Cleveland Ohio to Merrillville Indiana. Wednesday September 2, 2015

Our cross country trip continued…

Thanks to my posting on Facebook about our visit to Cleveland our old Optometrist (not that he was old, but that he used to be our Optometrist!) contacted me to find out “how long would we be in Cleveland and could we get together?” Lenny G was busy last night but he could meet us this morning for breakfast. We hadn’t seen him in 11 years, he looked a little bit older and wiser, and Steve had grown a beard. I looked as attractive as ever! Which doesn’t quite mean anything as if you didn’t think I looked attractive before I still don’t look attractive!

We had a great time reminiscing about what had gone on in our lives since we last saw each other. I was devastated when he retired and moved South. He had been our optometrist since we had moved to Poughkeepsie in 1980. L always believed that Steve’s career success was due to the new glasses that Steve got over the years. He always remarked to me that I never changed since we first met. L told me that several patients of his had gotten airs as their husbands careers flourished. I had never changed at all. That can also be interpreted as “Once a schlub, always a schlub”!

L always delighted in winding our kids up during their eye exams, and leaving me to try to calm them down the rest of the day. I think the Lant family contributed vast sums to his retirement. With four family members all needing glasses we kept L’s office busy!

All too soon, it was time for us to depart. We were going to meet M and A who we had met at Brush Creek Ranch our very first visit in September of 2011. We had stayed in contact with them over the years, and I asked if we could meet for dinner on our trip out west. They cordially asked us to stay at their house overnight.

We left Cleveland and drove across the state of Ohio and then into Indiana. We had looked at the map earlier in the day and said, “Let’s go to Notre Dame!” I had always heard about Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome. Now we would see them!

That was a little bit harder. We had to find a visitor parking lot first.

Then we marched around the big and beautiful campus in the 91 degree weather. As I wasn’t wearing a hat, I tried to stay in the shade. If you are a brunette like me, you head heats up quickly. We saw the Golden Dome in the distance and headed closer.

There it was! The Golden Dome!

Next up was Touchdown Jesus! This is a mural on the outside of the library. It’s called Touchdown Jesus, as Jesus is standing with his arms up as if signaling a touchdown.

There it was, and here is proof that I was there!

Here is Steve in front of the Golden Dome. The Golden Dome is atop the main administration building. Atop the Dome is a stature of Mary, considered to be the Mother of God by Christians. Notre Dame means Mother of God.

Afterwards we went to a grocery store in Indiana before we found the house of A and M.

We had much difficulty finding the house of M and A as they lived in a gated community. We couldn’t figure out the pass code or what turns we needed to make once in the development. M had given us the wrong pass code. We ended up following a car ahead of us at one of the community entrance gates. It was a good thing that Indiana was not on Summer Eastern Time Zone. Otherwise we would have been late!

After meeting A and M’s beautiful children and nanny we went out to dinner at Gamba Ristorante. That was some decanter for the red wine!

We had tomatoes with mozzarella.

Grilled Caesar Salad. No, your eyes are not out of focus, my hand was shaking.

Gnocchi.

Roasted veal with pea purée and broccoli.

Here we all are in A and M’s beautiful house. M is the beautiful blonde, and A is the handsome brunette. A is a real fashion plate and there have been spreads on him in Chicago magazines. I was dying to see their closets as they are quite fancy dressers (as you can see from the picture) but they were traveling to Italy in two days and they said their closets were a mess. Maybe next time!

Have you changed over the years?

Would you consider yourself schlubby?

Have you had a fashion spread on you because you are so attractive?

Cleveland, Ohio. Tuesday September 1, 2015

As I explained yesterday this is a trip from years ago. Just like everyone else I hope to be traveling again soon. I would say that that’s the reason I have an unpacked suitcase laying in one of the spare bedrooms. That would be a lie however, it’s just not unpacked from my trip to Belize in January! Now that is lazy! Today our plan was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was an easy walk from our hotel. But first we needed to have breakfast.

As usual, fried eggs for me.

Steve went on the wild side and had an egg quesadilla.

You already saw my picture in front of the museum. Here is Steve. Plan to see a lot of these outfits!

We enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I liked the Country Music Hall of Fame better. I think it would behoove me to watch the Ken Burns Special to learn more about Rock and Roll. I will have to watch Krush Groove the movie about the founding of rap also, as I know nothing about rap! No pictures inside the museum, you will have to visit so you can see what is inside.

For dinner we ate at Muse, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. I tried the Farmer’s Market Prix Fixe dinner. My dinner had a peach theme to it. It started with grilled peaches, Serrano ham, micro basil and dehydrated vinegar.

Steve went out on a limb and got a Caesar Salad.

My entree was pork tenderloin with peach brine, peach wood smoked jalapeño peach tomato salsa, peach moonshine gastrique memo chives.

Steve had swordfish with white beans and escarole.

Steve had cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. Man this picture should have been cropped better! When we were in Chile years ago we met a famous wildlife photographer who went crazy about my picture taking. He kept telling me to make sure that my pictures of food didn’t have any extraneous items in them. I think I have at least 5 faults in the above picture!

Peach crepes with blueberry mascarpone and cinnamon anglaise.

Sorry the day wasn’t that exciting, but not everyday can be like yesterday and meeting my inebriated gambling girl friend!

Have you ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Have you ever been to the Country music Hall of Fame?

Where have you been then?

On our way west! Cleveland Ohio. Monday August 31, 2015

Due to COVID-19 Steve and I won’t be traveling for awhile. So I have gone back to the far reaches of my pictures (over 29,000!) to bring you another recap of a trip. This is an old adventure, but I still considered it blog worthy. If you don’t care to read about my old trips don’t bother to read this one!

Now that Steve and I are retired we have more time to travel and go on more Excellent Adventures. We decided to drive West and see the country, Steve would do a little fishing, and I hoped to see some beautiful sights and meet some interesting people. We were going to end up at some higher elevations and Steve and I thought that by driving to higher elevations gradually I might not suffer from altitude sickness like I have in the past.

So Steve and I loaded up a the van. I love my Toyota Sienna. It has lots of leg room and comfortable seats with great lumbar support. Although it has three rows of seating, we would only use the two seats in the front as we had a lot of luggage. Steve was bringing lots of fishing equipment and I brought everything that I might possibly want to wear!

The second row seats in the van are really nice as they have full up and down foot rests, and you can tilt the back, although they are definitely not lie flat seats! I have a tendency to get claustrophobia, so the second row seats are ideal for me. Unfortunately Steve doesn’t like me sitting in the second row, so for the whole trip I never sat in the back. Of course, the whole van had lots of luggage in it, I don’t think I would have been able to sit back there anyway!

Our first day of travel would take us out Interstate 84, connect with I-80 and we would end in Cleveland for the night. Plans were to spend two nights there and then travel onward. After a long day of driving we finally made it to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland.

Here is my view from the Ritz-Carlton. Not a great view, but a view of the river nonetheless.

We were hoping to have a cocktail at a local bar called Speakeasy before dinner but unfortunately it was closed.

There were many cute shops and restaurants in the area. We were near the convention center and also a casino was nearby. More about the casino later!

We had dinner at Lola’s. Although it did look charming outside, we ate inside. I usually prefer to sit inside.

I ordered the Kentucky Gunslinger for my cocktail.

Not surprisingly, the drink looked very much like the picture! There was bourbon and some other stuff in the drink. The drink was very good.

I ordered a green salad with peaches, blue cheese and red pepper flakes. The red pepper added quite a bit of zing to the salad!

My entree. I had the salmon, with leeks, peas and potatoes.

Steve’s entree. He had gnocchi. I have no pictures of Steve’s appetizer. Nor do I remember what it was!

Although we didn’t order dessert, we were given chocolate truffles with peach jam inside.

When we got back to the room we found these chocolates. I felt very welcome. Steve not so much. I guess I should have put Steve’s name on the reservation! I think the hotel wants my repeat business.

The lobby of the hotel.

I think that I should get one of these lights for our house in Lake George!

Our first night on the trip and I got to meet my first interesting person on our way down to our dinner reservation at Lola’s. While waiting for the elevator a woman told the desk clerk she would be back again as she had 23 nights left to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Now I must start out with the fact that she appeared very inebriated. I think that she must have had one too many sangrias at Happy Hour in the lounge. (Of course she had to be back to the hotel as she did not have her suitcase with her!).

You know by now that I had to befriend her so I could find out why she would be spending another 23 nights at the hotel. Yes, it was nice, but an additional 23 nights?

After we got on the elevator she mentioned that she was on her way to the Casino attached to the hotel.

“How much do you gamble, and have you won anything?” I asked.

Well she had gambled $2000 last time she visited on the slots at the casino. The next day she continued to gamble and she won $500. The casino gave her three round trips to Atlantic City and one to New Orleans. The casinos gave her $500 for each trip to gamble and also a flat screen television. (Back in 2015 a flat screen television was much more expensive than it is today). Every time she went her stay was comped at a Ritz Carlton. She told me that night she was only going to gamble the $35 she had in her wallet.

So after dinner on the way back to the hotel, I told Steve I wanted to look for my new friend at the Casino. As she was drunk to start out, I was worried about her getting back to the hotel okay. After looking at almost every slot machine in the casino I finally found her playing her last dollar at the slot machine.

There was a man next to her on the neighboring slot machine. I asked him if he was her spouse, as he was listening to our conversation. He wasn’t, and high tailed it away from the three of us! It was hysterical! We offered to escort her back to the hotel as by this time she was even more drunk with all the free drinks that the casino had offered. I asked her how much she gambled at a time on the slot machines. She told me $25, $40, or $8.88 at a time. Now wonder I am never comped at casinos! I only bet on the penny slot machines!

We also asked her if her husband gambled. She told us that he stayed in the room while she gambled. He would lock her credit cards in the safe. He didn’t gamble as he considered that marrying her was a gamble in itself!

Should the light stencil for the Lake George floor be “The Lant Shack”?

Do you gamble?

What is the most you have ever bet at a time?