Sunday, July 03, 2011
Off the beaten path and a trip to Cleveland
We have continued to visit with friends from the Toledo area and check on our storage unit with stuff that we may eventually use when we move back in to a sticks and bricks. We have lived in the Toledo area on two separate occasions for a total of 15 years. We did very little sightseeing of the local area while we lived here. This was probably because of work/ child rearing and spending most of our free time sailing or on camping trips.
So on a free day we grabbed the Maumee Bay visitors guide and picked out a few places that were recommended. Some of these were just minutes from where we used to live. In the process, we also visited all three houses that we have lived in. None of these were on the recommended list. So much for being famous!
The first stop was the Johlin cabin that was built in 1867 in the Great Black Swamp that covered the southern coastal region of Lake Erie. This cabin remained in the Johlin family until 2006, when it was donated to the Metro Park system and moved 1.5 miles to its current location. The area is landscaped to give a feel for what it would have been like to live in the Great Black Swamp.
Just down the road is the Our Lady of Toledo Shrine. We must have passed by this site many times over the years but had no idea it was there. Judging by the huge parking lot, it must be pretty well known. For me the most interesting object at the shrine is a replica of the “Pieta” by Michelangelo. The original was completed in 1498 and resides in the St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I have been to St Peter’s on several occasions and never fail to spend some time in front of this sculpture. The Toledo Pieta is said to be cast directly from the original.
The town hall in Genoa, Oh was built in 1883 as an Opera House and quickly became the center of activity for the surrounding area. While it is still used for entertainment venues, its primary function is serving as the town hall. This Gothic revival structure with bell tower was the highest structure in the area for many decades and is the centerpiece of the historic downtown. It appears that shrines are big in this area. There is a grotto located near downtown Genoa, so we stopped by on the way out.
We were invited to Cleveland for a luncheon by friends we have known for many years. Mark and Carol also invited another couple (Dick and June) who are mutual friends. We had a great time catching up and recalling the good old days. Mark and I served in the Coast Guard together. Dick worked for a steamship company that I had dealings with while stationed in Ohio and as things sometimes happen, we ended up working together after I retired from the Coast Guard. We wanted to make a photo of the group, which turned into a bit of a hoot.
As we were leaving we got a look at Dick’s new car. It seems that if you are not dragging it behind a motorhome apparently there are better options. Dick is a bit old for a midlife crisis but he says that he knows for a fact that it will do 120.