Thursday, September 15, 2016

Let's Throw In A Little Culture

Had a lovely RV re-positioning today. In fact, the next couple of “re-positionings” involve drives of an hour or less.  It is going to take me forever to get to where I am going.   My type of travel.

I came to Maumee Bay State Park, just a little bit east of Toledo, Ohio. After spending so many extra bucks for the pleasure of camping in Michigan, it was a thrill to see that this park was part of Passport America complex which means that Monday thru Wednesday, camping is half price. Two nights of camping for $27. To top it off, the sites are huge, secluded and there are tons of walking trails so Miko (and Me) can walk forever.  This park is right on Lake Erie but we really didn't have time to find the lake.  So many trails, so little time. 

Funny thing: There are over 250 camping sites in this park, everything is really spread out. Who do I find, three sites down from me – but Bob from our Precept gathering last weekend. To top it off, it turns out that Bob and his wife went to a tiny little college in Michigan named Adrian. I'm talking enrollments in the hundreds not the thousands. Tiny, tiny little college. Turns out I was going to that same little college the same time they were. Small world. They didn't remember me, I didn't remember them, but then I don't really remember what I had for breakfast today.

This is a cultural stop for me. I am going to the Toledo Museum of Art because they have a special glass exhibit showing right now. Toledo is known as the City of Glass and the museum has set aside a whole building to exhibit art glass – funny enough they call it the Glass Pavilion.

Before I went to the Glass Pavilion, I tooled around the rest of the Museum. I'm especially fond of Impressionist art and they had a nice selection – all the big names: Van Gogh, Seurat, Monet......

What blew me away though, much more than the glass exhibit that I had gone to see was an exhibition by a Spanish artist called Jaume Plensa who is after a fashion, a sculptor. I was fortunate that I was the only one in the gallery or on the grounds so I could spend a great deal of time just being with the art.

This is called Self Portrait - you can't see it but inside the ball is a person done in the same style as the outside ball

This was just wire put together in such a way as to see heads

There was also a painting done in the style of Chuck Close - I can't remember the actual artist

This is what it looked like when you were close up

And this is what it looked like from a distance

My second stop was to be lunch at Tony Packo's Hungarian eatery. It was made famous by Jamie Farr on the tv show Mash. He mentioned it on about seven different episodes. It is also the home of the Hot Dog Museum where all these famous people have signed hot dog buns and they are displayed on the walls. I think there are supposed to seven presidents who have signed buns, not to mention many mega celebrities. But.... I was starving and didn't make it there – I ate at the Museum's cafe and had Pesto Chicken Gnocchi which was incredible. So sorry Tony Packo. At least I got a picture because the light turned red at the right minute.

The original restaurant

Pesto Chicken Gnocchi - how exquisite is this? 

Last stop this time around in Toledo was the National Museum of the Great Lakes. They had an actual iron ore tanker that you could explore. The Col. James M. Schoonmaker was launched in 1911 and called the “Queen of the Lakes” because she was the largest bulk freighter in the world. I think she is 691 feet long. It was a self guided tour and you could go down in the holds, thru the engine room, into the crew's and the officers' quarters, all the way up to the Pilot house.

The bow of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker

The rest of it

Toledo has a pretty bridge - I crossed this in the RV - we were very very very high up

It's a long way back to the stern
Aren't all my Navy friends impressed with my ship jargon?

The museum was really fascinating, it had a short film and a very extensive display area. There was an interactive display on the Edmund Fitzgerald where you could go diving through the wreckage. I found the section about all of the shipwrecks on the Great Lakes the most interesting. Fun (or maybe not so fun) Fact: The most shipwrecks have occurred in Lake Michigan – in fact one of the docents said that Lake Michigan is like the Bermuda Triangle of the North – People/ships would just disappear.

Two more fun facts
1.  Lake Superior is the deepest lake and right in the center of the lake, it goes down 1392 feet
2.  Sailors who are used to sailing on the ocean often get very sea sick when sailing the Great Lakes, turns out the wave pattern is very different.

Miko and I spent most of the rest of our time in Toledo hiking in the park.  There seem to be a lot of deer in the park and being as how Miko is a deerhound and has no control when she sees a deer, my left shoulder has been yanked out of it's socket.  Not really, but it sure does hurt.  We will be using a lot of ice. 

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