Thursday, September 06, 2007

Road Trip Day 5

Day 5. Erie, Pennsylvania. Went out to the car early morning and discovered the sun casting a shadow on a piece of tire on the passenger side. The tire was not flat, but it was injured. Luckily, the Avis store was about 3 miles away at the Erie International Airport.

Upon our arrival to the Avis counter, I informed the Avis representative that we had an injured tire. He questioned me why I had not noticed it early. Sorry, I thought, I am not vehicle inspection man. At first I thought he was not going to assist me, but he told me he could trade the car out if we felt it was unsafe. Of course I said yes.

So a 30-minute delay switching cars and kids and we were on our way to breakfast at a local establishment called Taki's. It was a good ole local establishment with omelets, hot cakes, bacon, sausage and coffee.

After breakfast we began our tour of Erie. We are not too sure what to make of the place. There is a nice area through town with tourist markers showing where the art museum, the maritime museum, the beaches, bayfront, etc. were, but it looked like this once bustling town of the 1900's was forgotten along the way. There are some awesome old churches and buildings and signs of prosperity from years past.

We went back to the hotel and changed into our beach gear for a trip to Presque Isle on Lake Erie. Upon our arrival to this serene state park, we drove to the end of the isle and beach 10.

The lake was nice and quiet - there were only about 10 other people in the area we were at. We dipped our feet and bums into the chilly water and collected cardboard-thin, smooth rocks, some of the best we have ever seen for skipping across the water. We soaked in the sun, walked along the shore and Rigby sat atop a lifeguard stand.

Sleepiness set in and we headed back for naps in the hotel. And then it was hungry time!

Stacy had read about this local restaurant downtown called the Pufferbelly Restaurant, housed in one of the oldest fire stations in Erie. The Pufferbelly recalls the nickname given to the steam pumpers and engines of the late 1800s.

The Erie Fire Department became an organization in 1816. Construction on the firehouse that is now the Pufferbelly Restaurant, was begun in 1907. It was built at a cost of $14,889.00 and was completed in 1908. Fire House No. 1 enjoyed a long history of fire protection and the department stopped using the station in 1979.

We enjoyed appetizers, dinner, dessert, drinks and really full bellies.

We ended our day at a city playground as the sun set and then in the hotel pool. The GrayStation soaked in the hot tub, Lucy floated around in an inflatable car and Rigby laid on his back in the pool dressed in a life jacket. Rigby even asked to go to the bathroom while he was in the ool. He has learned there is no "p" in it.

On to Day 6 - back to Pittsburgh for Pirates vs. Cubs at PNC Ball Park.
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