Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our seven-day trip through Ohio, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania in fifty episodes —- July 7-13, 2018. It all comes down to this, per our tradition for every MCC road trip maxiseries: one final collection of alternate scenes, extra details, and surplus attractions along the way that were squeezed out of the main narrative. Enjoy!
Each year our family has indulged in our own special Super Bowl tradition: while the rest of the world is watching football and swapping snacks and beers with best friends and chatting about The Sports, we have dinner at a fancy restaurant. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., anyplace without a large-screen TV is usually empty and totally ours for the taking.
Usually we’ll try someplace we’ve never been elsewhere in town, but this year we stuck to Indianapolis’ west side and head up the road to Rick’s Cafe Boatyard, where my son and I hadn’t been in many, many years. Once known as Rick’s Café Americain Restaurant, it’s located on the shore of sometimes scenic Eagle Creek Reservoir. Over half their menu is seafood, but they also offer chicken specialties, artisan pizzas, and fancy sandwiches to pacify any fish-haters or tag-along allergic diners.
As expected, only a few other families were on the premises. For lack of competing tables, service was speedy and friendly. We did our best to ignore the half-dozen TVs hanging from the ceiling and threatening to keep us in the loop on a sport none of us follows. We did catch a glimpse of Gladys Knight singing the National Anthem, but otherwise focused on fun conversation and mostly fine food.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our seven-day trip through Ohio, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania in fifty episodes —- July 7-13, 2018, with stops along the way at nine museums or museum-like historical structures. Here in our penultimate chapter we present a selection of additional exhibits from those museums. Their fascinating exhibits could’ve kept us going for several more chapters albeit with increasingly diminishing returns. I tried to be choosy when curating the previous chapters, so the following gallery represents the honorable mentions, some of which were perhaps unfairly cut. Enjoy!
The last day. The final hours. The way home.
Pittsburgh to Indianapolis is a six-hour drive. Two detours for Presidential burial sites in Ohio made six feel like twenty.
Our Presidential body count so far on this vacation:
- Rutherford B. Hayes, in the verdant park behind his lavish museum in Fremont, OH
- Millard Fillmore, in the same well-kept Buffalo cemetery as several Famous Names in Black History
- Chester Arthur, in a dusty corner plot in Albany
- Martin Van Buren, in an ancient burial ground a mile from his Dutch home church in Kinderhook, NY
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on the grounds of Hyde Park
- Grover Cleveland, alongside his fellow presidents of Princeton University
- James Buchanan, alone on a hill in Lancaster, PA
- William McKinley, under a seven-story dome in Canton, OH
…and now, two hours from the William McKinley Memorial and 3½ hours from home, we wended our way through a maze of lazy country highways and one construction detour to reach the final American President on our week-long tour. We had not saved the best for last.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife Anne and I are big fans of geek/comic/entertainment conventions. Sometimes we shell out for photo ops with actors from our favorite movies and TV shows. If they’re amenable and don’t mind taking posing suggestions from a pair of eccentric fortysomethings shaped like two lumpy bags of potatoes, our favorite theme is jazz hands. We’re not dancers and we’ve only attended two Broadway shows so far, but we love the idea of sharing a moment of unbridled joie de vivre with anyone who’s game. We can’t remember which of us had the idea first, though the inspiration surely came from a few different possible sources we share. So it’s our thing now.
We previously compiled collections of our first three years of jazz-hands photos (including one that was once used in Wizard World Chicago advertising materials), followed by a complete roundup of our 2017, the year we attended way too many cons for our own good. We didn’t expect 2018 to resemble 2017, but in tallying up the results it struck me that we had a pretty decent — and, if I may say, jazzy — year after all.
After the way our past two months have gone off the rails, we’re confident 2019 will be dramatically scaled back whether we like it or not. While we’re working on finding ways to make austerity measures entertaining, please enjoy the following clipfest starring a plethora of talented folks who have impressed us in movies or on TV who were willing to play along with all that jazz.