Ol’ black water, please STOP rollin’

When our trip goes well, it more than makes up for the frustration and aggravation, and money spent on car repairs. And right now, it’s going well. The scenery is exquisite, the weather is stunning and the sound of the waves lapping on the shore of our campsite is incredibly serene (we’re right on the shore of the lake).

We’re back to camping again, after a week off with a few days in Elkhorn City, KY at Pat’s house and a few more days in a hotel in Mentor, OH. The hotel was unique and beautiful. As I’ve mentioned, Best Western is my preferred hotel, and this one was the Lawnfield Inn.  The hotel is built onto an historic home, which is filled with lovely antiques, including a Victrola (which is clearly marked with a “DO NOT TOUCH” sign, much to Jeff’s chagrin). We stayed in a king suite at a very affordable rate (did I mention Best Western is my preferred hotel???). I would definitely recommend this place to anyone staying in the area.

The drive to our next destination wasn’t a long one, and we made it here without any car problems. We do, however, have to go back to Cleveland at least one more time because Jeff and his brother Brian are going to fix the muffler. Jeff thinks it was damaged during one of the tows, but it’s old and probably needs to be replaced soon anyway. At least that is one repair we don’t have to pay a garage for.

It’s a good thing we’re going back to Cleveland, too, because one of the stops we planned on the trip was to Noce Pizza in Chardon, OH. We ate there last summer and it won a place in my heart, with their Greek pizza. OMG, it is sooooooo good. We drove through Chardon on our way to the campground yesterday, but they are CLOSED ON MONDAY!!!

I’d be surprised if you couldn’t hear my heart breaking all the way from here because I’ve been looking forward to this pizza for about a month, since I knew that our itinerary would take us through Chardon.

Chardon is an adorable little town, with lots of nifty things to take pictures of, so we wandered around the town square and snapped a few before getting back on the road.

We picked up some firewood, for a great price, from someone’s front yard. They were selling it on the honor system. Put your money in the coffee can and load it on up. Gotta love the Midwest.

After setting up camp, we took a ride on the motorcycle to cool off. This is where I learned one of the most important lessons (for me, anyway) of this trip: never go ANYWHERE without the camera. We saw a momma and baby deer, a groundhog, and a whole bunch of other picture worthy things. Lesson learned.

But I still got some amazing photos. In fact, last night Jeff called me out of the tent after I had already gone to bed to see the moon. It was rising over the lake (did I mention our campsite is right on the shore of the lake?) and it was bright orange. The reflection rolling across the black water was mesmerizing. The song Black Water, by the Doobie Brothers, took on a whole new meaning for me. We sat in silence for at least an hour, allowing it to transport us to altered states of consciousness. My camera doesn’t take very good nighttime pictures, but I tried anyway.

This morning, Jeff got up before dawn to rent a fishing boat, so we had coffee and watched the sun rise over the lake. It was all pinks and baby blues and lingered a looooong time.

It felt like my favorite scene from the movie Bedazzled, where Elliot is the most sensitive man in the world, crying over sunsets. “When will that doggone sun ever set?”

So far the only mildly unpleasant event of this leg of the trip was last night when I was awakened by loud clanging and banging outside of the tent. I knew it was an animal (or a murderer???) going through our stuff, so I did the obvious. I woke up my husband.

He threw on some pants and ran out of the tent to investigate. It didn’t take long for his macho demeanor to change once he realized it was a skunk. He told me this morning, when I asked him how he chased it away without getting sprayed, “I didn’t chase it away as much as I patiently waited for it to leave. By the way, we need to buy more hot dog buns because it ate them.”

If that’s our greatest problem today, I have no complaints. The fresh air, the sunshine, the lapping waves of the beautiful blue lake … this is what this trip is about.

Hey, wait a minute. The old man in the campsite next door is emptying his black water tank ten feet from our tent! I don’t think that’s the kind of black water the Doobies were singing about.

And here’s you another dog.

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