an interesting view of downtown Akron. Last night my husband and I went on a date: a walk along the Towpath and dinner at Akron’s Barley House on Main Street. I’ve seen people sitting on their patio and wanted to do that myself sometime. Last night, the Sunday of a holiday weekend, was the perfect opportunity. While enjoying our drinks and incredibly delicious, huge, reasonably priced salads, Main Street was pretty empty, but the people we did see were of a curious sort. In the 80+ degree hot sun, even in early evening, we saw a man dressed in long black pants and a long black trenchcoat wearing a black backpack. A man sitting on the curb by a bus stop with his legs stretched out in the street, cursing the bus driver for almost driving over his appendages. A man walking a dog who looked just like him. I wondered how the people-watching would vary at different times: lunch hour on a weekday, on a weekend afternoon before an Aeros game, on a Friday night when UA is in session. In any event, for outdoor dining and delicious food and an ever-changing scenery of people, the Barley House in Akron is the place to go.
Archive for May, 2010
I read in the paper last night that the 1,000th American serviceman in Afganistan just died. A poignant reminder of the sacrifices millions of men and women, as well as their families, have made to keep our country safe and free.
Okay, so it doesn’t take a “day”, more like a couple hours. Having a train-loving daughter, this was our third year attending the Day Out with Thomas at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Tickets for a 35-minute train ride on “Thomas” cost about $20 each, including fees. But there is a bunch of other stuff to do that you could do for free even if you didn’t buy a ticket to ride the train. Like, storytelling, temporary tattoos, inflatables, a maze, a model railroad, magic shows, photo opps in front of Thomas and with Sir Topham Hat, a little playground, Thomas toys to play with.
Personally, I don’t like Thomas. I find him annoying, though I guess it could be worse. My daughter, who always surprised everyone because she was so into Thomas and it’s more of (though not exclusively) a boy thing, actually isn’t into him so much as she is in just trains in general. In fact, her current dream job when she grows up is “train engineer”. Yes, the tickets are a bit pricey. But when you limit the number of people going (in our case, to just two) and skip the food and photos they want you to buy and stuff in the gift shop it helps lessen the economic damage. And it is a special memory we will always have. I especially treasured today since I knew this would most likely be our last time ever doing this. Passages.
TIP: If you go, go as early as possible. Trust me on this.
My FoUNd and Fresh show at the North Water Street Gallery in Kent has been extended through Saturday, June 5. That’s the day of Kent’s big Wine & Art Festival (http://www.mainstreetkent.org/artandwine.pdf), running 12-10, so after you check that out, you can come say “hi” to me during my show’s closing reception from 3 to 5. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday 1-5; free admission.
just simplifying your life? I’ve always loved to plant annuals in pots in the spring, but since the kids I haven’t been very diligent in taking care of them. But I can’t stand not seeing color when I look out the window either. So coming across a bunch of different flowers in my Pat Catan’s mystery bags made me think … what if I put silk flowers outside?? Will it look really stupid? Do I care? I asked the woman who works in the floral department there and learned two things. First, tons of people “plant” silk flowers. Second, the easiest way to make the silk flowers look real is to buy some sturdy hard-to-kill green plants and “plant” seasonal silk flowers in the pot. That’s easy enough. She also told me that the silk flowers only last a season or two, but that’s still at least as long as annuals do (plus, you don’t have to wait 6 weeks until they start looking good). Since the grab bag flowers were practically free, I’m spending a lot less money to get a low-maintenance burst of color. (For $20 I bought 2 medium-sized green plants, 3 small ivys and a 40lb. bag of dirt from Marc’s.) This will be an interesting experiment!
If you’re looking for something to do this summer when it’s too hot, too cold, or too rainy, I copied this from their Web site www.legendlanes.com:
This SUMMER (May 1-August 31, 2010) We Are PENNY -A-PIN All Summer Long!
You Pay What You Bowl! (IE: You Bowl A 90, You Pay $.90 For That Game!)
Women Bowl 180 Or Better-FREE GAME!
Men Bowl 200 Or Better-FREE GAME!
(Penny-A-Pin not valid Fridays 8p-Midnight OR during Saturday COSMIC BOWL 10p-2a)
Friday 8p-Midnight: $10 unlimited games-Includes Shoe Rental OR $3.50 a game.
The Sunday AM Special Moves to SATURDAYS! (May 1-August 31)
$1.00 Per Game OR $8 Unlimited Games For 3 Hours!
(Even Better Prices Than PENNY-A-PIN!)
SUMMER Saturday Only COSMIC Bowling
$10.00 per person (shoes included)-Unlimited Games!
(Penny-A-Pin not valid during COSMIC Bowling)
(Friday Night Cosmic Will Return In September!)
Shoe Rental $2.00
Zanesville: Sunday morning my husband and I biked the city’s multi-purpose trail, which starts where the Lorena Sternwheeler is docked. I had read that the trail was 2.9 miles one way, but someone I asked in the parking lot thought it had been extended to Dresden, which she said was 8 or 9 miles away. Luckily for my legs, it did stop after 2.9 miles. The trail is relatively flat and pretty much runs along the river. The scenery wasn’t too exciting (the river was obstructed by trees and the only other things to see were the occasional ball fields) but the high point was the sweet smell of honeysuckle along the way. We left right after the ride, but Zanesville is a town that still has character and charm and has not been genericized. It’s definitely a potential day trip with the kids: picnic lunch, bike ride, boat ride.
Coshocton: From Zanesville we headed to Coshocton Lake Park (http://www.coshoctonlakepark.com/index.htm) to try their bike trails. We didn’t have a trail map and so just kind of rode around for 45 minutes, not sure where we were going, ending up biking for about 15 minutes in the bike lane on the state route. Coshocton Lake Park looks like a pretty fun place to go in the summer, though, with an aquatic center, canal boat rides, nature trails, etc. (though not cheap for a family of five: $29 for two adults and three kids for the aquatic center, and an additional $29 for the canal ride).
Velma, from Scooby Doo. She’s always losing her glasses at key moments while trying to solve a mystery and can’t see a thing. Jinkies!!
My husband and I were lucky enough to have a night without the kids to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We decided to make it extra-special and stay the night somewhere after dropping the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s. I randomly picked the Colonel Taylor Bed and Breakfast in Cambridge (http://www.coltaylorinnbb.com/). What a good move that was! The inn is a 9,000 square foot mansion built in 1878 for a war hero and congressman. Former President William McKinley even slept here! We opted to have dinner there — a real treat! It was just my husband and I in the elegant dining room, being served a gourmet meal by Jim Irvin, the innkeeper. He and his wife have owned the inn since 1999 and restored it with love and care. Our bedroom was huge, with a bay window, high ceilings and a working gas fireplace. Breakfast, shared with four others, was just as elegant. It’s funny because my artwork is so contemporary, but I really admire the beauty and craftsmanship of 100+-year-old homes when they are restored to their original magesty. What a treat because, most of all, I got to share it with my “true love”.
Last night my husband and I went to the Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant in West Lafayette. We had less than an hour there because we had dinner reservations elsewhere at 6:30. We asked the hostess where we could sit for a drink. She said the tables on the outside deck were for people who were eating, but we could have a table inside. We understood that. But a few minutes later, she told us we could sit on the deck provided that we move if they needed to seat people who were going to eat. We were delighted because we love sitting outside! We sat at a table by the river, and a couple tables over there was another couple who was drinking but not eating. After a half hour or so the hostess came out and asked both of us to move back a table. We were still on the deck, but now the people dining could eat at the tables closest to the river. Again, we had no problem with that. We were just happy to be outside on the deck at all. The other couple, however, was ticked off by this, even though they had been told the same thing as us. They left, but apparently on the way out complained to the manager and said he should fire the hostess for asking them to move! The hostess told us she was just trying to be nice, but now she would never offer a table on the deck to anyone not dining again. It really gets me mad when people take advantage of other people’s niceness, then ruin things for everyone else. Another example: my daughter’s preschool offered scholarships to parents who needed the financial help. When these parents were charged the full amount of the last month’s tuition, which they had been told would happen before the school year started, they went up in arms and ranted and raved and yelled and screamed about how unfair it was. So guess who’s not offering scholarships next year? I don’t blame the school. People never fail to amaze me, and not in a good way.