Friday, August 31, 2012

Preparing To Leave Ohio

Our plan is to leave Ohio tomorrow morning.  We are hoping that we are not driving in rain all day and we really hope we do not have any wind.  We have been very lucky on all our travel days so far.  We have three days to get to Chicago, but waiting a day is not going to help us since the rain is coming through Chicago and into Ohio.

As you all know, we have really enjoyed our time here.  The people who all said "Ewww" when we said we were headed to Cleveland had not been here and they should see a place for themselves before they pass judgment.  There is so much to see and do and the people we encountered have been very friendly except for the campground owners. They are definitely not like Fred and Verna from Houston.  We think these people are in the wrong business because they seem to hide from customers and let their kids run the campground. It is very interesting around here since some of the kids behind the counter are still in elementary school.  Mama went into the office this morning and told the person behind the counter that we are leaving a few days early.  She does not know how to check us out since it is early.  :-O  Our electric meter doesn't work, so we are waiting to see how they figure out our electric bill.  It should be very interesting. 

We promised you one more restaurant review from here. Sunday night, the folks decided they wanted Italian for dinner. Mama didn't have much time to research it.  She likes to look at the reviews and the menus. She found the reviews for D'Angelo's Ristorante, but not a menu.  The reviews were good, so off they went.  The restaurant is located in a strip mall.  When you enter the restaurant, there are black and white wedding photos on the walls.  They are very old photos. Mama thinks it is the founder and his wife. They went through another door that lead to the dining room.  Mama said she felt undressed in jeans and a greyhound t-shirt, but she noticed other people wearing shorts and t-shirts.  The tables are covered with white table cloths with candles. The walls are painted dark brown and there are more black and white wedding photos on the wall.  In the center of the wall is the family tree.  She thought that was pretty unique.


Mama looked at the menu and was not happy with the prices.  She knows that Italian restaurants can be a little pricy and she felt this one was.  She decided to order the Chicken Marsala. She ordered pasta with creamy garlic sauce as her side.  She did not order a salad because that was $4.95 extra. Yes, Mama is cheap at times.  LOL

Chicken Marsala $16.95

Pasta with creamy garlic sauce and mushrooms
 Mama was delighted that this meal was so good.  The chicken marasala was not what she had expected.  It was breaded.  It was really good!   She loved the pasta with the creamy garlic sauce and mushrooms.  She is still talking about how good it was.  She had leftovers of the chicken marasala and had it for lunch the next day.

Dad ordered Veal Shrimp Luigi with roasted potatoes as his side.
Veal Shrimp Luigi $18.99

Roasted Potatoes
Dad really liked his meal, too. He had a dinner salad and liked it. 

Bread is served with an oil dipping sauce. At first, Mama wasn't sure she liked it, but the more she ate, the more she became addicted to it.

The restaurant is a little pricy for Mama, but she liked the food so much that she was happy they had eaten there.  She would love to eat here again.  The food was excellent and the service was very good.

D'Angelo's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

We hope we like our new campground. We have enjoyed the fenced area here. Scout and I check out the pee mail twice a day. We tried out some of the agility equipment.  Scout is pretty good at jumping over the bars.  I just knock them over. Scout laughs at me because they are only 2" off the ground.




We have enjoyed our long walks around the park.
Lake when you enter the park.

Scout resting again in her favorite spot.  The grass was wet and she didn't care.  People keep asking us if she is okay.

I am still on alert for loose pigs.
Scout excited about something.  Mama says she looks young here.

Me being serious because I a still on alert.
Lori of  What Remains Now asked if Mama posts her restaurant reviews to Urbanspoon. Yes, she does. She normally writes a quick review on their site and then they take her reviews from this blog and puts it on their site. There is not any compensation though.  It's just for fun.  We are really surprised that they use our reviews because it's me writing about Mama's experience. Next year, Mama wants to start a restaurant review blog. She doesn't want to do it now since our HUGE adventure will be ending soon and she doesn't want the blog to just sit for five months.

We will blog again when we reach our next campground which is the last on this years' HUGE adventure.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Is Ready For The Windy City

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Train Ride Through Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The folks left us on Sunday to take a train ride through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They allow bikes and kids on the train, but not dogs. It is just not right! The folks said they had never been on a real train. The train runs through the park and you can ride all day for $15 a person. If you take your bike, you can ride the train for $2. They also offer train rides into Akron. The folks chose to ride from the Pennisula Station to the Canal Station. There were a few stops in the middle where bike riders could get on and off. The trip was about 30 minutes. Canal has a visitor's center which had a lot of information about how life was living on the canal. A ranger gave a demonstration that showed how the boats got through the locks.

See, it's a real train.  
Inside the train
Train volunteer said this is an eagle's nest.  He watches it all year long.
 After the train ride, the folks decided to eat lunch.  They could have eaten on the train, but since the ride was just 30 minutes each way, they decided to eat in a restaurant. They ate at Fisher's Cafe & Pub which is across the street from the Winking Lizard which is where they ate last weekend.  The place was packed and there was about a 10-20 minute wait.  This restaurant didn't have the best reviews, but they decided to give it a try anyway.  Mama ordered a Roadhouse BBQ Burger which is a burger basted in hickory smoked BBQ sauce. It is covered with melted cheddar cheese, bacon, and topped with onion tanglers. She ordered a side of onion rings instead of fries. The burger was very good as well as the onion rings.

Roadhouse BBQ Burger

Dad ordered the Raider Burger- which is ½ lb. burger, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, fries, hot wing sauce, jalapenos, onion tanglers and blackened with cajun spices. He had the fries. The fries were very good.
Raider Burger - not a very good photo
 They both thought the food was very good and the service was also.  They are not sure why the place is getting some bad reviews, but they would eat there again.

Fisher's Cafe & Pub on Urbanspoon

After lunch, they did more touring around the park. Even after three visits, they have not seen it all.  The park has farmers markets and one farm even has crafts and trades demonstrations such as glassblowing, pottery, blacksmithing, candle making, basket making, broom making, etc. Mama would have liked to have seen that, but there just wasn't enough time.  They drove to a few overlooks and Mama said there was a beautiful area that had a small waterfall.  Unfortunately, the pictures of that area do not show it's true beauty.  Mama said she knew the photos would not show the detail she wanted them to show. It is a very shady area and the beauty did not come through the camera lense.

  



Maybe Mama needs a better camera.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is fun place to visit and it's FREE!

We have one more restaurant review to share with you, but we will save it for tomorrow. 

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Thinks He Should Be Allowed On The Train

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Covered Bridges & Destination Revealed


After visiting President Garfield's House, the folks set out to find some covered bridges.  Mama realized on Friday that finding the bridges was not going to be as easy as she had thought. She had a list of all the bridges, but the directions just said how far each bridge were from each other.  It didn't say which direction to go.  A map could be ordered for free but it could only be delivered by mail because it is a tri-fold.  We are not sure why they just can't copy both sides of it and send that by email.  It seems easier than mailing them.  Mama saw that there was a map that could be ordered for $3.95, but again, it needed to be mailed. She called the visitors center to see if they she could buy the map in person any where.  She left a message as the voice mail she reached told her to do, but no one returned her call. The visitors center is closed on Saturday. She called on Friday.  So, they set out with the GPS set to the town the first covered bridge was said to be in and since the bridge seemed to be named after a road, they entered that.  BINGO!  They stumbled upon a sign that said "Covered Bridge Tour".  They followed the sign.

Netcher Road Bridge - built in 1998
They crossed the bridge, but no more signs.  They turned around and saw a sign saying to turn right.  They reached another bridge. This is going to be easy....NOT.  There were not signs at each bridge. They kept putting in the road names of bridges which worked at first, but then the roads didn't show up because they had driven into a different town. They were on gravel roads without town signs. It became very difficult. These are the bridges they were able to find. They gave up after a few hours. Yep, a map would have made things much easier.

South Denmark Road Bridge - built in 1890

Caine Road Bridge - built in 1986

Graham Road Bridge. This bridge has been moved to land after it was washed downstream in the flood of 1913.


Root Road Bridge - built in 1868


State Road Bridge - built in 1983
If we are ever back in the area, Mama would like to visit the rest of the bridges. It looks like there are 18 in total in this area.  I think we said 19 earlier which is what one website we visited said.

This is what we did while the folks were out having fun.

We didn't think anyone would get our destination with clue #1, but we were wrong.  We are headed to Chicago!  Scout and I have never been there, but Mama and Dad have been there a few times.  We will head home after Chicago and we are happy that our drive home will be a relatively short one. Our map will actually look like we planned this last leg of our trip.  LOL  As of today, we have been on the road for four months!!! Boy, have we seen a lot of things and sniffed a lot of places.  Scout and I are definitely lucky hounds.

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Loves Living On The Road

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

President Garfield's House & Clue #1

Mama here telling you about our visit to President Garfield's House in Mentor, OH.  Joey is still a little miffed that he was not able to go along on our adventures this weekend.


I have to admit that I really did not know anything about President Garfield.  Jeff admits that he did not either.  President Garfield was our 20th President and was shot four months into his term.  He was shot in his back and his arm. If the doctors had left him alone, he would have survived.  He was shot in a train station and doctors immediately laid him on the dirty floor and started sticking their fingers into his wounds.  Reports say that twelve doctors had their unsterilized fingers and instruments in his back searching for the bullet.  He died 80 days later of a body that was full of infection.  He weighed 210 pounds when he was shot and died weighing 130 pounds.  He never left the hospital after being shot.  We will never know what type of  President he would have become. He died at the age of 49.  He looked much older than that when he was elected President.

I just found an interesting fact that I would like to share.  Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was at the scene of the shooting.  According to this article, he was at the scene of three of the four presidents that have been assassinated.  Isn't that strange?

I have to admit that I wasn't all that excited about seeing his home.  I love looking at old homes, but I really didn't expect much.  There really wasn't much about his home on the National Parks Service website.  One of the reasons we decided to see it was so that we could get a "passport stamp". LOL   The Park Service really needs to add some photos of the home because it is beautiful!

When we arrived a the home, a large tour had just completed and there was no one else in line.  Jeff and I were given a personal tour. I probably asked too many questions, but I didn't want the tour guide to think we were not interested.

Pictures were allowed as long as a flash was not used. I took over 60 photos, so this is just a fraction of what I took.
Back of the house.  His wife, Lucretia, expanded the house after his death.

Front porch - he did campaigning here.

Wall paper on the ceiling - the wall paper has been replaced with an exact reproduction.

James & Lucretia's Bedroom



Parlor

Parlor

Dining Room - the plates were painted by Lucretia.  The tiles were painted by Lucretia and the children.

This tile was painted by Lucretia - She was quite artistic.

Dining room

After his death, Lucretia added onto the house.  I asked why she did so and the tour guide said she wanted a library built for her husband.  A family friend raised money for her and the family.  She was able to add onto the house and still had quite a bit of money left when she died 37 years later.

All the books belonged to President Garfield.  None are duplicates.



Look at the wood work on this ceiling!

More books.  Where did people get books back then?  It seems like it would be hard to collect them.


Fireplace in the library

This is the funeral wreath.  She had it dipped in wax and it still looks great.  It is in the "safe" that she built for his paperwork.  The safe is made of concrete, but there were windows (2nd floor) so not as secure as she thought.
Windmill that Lucretia had installed which pumped their water.

Front of house - it was hard to get a good picture without crossing what is now a busy street.


Another view of the back of the house.

Stables - this is now the visitor's center
I am not including all the bedroom photos.  They had five children as well as his mother and her father that lived in the house.  Her father helped run the farm.  I can't remember if it was his brother or her brother who lived on the third floor with his family.

The kitchen was dismantled before the National Park Service took over and since there are no pictures of it, they will not re-create it.  It's sad that the kitchen is no longer part of the house.

Lucretia was a very strong woman and it sounds as if she knew what she wanted and probably drove the contractors crazy.

I learned that a widows stationery showed how much they were mourning by the size of the black border around it.  It varied on how long the widows used it, but Lucretia used the thick black border for her remaining days, 37 years. The tour guide said that is the longest that he has heard.

This house is beautiful and is in such good shape.  The National Park Service is doing a wonderful job preserving this house for future generations.  The admission is $5 a person and I think it is well worth it, plus you can get your passport book stamped.  LOL

Ready for the clue of our next destination? Clue #1: We might see a bear.

Patty,
Mama to Joey and Scout

We Are No Longer RVers

Our motorhome has new owners. They took ownership of it today.  They are probably reading through all the manuals and trying out all the...