Friday, November 20, 2009

Did I ever tell you about the time...

Did I ever tell you about the time we visited Cleveland? No, not the character from Family Guy, the actual city in Ohio, the one named for General Moses Cleaveland (yes, we've been spelling it wrong all these years). No? I didn't tell you. Blast. I totally meant to. I musta got all caught up in my nannerversary and mah birfday and the news of the world and whatnot. My bad.

So, yeah, at the end of summer my beloved and I took a day trip down to Cleveland in his kickass new grumbly GXP. The point of the trip was to visit the A Christmas Story House and Museum (and gift shop!), and since the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in in Cleveland, too, we figured we'd stop there as well.

The story in "A Christmas Story" took place in Indiana, but Indiana had changed too much by 1983 when they made the movie, so the director (Bob Clark) sent out location scouts for the exterior shots and they decided that this house, in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland's west side, was the house that best fit.
Of course, the house was a duplex at the time, so those scenes looking into the front room where the leg lamp is proudly displayed? Yeah, that was someone's bedroom.

So anyway, we took a tour of the house and learned the history of the house and how the current owner (Brian Jones) bought it off of E-bay without even seeing it, how he had to gut the whole place and recreated the interior as best he could to match the movie scenes. And there's a gift shop so we could get some loot. Plus, there's a museum of memorabilia across the street with props and photos and elves and everything. Wait, elves? Yep. Elves. Patty Johnson (Lafontaine), who played the head elf (you know "come on, kid!") in the Santa Visit scene, was there signing autographs. Jim Morelavitz, who helped deliver The Major Award in the movie and basically babysat the child actors during the filming, was also there. An obscure but informative addition -especially since she told us we couldn't leave Cleveland without visiting the Great Lakes Science Center.

The what? Science, what? I won't lie, my brain got a nerd boner right then.

Turns out, right next to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in fact the Great Lakes Science Center. We hit the Rock Hall first and my first and loudest reaction is WHAT A FREAKING WASTE OF SPACE!!! Don't get me wrong, it was cool. There's a lot of neat stuff there and the exhibits are cool (if cramped and crowded) and if you're in Cleveland or passing through anyway (and now that you know that the A Christmas Story house is there, too, why wouldn't you go?!), you should stop and see the Hall. Watch out, though, it's damn expensive. And I have to say, maybe if they hadn't built half the walls out of glass, their HVAC bills would be lower and they could charge less... So yeah. Cool stuff, but a bad use of space and a bad design over all.
There was a special Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the tippy top of the museum, which was way better than the Kiss exhibit we were somehow afraid might be there. FSM, I hate Kiss.

But then there was the Great Lakes Science Center (insert choir-of-angels-like-ahhhhhhhhhhh! here). Oh, the Great Lakes Science Center. Right on Lake Erie, it's a big ol' science museum with an Omnimax theatre. We saw Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (GORGEOUS -get it?) and went through the museum. Specifically, they had an exhibit on Charles Darwin for the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of "On the Origin of Species." Perfect timing for our visit! And there was a renewable energy exhibit and all the regular awesomeness that is museum stuff.

Yeah, totally got my nerd on.

Plus, the cafeteria at the science center recycles pretty much everything and even uses compostable utensils. Granted, it has to be composted professionally because of the high-heat required to actually ensure that they do compost, but the idea is a nice start anyway.

Plus, dinner at the Texas Roadhouse in Erie, PA. Mmmmmm, bread.

And then the drive home. Interestingly, as soon as we crossed the border into New York State and began driving on toll roads, it was potholes galore. Ahhh, our tax dollars at work... Although, to be fair, driving from W 11th St to the science center kind of tried to kick the GXP's ass, too.

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