We started the week moving our son to Morgantown to attend WVU. This experience can only be described as physically and emotionally exhausting . I had fooled myself into believing I was going to be fine. I was excited for him and he doesn’t give us a lot of reasons to worry. Oh how I was wrong. It was an uncontrollable wave of emotions, leaving me completely overwhelmed and unable to control the tears.
He has been settling in well. He was able to get started at the rec center so he could get his morning workouts. In the afternoons has been exploring some new fishing spots. It really seems like he’s enjoying the tail end of his summer. His apartment is homey and we stocked him to the gills on groceries. It was at
least comforting to leave him in the best shape possible.
We returned home with a day to get the house cleaned up and ready for the closing. I have to say we were extremely blessed. Not only did we get our house in contract in less than 24 hours, but the buyers were wonderful people who could not have been better to work with. Their large, young family will be in my thoughts as they make their own memories in that home and community. We loved it there. I did go through the rooms and think about the memories – Christmases, Birthdays, all the kids growing up, the quiet times, the crazy times. Thank you, house.
We decided to leave the day of the closing, which put us a day ahead of schedule. We were due in Cleveland the following day, so we drove two hours and stopped at a halfway point. We were fortunate to snag a site at Salt Fork State Park in Lore, OH. Apparently, this is Ohio’s largest state park, and the huge lake has nice sandy beaches. We were a bit bummed not to have time to explore, it was a very nice park and campground.
The following day landed us in Cleveland. We took the rest of the day for some quiet time, we hadn’t recuperated yet from the weekend. We stayed at the KOA in Streetsboro, a charming historic town with beautiful neighborhoods that have been preserved with great care. The campground also carries that vibe, with a very cute general store that sells ice cream and fudge.
We dodged a rainy Thursday by visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was fantastic! Around every corner was an amazing artifact that you couldn’t believe you were looking at. From Jim Morrison’s coat, a suit Prince wore, dresses that were lucky enough to find themselves on Ms. Diana Ross herself, to a collection of Hendrix’s guitars. We enjoyed the hand written lyrics, a bag of hotel keys saved by Timothy Schmidt, Elvis’s custom motorcycle, Springsteen’s Chevy Chevelle, and I could go on and on. Also, the museum sits next to Lake Erie, and this is the first of four of the Great Lakes we will see this month. (We will have to get back to Lake Ontario on another trip!)
The highlight of this visit, was definitely Cuyahoga National Park. We started our afternoon with a 13 mile bicycle ride on the Tow Path Trail. We chose to start at the Station Bridge Road in Brecksville. The trail follows about 60 miles of the Erie Canal with glimpses of the Cuyahoga River on the opposite side. The wildflowers were gorgeous and much of the trail is shaded as it’s often lined by forest trees. We saw so many Blue Heron, I lost track. Watching them hunt and swallowing whole fish down their gullet was amazing! About four miles in, we came across a visitor center that was originally the historical Boston store. Built in 1826, it served as a store for those traveling through the village of Boston via the Erie Canal. The visitor center provides an education on the history of the canal and it’s impact on the quality of life at the time.
We then headed a couple more miles to the next stop in Peninsula, which has a small town you can walk around in. We checked out O’Malley’s Chocolates, and had a little treat before turning back to finish our trip. It was a beautiful ride, next time we visit we would like to do a different section.
We then set forth to hit a few of the highpoints of the park. A stop at Brandywine Falls, a quick hike at Ledges, and a stroll through the Beaver Marsh. Would have loved to have spent more time observing at the Marsh. During our short time there we saw lots of wildlife, but we got chased off by a torrential downpour. It was hard to kill our spirits, we just walked back laughing thinking at least we’re not as hot as we were!
It was very late in the day by that point, and we were headed back to make dinner when we came across this really fun farm market called Szalay’s. We were starving though, and luckily they had a delicious snack – roasted fresh corn! We purchased their huge nectarines, some Amish butter and a few other odds and ends. People watching here was fun because they had these covered tables that you could swing back and forth. Due to the rainstorm, the kids there were rocking them fast and throwing all the water from the awnings all over themselves and laughing. Definitely worth the stop, check it out if you are ever there.
We are traveling today, headed towards Elkhart, Indiana for the International FROG Rally.