Weekend In: Cleveland

Despite its relative proximity to the southeast Michigan, I’ve never been to Cleveland before. Or, I don’t remember being there if I have ever been. Which I generally think is worse than not having been.

When the opportunity came to head down for the day, I was happy to ride along. I brought along the audio version of Andy Cohen’s “Most Talkative,” and after a leisurely breakfast, we were off. Metro-Detroit to Cleveland is a manageable three hours. On the way there, we took the lake-side route, avoiding tolls.

During this quick trip, there was only one clear goal. We were meeting up with a good friend of Lauren’s at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “around” lunch. It was a bright, sunny…. windy, freezing day along the lake shore. Which is precisely where the RRHOF is.

Parking couldn’t have been easier, with a structure at the adjacent Great Lakes Science Center. With a bit of time to burn, we harnessed our inner child and did some exploring.

More of a ‘hand-on-museum’, the Science Center offered kids the opportunity to interact with every exhibit. Admittedly, two grown ladies are not the audience for this place. This became extremely clear as the combined noise of “all the crap on the 3rd floor” had us rushing for the exit after one quick turn.

Lunch and more adult scenery beckoned and we made our way to the RRHOF. The restaurant offered few, but quality choices, and was not ridiculously priced. Which is always nice to see in museums. Perhaps because there is an entrance fee , there’s no need to rake you over at concession too. Thoughtful of them. We ate and waited, and soon friends arrived and our tour of the building began.

The layout of the RRHOF was not entirely easy to navigate. Several “half floors” and back-tracking stairs made it a bit confusing. The 5th and 6th floor special exhibit area featured a photo expo on Herb Ritts, which was outstanding. To my mind, more space could have been dedicated to this.

To me, the best parts of the museum were the engraved walls with each inductee’s signature, and the lowest level which contains wardrobe from notable acts. The meat dress is here, as are the tour costumes of many contemporary artists.

The final stop on the tour, and one which should not go without comment, was the store. A huge selection of vinyl records, tshirts, magnets and more take up nearly half of the first floor.

In total, we spent about six hours in Cleveland. This seems like just the right amount of time to do both museums. If you have kids, you’ll undoubtedly spend more time at the GLSC, but presumably less time at the HOF.

I don’t wanna!

a couple argues over a map pointing in opposite directionsThe best decision Trisha and I ever made concerning travel decisions was to do whatever the other person wanted: I’ll see whatever you want, and you’ll see whatever I want. Done. I can only assume this saved multiple arguments.

When we went to Europe in 1999, we visited 5 cities in 12 days. It was aggressive. Our game plan was to see the ‘must see’ sites of each, checking off as many boxes as possible.

Agreeing to see what Trisha wanted was easy. The only time I honestly thought about not going was the botanical garden in Barcelona. I had no interest in that — I’m not a gardener. Not even a little. But I had made a deal, and I went. It was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. Perhaps due to my low expectations, or sheer lack of knowledge before hand, but that is something I never would have experienced under my own planning.

When you’re planning your trip, don’t limit your itinerary to only things everyone will like. Take the opportunity to explore the interests of your companions. You may just be surprised how much you enjoy it too.