Thursday, March 31, 2016

OH-NY-PA Adventure

TaGeez and I headed to Cleveland on Saturday to meetup with other members of Team Free Range Lobsters. Our primary purpose was the British Museum’s Pharaoh exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Arts and dinner in Little Italy. 
Cleveland, Ohio 

It is a lovely museum. It's not as packed as the Detroit Institute of Arts, but they do a fabulous job displaying their treasures.  The building is an interesting blend of the original classic building with the modern glass & metal addition. If you go you MUST visit the armory upstairs. 

TaGeez just hanging around
Kriket and I had been planning this trip all Winter and were excited to check out the British Museum's exhibition with other members of the family. The place was packed and, by the time we arrived, the day's tickets were sold out. Glad we pre-ordered - it was worth every dime.

SnakeyLicks and WikidKriket at the Pharaoh Exhibit
After touring the rest of the museum we headed over to Little Italy down the street. It's an ethnic neighborhood, very similar to Detroit's Hamtramck, filled with restaurants, bakeries, and shops along a single, mural-lined road. Dinner was Mama Santa's and dessert were cannolis & amaretto Lobster Tails from Corbo's and Presti's.

Free Range Lobsters at their second bakery in Little Italy
Soon the others were heading their own way,, and that left TaGeez and I with a day and a half free, no commitments, and a rental VW Beetle with unlimited mileage. What to do? What to do? You see.. that's why TaGeez is the perfect traveling companion. When I mentioned to TaGeez that New York was only a 100 miles away, he grinned and pulled up the geocaching app on his phone!

New York Thruway - Westfield, NY

First stop: The New York Thruway where we grabbed our first NY cache and souvenir! It was a fun one in a hollowed log and shielded from the passing traffic by a dinner plate with a ceramic flower on it. Weird, I know.

WTNY (Welcome To New York) GC3YW58
We decided to head down to the next exit and grab a few more caches in Westfield. Westfield rests right on Lake Erie and is a quaint maritime village. We passed 'painted ladies' capped with widows walks along the scenic byway. No light illuminated the pier, but you could hear the water lap against the pylons. AND THE STARS! So far from the big city so the skies were dark as pitch and dotted with the brightest, most amazing stars! The dark, dark skies contrasted with those brilliant stars was awe-inspiring and overwhelming and made me feel like a tiny speck in a greater world. 

We comforted ourselves with more geocaching.

On the Corner Between Two and Four GC1V85H

Our path led us through the Village of Westfield and then along its back roads, up into the hills and passing grapvines by moonlight. We made sure to find about a dozen caches before turning towards home.

Presque Isle, Pennsylvania

The lateness caught up with us. We could've pushed it, but why risk it? Warily we pulled into a Pennsylvania hotel and stayed over for the night. After making arrangements with Papa Tree (of 3inaTree) to check on my furry ones, we headed home along the Lake Erie scenic byway. It's been a stressful winter and the freedom & peace were greatly needed.

I had told TaGeez a few weeks ago I wanted to go to church on Easter morning. I had meant to attend a service. Instead, we found a different kind of joy in the parish parking lot. 

If we had been in Michigan and not Pennsylvania today, we had intended to head to Mackinac City for the day. Since we were several hundred miles away, I was determined to walk on sand, lulled by the waves and enjoying the smells.... we detoured to lovely Presque Isle. My favorite part of the stop when finding a solitary bench on our visit and enjoying the last of our cannolis from Little Italy. Perfect. 

Perry Monument
This was a fascinating puzzle cache. Called Tombstone Rubble, it features three headstones that were mistakenly included a shipment of stones used for the breakwater off Presque Isle. Imagine being the first person to climb all over these stones and happen up on it. These three are visible, but, looking down the miles of waterfront, I wonder how many more have gone unnoticed?
You can see how white we are - it's been so many months without the warm sun on our faces.

This weekend was gorgeous - 69° with blue skies and such a warm sun!

And, of course, there must be a lighthouse nearby.... 

Cleveland, OHIO - Lakeview Cemetery

After Presque Isle, we headed towards home. As we found ourselves near Cleveland again, we knew we needed to stretch our legs and find some food. We also took this opportunity to grab a large cache (a little library) and the final two caches in Lakeview Cemetery. 

The People's University GC4RT8G
See our Beetle in back?
This was our second trip to Lakeview Cemetery together - the first one was a fabulous adventure with Ratspazum two years earlier. Lakeview Cemetery (so called because you can see Lake Erie from the highest points) is a historic, 'garden' cemetery that catered to the rich off Millionaire's Row (Euclid Avenue) nearby. It has President Garfield's Mausoleum, Rockefeller's Obelisk, and acres & acres of the most impressive funerary art on the grounds.

It also has flowers. It is considered a 'garden' cemetery, "a style of burial ground that uses landscaping in a park-like setting."  And we just happened to stop in on Easter Sunday while they were having a Flower Tour. 

We had to stop by this old friend so TaGeez could redeem a DNF. 

Angle's Right Wing Friends GC2JAMA
Why is there not a cache here? Shameful!

One last spin around the perimeter, and we found ourselves with a most excellent view of Garfield's Mausoleum. 

President James A. Garfield Monument GC234RG
After a bite to eat, we headed home while singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and racing ahead of a major rainstorm. This adventure was the medicine we needed. 
Our route and our spiffy new souvenir!

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