Springtime in Cleveland

Brandywine Falls

Yesterday was full of back-to-workingness, but today promises to be slightly more relaxed. Just a short story to refine (so close and yet so far) and a pork chop dinner to wrangle. Mel called and asked about swooping by to pick me up for a lunch at the farmer’s market (first day open!), so it sounds like we’re even getting an early bonus round to the day.

I love bonus rounds.

And in the mean time, I have a couple of shots from our long weekend. We went to Cleveland, which probably doesn’t sound like much of a destination to my well traveled friends, but we’d been staring at maps for a while trying to find short jaunts from the abode. And Cleveland turned out to be a fantastic spot to weekender.

Ferns uncurling in Cuyahoga

Of course, it helped that everything was just starting to green.

We spent the first—and only sunny—day at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a blip on the map that turned out to be surprisingly lovely. In the first place, the name is fun to say. I remember driving home from Philly with my sister-in-law once, just tired and slap-happy enough to be endlessly amused. I still enjoy saying it in the silly voice we assigned, and it made me think of Grace. Which is always a happy thing.

I think Cuyahoga might have been my favorite thing we did in the Cleveland area, although we also had a really amazing dinner at Lola, Iron Chef Michael Symon’s bistro in downtown Cleveland (probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had, and certainly one of the most inventive. Where else can you have brioche french toast for dessert with apple compote and maple-bacon ice cream? YES. Bacon bits in the ice cream. And it was AMAZING).

A third, somewhat trailing highlight was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… which had lots of nifty rocker paraphernalia (jumpsuits, early draft lyrics on creased notepaper, album cover displays, and signed guitars) but left both Carl and I scratching our heads about the layout and general management. On the bright side, it led to several rousing conversations of “If I were running the museum” and “what they REALLY need is to,” which is always fun. I’ve decided to add Museum Creative Director to my list of dream jobs. Seriously, how fun would that be?

Anyway, Cuyahoga.

Besides the falls and a long ramble in the newly greening woods (hunkering down to look at baby ferns, violets, chives, and little alien faces made of walnut shells), we also hiked around to the Ritchie Ledges and Ice Box Cave.

The ledges were fantastic. Mounds of russet colored limestone, layered and flaking like a giant’s biscuit. The reddish stone was in perfect contrast to the moss and baby green leaves, and the trail was only a loose suggestion. We stopped to wander in and out of the ledges, scrambling over rocks and squeezing between narrow bits.

Really lovely.

In one narrow ravine between ledges, we found some carvings of faces and horses, and I think that was my favorite part—just sort of letting my mind wander freely over everything, picking up pieces and bits of things that could be stories or worlds or what-have-you.

Just relaxing and fun and necessary.

… And now I’ve been to the farmer’s market and back, which ended up including lunch and a 3 mile walk with Mel’s sister, so now it’s getting close on dinner and that editing workshop is WAY over due. Not that I’m complaining. Life is processed best with friends and loved ones, yes?

Am off to edit.

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4 thoughts on “Springtime in Cleveland

  1. SO glad you guys were able to have some time away together! BEAUTIFUL pictures! you know i LOVE the horse carving (makes me think of hidalgo… and rohan) – and brandywine falls – brandywine bridge, anyone? the ferns would fit the landscape perfectly at our rivendell retreat center… just saying. =) i know you appreciate how pretty much everything comes back to LOTR and hidalgo with me. LOVE YOU, friend!

  2. Mmmm!!!! That sounds wonderful. Love the fiddleheads and the carvings…and also the line “like a giant’s biscuit” which was way too perfect and makes me want to write a poem about rocks.

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