Tag Archives: Cleveland

My Three Travel Regrets.

Thank you to Pola of Jetting Around for inviting me to write about three travel regrets.

It’s a change of pace to write about things travel related that I didn’t do. Things I wish I would have, no matter the reason. I can look back and think of three travel regrets.

1. The Layover in Sydney. I had a twelve-hour layover in between flights a couple of years ago on my way to New Zealand. I did take advantage by leaving the airport and heading into the city, seeing the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Cove up close. I headed back though to the airport several hours before I could have because I didn’t want to take any chances on missing my next flight. At the airport everything went smoothly so I wound up with lots of time to kill.

Right before I left downtown I was standing by the entrance to the ferry that was heading to Manly Bay and Beach. I’ve though myself I could have gotten on the ferry, explored and been back in plenty of time. I also thought, I could have climbed the Harbour Bridge instead of just walking on it and checked out other things. Its not every day you travel to the other side of the world, let alone have a layover in such a great place. Maybe someday I will turn that frown upside down.

Sydney Cove, Australia, Manly Bay ferry

Sydney Cove, Australia, Manly Bay ferry

The ferries to Manly Bay in Australia left from Wharf 3. Also, stood next to the Ferry Schedule at Wharf 2 in Sydney.

2. Photo Taking. As time goes on, with every trip these days seems to come more–and-more photo taking. I regret not taking as many photos, even as little as one at each stop on previous trips. The memory of most of those trips is still there. But to have just one photo of a places I’ve been that don’t exist anymore, like the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium or a place I can’t put a name on, like a great polish restaurant I was at in Montreal, is a big regret I have.

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Ohio

Cleveland Browns Stadium, the same site where the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium sat.

3. Christchurch. I was in Christchurch for a while, leaving only a week before the February 2011 earthquake. You may be thinking why would I regret leaving right before a major catastrophe. The fact that I wasn’t there to help a place that I became so close to, along with helping and being there for loved ones is something I think back on a lot and wished I would have been there to lend a helping hand immediately after.

Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch, New Zealand

Bridge of Rememberance in Christchurch, New Zealand right before the earthquake. In need of extensive repair now.

Thank you again Pola for tagging me. Here are her three travel regrets. I’m interested to hear about some of the travel regrets Anis of Five Footer Traveller, Ellen of Feugomania and Bryan & Jessica of asixpackofstories have.

Do you have anything you look back on and regret in regards to travel?

Cleveland: Touring A Christmas Story.

When its the holiday season lights, holiday trees, ham, carols, spiked egg nog, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” come to the mind of a lot of people. Another movie, one I seem to hear about the most these days and see on TBS continuously in December is “A Christmas Story”.

On a weekend afternoon before Christmas, my fiance (then girlfriend) and I decided to hit up the Tremont neighborhood in Cleveland and the A Christmas Story House. We parked on Rowley Avenue, a few blocks away.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

All the houses in route were decorated with holiday lights…

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

…and inflatable snowmen and Santa Claus’s and lots of holiday goodness.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

We captured the holiday scene to-and-from.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

I’ll always gravitate to holiday decorations, checking them out closely. 🙂

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

We came up to the end of Rowley Avenue at 11th Street. The house was straight ahead. First though we had to get tickets at the gift shop across the street. Next to the gift shop was also a museum which contained lot’s of props from the holiday movie and some behind the scenes photos.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

The gift shop had anything and everything for sale. Who could forget Ralphie coming down the stairs in the pink bunny suit pajamas. I should have asked if I could try them on and grab a picture. I am in Cleveland all the time, hmmm.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

The infamous leg lamp in all kinds of sizes was available of course. I was tempted.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

With tickets purchased it was time to get in line to head into the house. The house was purchased in 2004 and made to look like the movie both inside and out. It was an unusually warm day in Northeastern Ohio. Good thing. I didn’t want to get my tongue stuck on a flag pole per chance I decided to start fooling around.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Standing on the porch, there the leg lamp stood, looking inside. Group after group were taking pictures at the window. I just got up close for a good shot.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

As we approached the front door we looked along the side of the house and saw the backyard and old shed.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Right inside the door our eyes got wider. I should have put my coat on the coat rack.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

There they are. The 1983 film featured the Parker family. From left to right, Mother Parker, The Old Parker, Randy and Ralphie. The movie took place around the holidays and revolved around Ralphie and his desire for…

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

…a Red Ryder BB gun. Unwrapping and seeing it sure made his Christmas. The movie was narrated from the perspective of an adult Ralphie.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Anyways, back to the leg lamp haha. There’s the wooden crate marked “FRAGILE” or as some would say “Fra-gee-lay”. I loved reciting lines and thinking about scenes from the movie when at the house and when writing this post.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

The lamp was a prize, I mean major award, won by The Old Parker.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Mother Parker didn’t take to it nicely as it sat in the living room.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

The vintage radio also sat in the living area. The movie took place in the 1940’s so there was lots of old-school props and things to be seen.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Love seeing holiday trees no matter the era.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Heading upstairs we went into the kid’s bedroom and checked out Ralphie’s desk.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

We also explored the small bathroom upstairs…

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

…and the kitchen. The delicious turkey is ready. Too bad the dogs got a hold of it before the Parker’s. Ralphie as an adult said:

The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE!

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

Old school newspapers and stuff everywhere!

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

It was time to climb into the cupboard under the kitchen sink like Randy.

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

We were the last ones in the house, so it was time to leave. It was almost dark so we could capture the holiday lights lit up on the outside of the house. We didn’t have a chance to checkout the museum. Next time!

A Christmas Story, Tremont neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio

It was a great time at the A Christmas Story House. A must visit, if your ever around Cleveland, Ohio.

Tip: If you have a chance to get here and the Tremont neighborhood, also get to Lucky’s Cafe for breakfast food and coffee yum.

What is your favorite scene or quote from A Christmas Story?

Technology and the Open Road.

I’m out on the open road on a day or long road trip and as they say in golf, “What’s in my (golf) bag?” In this case my technology bag.

There is so much technology out there in regards to phones, apps, social media tools, cameras, tablets, I could go on-and-on. Even with all that is available, I like to keep things pretty basic and light-weight when on the road. A recent day trip to Cleveland, Ohio to coffeehouse hop, work and roam the city will showcase what I use.

I only carry a small camera and phone. My camera is a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS usually set up in Auto or Easy mode with most of the default settings. I play around with flash on or off depending on the time of day and lighting. An extra battery and memory card is always on hand in case the camera is getting a lot of action. 🙂

Canon camera, travel

After the work day ended I walked around the city capturing this autumn, dusk shot with my camera alongside Progressive Field. The historic Terminal Tower is all lit up straight ahead.

Cleveland and Terminal Tower at dusk, Autumn

Photos are captured from my phone as well. In general I don’t mess with photo effects like vignette, vintage and grayscale. I like capturing the shot as seen in front of me. My current phone is a HTC Desire HD Android smartphone. My walking led me to this shot of the Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using the Android near sunset.

Cleveland skyline from Edgewater Park using HTC Desire HD Android

In regards to effects, after the photo has been taken is a different story. I’ll add a filter or effect before I post on to a social media app like Instagram because I’ll still have the original. Below is a picture of the skyline at night while on the Hope Memorial Bridge using the Kelvin filter.

Cleveland skyline from Hope Memorial Bridge, dusk

Speaking of Instagram, I started using it like gangbusters as soon as it was available for the Android. What took so long haha?! Coffee, martini and skyline shots seem to highlight my feed.

The work day and Instagram featured Koffee Cafe in the Ohio City neighborhood. Get the Turtle Latte.

Working at Koffie Cafe, Ohio City neighborhood, Cleveland

A trend recently has been for people to combine images into one, creating a collage of sorts. I use Diptic for that purpose, combining several photos from a city, coffeehouse, trip, etc. to highlight what a place has to offer. I then post it to Instagram, among other applications. A college of my evening roaming in The Cleve is below. When visiting make sure to get to the Public Square downtown.

Cleveland, Ohio collage using Diptic, Instagram

On Instagram I’ll also checkout hashtags related to the area I’m in to get an idea on somewhere else to go by seeing the pictures.

I’ll also checkout the hashtags, along with the local Tweetstream, on Twitter to get local ideas on the fly. Checkout hashtag #HappyinCLE. Those that know me know I’m very active on Twitter. I’m always looking to strike up conversations with friends and fellow travelers. I’ll checkout if the place I’m currently at or looking to go to has a Twitter presence and I will reach out.

Another one my offices during the day, as you can see on my Twitter feed, is Phoenix Coffee just outside the city line in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Get the Speedball. You’ll really be energized haha.

Phoenix Coffee, Cleveland Heights, Ohio using Foursquare, Twitter

As you can see above I use Foursquare too. I’ll check-in and post a picture highlighting a place I think other people would like to checkout. I’ll use this app mostly on the road. I’ve passed the local, day-to-day checking in everywhere phase. I don’t think there’s much interest in my grocery shopping habits. 🙂

Once in a while when on the road I’ll post to my own Facebook wall as well as on my fan page, but I usually save that for later on to highlight my recent travel experiences. You have to draw the line somewhere!

A shot from inside Gypsy Beans & Baking Co. in the Gordan Square neighborhood, as well as another from Edgewater Park.

Cleveland shots on Facebook fan page

I also make sure to see places with my own two eyes sans technology, just starring and soaking in everything. Pictures and technology are great, but nothing beats being somewhere in that moment without distraction, enjoying the way people did before smartphones came into the picture.

A tidbit from my youth: I’ve been a walking atlas since I was young, so I rarely use Google Maps, Foursquare maps or GPS to help me find my way. I like the unknown and I always seem to get to my destination.

When I do look for a little guidance I like to be old-fashioned and pull out a state map or the Rand McNally Atlas. Where to now Cleveland?

Rand McNally Ohio map, atlas, Cleveland city map

Checkout how some people navigate in Road Trips: Finding Your Way. That’s my technology story when out on the open road. During my time in Cleveland on this day I was able to post and interact via my smartphone, capture photos and at the same time enjoy everything around me without the technological interruptions. I got lots of work done and of course consumed lots of area brew.

With technology continuously evolving who knows how different this post would be if I wrote it at the end of the year. Perhaps I would have additional technology in my arsenal. You’ll have to see as I will write one then. 🙂 I’m actually on the lookout for a new phone and/or camera as we speak. The day began with some java at Gypsy Beans & Baking Co.

Gypsy Beans and Baking Company, Cleveland, Ohio via Twitter, Foursquare

What do you carry phone, camera and technology-wise during your road trips and travels? What are your social media apps of choice?

Photo of the Week: Autumn in Cleveland.

I captured this shot during an evening walk along Ontario Street and Progressive Field heading towards downtown in Cleveland. The historic Terminal Tower is straight ahead. Lot’s of yellow! 🙂

Cleveland, Ohio, Autumn

Capturing the Skyline of The Cleve.

Spending a lot of time in Cleveland over the years, I’ve had the chance to hang out all over town. With that has come a lot of skyline viewing opportunities in The Cleve.

Right alongside the south end of Cleveland Browns Stadium, there is downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Cleveland Browns Stadium

A short walk away is Voinovich Bicentennial Park along the Lake Erie shoreline. The skyline from here also features the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in the foreground. Turn around 180 degrees and you have the open waters of Lake Erie to capture.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Voinvoich Park, Lake Erie

Still at Voinovich, it’s time to walk forwards and backwards on the steps and…

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Voinovich Park, Lake Erie

…to soak in all the greenery.

Cleveland, Ohio night skyline - Voinovich Park, Lake Erie

The skyline all lit up at night from the same spot.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Voinovich Park, Lake Erie

Some say the best skyline views come from the Hope Memorial Bridge which crosses over the Cuyahoga River. A couple of quick snapshots while driving.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Hope Memorial Bridge

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Hope Memorial Bridge

In my most recent visit, I walked the bridge at sunset. Got a good shot despite the north end sidewalk being closed for rebuilding.

Cleveland, Ohio night skyline - Hope Memorial Bridge

Grabbed this quick shot heading westbound on I-490.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - I-490 interstate

My favorite spot to capture the city is from Edgewater Park, just west of downtown along the lakefront.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Edgewater Park

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Edgewater Park

You could argue this spot is more scenic in the winter months.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Edgewater Park in winter

From Edgewater Park you can walk on a narrow path along the lake to get great views of Channel Park marina and the skyline behind.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Edgewater Park, marina

You never known where you’ll have a skyline photo opportunity. Clevelanders, can you tell me where this shot is probably from? It’s been awhile. 🙂

Cleveland, Ohio skyline

You can capture the skyline as well from suburbia like here in Independence, Ohio by the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel and the Winking Lizard Tavern.

Cleveland skyline - Independence, Ohio

I found myself just off Ohio State Route 2 opposite Cleveland Browns Stadium and the shoreline in a large, empty parking lot. An open view of the tall buildings from a different angle, cool!

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - along Ohio State Route 2

Picking up some produce, meats and more from West Side Market in the Ohio City neighborhood? Take a skyline shot from the parking lot directly behind while you’re there.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - West Side Market

Shot from the same vicinity in the Ohio City neighborhood.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Ohio City neighborhood

Nighttime view by Progressive Field home of Indians baseball. Having sports stadiums right in the heart of the city, downtown and skyline, perfect.

Cleveland, Ohio skyline - Progressive Field

Lots of places, lots of great times and lots of different views of the skyline. I can’t wait to discover more great places to capture the skyline in The Cleve.

Where else do you recommend capturing the skyline in Cleveland? What is the last skyline you captured?