After a second day of coasters (see Part 1), a few water slides added for good measure, and a Parasailing adventure, we left Cedar Point in the rear view. It was an awesome ride, to say the least.
Grilled Cheese and Beer
When we got to the greater Cleveland area we stopped at Melt Bar and Grilled for their famous grilled cheese sandwiches. The menu has 20-plus artery clogging, but delectable, sandwich choices. Beer and fries rounded out the meal perfectly, or so I thought. The boys insisted on getting a deep-fried Twinkie to finish things off. Gah!
Somehow we were able to get up from our seats and make our way to Cleveland’s next cheesy offering.
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out
Every year on Thanksgiving night we pop in the A Christmas Story dvd and Ralphie Parker rings in the holiday season for us. Imagine our delight when we found out that the exterior shots of the house from the movie were filmed in Cleveland.
We stopped by and snapped a few shots of the fish-net-adorned leg lamp in the window (It’s a major award!), and, luckily, the Bumpus’s hounds stayed away.
It has six floors of everything a music lover could ever want to see from Janis’s Porsche to MJ’s jacket from the ’84 Grammys, and from Lennon’s grammar school comics to Hunter Thompson’s letters to Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner.
I made up for not being able to take pictures in the Hall by taking tons of shots of its architecturally awesome exterior (designed by I.M.Pei). You can imagine that the kids exhibited an abundance of patience during this indulgence.
Somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge
The next day we were off to Canada and Niagara Falls. We stayed in the Clifton Hill district which is dripping with touristy schmaltz—wax museums, arcades, houses of horror. Naturally, the kids were in heaven. Eventually we were able to turn their attention to the giant water fall down the street.
We went on The Maid of the Mist, hung out at Table Rock, and saw the nighttime illuminations at The Falls.
‘Cuse and BBQ
The next day, we left Canada and drove down to Syracuse–home to my alma mater, the first apartment Scott and I shared, my first “real” job, and, of course, the place where we welcomed Samuel into the world. A trip down memory lane incited many eye rolls: “Look over there! It’s Wegmans. That’s where we grocery shopped!”
After a walk around the university’s campus, we ate at Syracuse’s number-one, can’t-miss, worth-enduring-the-New-York-Thruway-for rockin’ rib joint: Dinosaur Bar-b-que. The ribs. The brisket. The mac salad. It’s crazy good, unspeakably delicious, and it will take a month in the gym to work it all off.
It’s time to go back to Rhode Island. We’ll return with sore feet, sun burned noses, and a lots more miles on the car. There was some whining, a few wrong turns, a little less “downtime” than was probably needed, but we undoubtedly had a blast.
The past seven days flew by, but so have the past seven years. The time for family road trips is far too short. I’m thankful we made time for this one and all the memories.