The Mister picked me up from the office Wednesday evening. We did not pass go.We did not collect $200. We did visit Michigan Brewing Company, however.
MBC is the second largest beer distributor in Michigan, after Bells. MBC’s beer is better, too. Sure, it tacked an hour onto the trip, but since we were splitting the drive into two days, we had some time to enjoy the journey. It also gave me a chance to pick up gifts for the friends we were visiting and try a riff on the sea breeze called a Summer Breeze. It’s made with house-distilled Valentine Vodka, fresh squeezed citrus juice, and a bit of Badass Beer.
Yes, that's Kid Rock's beer. Although it's not bad, it's not quite Badass either. ("It's a canoe beer," says The Mister.)
Our hearts were warm, our bellies were full, and we were feeling fine as we entered the Ohio Turnpike.
“Do we have change?” I asked, fumbling around the center console.
“I’m sure they take credit,” The Mister slowed down and reached into his pocket for his wallet. Before he could grab it, the tollbooth light flashed green and the gate raised.
It turns out that our Illinois I-Pass, which we got for visiting my folks, works on other tollways too! I checked it out, and you can use the I-Pass/E-ZPass in 20 states in the Midwest and New England, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.
If you do any driving in that area, get an I-Pass. It saves you at least an hour from tollbooth slowdowns and you won’t have to scrounge for change.
It had rained most of the drive. The Mister doesn't love to drive at night, or in the rain, but he was a trooper and pulled the entire shift himself. It was about 11 PM when we reached the exit for our hotel just East of Cleveland. The rain had become a fine mist and fog had started to rise from the ground. We saw a nearly-deserted strip mall, windows sealed with plywood, one lone Dollar Store the last tenant. It was depressing, and more than a little creepy to see the same setup repeated just a few miles down the road, then a few miles after that. I started to second-guess our decision to listen to “Dead Beat” in the car.
We eventually found our hotel, which was clean, if not comfortable, and got on the road bright and early the next day. Thus ended our side trip to Silent Hill and the least interesting part of the trip.
It gets better from here kids, I promise.