in the trunk.

Drove up US 20 to see what had changed. Buildings looked the same as they did years ago, though tenants had changed. Thought about Dad several times and how much he would have enjoyed the trip. This sidetrip killed just enough time so that we'd hit our dinner destination in Monroe, MI just before the Saturday rush.

One problem - nobody remembered exactly where it was. Mom had a good idea, but I kept sending us the wrong way, since I thought it was on the opposite side of town. After 15 minutes of frustration, we finally found Quatro's. Worth the frustration, from the endless surprises my sister found in her tortellini (huge chunks of beef mixed in with the sauce) to the large cookie-like pie we split for dessert.

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