It’s six(ish) pm Ohio time and I’m here in the beautiful bar of the Cleveland Marriott at Key Tower, sipping on a diet Pepsi on the rocks in an actual glass, waiting for my white bean hummus and wondering why Watson’s GPS hates this place, because it’s gorgeous.
Okay, Watson’s GPS doesn’t hate the hotel—though she didn’t know where on earth it was— but she absolutely loathes toll roads, and went out of her way—or mine, but who are we kidding—to avoid them, which means I saw a lot more of scenic Indiana than I had planned, including a lot of Amish Country.
Which was about the time the GPS freaked out because her roads and the actual roads don’t always match up and she kept trying to get me to get back on the right path and turn on streets that we’d just passed, muttering, “Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating . . . ” until she steered me into a dead end where a through road used to be and told me to take proceed straight for the next mile and get back on the bloody highway already.
In her defense, the through road was still technically there, but Rocinante couldn’t make the fence.
So I back tracked and ignored her pearl-clutching insistence that I was driving us through a pasture—
“Recalculating, recalculat—Cows! Look out for the Cows!! Dear God, where did you get your license you stupid—Recalculating . . . “—and we made it to Ohio, where I could breathe easy . . . until I was reminded that Ohio is the Tailgater State, by which I do not mean brats and beer in the stadium parking lot before the game.* For about ten miles along the Ohio Turnpike, I could tell what the guy in the Geo behind me had for lunch while he tried his best to force me up into the bed of the pickup truck in front of me because of reasons that clearly had nothing to do with the fundamental laws of physics.**
But here I am , safe and almost sound, eating hummus. Rocinante is under the tender care of the excellent valet staff. The GPS is sleeping it off in the room.
I had planned to go to the Renaissance Hotel and see if they had early registration before heading to the Cleveland Public library for the Ohio Book Slueths’ Nancy Drew Scavenger Hunt, but I arrived too late for the latter and then my stomach reminded me that I hadn’t stopped for lunch and it didn’t agree that those two cheesesticks were going to cut it until breakfast.
This is really good hummus, y’all.
So, if you catch this post in time and you’re in or near the Key Tower Marriott, come join me in my corner of the bar. I’m the brunette in the weird green sweater and tattoos peoplewatching over her Netbook until the GPS cools off a little and disengages the safety lock.
Tomorrow, we begin . . .
*Although I could—Ohioans know how to do it right.
**Edited to add: Before all you Ohioans start chuckin’ buckeyes at me, I was born and (with a couple of detours) raised in Cincinnati, so I claim Right of Whine.