Ohio

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Cleveland, OH

You know Cleveland. Don’t you? The setting for The Drew Carey Show, a rival city for Liz Lemon in 30 Rock, Ted’s hometown from How I Met Your Mother? Yeah, that one. Don’t be fooled, Cleveland is more than a plot device and setting for network TV sitcoms; it is a real town, albeit slightly magical, tucked away in the Midwest (Midwest? Is that what you call it?) on a Great Lake.

Fantastic food, clean city, friendly people, three sports stadiums (in town) and blocks away from each other. Cleveland is wonderful. In fact, it may be one of my favorite cities in America. There, I said it.

Last weekend, my wife, my visiting brother in law, and I traveled to Cleveland for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I was initially scheduled to run the half marathon with my wife, but my knee decided to be a bastard on me. Since, I have played the role of supporting spouse for my wife who thrashed the Hell out of that half-marathon. Boom! I couldn’t be prouder of her. She was great. Running a half-marathon is hard enough, but doing it by yourself is something I’m not sure I would have the wherewithal to do. Three cheers for my wife!

Among my favorite highlights:

  • The sketchy and delicious Greek food place in the Arcade.
  • Seeing Johnny Cash’s tour bus (see pictures)
  • Losing $5 playing an Airplane (the movie) themed slot machine
  • Morning coffee at Erie Island Coffee Co., a small cafe near the Corner Alley
  • Room service dessert
  • The marathon starting with the theme song from The Drew Carey Show.

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Brave New World: Days 3 & 4

10 states, 36 driving hours, and upwards of $40 of toll-road fees later… WE MADE IT TO ROCHESTER!!! There was no better feeling than the one we experienced early Wednesday afternoon. Yes, we were tired. Yes, the car smelled weird. Yes, I’m convinced if I had to take one more rotation of driving I would’ve revolted with vomiting and God knows what else.

But we made it.

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Illinois (to be even more annoying) had no welcome sign due to road construction.

Truth be told, we had fun. The road trip, though troubling and challenging at times, has given me memories and experiences I will cherish my whole life. My wife has an incredible person to travel with; I’m spoiled to have her.

I’ve already written an update in the form of “Brave New World: Days 1 & 2.” Here’s a recent batch of lessons I’ve learned from the road.

1. Toll roads. Holy geez. If you’re driving through Illinois (ill-annoys, as I’m calling it), Indiana (indy-and-I’ll-take-your-money), or Ohio (nothing clever, sorry), be prepared to have cash. Better yet, get one of those I-Pass or EZPass things. It’s cheaper and faster, apparently. Well, that’s what the sign said every other quarter-of-a-mile.

2. 30 Rock didn’t lie; Cleveland is incredible. Megan and I were both very impressed—despite our grumblings from having to pay to exit the freeway, stupid tolls—in the Ohio big city. It was clean, friendly, and safe. We passed two Irish themed restaurants (ate at one of them) and saw a couple other buildings offering corned-beef year-round. I could live there.

3. It’s hard to relax after a long drive, especially when your new apartment has no furniture. Yes, we were thrilled to be “home.” Unfortunately, “home” has no “furniture.” It is beautiful though. Check it out! (We have just an apartment, not the whole house).

photoAny readers with Upstate New York experience who have a little advice to give? Restaurants? Jobs? Furniture? … Furniture???