Peace, Love, & Chappelle
This morning we bid adieu to Yellow Springs. This quaint little enclave, with its peace/love/hippie vibe, really charmed us. If we ever moved to Ohio (don’t worry, mom…we’re not!!), we’d love to live in Yellow Springs.
I mean, it’s good enough for Dave Chapelle. We’re told he has his home here and locals spot him wandering the streets all the time. We didn’t have any close encounters of the Chapelle kind, but we did walk through the neighborhoods to take in all the liberalism.
You know what else charmed us? Our dinner from Skyline Chili last night. I already knew I was a fan, but with Tara, you never know. Cincinnati chili is so unique, locals say you either love it or hate it. As notoriously picky an eater as Tara is, I wasn’t sure which camp she would fall into.
Fortunately, she’s Team Skyline! I convinced her to try a 3-Way last night (ha!). For the uninitiated, it’s their signature dish: Steaming spaghetti covered with our original secret-recipe chili and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese.
She really liked it. Which was a relief, because we had just stopped at Kroger and stocked up on a dozen cans to take home.
Skyline Chili is one of those quintessential Ohio experiences I will miss most.
Long Live Rock
We left Yellow Springs at 7 a.m. It was considerably cooler this morning, only in the 40s, with intermittent light rain/drizzle/fog the whole way to Cleveland. After stopping for breakfast at a Bob Evans just outside Columbus, we made a detour into Mansfield.
First off, Mansfield: ugh. What a drabby, depressed town. According to Wikipedia, Mansfield has a violent crime rate particularly high. Mansfield’s crime rate is worse than 92.2% (of) other cities in the United States. I can’t say I’m surprised given the part of town we drove through, but Mansfield does have one big thing going for it:
If you’re a fan of The Shawshank Redemption, this is going to look pretty familiar to you. That’s the Ohio State Reformatory, which was used as a filming location for the seminal 1994 movie. It was an actual prison up until 1990 and happens to be widely known as one of the most haunted sites in America. They offer daily tours, and Tara and I would have loved to have gone, but they didn’t open until 11:00 and we had tickets for our next stop in Cleveland at 11:30.
That next stop, of course, was the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
You have to understand, Tara and I love rock ‘n roll. We bonded over it. The R&R HoF has been a bucket list destination forever. The opportunity to visit it in person was nothing short of a dream come true. I’m just going to let a whole bunch of photos do the talking.
We were there for 4.5 hours and probably could have spent the night wandering through the place if they’d let us. It’s absolutely amazing and a must-see stop for anybody who digs music.
As if The Shawshank Redemption and rock ‘n roll weren’t enough already, after we left the R&R HoF we had one more Cleveland landmark to see.
Why yes, that is the house from A Christmas Story. Complete with the infamous leg lamp in the window, of course! Be careful, though. I hear it’s fra-gi-le.
I have to say, Cleveland impressed us. My impression of the city, before ever setting foot there, wasn’t exactly positive. Cleveland tends to be the butt of a lot of jokes. I was picturing a seedy, decrepit place…kind of like a Mansfield on steroids, if you will…but it wasn’t at all like that. It was actually quite picturesque, despite the gloomy skies. And Lake Erie is simply massive. I would like to come back someday and explore some more.
It’s nice when you’re pleasantly surprised by a place.
After Cleveland, we hopped onto I-90 and drove a few miles west to Westlake, where we checked into our room for the evening. Which means we have now gone as far east as we’d planned and are beginning our long trek home. We still have stopovers in Madison, WI and Austin, MN, so our vacation isn’t over quite yet…but it’s beginning to wind down.
We drove a mile down the street to The Yardhouse for dinner and drinks before returning to our room for the night. Tomorrow will be a long travel day—about 7 hrs. and 40 min.—but we will also gain an hour as we move into the Central time zone. Which means we should arrive at a pretty decent time, probably mid-afternoon.
Catch you in Wisconsin!