We got a lot of strange looks when we told people we were going to Cleveland for vacation. I'm not sure why exactly. We really enjoy vacationing in cities and seeing what they have to offer so that's how Cleveland made the list. And much like every other city in the USA, this one has a lot to offer.
We arrived at our hotel (Hampton Inn downtown) in the early afternoon. The first thing we did after checking in was let Jake go on a shopping spree at the b. a. Sweetie Candy Company. For those of you not in the know, it's only the largest candy store in the USA! Needless to say, it did not take him long to burn through the $20 we gave him to spend there.
After that, we went back to the hotel and got situated and then went on a walking tour of downtown, thanks to this guide. We hit a few of the landmarks, which started an impromptu photography contest between Jake and Brian, and then went to the Winking Lizard Tavern for supper. The Winking Lizard is a sports bar so we had plenty of televisions to watch while eating our supper. By the time dinner was done, we were ready to go back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the evening.
Today was spent at Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom. We came back exhausted and sunburned (despite multiple applications of SPF 55). One of the disadvantages of having one kid is that they don't have anyone to play with at activities like these, so Brian took that role upon himself today (and for that I am grateful).
After Geauga Lake, we returned to the hotel and got showered and then went to Flannery's Pub for dinner. On our way back to the hotel, we continued our walking tour of downtown. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in the hotel again. There's not a whole lot going on at night here--most of the touristy things close at 5:00. Though I have to say, by the time evening rolls around, we're all pretty much content to hang out in the hotel.
This morning we went to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. It was so beautiful there that even Jake liked it. They had a number of different types of gardens there, my favorite being the water gardens (though the herb garden was pretty nice, too). They also had a butterfly conservatory that was worth seeing. I could have spent half the day there.
In the afternoon, we hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Steamship William G. Mather Museum. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was cool, but it mainly dealt with the founders of rock rather than rock across the board (there was a disappointingly small mention of metal there). The ship was cool, but by this point it was getting pretty hot, so we hoofed it back to the hotel to get ready for our next adventure, which was a trip to see one of Brian's friends who lives in the area. She had us over for a dinner and we hung out and chatted all evening.
This morning, after Brian took care of some work stuff, we went to one of the Cleveland Harley Davidson dealerships. That afternoon, on the suggestion of Brian's friend, we checked out the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. They had quite a nice selection of antique cars there (some airplanes and motorcycles, too). Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around The Cleveland Museum of Art. By this point, we were spent, so we opted to order dinner in. And, we spent the rest of the evening, watching tv, surfing the net, and reading. Our last night of relaxation before heading home.
On our way home today, we stopped at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We figured that we'll probably never be in Ohio again so might as well catch it while we're there. We thought it was pretty nice--probably the nicest of the 3 HOF's we've been to (hockey, rock, football).
So, we're back home now and getting things in order. I should have our pictures up by the weekend.