Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Of Cleveland, the Indians, Dinosaurs, and Sea lions

Vacation.... Ahhhhhhh....

Our plans for this year were to go to New York City via Amtrak. We were to see my niece, Leeanne, and friend, Jeanette while there, but Hurricane Irene had other plans.

We were supposed to leave last Tuesday, so Monday I was on the phone with Amtrak twice asking if the train would be running. Monday's trains were shut down due to flooding, damage, etc. I was told that yes, they would run. At 6:30 Monday night, we got a call from the Utica Amtrak station saying that no, our train wouldn't be running. It was go time....

I called the hotel and cancelled our reservation, then called Leeanne and Jeanette to give them our regrets.

Jon said he'd drive to NYC, I vetoed that. I get nervous enough riding through the traffic of smaller cities without pushing myself to that one. (Sheesh, I'm getting old).

So then Jon, Mark, and I sat in the living room and discussed. Well, it was more of Jon and I plugging away at the computer and throwing suggestions out which Mark promptly vetoed.  Since east (and much south) was into the hurricane ravaged parts, and we don't have passports to go north, it left us with few options.

Finally, Jon said, "How about we go back to Cleveland?" We've been there twice, though once, last year, was just a drive-by visit to the Rock Hall as we drove farther west. Mark agreed. He just really had his heart set on a city this year.

Tuesday morning I researched hotels and made reservations and we got on the road.

We arrived in Cleveland about 4:30. When we realized our hotel was almost directly across the street from the Cleveland Indians Stadium, we took our bags to the room and walked to the box office to get tickets for that night. After we go the tickets, we wandered around the neighborhood for a while. So, for one night I was an Indians fan. (they beat the A's). I was glad I had put my sunglasses in my purse when the valet took the car as the stadium lights triggered a migraine, so I wore my sunglasses the entire game. *sigh*

Wednesday we took the not-quite one mile trek to Lake Erie. I had wanted to tour the WWII submarine, COD, and the guys liked that idea as well, so we found that and paid the admission. Unfortunately when I saw the entrance into the sub (down a ladder through a narrow hole to a concrete floor below), I couldn't make myself climb down. I'd blame it on age, but I've always had this wierd fear of laddres. So, while the guys toured the inside of the sub, I walked the deck and then sat and waited.


After, Mark wanted to go to the Great Lakes Science Museum. LOADS of fun. All interactive. Mark even got strapped into a harness so he felt like he was only 30% of his body weight so he could practice walking on Mars.

Then we walked the almost mile back to our hotel.  All told, we were walking/touring for 7 hours. After a short rest and shower, I was ready to roll again. So we went to a Blues restaurant, Fat Fish Blue, and ate and listened to music. Wonderful food, great atmosphere, and good music.

Funny side note: There's a song I've been wanting to hear for a couple of weeks. I'd mentioned it to Jon, but we couldn't find it on his ipod or the CD I know we have that it's on. The musicians at Fat Fish Blue played it that night. I was so happy!  :)

Thursday morning we checked out of the hotel and drove to the Natural History Museum. We've been there before and loved it, and loved it again. (I missed having Brian with us, though.... and it's sad to think in very few years we won't have Mark vacationing with us anymore either). They have Balto there, by the way - stuffed Balto - he's so pretty in a dead dog kind of way. And the dinosaurs are always amazing to look at. Wow!

We made it home about 7:30 that night.

Then Saturday was annual State Fair day. Lots of fun.

Here is a pic of sister, Babby, and me (I'm the horribly overweight one) with the sea lions at the State Fair:

The Sea Lion who has his head on mine definitely knew when the photo was taken because he lifted his head and nudged me away. LOL

A wonderful vacation - and now a catch-up at work!!


  1. You look extremely happy -- even with the fish-breath hovering on your head!! :) ~Jules

  2. An interesting holiday; it sounds like it had it's ups and downs. Glad you were able to get away and enjoy the time. (PS Down Under we say holiday instead of vacation.)

  3. Jules,
    Yep, I felt that sea lion head hit my head and just started laughing. It's a good picture- catching a fun moment.

  4. Gayle,
    It really was a nice vacation (holiday). Even with a few trials and tribulations, I think it will go down as one of our favorites (as opposed to last year which is one of our least favorites).

  5. Great picture! I'm so glad you had such a great time despite the awful weather cancellations. We'll get you down here for a visit soon!
    Where is the State Fair? I don't think I've ever been to one.
    I love the sea lions, lol.

  6. J,
    We'll get there one of these days, damn it!
    The State Fair is in Syracuse every year (about an hour and a half/two hours drive for me). We'll have to get you there one of these years.