Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Day 8: Chicago to Cleveland

[written by J]
H is very tired this evening so J has volunteered to document this day. Originally, the plan was to go to Indianapolis today but because we really didn't have anything big planned for Indy, so J convinced H to go to Cleveland instead to experience a city enjoying (at least for 1 more day) a quest for a championship. More on that later. Today, we left Chicago at about 7:30 Central time and experienced the Chicago rush-hour. It really brought back memories of the daily Northern Virginia commutes which I don't miss at all. Sitting in the traffic though gave us more time to look at the Chicago skyline which is very pretty. The opposite of pretty is Gary, Indiana. It was ugly and it smelled awful. Due to the fact that the Indiana toll road is very close to the Michigan border, J thought it would be a fun little side trip to drive across the border and say we've been in Michigan. We drove in Michigan for about 20 minutes parallel to the Indiana toll road and then headed back across to the toll road. Not much on that stretch of Michigan highway. Later H went to a scrapbooking store in Indiana at a Prime Outlets which was a lot smaller than the outlets at Williamsburg. It was on a road near both the Michigan and Ohio borders so J decided to take that road across to Michigan and down to Ohio. Total time to visit those 3 states - about 20 minutes. When we finally found a travel plaza on the Ohio Turnpike, it was one of the most pathetic plazas I have ever seen. I would compare it in quality to the Diamond. The decor was very 70's and the food selection was more like a concession stand.
Once we got to Cleveland, we drove past Jacobs Field and the "Q" to Tower City, a downtown shopping mall. The area was very festive with Cavs jerseys on top of one of the tallest buildings in Cleveland, the Terminal Tower and a huge NBA championship trophy right in front of the "Q." Also, there is a huge "We are all witnesses" LeBron mural on the side of one building. Inside Tower City, there were Cavs banners everywhere and J, Z and B signed a big "Go Cavs" poster in the mall. J then took a short walk to the Cavs team shop at the "Q" and it was loaded with Finals merchandise. It was hard for me to not buy one of everything in the store. Now if they could just win a game in the series, that would be great.
Tomorrow, we are going to take the kids to the Great Lakes Science Center right next door to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and then we are off to the last stop, Steubenville, to see J's grandparents. We are rounding third and heading for home.

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