Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spring Break 2016

Last fall I took Madison to Washington DC with me for a business trip/pleasure trip.  We reveled in the history at all the museums and had a great time.  I owed Austin a trip.  We discussed it well in advance and had decided we would go to Cleveland.  Yes, Cleveland.  The destination was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Of course, that couldn't be the only thing on our agenda so I scheduled us to a full slate of fun!  Early April can be a little dicy on weather but we really didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it turned out.  And Austin didn't care - dressing for the tropics the day of our departure.  It's Spring Break after all!

We checked in at the downtown Holiday Inn Express which is housed in a very cool old building - restored hardwood floors in the hallways and rooms!

It was only 3:30 but Austin was so excited to get on with our agenda that he barely let me unpack and freshen up before we were headed out the door for a quick walk to the Cleveland Hard Rock Cafe for dinner.  Since this was also MY vacation, I chose to sample a signature cocktail. Let Spring Break begin!

Next stop?  A Cleveland Indians baseball game against the Boston Red Sox!!  We were bundled up  - the temp was only 36 degrees with it only going lower as the lights came up and the sun went down.  There was also a lovely drizzle in the air...  Austin wanted to get to the game early enough to see the warm up so we slammed down our dinners and raced out the door and the two blocks to the stadium.  Only to see this:

The woman posted at the gate to answer questions was super nice and told us since we were from out of state, they'd probably refund our money since the game wasn't just being postponed - it was flat out cancelled and probably wouldn't be rescheduled.  I told Austin we could spend the money I had spent on the tickets.  He had spotted this place (Horseshoe Casino) on our way to the restaurant (no idea how since we were moving at warp speed) and asked if we could go.

I agreed and said he could have $40 to gamble with but he had to use my method of pocketing all winnings.  He agreed and off we went.  Only to find out that in Ohio, you have to be 21 to even go IN the casino.  Ack!  Our first evening wasn't turning out so good.  There was a nice police office near the door who commiserated with our misunderstanding that in Michigan you only have to be 18 and directed us to a movie theater nearby as an alternative.  This  perked us up and after walking us out the door and half way down the block, we were on our way to the theater in the mall.

We find the theater and see that they are having a film festival.  Austin is a movie aficionado and has probably watched every odd movie on Netflix but he sees the list of such films as 2nd Life, 91%, AAAAAAH!, The Gnomist, Motley's Law, and Raspberry Galaxies, and quickly turns tail totally bummed out.  I was feeling horrible that nothing was working out!!

We started strolling through the mall and he spots a Champs shoe store and asks if we can go look, mentioning he could probably use a new pair.  I agree, ready to buy him just about any shoes he wants.  And pretty much ended up doing just that.  They were Kyrie Irving basketball shoes and had just come out that day.  He was so in love with them, he wanted to sleep with them!

I had forgotten to pack my shirt for our Friday night plans so we hit one more store where I bought a cheap black t-shirt and jacket and we headed back to the hotel.  We found "The Heat" on some movie channel with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, laughed our butts off and hit the sack.

Our main destination for Friday was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. When I planned the trip, I had no idea this was also the day that the 2016 "class" was being inducted.  If I had, I would have planned for us to go there that evening so we could watch the live telecast from NYC but alas, we had other plans so it was a morning visit.  It  was a brisk 1/2 mile walk from the hotel but it was a pretty, sunny day.  Just cold and windy - especially as we got closer to the lake.

So many cool things in this museum!

The museum itself is really a work of art as well.

And the view out to the lake is awesome.

At 1:00 we took a break to sit down for a lecture on the 2016 inductees.  It was awesome!  We both learned so much and really enjoyed it.  The inductees were Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Miller and N.W.A.  All bands I grew up with except for N.W.A., though that was one that Austin liked.  That kid has an amazing taste range in music so he was good with everything!

After the R&R Hall of Fame, we stopped at the hotel for a quick drop off and then went across the street for some BOWLING! LOL!  This place is one of very few downtown city bowling alleys and was super nice.  The people were friendly and Austin and I had a blast.  He probably wouldn't like me sharing this pic of the scores of the last game and noting that *I* won!

After bowling, we wandered through a couple of "arcade malls".  This one was being decorated for a wedding that was taking place there later that evening.

In the next one, we found an old fashioned barber shop and Austin asked to get his hair cut. Since he REALLY needed one, I agreed and sent him in! They even trimmed up his beard and slapped on some stinging aftershave.

He looked so handsome!

This day was turning out GREAT compared to the day before. Thank God!  We returned to the hotel room so I could take a 15 min "nap" and we got dressed up to go out for a nice dinner to be followed by a concern at the House of Blues with the Dan Band (from The Hangover movie).  Austin put on his new basketball  shoes and was ready to roll!

He wasn't thrilled with me wanting to do another selfie with him at dinner.  I did it anyway.  We had an excellent dinner at place almost right across the street from our hotel.  Austin had steak and I had stuffed salmon.

After dinner we went to the House of Blues for a pre-concert drink and then - THE DAN BAND! According to Wikipedia:  The Dan Band is a comedy band created by actor/comedian Dan Finery.  The band is well known for its covers of originally female-performed pop songs, with added obscenities and swearing, made famous by Dan's appearance in the films Old School and The Hangover.

A fabulous day ended with fun music while we danced our butts off!

We had one last stop on our agenda for Saturday morning but it meant leaving Cleveland and heading south to Canton, OH, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Since Austin started playing football in high school his last two years, he's had a much bigger interest in the game and really enjoyed both the displays and some of the interactive exhibits.

He liked saying he got closer to the Super Bowl trophy than the Detroit Lions did!

I got a kick out of seeing the super bowl rings - these things are HUGE! But when you consider how big these guys hands are, I guess it makes sense. This is my hand against a mold of Willie McGinest's hand.

And with that, our Spring Break trip was over - except for driving home in a blizzard.  On April 9th.  My mom's birthday.  Happy Spring Break!!!

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