Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Le Tour De Cleveland

I have been watching the Tour De France, three weeks of wonderful riders and the amazing landscape of France.  When we were in Cleveland we came across three riders playing in Public Square, all three of them had really great bike handling skills.  I need to ride more. 

Would you trust your buddy to jump you on a bike?   

Monday, July 24, 2017

Omnivores Dilemmas

We had dinner with Ed and Paula in Cleveland at Sokolowski’s University InnOh my, when you have a chance it is worth the adventure for eastern European comfort food.  The restaurant had lamb-chops as a special of the day.  Paula told me I couldn't order lamb - because lambs are so cute. She also said rabbit was prohibited for the same reason (alas rabbit was not on the menu - or I might have.)  

I opted for the stuffed cabbage (good, but not like J's mother use to make.)  This raises the question of a dilemma for an omnivore, should we only eat ugly things?  What is the standard of beauty for things we are considering eating?  I feel like a wimp, in that I generally won't kill it before I eat it (fish are an exception - I have done the deep on fish and shellfish.)  Yet, I will eat anything - at least once.  We all have cultural prejudices when it comes to food, I don't come from a background of religious restrictions on food - that make it easier for me.  

If lamb is off the table, what about mutton?  If rabbit is on the table why not kitty?  In the end I will try just about anything that is culturally appropriate to the place I am in.  

If there anything you would never eat?   

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Five - Cruising

Cruising is a popular way of traveling and adventure and inspiration for this weeks Sunday five 

  1. Have you taken a cruise? 
  2. Would you take a cruise on a ship that didn't have a casino? 
  3. Big ship or small ship?
  4. Would or do you, look forward to "formal night?" 
  5. Balcony or inside cabin? 
My answers: 

  1. Have you taken a cruise?   Twice, back in 2008, the top ship was a cruise to Alaska, the second was a trip to the Bahamas (the third ship is spending the summer cruising the great lakes - looks like fun.) 
  2. Would you take a cruise on a ship that didn't have a casino?  Probably - though I do not want to do a Disney cruise - too many children. 
  3. Big ship or small ship? The bigger the better. 
  4. Would or do you, look forward to "formal night?"  - No, a silly tradition. 
  5. Balcony or inside cabin? Outside with a view - though on the Alaska cruise we had an inside cabin and I slept so well - then there was the matter of the sleeping pills getting mixed up with the anti-inflammatories - that is another story.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Random Beauty

I accidentally clicked something in Windows 10, I really don't know what it was, and when my computer goes into screen saver mode, it shows random photos from the over 40,000 digital images on my computer.  It is really very wonderful, reminding me of the great adventures of the past, inspiring me for the adventures of the future.  

What inspires you to travel? 

Friday, July 21, 2017

I Interrupt my regularly Scheduled Fun for a Short Random Rant

So the White House replaced the Communications Director today, Spicer is out, no big surprise he couldn't lie well enough to work in this administration.  I listened to the New Guy's introduction while doing my daily penance on the elliptical machine, I won't bother learning his name - he won't be around that long.  

He said "I am a team player, I have played team sports all of my life, well when I was growing up."  Which is it, all of his life, or when he was growing up?  The press is going to eat this guy alive, his imprecise use the language will get him ripped to shreds.  I would have known 15 minutes into an interview that he was not the right person for the job, at this time, in this administration, with a press core already tasting blood in the water.  

More horse exhaust in the White House.     

West Side Market - Still as Great As Ever

On my short list of things I wanted to do in Cleveland was visit the West Side Market.  We had been there a couple of times a decade or so ago, and I wanted to see how it was doing.  It is doing great.  Since out last visit the market has better parking, just as many vendors and lots of interesting offering.  

The main market hall if permanent vendors, a lot of meat specialty providers, a couple of cheese vendors and several bakeries. There is a very authentic diner in one corner (nice lunch.)  There is an enclosed outer market with primarily fruit and vegetable vendors - more fresh and seasonal stuff. 

Some day, I would like to live near a place like this and shop in it everyday for fresh ingredients.  

Where is your favorite market?  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Who Will Notice this Posting?

I am kind of hoping that a couple of fellow bloggers will notice this posting.  

First is Spo, aka Michael.  I found a diner named in his honor, undoubtedly featuring favorites from his recently compiled recipe collection.  If you are ever looking for an escape from the desert, this place literally has your name on it.   

The second blogger I was thinking about is Blobby when we rode the Rapid out to Shaker Square, unless I have misread the clues, this is near his gayborhood.  

When J, aka sweetie bear, was growing up his family lived further east in the burbs, a special treat was driving in, parking and taking the Shaker Rapid into downtown.  

Have you visited places that made you think of other bloggers?  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hilton Cleveland

Opened just a year ago at a cost of $272,000,000 the Hilton Cleveland is spectacular.  It's prime location on Lakeside affords expansive views of Lake Erie.  The hotels 600 rooms are spread of 32 floors, with a spectacular view from the hotel bar on the 32nd floor, complete with an open air deck overlooking the lake.  The hotel adjoins the underground convention center.  It is an easy walk to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the ballpark and the Terminal Tower entertainment area.  

When we returned to our room Sunday night, a Goodyear Airship (actually a Zeppelin owned and operated by Goodyear) was hovering near the hotel.  

The hotel is new, modern, and comfortable.  Definitely worth the stay.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No Mistake By the Lake

I bought a pin that says, "I liked Cleveland, before it was cool" and I did.  J is from that area, we have visited many times.  This trip we stayed downtown, something we had done a couple of times 10-12 years ago.  I like urban centers, and like many Cleveland's had not done well from the 1970's through about 2000. In fact in the 1980's Cleveland was referred to as the mistake by the lake.  

There has been an explosion in redevelopment and new construction, there are many fun restaurants and small shops. There is a nice casino.  We took a boat tour, had lunch in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, wandered around and watched the street life of an alive city.  It was fun.  There will be several more postings, I took a ton of pictures.  

Have you been to Cleveland?  

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Little Simple Magic

This was taken from my terrace, on the 3rd floor, while waiting for the Independence Day Parade to pass by.  
What is it?  How did I do that? 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Somewhat Playing by the Rules - the Sunday Five

Gee, that does not look like a mobility scooter to me.  It looks like someone is playing fast and loose with the rules.  We all do in some way, hence this weeks Sunday five. 

1: Have you ever parked in a no parking zone?
2: Have you ever not put money in the parking meter - risking a ticket? 
3: Have you ever driven the wrong way down a one-way street? 
4: Used someone's handicap parking permit, when that person was not in the car with you? 
5: Have you ever passed a car in a no passing zone?

My answers: 
1: Have you ever parked in a no parking zone? - Nope
2: Have you ever not put money in the parking meter - risking a ticket? - Yes - I have paid a handful of parking tickets over the years. 
3: Have you ever driven the wrong way down a one-way street? - once or twice. 
4: Used someone's handicap parking permit, when that person was not in the car with you? - Yes. 
5: Have you ever passed a car in a no passing zone?  Once a very-very long time ago.  There was someone driving about 10 miles and hour, I pulled over to go around and realized that the motorcycle behind me had flashing blue lights on it - I paid the ticket and I have never done that again.  

Your answers? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Newport Shore

J directed my onto what is billed as the 10-mile drive, a drive around the waterfront of the island that Newport, Rhode Island is on.  Most of my beach experiences have been on sandy coasts, I am always amazed at rocky coasts.  This is definitely rocky. It was a wonderful relaxing drive.  

Rocky coast or sandy beach for you? 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Marble House - Upstairs Downstairs

Marble House was built as a summer cottage in Newport by one of the Vanderbilts.  At her insistence the budget was unlimited, she spent $11,000,000 in the late 1800's, put the house in her name, and threw her husband out a couple of years later and married her younger lover.  Oh, and the "cottage" was built for the six week summer season, never intended to be lived in year around. 

I am always impressed by the grand houses.  I think of the grand parties and entertaining that could take place.  While the elaborate upstairs are elegant, I am more fascinated by the working parts of the house.  If there is reincarnation, I was the butler in one of these places in a previous life.  

Would you be more comfortable upstairs or downstairs?  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Transportation of the future?

The GoCycle is a folding, rechargeable electric bike.  I have rented electric bikes a couple of times and my experience is that they are a nice ride.  You pedal and ride them like a normal bike, the electric motor extends your range, adds a little speed and smooths out the hills.  This one is being marketed to yacht owners - and priced accordingly at $4,500 in the Ship Store in the Newport boatyard. 

I wonder if I could fit a nice cargo box like this on the GoCyle? 

Have you ridden an electric bike? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I parked next to this at dinner one evening, it is Bentley SUV, base price in the USA $229,100.  I question what Bentley was thinking when they came up with this idea, probably that there are enough people willing to pay that much for something this ugly, that they can make money on it.  

It looks a bit like a porn star, who went off the diet for a decade.  Still nicely upholstered, but a bit large in the hips. The front is simply large, the back side is huge and lacks lines or styling.  The interior looked like a nice place to spend the day.  

It is a head turner, but not necessarily in a good way.  If I had that kind of money to spend, I'd buy 2 or 3 of something else instead of one of these.  

Would you keep it if it was given to you? 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I can still remember the first time I indulged, the clumsiness, feeling and finding my way, not knowing quite what to do with it, but trying as hard as I could,  the sweetness of finding the meaty core and sinking my teeth into a lobster for the first time.  I kind of like lobster.  I seldom order it, it can be rather expensive.  We had a quick lunch at the Newport Lobster Shack, actually my first "food truck" experience, the food is cooked in a mobile kitchen.  It was very good.  

Out on the lobster docks we passed many barrels of "bait."  Salted fish and the fermenting whole fish.  Be glad the smell-a-blogger on that first barrel.  You can take my word for it, or go smell for yourself.  

Have you ever cooked a live lobster? 

When I was a teenager, my grandmother and I picked up live lobsters to take home to cook.  I was getting all strange about it and she just chucked them and said to "act my age."