I’ve had some difficulty finding the right kind of roads lately. I’ve really noticed that if I’m forced to take highways instead of winding country byways, my mood shifts. It has everything to do with being stuck behind big rigs and zipping past the limited views available from the highway - the dullest view of any town. So it pains me when I’m left with no other option. And lately that has been the case. One highlight along my way is Ann Arbor. This college town is packed with personality. The main street is full of eclectic restaurants and shops, fitted into beautiful old brick buildings, easily perused by foot. On one side street they have a rare book store and an Art Center packed with pottery artists at work. I think any city with interesting places like that has got to be nice to live in.
The next day I’m in Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They’ve got an awesome collection of memorabilia. I think I appreciated the costumes the most. It was neat to see just how skinny Mick Jagger is and how short Bruce Springsteen is. I actually felt pretty good about my rock knowledge - not everybody my age knows about The Yardbirds or Patti Smith. There were lots of headphones available to sample all their songs. I felt like maybe there should have been less museum and a little more rock. It would have been cool to have a room with comfy chairs and a color other than white on the walls to listen to music. They could have also had concert footage playing on huge screens. I love the idea, and was so excited about it, but was left with a feeling like I’d just been to a Hard Rock Café. Only I was still hungry.
A couple days later I make it to Niagara Falls. I think it lives up to the hype - which says a lot. It truly is powerful, amazing and beautiful. The American side is tacky but has cheap hotels while the Canadian side has hotels with spectacular views of the falls and seems a little more like a Canadian Las Vegas, although I think the keyword there is Canadian. I am devastated when I find out the Maid of the Mist is docked for the season. I know it is touristy but it was something I had planned on doing from the start of this trip, no matter how expensive it turned out to be. So with the boat tour unavailable, I decide to do the “Journey Under the Falls” on the Canadian side. It wasn’t worth the $12.50 they charged, but it was kinda neat to go through a tunnel and see the underside of Horseshoe Falls. I’m glad I went over to the Canadian side though, because the views from there are great. Although, the views from the American side are closer to the falls and you feel the power more.