We would have liked to have had more time in Ohio (heck, we would like more time everywhere but then maybe we’re just greedy…) but as it is we left Michigan on Wednesday morning and drove pretty much straight into its south-eastern neighbour, knowing that our relationship with that state this time around would amount to little more than a one-night stand. The visa clock has started ticking, you see, and there’s a long, long way to go before June…
So, after crossing the Michigan/Ohio state line we zipped past Toledo and then drove more gently along the side of Lake Erie (on the smaller roads because they have much better quality/interesting stopping places, excellent photo opportunities and good lake views). It was a beautiful day too – real sunshine, real warmth – and we were really starting to enjoy being on the road. We stopped for ‘gas’ (ha!) and other bits and pieces and I continued in my quest to try ‘all the American things I’ve seen on TV’. This time I ate a Twinkie and it tasted, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, a little plastic (kind of like the1970s) but h quite liked hers (Mark took one mouthful and refused to go any further). Next time ‘milk duds’…
As the Twinkie wasn’t a sustaining meal we went a little further and then had lunch in sleepy Port Clinton (on the lake). We went for the Big Boy restaurant chain this time… cheap and cheerful and really very satisfactory (and h is going for the grilled-cheese-eating record… I’ve lost count of how many she’s eaten already).
Then it was just straight on to Cleveland – a city we’ve never known much about but it was on our route and we fancied a look round the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame that they have on the waterfront there (big glass pyramid affair). The museum was open late too so we got there about 4 and were there practically till it closed (late-night opening Weds – very rock’n’roll). It is a bit sanitised I suppose… but then it is an attraction for all the family and all that… and in fact we did all really enjoyed it. It had lots of history of rock/pop music and in this area there had obviously been a concerted effort to provide the whole picture (i.e. not just the white folks’ music) and that can only be good. There was mention of a few artists we hadn’t heard of before which was good too (I took notes). It also had lots of interactive display stuff (which h loved – a computer jukebox thing kept her entertained for ages), rows of outrageous stage costumes and case after case of memorabilia. For example in the R’n’R Hall of Fame you can see:
The cover of the first ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine
A Grateful Dead banjo
Kurt Cobain’s death certificate
An Elton John outfit from 2002 that surely belonged to the Queen Mother at some point
A Steve Winwood leather poncho from 1967
U2’s rejection letters from record companies from the late ‘70s
George Clinton’s enormous ‘dog’ shoes (1983)
One of those Flavor Flav clocks he used to wear
A Grandmaster Flash mixer
A pair of Run DMC’s Adidas
Sketches done by Jimi Hendrix
Jim Morrison’s school report cards
And, most bizarrely of all, the Hendrix family couch (c. 1960).
After a stunning day the light in the glass museum was quite beautiful as the sun set and we felt all tired and emotional (in a good way). We weren't allowed to take photos of many exhibits inside the museum (just a few… like the Janis Joplin Porsche in the slideshow) but we took some pictures of the outside and of the view from the third floor. It really was worth a visit – very friendly and helpful staff too.
Then it was back into the big black car and off to a hotel a little way along the lake. Thursday would be a little bit of Pennsylvania and then into New York State… but all that will have to wait until next post.