Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Lake Erie Sailing Trip – Day 13, Wednesday

Woke up to a gorgeous morning, something we’ve definitely become used to on this trip, and decided to rent a car and do some exploring around Cleveland.  The Enterprise rental car folks picked us up at the marina, which was a great service, and after doing the required paperwork we headed off in our black Toyota Yaris towards the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is several miles east of the downtown area.  As we arrived we were surprised to find a beautiful suburban park with all sorts of interesting sites, such as the art museum but also the Museum of Natural History, a botanical garden, a large number of university buildings and the home of the Cleveland Symphony.  We first visited the art museum, whose centerpiece was a large collection of armour and weapons, tracing the historical development of armour construction and warring techniques.  They also had a large collection of Rodin sculptures, including two different sizes of The Thinker.  There were many parts of the museum under construction, but regardless of that, we still didn’t have time to see everything, but what we did see was excellent.  And like many museums in the US, it was completely free to visit, which is rarely the case in Canada, and I really don’t know the reason for that.  Perhaps there are more benefactors in the US, or people are more willing to leave money to cultural institutions?  What I do know is that every time we visit Ottawa we spend a small fortune on entrance fees to the museums and galleries there, which is sort of a shame as it does make it inaccessible to many citizens that can’t afford it.

After the art museum we scarfed a quick round of hot dogs in the park then visited the natural history museum, which the kids loved, as it had an outside section with a good selection of live animals, sort of like a mini-zoo.  Ana and I enjoyed the displays on the evolution of humans, and after better understanding the effects and results of evolution, it makes perfect sense that my family came from monkeys.  Though we’ve managed to shuffle off the cro-magnon man protruding eyebrow bones, we have certainly not moved much past the monkey like behavior.

We then drove back through downtown to see the West Side market, one of the oldest public markets in the US.  It was a perfect place to stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits, which was well needed as our vegetable selection back on the boat was down to potatoes, and I don’t even think those count as vegetables.  We could have spent hours there buying all sorts of delicious foods, but since the boats and our stomachs have limited food storage capacity, we dragged ourselves away and headed back to the boat.

After a lovely and refreshing swim we prepared a delicious supper on the charcoal grills, which were just beside the pool, overlooking the harbour where there were dozens and dozens of sailboats out racing.  Though we don’t often cook on charcoal, we managed to get it just right and the food came out perfectly, the main course being rib steaks and the sides including fresh tomato salad and green beans, roasted potatoes, and garlic toast, all done on the grill.  This was one of the best meals of the trip and we ate slowly, tasting and enjoying every bite, while appreciating the privilege we enjoy in being able to spend time in such lovely paces on such an amazing lake.

We finished off the evening with a trip downtown and explored Eest Fourth street, a pedestrian only area full of bars and restaurants, as well as the new Horseshoe Casino and Tower City, a high end downtown shopping mall.  We have seen a whole new side of Cleveland this trip and have a new appreciation for the city and what it has to offer.

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