Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Visiting Lake Erie...A Road Trip and A Friendship Story

Do you like road trips?

I do, except for the driving-for-hours part ;)

The best thing about road trips is that the car becomes a gigantic suitcase. 

I can keep shoving stuff into the trunk that I might need, you know, like four or five pairs of extra shoes...and only take them out if I really need to.

But I digress.

I am very tardy with this post. I know that everyone else is posting about Halloween,  and I'm first getting around to "What I Did On My Summer Vacation."

I'm hoping that you'll take a break from all the pumpkins and ghosts and goblins for a few minutes, and visit Lake Erie with me. 

When Junior Goo Shoes came home from camp in August, we had just enough time to throw his disgusting, vile, smelly  dirty camp clothes into the laundry before heading off on our big road trip of the summer. We had two destinations.

Our first stop was Lake Erie in Pennsylvania.  


We were super-excited about this part of the trip, because we were going to stay with our friends, the "C" Family, who recently built a vacation home on the lake.  We hadn't seen them in over three years.

It's kind of cool how we met.  

It was back in February, 2009, while vacationing in Aruba. 


Actually, we didn't meet until the end of the vacation. But their son, JC, and Junior Goo Shoes met each other at the beach and had been hanging around together for a few days.  


We hadn't met JC's parents, until we happened to sit next to them on the beach the day before we were leaving. 

Do you ever just click right away with someone? Well, our two families just clicked, and talked the entire day. We all went out to dinner that night, and it was hard to believe we had only just met. 

Before we left for home the next day, we exchanged contact info, and said we'd keep in touch.

Yeah, you know how that goes, right? Well, we DID keep in touch, via email. We even got together one night for dinner when the C Family was vacationing in New York.

And then we did the unthinkable. 


We booked a week's vacation together in Saint Martin that following winter. 


I mean, we really hadn't spent that much time together. One could say we hardly knew each other...

You know how hard it can be to travel with other people? 

Well, this wasn't that. 

We were completely...vacation-compatible. 

We had a fantastic time.  The friendship was sealed.


Circumstances made it impossible for us to vacation together again the past couple of years, although we tried. So, Lake Erie was the first time we were getting together since Saint Martin in 2010. 

On the drive to PA, the sunset was spectacular. I snapped this picture from the car at 65mph (no, I wasn't driving!). 



This sign greeted us when we we arrived at their house. Yes, I did change Mr. and Jr. Goo Shoes' real names, since they are shy like that. The "Ms. Toody" part was for real, though, and really made my day!


The boys had no trouble re-acquainting. It was like no time went by, except that they were both so much taller.

We had so much to catch up on, which we did while relaxing at the lake. The boys went boating...


...and the grown-ups talked and talked.

We were entertained by the neighbor's dog, who loved to surf, apparently...


...and by sunset acrobatics.


Speaking of sunsets...incredible!  Hands down (hey, that's a pun --see the photo above!), some of the best I've seen anywhere.

 One of the highlights of our trip was spending the afternoon at Presque Isle State Park. It was gorgeous!




 If someone just plunked me down here, I'd swear this was the ocean, not a lake. Well, it is the 12th largest lake in the world, after all.

The picture below reminds me of a scene from Gilligan's Island. I'm sure half of you are too young to remember that show, but trust me. I can just see the Skipper and Maryann walking down that beach. All it needs is a few palm trees photo-shopped in.

There was a bit of history, too. This is the Perry Monument, erected by the state of Pennsylvania to commemorate the victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. 



Within the park, there was a houseboat community. Can you imagine living on one of these things?  I mean, it's not like in Sleepless In Seattle where they could walk off the boat onto land. Here, you've got to take a boat...or swim! I think it would be fun to spend a weekend...but that would probably be quite enough for me, thank you very much. 


There was a lighthouse, of course... 


We had a great time visiting our friends, and getting to see a little bit of the great Lake Erie. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another three years to get together again.

That would mean the boys would be going into college! OMG, I just had heart palpitations. 

From Lake Erie, we drove to our second destination. I'm not telling you where we went next. You'll just have to come back next week to find out.

By the time I get finished with my summer vacation posts, it will be next summer!






27 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pictures! I have never been to Lake Eerie. So neat that you connected with good friends in Aruba. How fun! Great vacation story and I am with you on the houseboat thing!

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    1. Making friends on vacation was such a bonus! As for the houseboats, uh, yeah, I'll pass.

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  2. I loved your story about how you met! How cool is that?!! And I do remember Gilligan's Island...loved that show when I was a kid. :) Your pictures are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, glad to know I'm not alone in remembering Gilligan's Island! And yes, I'm happy it was a friendship made that stuck!

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  3. It's great that you and the C's connected so quickly. I don't think that happens all too often so you are LUCKY! Looks like such a great vacation Amy. I'm waiting to see what's next :)

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    1. We do consider ourselves lucky to have met the C's! Next stop coming up next week.

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  4. What a great story! That's so great that y'all kept in touch and became close friends. Your vacation photos are beautiful! I've never been to any of those places.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! It was a gift to make such good friends on a vacation! It was our first time there, too. I had no idea what to expect, but it was so pretty!

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  5. Amy- How great is that!!!! I love how you guys met and that you have kept the friendship up. How very wonderful. I met my best friend in life in a laundromat in Florida. If it's meant to be it will happen! xo Diana

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    1. It's so interesting how friendships form, and which ones last. I agree that it was meant to be!

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  6. make me want to pack, get in the car, and visit those wonderful places.

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    1. Do it, Daniela! Or, uh, better yet, wait till next summer :)

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  7. II totally agree that not having to pare down my packing is the best thing about roadtrips. It was rather serendipitous that you met this fabulous family. It sounds like you hit it off immediately. The boys really changed between the early photos and the later ones. Your sunset photos are so colorful, and I really like the houseboat pictures.

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    1. It was shocking to see how much the boys changed, and it didn't hit me fully until i juxtaposed the photos! Glad you enjoyed!

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  8. The pictures are just gorgeous and so nice to look out when autumn is really beginning to settle in Brittany.

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    1. I agree, Magali, that it's nice to remind ourselves of summer while fall is now in full swing. Enjoy autumn in Britanny!

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  9. I smiled at the part about the car being a suitcase. I can relate!
    Great photos. I love a dog who loves to surf.

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    1. Who couldn't love a surfing dog, right? Glad you use your car as a suitcase, too!

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  10. That is so rare, a friendship like that, and definitely meant to be.

    I have never been to the Great Lakes areas so loved seeing these pictures via armchair travel. You have some gorgeous shots here, well worth posting in October!

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    1. It was absolutely a friendship meant to be, Dewena! Glad you enjoy armchair traveling -- I do, too!

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  11. Hi, Amy! I'm stopping over from Home and Garden Thursday blog hop. Your vacation photos are gorgeous! Looks like you had an amazing time with your 'Aruba' friends! The only time I've visited Lake Erie was when I was younger we visited Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio. It is a BIG and beautiful lake! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to hear about your 'other' destination!
    Ann @ Cairn Cottage
    http://cairncottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Ann, thanks for stopping by. It was our first time at Lake Erie, too, and we loved it! We went to another amusement park nearby, but not the one you mentioned. See you next week at H & G Thursday!

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  12. A fun post and I love the sunset shots! Spectacular!

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    1. Thanks, Deb! Glad you enjoyed. The sunsets were stunning in person. Such brilliant colors!

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  13. Wonderful story - children make friends easily and it is fantastic that through them your families met - gorgeous post!
    I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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