I had my first and only visit to Niagara Falls in the Summer of 1999. The falls were impressive and yes I did put on the rain coat and toured them close up via the little boats shown below.
Here we are in the final hotel of our Cleveland vacation. We are in Newark Ohio which is a little east of Columbus. We spent much of the day in more Amish country of Berlin Ohio. It claims to have the largest Amish community in the U.S. I bought a couple of framed pictures as mementos of our trip. When we left this area to head south to I70 we found you couldn’t get there from here. Two of the three roads we tried were closed!
Finally after three failed attempts we managed to find our way south and will jump on I 70 tomorrow morning for the trip home. It was a good vacation; we certainly enjoyed the cultural aspects of it and the visit with my high school friends. We learned quite a bit about Cleveland that we didn’t know before. When we visited the historical society building yesterday we came to understand that it is critical to say you are from east Cleveland or west Cleveland, not just Cleveland. We learned that there is much ethnic diversity in Cleveland than we thought. We learned that you can’t get there from here when traveling south out of northeast Ohio.
It was an interesting vacation. We will likely be back sometime soon for another visit to our re-found friends. But the next time we will find an easier way to get from there back home Tomorrow I will be getting back to my usual posting about life in general…It was nice to be away but it will also be nice to get back; even for that mountain of Spring chores waiting for me…
Here we are sitting in our hotel room on Sunday morning waiting for the museum to open at noon. So, I thought I would pull a few more pictures out of the album to show here. We are headed for the Western Reserve Historical Society today to get a more detailed account of local history. Then it will be off to our friends home for a few days. I’m not sure how technology conscious my friend is so I don’t know if I can get on the internet while we are there. If not, this will be a last post for a couple of days.
I am just going to give you several pictures here we have taken over the last five days. If you want an explanation of any of them leave a comment. Well maybe I do need to explain the first one. It is of a sewer cover! My wife is from Neenah Wisconsin so whenever we travel we are always looking down as well as up so we notice the Neenah Foundry art. It is surprising how many states we have come across these iron monoliths.
We spent today with some old-time high school friends of mine who are near-Cleveland residents. We spent the majority of the day at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History but before that we got a thorough driving tour of the Cleveland Clinic. The scale of the clinic is almost unimaginable. There were at least twenty huge buildings in the complex. The Cleveland Clinic is thought to be the healthcare of the future in that they do it much more efficiently than most. All their doctors are on salary as opposed to independent practices. Surgeons don’t make money performing more surgeries; they make a salary to find and relieve healthcare problems. The entire complex is very automated and geared toward wellness instead of profits. I do believe that the Cleveland Clinic along with the Mayo Clinic will be how medicine is done when we finally get over our obsession with our current healthcare systems in this country.
The Museum of Natural History was one of the finest ones we have visited. It had a very diverse amount of different things. I seem to be a rock-hound so I spent quite a bit of time in that area and learned several different facts that I had not previously heard. Another part of the museum that fascinated me was the Mayan exhibit. I did not realize that they had such an elaborate means of recording their history. Their hieroglyphics are very elaborate. I need to study on that some more. The museum shop didn’t have anything on it so I will hit Amazon as soon as get home. I think I would like to be more studied on it.
One thing I learned both yesterday and today is that this is Spring break for the Cleveland area. I can’t tell you how many shin bumps I have from being hit by baby carriages in the last two days. Maybe it is a good thing that we are childless as I just don’t seem to have much patience for all the kids running around frantically at these sort of places.
We finished up our tour of the museum with a planetarium show. It was an elaborate demonstration of the mars probe as well as showing us all the constellations in the heavens. I still think it is kind of a stretch how they name some of them. They just don’t look like lions and bears and such to me. But it was a very impressive show. I remember hiking up to the top of a mountain in Colorado in my much younger days and see all those stars they showed us today but I has been years since I saw a sky so studded with stars.
After the museum it was off to Little Italy for a late lunch at a one-hundred year old establishment and then some cannoli at a bakery of like age. Both were fantastic. Tomorrow will sort of be an R&R day for us. We have walked about ten miles in the last few days and need a little rest. The day will probably be spent at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and dinner at a place along the lake. But, of course more on that later…
We are now situated in our home for the next three days. It is in a DoubleTree Hampton on the 15th floor overlooking Lake Erie. It will be nice not having to pack for the next few days. Nice views from the 15th floor. We spent the day at the Cleveland Zoo and Rainforest. It was an interesting time. Of course photos are attached here. The Rainforest was pretty nice; lots of beautiful flowers and such. The Zoo was pretty good but not up to par with our hometown one in Indianapolis.
We will be spending much of the day tomorrow with some high school friends who are giving us the royal tour of the city. They both graduated from colleges here after attending our alma mater high school in Indiana and have been living here for 30+ years. I have seen them a few time but this will be the most time we have spent together since we were classmates almost fifty years ago.
When we left the zoo for the hotel in downtown Cleveland I punched the name of the hotel into my iPad mapping program and it set up a route for me. Unfortunately it was the wrong location. I didn’t discover it until we were more than ten miles beyond where we needed to be. You gotta keep an eye on these gps programs
I am spending the evening trying to come up with a restaurant for our anniversary dinner on Saturday. Since my wife and I have such differing tastes it proves difficult. We were going to try the Lola which is owned by the famous chef Bobby Simone but the menu wasn’t compatible with my wife’s tastes or our budget and it was already filled for the entire weekend. So I am still on looking for one.
Tomorrow we will likely see the Cleveland Clinic along with many sites in the University Circle area. More on that tomorrow.
As noted in yesterday’s post we spent the day at Youngstown. It was everything I expected it to be. The Youngstown Historical Center was of course all about steel. I took about forty pictures of the exhibits and will give you a few of them here. I didn’t realize that there were actually seven mills running here during their heydays in the 1960′s. They started shutting down after the Japanese started flooding the market with sub-cost steels in the early 1980s and Ronald Reagan didn’t do anything to stop them. As a result they disappeared very quickly along with thousands of good paying middle class jobs.
There is little there now of any of the big buildings. About all that is left is the soot they produced. Youngstown is a dirty town similar to Pittsburgh but there are signs of life with new business. But never enough to keep the blighted neighborhoods in the background.
When we are in areas like this we try to visit the local food establishments. I got on Yelp and found a few good ones but of the three I had chosen all were closed. One appeared to be open on weekends only. We finally did find a really nice italian delicatessen. The help there was very patient we my wife and her picky diet.
There is another thing that surprised me about the Cleveland area and that is just how diversified it is. There are many different ethnic restaurants and such around. But when I got to studying the exhibits in the historical center I remembered that many people throughout Europe and Russia immigrated to work in the mills.
After the historic center we had enough time to also visit the Butler Institute of American Art. It was a first-class place and totally dedicated to American artists. Homer Winslow was one of the most celebrated ones there. Of course no photos in the museum so no pictures to show of that.
The temperatures continue to be in the 30s today but they say it will be in the 50s tomorrow. I certainly hope so as we plan to visit the Cleveland Zoo and particularly the rainforest area. It is supposed to be world-class. More on that tomorrow.
I spent my high school years in a small rural town in Indiana and when I retired from corporate life my wife and I chose once again to return to that small town living. One of the highlights of small town life is the annual county fair. This picture was taken in 2002 so I guess all the kids shown here are now young adults making their way in the world. I hope they are all doing well….