We finally made our yearly trip to Presque Isle yesterday. My journeys there began when I worked for 1st American Home Health, now defunct. The company family picnic was at Waldameer Park, which is at the base of the peninsula. With Mary Ellen being just a baby and David working seven days a week, I invited my friend, Linda and her son along. This began our years of fun.
I really had never experienced this part of Erie before. David, Diane and Herman and I rode around it one time when David was applying for a job in Erie, when he was first out of the Navy. A sunny, green and blue day, just driving around the state park. I fell in love with this northern Pennsylvania gem.
Linda introduced us to Sara's. Oh, heaven, again. I love chili dogs and for fixin's, sliced dill pickles I placed on my hot dog. The hamburgers are great, too. French fries used to be like fair fries, now they are curly fries. The best, best part is the orange sherbet, vanilla twist ice cream cone. I live for those all year. I can't eat them anywhere else. I love the Coca Cola and 50's motif, with the old fashion coke bottles. Bought so many of those bottles, but three years ago I finally got rid of the physical memories.
Our greatest year, the five of us stayed at the Riviera, because it was the only motel in town where the pool passed health inspection. We planned on one night in mid-July, but ended up relaxing two nights. We had to go later that summer, also, because our discount tickets for Waldameer were only good in June or Aug. This was not a hardship for us. I could have gone every week. I could live there all summer.
Yesterday was no disappointment. So hot and humid, what else could be more enjoyable? The sand burning my feet as we scurried to the water. Floating in the water, singing all kinds of songs. My girls are so lively as we did water aerobics. No waves was the only damper.
One year the water was churning up the bottom of the inland sea. Mary Ellen's long hair became entangled with shells and pebbles giving her a mermaid appearance. Later in the shower, the debris wouldn't come out, until I thought,"Conditioner!" It was like oil removing grease. All that lake gravel down the drain!
An amusement park at night, little Waldameer didn't let us down. The artificial light illuminating tired adventurers. Riding the sky patrol, watching the revelers below was relaxing. Late night ride on the roller coaster with a short line provided fun.
We also loved the water park there. One time, we did lose 2 1/2 year old Mary Ellen, I thought Linda had her and she thought I did, while I treasured the lazy river with Katie before school started. Linda, dripping wet off a slide,"No, I don't have her!" Frantic search, praying continually, trying to keep my cool, as tears were about to begin, another dear mother asked if I was missing a child. I shook my head, afraid to answer yes. "She's at the life guard station."
"Oh, thank you, thank you and thank You, Jesus!!" I rushed to that area.
A toddler girl in her blue tank swimming suit sitting on the half door, looking around and laughing. Oh, the tears of relief as I folded her into my arms. Linda and I developed better communication that day, believe me.
I'm so looking forward to more time in Erie as Katie will join the city in the winter clime this coming January. I've never seen the ice on Lake Erie in the winter and have always wanted to since hearing about it in fourth grade. I think I'll become quite familiar with more than the fake island paradise of summertime Presque Isle in Erie.