Lions, Tigers, Bears… and Vikings and Steelers

Today we left Hershey.  We said goodbye to the sweet smell of chocolate in the air and the street lights that looked like kisses (quite literally – Doodlebug was saying goodbye to each light as we drove down the road).  We were headed towards Cleveland, OH, where we would visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

We were about 10 minutes down the road towards Cleveland when we were rerouted off our path due to an accident.  I said a prayer for those involved, and tried to keep “Clark” heading in the right direction.  We had no idea where we were, but fortunately there were police helping to direct traffic.  We finally were able to find our way back onto the highway, only twice being in a turn-only lane when we didn’t intend to turn (“my bad” to the cars behind us).  We made it to Cleveland with no other major incidents.

Before arriving in Cleveland, we had to make a stop for lunch.  But, where to eat?  As we rounded a curve, a bright yellow sign with black letters beckoned us.  It was a beautiful sight.  It was a… Waffle House!  Jim and I love eating at the Waffle House. I’m not sure why.  Maybe its because the food is cheap, the staff is always friendly, the food is cheap, the food is tasty, or the food is cheap.  I’m not sure.  We were so happy to find one (we’ve never seen one in the north), we knew we had to stop.

When we arrived at the Football HoF, I got goosebumps.  It was so exciting!  I’ve been a football fan since I was about 4 years old.  I remember watching the Purple People Eaters (you know, back when the Vikings actually won a few NFC Championship games).  I watch the Super Bowl every year – I don’t care who is in it.  I’ve been the champ in a fantasy football league.  I LOVE FOOTBALL! 

I could have spent hours upon hours viewing every exhibit, listening to every recording, and watching every video.  However, I knew the rest of the family wasn’t quite as into all that as I was.  So, I looked at, listened to, and watched the most important things to me and moved on.  

 

One of the first things I saw was a display of artifacts from the Duluth Eskimos.  That was awesome (if you don’t know, I am from Duluth… if you don’t know the story of the team, Google it)!  Ernie Nevers was a star of the team and set a record for the number of minutes played in a season.  He played nearly every minute of every game in a 26 game season.

Me with John Randle’s statue.

Another highlight was seeing the busts (no, not that kind of busts!!) of all those who have been inducted into the Hall.  It was really impressive to see them all lined up, one after another.  Jim, of course, had to point out that the Steelers have many more members in the Hall than the Vikings do, however, they didn’t have an inductee this year and the Vikings did… so there!  John Randle was inducted this year, for those who may not have known. 

As we finished our tour, there was an area for play.  Jim sat down and tried out Madden 2011.  Bre, Brooke, and Van all tried their hands at throwing touchdowns.  Each eventually succeeded.  It was fun to watch them all play.  There were also trivia games and a “Guess the Play” game.  Overall, the Football HoF was very family friendly.

There are so many more highlights, but I’ll just add a few pictures so as to not bore everyone who is not as rabid about football as I am.  

Van said, “Mommy’s favorite team.  Vikings!”

 

 

 

 

As we were leaving, we walked through the gift shop.  My husband, being the loving, attentive, devoted man he is, told me to pick something out for my anniversary gift.  I am now the proud owner of a Pro Football Hall of Fame sweatshirt… and a t-shirt that has all the Vikings in the Hall listed.  Yes, I am a spoiled wife.  Some women want flowers or chocolate for their anniversary.  I was thrilled to see the Hall of Fame and get these souvenirs.

After leaving the Hall, we found our way to the hotel.  We had only one wrong turn… totally the fault of the navigator we were using.  It insisted we were supposed to head right on a road where we were supposed to go left.  We figured it out pretty quickly, got ourselves turned around, and found our hotel.  We got settled and figured out where to eat.  That was a real chore!

We drove around the area near our hotel checking out all the restaurants nearby.  There was one thing we agreed on – we wanted to eat someplace we couldn’t eat at back home.  We narrowed it down to the Steak-n-Shake, 2 Guys Burgers and Fries, Bob Evans, Max and Erma’s, and Golden Corral.  We chose the Corral.  Something about a buffet appealed to the girls.  Teen/Tween hunger, perhaps?  We had a very good, very filling meal.  I tried not to eat too much, but it is difficult to do when there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet next to you.  Pre-gastric bypass, I would have been thrilled to have all that food to choose from (and I probably would have tried most of it).  Post-gastric bypass, however, all-you-can-eat isn’t that much.  The restaurant definitely made money off of me.  I did try one dessert, though.  The bread pudding.  It was wonderful!  Big chunks of bread and delicious cinnamon.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm… I would have loved to box a few pounds of that up and take it home with me.  

After dinner we went back to the hotel and crashed.  We didn’t even spend any time in the pool.  Van actually asked to go right to bed.  It had been a long day for all of us.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel asleep thinking of football and Super Bowl trophies.  I am a dreamer, I know, but I still hold onto hope that the Vikings will bring the big one home at some point during my life! 

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