Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Last Trip Home: Part 1

I made my last trip home yesterday, driving the beltway to US 23, and staying on 23 all the way to 75 into Toledo.  Left at the split, where you can see the Mosque minarets, then up to the Monroe Street exit.  The drive was a real grind, with an accident on Northbound 23 just south of Delaware and construction on I-75 that had to be engineered by the Toledo government.

On US 23, some genius in a Toyota sedan slammed into the back of a nice, bright red pickup truck, which ended up 150 yards down the road and into the ditch.  Judging by the damage to the vehicles, this was not a gentle nudge, but more like a fence post up the butt.  I think both vehicles will be totaled out, which means the pickup driver is going to get the shaft on this one.  How do you not see a fire-engine red pickup stopped in front of you?  The Ohio State Highway Patrol passed me on the way to the accident, and by the time I got there the injured had already been hauled away, and what was left of the sedan was being loaded onto a flatbed truck.

The traffic engineering for the construction on I-75 is, in a word, stupid.  I can't describe it; you have to actually drive it to appreciate the amount of blatant ignorance and plain old down on the farm stupidity that went into the engineering.  Only the government can screw something up this badly.  No wonder the Toledo economy is in the pit.

On a brighter note, I had dinner at Ciao! on Monroe Street at US-23.  I actually left Columbus early so I could get home, change clothes and get cleaned up, but with the delays I was just able to arrive on time.

I was early enough to score a table on the patio, and with the perfect weather in Toledo, the patio was superb.

Patio at Ciao!
The roof of the patio is a latticework of sorts covered in vines.  I don't think you'd be able to sit out here in a rainstorm, but it would probably keep a light rain off of durable outdoor people, and there's a nice breeze that comes through, keeping everyone cooled off.

A Natural Roof
 I'm not sure what kind of vines these are, but they seem to have grown quickly.  The corners certainly look nice.

Corners of the Patio
The place is decorated with flowers, which is a nice touch.  I think I'd install some Tiki style furniture rather than the durable looking and somewhat uncomfortable chairs they have now.

Flowerpot Decorations
Just when we were getting comfortable, this guy comes by.  Much to my surprise, the Toledo Blade is still in business, and this photographer came by to take pictures of everyone who is anyone, but since there weren't any celebrities he had to make do with yours truly and friends, Don and Ellen Yerks.  Now I'll have to start watching the society page to see if they're desperate enough to print my photo.  I'm betting against, but you never know.

Toledo Blade Society Page
The food was great, as usual.  The server left a lot to be desired.  For one thing, he mumbled everything, and he wouldn't speak up.  I could have managed the slurred speech if not for the hen party at the table next to us.  Six middle aged and older women, out on the town, and they made more noise than a hockey team.  Adding to the experience was the fact that more than half of them wore too much perfume - will someone explain to me why women do that?  And it's never the real good stuff, it's always the cheap junk that makes them smell like a chemical plant.  Invariably, it's the same crowd that doesn't talk to each other, they scream at each other and periodically erupt into cackling laughter.  I wish they'd learn about shared space.  Oh well.

I enjoyed Don and Ellen, the weather was great, and if the service was slow (and it was - I think a fossilized snail could have overtaken our waiter on the first turn) it gave us more time to visit, and it gave me a chance to give our waiter a hard time.  I left him a decent tip, by the way.  More than he deserved, but I was feeling generous.

I went home and turned in early, but I was tired.  I'll write part two tomorrow.

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