I didn't hate Cleveland.
In fact I was actually really surprised how mildly entertaining it ended up being. We only dedicated a day of our month-long road trip around the Great Lakes to this city, thinking we'd just stop by and stretch our legs for a few hours. This was still only a couple days after leaving Niagara Fall and Toronto, we weren't expecting to see much until we hit Detroit.
A lot of our trip ended up being like that, considering we didn't have much idea of what was in store when we rerouted from a trip out west to around the great lakes. Trading National Parks and Monument for ... uhm, a lot of woods and random, low-profile cities. Props to the National Shutdown.
The best lesson of traveling our new route, was that places can really surprise you. We never once had to deal with inflated prices or obnoxious crowds of tourists and a lot of stops really surprised us with how visitor friendly they were. Cleveland is probably one of the best examples. I was expecting only to see an nausa-inducing amount of the horrible color scheme of brown and orange. Fortunately the city isn't as crazy with Browns pride and I was spared!
For most of the road trip, all we really spent money on was food and gas. The Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame was pricey, we knew that going in. We had no intention to pay the entrance fee, but decided at least a peek in the lobby would be worth checking-out. As you can see, we caved and forked over the $40 to marvel at all it's impressive innards.
This was definitely one attraction both Torsten and I were glad we splurged on. As I mentioned, we weren't planning on actually seeing the full museum, but once we were in, we stayed in... for hours. What was meant to be a quick stop ended up taking up the whole day as we watched old music videos and admired memorabilia of legends.
We wandered the downtown a bit before stumbling into a food court, starrrrrving. We pretty much made a meal out of all the free samples on offer, but still dug into some good ole gooey, food-court "Chinese". We also soaked up as much of the WiFi as our phones could handle.
On the way out of Tower City, we walked along the Cuyahoga River, counting the bridges along the way. The old steel and stone buildings lining the path along the river was strangely beautiful in an industrial way. The perks of having an engineer boyfriend is being able to see rusty eyesores in a positive light.
As the sun started setting, we started making our way back to the van, passing through a massive hunk of inner-city green space, read: glorified lawn with fancy sculptures.
We rolled out of town with a sky-full of colorful clouds and better impression of Cleveland than we'd ever expected. We continued the drive along Lake Erie, heading North to the one and only Motor City; Detroit!