Friday, April 24, 2020

Well, that didn't go as planned...

For pretty much all of my childhood and half of my teenage years we would spend a week at Lake Erie at the Driftwood Haven cottages.   We always had the best time but the highlight of the week was Wednesday when we would go into Geneva and "hit the strip".  We loved the arcades, the donuts, Eddie's grill, and most of all Pera's Kiddy Land/ Erieview Park.  They had a train, a haunted house, carousel, and several other rides.  I remember they had these little scooter type thing on a track that looked like a huge roller skate (the metal kind, not the pretty booted kind) that you sat on and turned these cranks to tote yourself around the track.  The best though was the rollercoaster.  It was tiny but fast and it went around 5-6 times.  Ahhh, good times.

One of my most vivid memories is the year they got the ParaTrooper (or something similar) ride.  I was probably 15 years old.  My sister Trish and I rode it and when we were done, I went behind a building a barfed up the macaroni and cheese I ate for dinner.  Our family still jokes about that.  Good times.

When my kids were little we took them up there to ride rides.  Adam was so shy that he would bend over in each ride so no one could see him.  Andrew HATED the roller coaster so much so we had to stop it to take him off.  It's amazing how much they have changed!
See Adam back there in the black and white car?  All hunched over so "no one can look at him"

Today I left the house not knowing what I would be photographing today and before I knew it I was on Route 11 heading north.  I decided I would head to Geneva-on-the-Lake and relive some childhood memories.  

 Boy was I in for a RUDE awakening.  I have not been at the  lake for probably 20 years so I had no clue what I was about to find.  Erieview Park is gone.. sob sob sob.  I walked around a ghost town of a strip and I could still hear the sounds of my youth, and smell the popcorn and midway smells.  Madsen's Donuts is still there, and Eddie's Grill and the Sports Center arcade.  But that's pretty much where the familiarity stopped.  Talk about a  bummer,

The park closed in 2006, but I didn't know it until I got home and found this video on YouTube.

Only the skeleton of the ferris wheel and the buildings from the haunted house and the bumper cars are left to give any clue of what used to be there.  It really was very sad to see.
Old haunted house

After I left there I went over to the marina to freeze my hiney off. 

 Since I was in the area I decided to continue my drive down memory lane and ride by the Driftwood Haven cottages.   What I saw there I was totally unprepared for.  To call it a shantytown would be kind.  I got my sister on the phone and made her stay on the phone while I creeped around taking some quick shots.  I was so aghast and heartbroken, I just could not believe it.  I only stayed a few minutes because I felt like I was being watched.  Probably by the Lake Erie Monster (ask my sister, it's real).   

There used to be a pool there

I'm glad I have the memories of all those fun weeks spent at the Lake but it does make me sad that there is nothing aside from memories left.

A quick stop at Breakwater Beach before I headed home.  Holy driftwood, Batman!  It was everywhere.

Pics were not great today (although I had 491 of them) and I think mainly it was because I was shivering so badly most of the time.

Much love!

I have never seen so much driftwood in one place before!

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