warren, ohio

Well, we’re spending the night in Ohio as we trek to Michigan for niece Kristine’s wedding to Matt on Saturday. We’re staying at the Comfort Inn in Warren, Ohio, which is very close to Youngstown (near the Pennsylvania border).

We avoided NYC and New Jersey traffic again this year, heading west by first going up to Danbury to I-84, to I-81 near Scranton and Wilkes-Barrie, then down to I-80 and over. Going out of our way actually saves us a lot of time. It took us just over seven hours to reach Warren—and probably would’ve taken less time except there are some slow spots on 80 where there is construction. All in all, not a bad trip at all so far. The cat made it without upchucking, and Ginger, well, she just likes to go wherever we’re going.

Comfort Inn, Warren, OHI’ve grown tired of motels on the interstates, and have had my eye on the Comfort Inn Hotel in Warren since last year. It’s an old hotel, I guess about a hundred years old, that Comfort Inn took over. Stanley bitched about how ugly everything was as we exited I-80 and drove about eight miles north to get to downtown Warren—strip malls and big boxes that could be Anywhere, USA (including Constitution Ave. in Norwalk). Then we got the hotel, which is right across the street from the town square, where there was a band playing in the bandstand when we arrived (a polka). A beautiful town square, with huge old trees and surrounded by interesting government buildings (Warren is the county seat of whatever county this is) and buildings made of brick and cut limestone. The Midwest. Like you’d find in a Ray Bradbury story.

Our room is a large room facing the square! Huge windows, clean, a comfortable bed. I was thrilled when we walked into the lobby because it features stained glass and real, old oak that hotel owners, past and present, had the sense never to paint, a friendly desk clerk. We unpacked and then parked the car. We took the dog out for a walk and had a park to take her too instead of a strip of grass along the interstate where the traffic scares her into misery. She was so happy walking around the square with us—it is really pretty here. I think we’ll stay here again in August when we go on our usual vacation. Oh, and when we were across from the hotel in the town square, Stanley glanced back at the hotel and saw Twitch sitting in the window, watching us. I really wish I would’ve had my camera—it was such an interesting shot, that stupid cat staring at us from the second floor of the hotel.

We should get to Dearborn tomorrow around 3:30 or 4:00, give or take 30 minutes. Time to check into Casa de Cara (my sister Cara’s house) and then we off to Rochester Hills for the Rehearsal/Welcome to the Out of Towners dinner being hosted by Matt’s parents. It will be nice to finally meet them. Saturday is the wedding and reception, and Sunday I hope we can catch up with family, hang out a bit, then on Monday, we’re going to leave in the morning and probably drive straight through (it’s about 11 hours total, maybe twelve, between Detroit and Norwalk. Much longer if you go through Canada, which might seem to make more sense but nothing, and I mean nothing passes by slower than the flatlands of Ontario ... except maybe driving north through eastern Kansas ... )

The bad part about traveling on Thursday was that we missed the debate between Liebermouth and Ned Lamont. But most, or maybe even all of it, is posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/groups_videos?name=nedlamont) and I managed to watch all of the videos posted (oh, did I mention this hotel has a super wireless connection?) and I thought Liebermouth came off like an angry, arrogant toad. I was pretty shocked at his use of Reagan’s line—wasn’t Ronnie a Republican? And, of course, he dragged in a dead Kennedy—as if ... Eighteen years is enough, Joe—you haven’t done shite for CT as far as I’ve been able to tell. And what is this horse manure about saving the Sound? Last I heard, lobsters are still scarce on the Sound and now the salt marshes are dying off, he didn’t have enough clout (or maybe he just didn’t care enough) to prevent that pipeline from being laid across the Sound and I sure don’t hear him speaking out again the liquefied natural gas “island” that’s being shoved down our throats. He burbled on about transportation money—but it still takes more than an hour to drive the ten miles between Stamford and Norwalk during rush “hour” (which seems to last 2.5-3 hours now) and Metro North is overcrowded and there’s very little public transit to get you to the train station (and non-existent parking if you drive there). Just hearing Lieberman’s voice makes my skin crawl the same way listening to Bushie’s bs makes it crawl ... eyew. I like Ned Lamont and I believe him when he says he’d going to fight for progressive, Democrat causes.

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