Another lazy start to the day as we only had abut 100 miles to travel. The day was overcast and sputtering rain. We took our waiter’s recommendation and headed to Presque Isle for our first stop. The fall colors were a little more vibrant, but still not quite their full display. Presque Isle is a Pennsylvania state park, and a beautiful stretch of land. We watched a large group of school students walking through the park, and many runners, walkers and cyclists. There were incredible views every way you looked, and hard to take pictures to capture it all.

Of course we found the lighthouse!

We set the GPS to “Avoid Highways” again today and had a beautiful drive through northeastern Ohio, catching the occasional glimpse of Lake Erie. We drove through the Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills and saw 2 does standing quietly on the side of the road. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture, and we didn’t see any others. We skirted downtown, and I realized why there were no downtown hotels available as we watched Clevelan Indians fans heading toward the stadium.

We reached our intended destination about 2:45, and were a bit nervous as we saw a large crowd of people out front, and a tour bus parked just down the street. We luckily were at the tail end of their tours, and there were only 6 of us for our tour. 

A little history for why this stop was meaningful.  For those followers who knew my Dad, you will understand and may have heard the story. In 1983 my parents relocated from New England to the Midwest. I was in college and home for Christmas break. Miraculously, it was Christmas Eve morning and everyone had their shopping done and gifts wrapped. Dad decided we should all go to the movies for the afternoon. It was -20 degrees (yes, minus 20) with windchill of -80 degrees. It was snowing sideways. but Dad still insisted we go to the movies. We were 4 of 6 people in the theater on campus. Now, my Dad had a belly laugh that was infectious and hearty. Imagine that laugh through an entire movie where the key line was “You’ll shoot your eye out.” He was reliving his childhood and loving every minute of it. So, there was no question we would stop at the A Christmas Story house when we were in Cleveland. (A special thank you to my cousins who visited here earlier this summer. Without you I would never have found this place!) I now have all sorts of movie trivia, and I can’t wait to watch it again armed with this new knowledge.

One of the best things about this museum is their 5K/10Krace on the first weekend of December. They use the money generated from this event and donations through the gift store to help restore homes in the neighborhood. If it were a virtual race I would participate from the comfort of my gym or home in the southeast. Cleveland in early December? Not so sure about that!

We hit the highway to tonight’s lodging, and opted to munch on the food that has traveled the country with us. (We have made a note to bring a small cutting board and plastic plates next trip.)

Tomorrow we plan to be on the road about sunrise, and no meandering “roads less traveled.” A kick back to reality, but necessary so I can return to work and build up the vacation days again!