Day Two and Three: Cleveland

Yesterday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…today, a tour of the east side including the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

Yesterday, likely the only disappointment was not finding a pink mini football helmet at the Cleveland Browns’ gift shot…long story short, a tradition I have is getting these pink helmets from each American NFL city I visit for my girls. So far they have the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers and I was hoping to add Cleveland this weekend. Admittedly, they should have also had the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans by now, but I missed on those trips…though unlikely, may even have an opportunity to get Buffalo during my trek home tomorrow as I have lay over time between buses. Being today’s tour may include an outlet mall, the Browns’ helmet is not yet off the radar.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was cool. Amazing architectural building, for one thing. Saw everything from one of Sting’s bass guitars to the ZZ Top car to the Everly Bros. boyhood tap shoes to Jimi Hendrix spandex suits. I have often mentioned my dismay at Rush not yet being inducted, but they are nominated again this year and hopefully that will be remedied…their induction, alone, would mean a return visit would be required for me. We were not, however, able to get into the “inductees” area as they were setting up for an event…perhaps we could have, but it was too cluttered and did not even try. The Grateful Dead currently have the entire top floor of the place as a special exclusive exhibit.

Also had lunch at a nice Irish Pub called Flannery’s…everywhere I go, have to do the pub thing. Then dinner was delivered from a very good pizza place called Rascal House…very greasy and that stuff will kill, but you’ll die happy.

Today was visiting the WSM (West Side Market)…seeing a few areas of Cleveland (including an area deemed, by my tour guide, as the ugly side)…and finding a place to buy good boots for about half of what I pay at home.

I like Cleveland.

It is not Chicago…not the architecture and huge massive artistic city that is that…but it is a good safe place.

From the cab driver on Thursday night who was at first noticeably annoyed by my short trip request from the Cleveland Greyhound terminal to my hotel…but got over it quickly and then was pleasantly surprise by the nice tip he got…to the music that seems to live in the city’s very existence, to the good beer they even brew in the microbreweries here. It is a good place.

Anyone knowing the entomology of word “nice” will understand why I use the word “good” instead.

Tonight, a steak dinner with a dear Twitter friend…yes, I actually do meet Twitter friends and I am discreet enough not to kiss and tell…or share brew and tell.

Tomorrow, heading home on an eight hour bus ride. Stop over in Buffalo, NY again to change buses. Will be home by halftime of tomorrow night’s NFL Sunday night game.

This trip…yet unfinished…has taught me something. I recently said that New Orleans was the only American city I was interested in exploring. I was dead wrong.

Much as I hate American politics, there is still plenty to explore down here.

In spite of some of their silly right-wing conservative views…and yes, silly is the right word…they do have something yet to offer.

Normally this is a point where I would mention being glad to be Canadian…but truthfully, I’m glad to be North American. This continent has only begun going through some fundamental changes…and truth be told of the three countries here (Canada, Mexico and USA) Canada is the strongest…these changes may be the end of the American empire, but this continent will succeed…not just survive.

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