After a night with a less than strong signal from the road office,I decided to give this another shot tonight with some thoughts on my trip away that for a rare change in the summer included zero baseball!
For a three day,two night trip,this might have been the most intensive trip that I planned,yet at the same time,I kept things loose enough to do different things.
This was originally scheduled to be the 25th anniversary trip for the lovely Cherie and I in May and was moved back to August.
Early on,it figured to be some baseball stops included mixed with some other things tossed in as well.
The trip moved from a trip to Cooperstown to a return (for me) to Tennessee and ended with Cherie saying that she would just rather go to Ohio.
We started early in the day and I had looked into the possibility of taking Cherie to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Cherie had often commented on wanting to see the memorial when we pass by,but I had demurred due to cold weather.
That decision proved to be a smart one as the memorial was definitely a warm weather stop with lots of walking and weather exposure.
I surprised Cherie with this stop and I was glad that I was able to do this for her as well as me.
The memorial is about 20 miles off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the signs to find it are plentiful and well marked,so it is not too tough to find.
It is on a two lane road,so it can take a while to get there,but it is very poignant and well worth the trip to honor those American heroes that gave their lives to save even more on the most tragic day in the history of our country....
After a stop at the Pittsburgh icon Primanti Brothers for lunch,we continued on to home base and eventual dinner with my cousin Missy and her family at Lyn-Way in Ashland.
Lyn-Way is one of those places that every town used to have,but few still do.
Strong comfort food and a assortment of pies that rank among the best that I have ever eaten make Lyn-Way a stop that I try to make as often as I can when in town.
I usually order the liver there as I don't get the chance to order that often in other establishments and rarely do I have the room for dessert and the terrific pies.
We finished day one with a quiet evening in the hotel in order to rest up for day two in the Ohio capital of Columbus.
I had given thought to catching the AAA Columbus Clippers,but decided against it for two reasons.
The first was that the visitors were the Durham Bulls,which being a Tampa affiliate meant that I had little for them and had even less reason to see them play.
The other? Well,I had left the ever present briefcase at home,so that meant I would have to buy supplies and just do a Clippers team set.
In the end ,I decided it just was not worth it...
Most of the day was spent with great company (the lovely Cherie),good shopping ( a few cool buys),some unique stops (a whole food store) and great food (favorite Quaker Steak and Lube).
We would return to the hotel later and would stumble upon a flyer in the travel brochure stall that would become a must do.
The Shawshank Redemption has become one of my favorite films,despite not being a huge fan of Stephen King's writing,since Ryan recommended it to me and it was an excellent recommendation.
Much of the film was filmed around Mansfield Ohio and I found a flyer that was a tour of the spots in the film that you can drive to yourself.
Cherie and I spent the morning taking the tour that included seeing the famous oak tree from the film that is now half the size due to a 2011 wind storm,the spots included the various spots that "Red" traveled to and the Ohio State Reformatory where much of the film was made.
It killed much of the morning before another trip to Belgrade Gardens for chicken.
Rachel got a dinner for the road placed inside a cooler and I was able to talk to the owner of Belgrade Gardens a bit.
Milos Papich is the grandson of the original owners and he told me about the European origins of the recipe after I told him that Belgrade Gardens completely ruined fried chicken for the remainder of the year.
Mr.Papich added that Belgrade has begun to overnight ship chicken around the country for a rather large fee as well......
Another stop that we wanted to make was a return to Kent State when the weather was warm.
The added bonus was that with the students out of school,parking was plentiful and we were able to enjoy the site without the wind that aided the freeze of our last visit.
We learned more about the area before our visit this time,so we were able to find more markers than in our first visit and enjoyed the trip even further.
The visitors center there has come along and looks almost finished so I am sure that we will return there in the future to explore the center upon its completion.
We decided to make one more side trip and this was another one that had been a talked about stop for years.
I have always liked the tradition of powerhouse Mount Union and have always wanted to visit it in the town of Alliance.
Alliance was unusual as it seems that most of the trip was through woods and then the town almost smacks you in the face with its arrival out of nowhere.
We made the jaunt to the Mount Union campus and bought a Purple Raiders mini-helmet and each of us a t-shirt.
Another place that I have wanted to see for years checked off the list.
Cherie and I covered many back roads of Ohio that we had never seen and I like to think that we both enjoyed it.
A great trip,many things accomplished and believe it or not-no baseball :)
Photo Credits:Cherie Heimberger