California or bust!
We had barely slipped the bonds of the beltway as we began our Not All Who Wander Are Lost tour when the Dixie Chicks tune The Long Way Around popped up on Claire’s playlist. We both laughed and agreed it was a good omen for our less-than-direct trip to Southern California.
Today was the day to hit the ground running and make it to Cleveland. Almost six hours of driving lay ahead of us, and we wanted to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, spend time with my colleague Kathleen Crowther and her husband Herb, and take in a Cleveland Indians game.
We didn’t make any stops, but we did see our first set of absurd billboards. As we crossed the state line into Pennsylvania, a series of ads from the state’s coal and energy producers sprang up touting the benefits of “clean coal.” Who knew?! The best was the billboard that asked, “Would You Take Energy Advice from Someone in a Meat Dress?” alongside a ridiculous picture of Lady Gaga.
Our second omen that this was going to be a good trip? We pulled into the parking lot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Linda Ronstadt — a 2014 inductee — began singing from my playlist. Be still my heart! Once inside, we had fun looking at the exhibits in the museum – from Beyonce to the Beatles and more.
From the garishness of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we shifted gears to tour the architectural beauty of Shaker Heights. We couldn’t have had a better tour guide than the director of the Cleveland Restoration Society and her husband, a Shaker Heights native. It whetted the appetite for more.
Finally, we closed out the night at Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians pounded the Texas Rangers. We saw a “Tribe ‘tater” (home run by the home team, to the uninitiated) and lots of hits. This field is wedged into downtown Cleveland, but is a delightful place to take in a game. In true urban fashion, we rode the “Rapid” in from Shaker Heights and we also (or at least I did) indulged in dollar dog night!
And yes, we proudly wore our Washington Nationals hats to the ballgame!
There is more to say, but I’ll just leave it that with Cleveland, I’ve now passed the halfway point in visiting all of the MLB ballparks. One more to go on this trip!
But now it is time to get some sleep…after a little more of The Long Way video.
More to come…
Image: Claire and DJB head out on August 1, 2014, on our “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” cross-country tour