Skip to content

Lots of Hamster, Lots of Highway

July 14, 2011

Two of the side goals of this trip are for Sam to learn to do more things for himself and for me to learn to let go. So today I put Sam in the driver’s seat. Not literally, because that would be against the law. And certain death. I mean I let him call a lot of the shots. His first decision: going swimming in the motel’s outdoor pool before we checked out. So we did.

And then we started the three-hour drive to Canton, OH, during which Sam controlled the music. Let’s just say instead of putting music on his iPod he can save himself some cash by just taping an hour of New York’s 92.3 NOW. By far the best song that came on during the entire ride was “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” by Tracey Morgan/Jordan. He likes my music even less than I like his, though, which means that what we listen to in the car will be a continued point of contention for the next 33 days.

On the plus side, we drove straight through without stopping even once. One of the nicest things about an all-male road trip is how infrequently we need to stop for bathroom breaks. I should stop calling this kid Hamster and start calling him Camel.

We ate a quick lunch in the parking lot of the Pro Football Hall of Fame before going inside. Camel has only really started getting into football in the past year or so, so instead of dragging him through exhibits about players he’d never heard of, I let him lead. When he was interested in something, we stopped and looked; when he wasn’t, we didn’t. The only time I insisted on lingering was in the hall itself, which is starkly different from baseball’s hall.

Each inductee is represented by a life-sized bust that’s lit from underneath with no information but his name, his position, and the team(s) he played for. Other than each bust’s lighting, the room is dark, giving it a somber, hallowed feel. I was blown away by how true-to-life the busts are–I was able to recognize several of the players without looking at their names. There’s also a cool interactive feature where you can look up any inductee by name or by team, get information about them, and find out exactly where in the enormous room to find his bust. Unfortunately, I can’t share my pictures of any of this because I took several nice shots but then stupidly left the camera in my car when I parked it for the night a couple of hours ago.

After Canton we headed to Cleveland, checked into our hotel, got settled, did a bit of research on the kosher restaurants in the area, and then went out for dinner. It was nice to finally eat a hot meal that wasn’t cooked by me on the side of an interstate highway.

We crossed a lot of land today (we’re up to almost 900 miles in total), but we didn’t actually do very much. I think that was a good thing after the whirlwind of the first two days of our trip. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. My leg and back are sore and stiff from all the driving, and my head is spinning from trying to remember what day it is, what state I’m in, and where I’m going next. But now we’re staying put for a couple of days.

From tonight through Sunday morning, we’re staying in downtown Cleveland at a “real” hotel – an Embassy Suites with valet parking, a gym, and an indoor pool that I expect we’ll get a lot of use out of, but without the free wifi they promised me when I made the reservation. (Don’t worry, I argued and got them to comp the wifi after all.) Tomorrow we walk from our hotel to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (our third HOF in four days), take a tour of Jacobs Progressive Field, and probably do some more swimming. That’s about all that’s on the schedule for the next two days, although at some point Sam will have to finish watching “Rudy” because we’ll be in South Bend by lunchtime on Sunday, and (say it with me) “nobody–nobody–comes into our house and pushes us around.”

I just hope it’s my turn to control the radio on the way there.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ari Kadish permalink
    July 14, 2011 11:07 pm

    Great Rudy quote. I would also add “Who’s the wild man now?” by D-Bob as played by Jon Favreau, who after 1 year in law school in Miami returned as a very rich lawyer to watch Rudy record the greatest sack in ND history. btw – you can let Sam know, even I drop some tears during Rudy. In my mind maybe the greatest football movie ever.

    That said – Great blog, Great trip, thank you for sharing it with all of us. Sam’s a great kid, and he’s lucky to have parents like you and Dr. Sarah Hof.

  2. July 15, 2011 9:57 am

    I think you still have some relatives in Cleveland. Your father may know. There also are some distant relatives on my mother’s father’s side. They may not still be there either.
    Have fun. I LOVE reading your blog.
    Shabbat Shalom

  3. Yehuda and Esther permalink
    July 15, 2011 10:25 am

    Have a great and restful Shabbat.

  4. July 15, 2011 10:36 am

    Rudy was one of Barry’s favorite movies too. I was forced to watch it, in whole or in part, whenever he found it playing on TV.

    Loving the blog. We also talked about driving cross country with the Trips, but we would’ve gone RV rather than convertible. It’s too late for the US, but Israel is a lot smaller! We probably would only need a few days.

    • ABH permalink*
      July 16, 2011 11:20 pm

      Amy, an RV would be awesome but also something of a headache in terms of parking, hooking up to water at night, etc. Probably much better for visiting national parks and such than it is for visiting cities. But as I continually pack and unpack the car at every hotel/motel, part of me thinks an RV would have been the way to go.

  5. July 15, 2011 2:31 pm

    Enjoy your weekend in Cleveland. Downtown can seem a little deserted, but it picks up over the weekend. Try to get a tour of the Great Lakes Brewing Company and also see if you can hit the Science Museum next to the R&R HOF. Walk the lakeshore area as it is the nicest part of Downtown, and of course….there is the obligatory picture in front of the giant “Free” stamp (you will know it when you see it)

    • ABH permalink*
      July 16, 2011 11:13 pm

      Matt, downtown did indeed seem deserted, and the lakeshore area was decidedly the nicest part. Didn’t get to squeeze in the brewery tour, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: