August 18-The route across Lake Erie towards Cleveland took us 6ish hours. It was cloudy and cooler with rain a distinct possibility along the way. We don’t mind traveling in rain if it’s not storming, but would choose to wait it out probably 99% of the time. All said and done, it didn’t rain so much as sprinkle.
We rolled into Cleveland and docked at the base of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—right??!!! Bought tickets to check that out the next morning and took off on the bikes to find dinner. We rode 4-5 blocks to downtown Cleveland and landed at a pizza joint.
The pizza joint had an interior door that led out to The Arcade, which was unlike the arcade I hung out in in jr high and high school. It was more of an indoor mall layout built in 1890. We’re guessing this was a one-stop shopping experience for people back in the day and a great way to get the heck out of the cold during the winter.
Anyhoo, it was ornate and well preserved and unlike anything you would see built today. My kind of hangout!
The highlight of Cleveland for me had to be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I knew it would be cool, but it is the epitome of coolness. We sat and watched Elvis on screen for way longer than I ever imagined I would, but he really was quite a presence. If I remember correctly, one of my mom’s friends got a little rowdy at an Elvis concert all because she wanted his scarf. Della Ordorff, I’m talking about you!*
There’s a room where you can listen to anyone’s section of their induction ceremony and I could have stayed there all day.
The coolest section, by far, was the “Garage” where three musicians were hanging out waiting for anyone to join in with them. It was live karaoke. You pick a song and you can play an instrument or sing while they play. You get to be a part of a real rock group. Did we partake? No, but I was soooooo tempted. I also videoed a kiddo rocking out on the drums. He was probably 12 or 13 and I asked his dad first, so it’s not creepy or anything.
As we were preparing to leave for dinner that same night, we heard a couple of rather loud booms outside and went out to investigate. We were told that a submarine was coming in from Erie to be docked over at the nearby coast guard station. We hurried over to watch it pull in and were impressed to find a large group of proud Americans waving flags and cheering it on. Quite a sight.
Now, imagine, if you will, a group of islands in Ohio–stay with me–so pretty, filled with golf carts, beautiful water, views for miles and just enough history to make you say “Hmmmm.”
Heading across Lake Erie, we found a marina in a place called Put In Bay at South Bass Island in Ohio—another place I’ve never heard of but is super cute. It is one of those old-fashioned vacation spots with picturesque views, old timey buildings and fun restaurants. If my history is correct, there was a naval battle during the war of 1812 fought near here (some of you might remember it lol). Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry fought the those darn British in the very spot we docked. His famous dispatch to General William Henry Harrison was“We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” Tough talk for a 27-year-old. Anyhoo, this battle secured America’s control of the Great Lakes. He went on to die of yellow fever at the ripe old age of 33, so there ya go.
This small island contained a couple of wineries, a genuine German biergarten, a state park, lots of swim up bars and live music everywhere. It reminds us a bit of Nashville especially because we encountered several bachelorette parties over the weekend.
Actually, the island was filled with people, families, volleyball tournament participants, bachelor parties, family reunions, etc. It was a packed place. And golf carts were everywhere. They are the best way to see the island, and everyone had one, including us. We took full advantage and explored pretty much the whole island.
Before heading towards Detroit, we made one last stop in this series of islands at Kelly Island. We’ll pick up there next time when we’ll visit the glacier grooves.
*Della Ordorff was interviewed for this blog