Thursday, January 04, 2024

2023 in review: June

JUNE 2023

Our traditional family vacation was a little different in 2023 because Ryan was working summer school and couldn't join us. We chose to visit Ohio specifically because Ryan had previously been there with Brett. We had a great time, but we definitely missed having all four of us on the trip!

June 1: Cleveland

Cleveland is the birthplace of Superman and rock and roll, as the airport was quick to tell us. Our first stop was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was fun to check out the Beatles exhibit and try out several instruments in the hands-on part of the museum. After walking to the lakeside "Script Cleveland" sign, we drove to Skyline Chili. Brett and Ryan had the Skyline experience on previous trips, so Katie and I were excited to see what all the fuss is about.

June 2: Cleveland

We started the day heading to the Lake View Cemetery, but we made a quick stop along the way. I surprised Brett when we pulled up to the "Superman house," a.k.a. the childhood home of Superman's creator, Jerry Siegel. The first Superman comics were created in this very house.

Several notable people from business and politics are buried at Lake View Cemetery, but the James A. Garfield Monument was the big draw for us. This magnificent monument was constructed thanks to donations that poured in after Garfield's assassination in 1881. Dedicated in 1890, the monument's Memorial Hall features a sculpture of Garfield under a magnificent dome. Artwork under the dome represents the wide variety of Americans who paid tribute to the fallen president. A lower level contains the crypts of Garfield and his wife, Lucretia Garfield. A docent told us that this is one of very few places that citizens can see the casket of a president. 

Elsewhere in Lake View is the grave of Alan Freed, the Cleveland man credited with coining the term "rock and roll." One side of his tombstone is designed to look like a jukebox, a fitting tribute to the DJ.

We also saw Harvey Pekar's grave. Writers places their pens at the American Splendor author's final resting place in tribute.

From there we went to the Christmas Story house! Even though most scenes were shot elsewhere, it was fun to tour the house used for the classic movie and see the props in the museum across the street.

From there we went to West Side Market for lunch—and for the record, longhorn was NOT on the menu. Then we returned downtown to see the gorgeous Arcade (the first indoor shopping center) and stop by Heinen's grocery store in an old bank building. We followed Katie's professor's recommendation and had dinner at The Harp before walking along Lake Erie at sunset.

June 3: Canton

From Cleveland we drove to Canton, where we saw President McKinley's memorial. His memorial also contains his crypt on display, so we were 2-for-2 on presidential burial places. Then we made it to football mecca, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was surreal to visit this place we had heard about all our lives. We found Cowboys and Longhorns all over the hall, and it was fun to relive so many historic moments through the interactive exhibits. Katie wasn't crazy about spending hours at the hall, so while we toured the memorial and HOF, she went for a ride along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

June 4: Mansfield

Our destination in Mansfield was the Ohio State Reformatory, a.k.a. Shawshank. OSR was the primary filming location for the great film and an inspiration for the cellblock sets. In the movie, Shawshank has cells on both sides of the cellblock walk, but OSR does not. Filmmakers recreated the look in a warehouse for filming. It was cool to see some of the props still at OSR and take advantage of the photo ops. 

From Mansfield we drove to Sandusky, but not without stopping in Milan, Ohio, Thomas Edison's birthplace. Yes, in one year we visited Paris, Milan, and Athens!

June 5: Cedar Point

As coaster junkies, Katie and I have talked about going to Cedar Point forEVER. It was a big drag that on our one day there I had a massive allergy attack, but it was still great to see the famous amusement park and try out some of the rides. It was especially trippy to ride some of the old-school favorites that used to be at our Six Flags park, like the OG Crazy Legs and the Sky Ride (Von Roll trams). Even with bad allergies, a day that includes a ferris wheel ride alongside Lake Erie is pretty darn awesome.

June 6: Back to Cleveland

On our way from Sandusky back to the Cleveland airport, we closed out our trip with a stop at the Lakeview Park in Lorain. We walked down to the beach to touch the Erie and took time to smell the roses at the city garden there before heading home. 

June 15: Hurst

Back home from vacation, we made sure our favorite Flash superfan got to see The Flash movie on opening day.

June 25: North Richland Hills

Happy birthday to Nana! It's always fun to celebrate her!

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