Being a business owner, I have to plan. I meal plan, I plan what I wear each day the night before, and I plan vacations. Andrew (my hubs) an...

Cleveland: Not As Planned

Being a business owner, I have to plan. I meal plan, I plan what I wear each day the night before, and I plan vacations. Andrew (my hubs) and I try to take at least a small road trip each year ~ even if it's just for a change of scenery. That means it's usually on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday when my shop Cats Like Us isn't open, so our getaway doesn't interfere with shop hours. Let me tell you, I had our Cleveland, Ohio trip planned a few months in advance. It did not go as planned, as the universe was working against us. We still managed to include some fun things, but it wasn't what I had hoped.

A few days before we were set to leave, I was double-checking the hours of everywhere on our list. One day of our trip was going to be dedicated to visit the Feline Historical Museum. It's a museum created by the Cat Fancier's Association outside of Akron, Ohio that's dedicated to the preservation of the history of cats in all art forms and types of pedigrees. Well it said on their website they were closed until further notice! I contacted them and one of the persons that runs the museum died, another was hospitalized. How awful. I was super bummed about this, but it's understandable. Needless to say, our trip plans changed two days before. 

Since our last trip to Cleveland in 2019, some new places have opened that we wanted to check out, so we were still determined to go on our road trip! The first stop was The Haunted House Restaurant for Sunday brunch. It's on a corner and when you check in at the movie counter there are large murals in the waiting area. Inside they have at least three TVs playing different horror movies, movie props, and lots of windows, booths, tables, and a nice bar. I ordered the lobster BLT and it was heavenly. (Yes, I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu! I'm on vacation dammit!) Paired with The Ring cocktail, it was the perfect combo. Andrew went with some a la carte breakfast items. They played 80s party music, and announced a birthday and an anniversary while we were there, but beware when the horror soundtrack starts! You might end up with an extra lunch guest! 

Andrew made a friend! (He's wearing the exclusive to Cats Like Us Monster Matt T Shirt.)

Next up we visited Suite Lorain. It's a go-to when we are in Cleveland for vintage, but it's very crowded. Not with people, but with merchandise, and this time around they were very strict with the Covid mask mandate. I was talking to Andrew with my mask on, alone in a corner of the shop, and was told that it was moving and needed to cover my nose better. Which is ironic since the shop itself is a bit messy, dusty, stuffed to the brim, and a little hard to shop because of the overcrowding. You could easily remove half of what's in it, and it would still be full. As a store owner myself, I just want to sort and organize it. If you do go there, go on a mission or be prepared to dig through piles. They do have everything, but you have to take the time to find it yourself.

Another new (to us) place we visited was Cleveland Curiosities. It was recommended by our friend Jay of Wooden Ts (He printed our Monster Matt T shirts.) The small and friendly shop was bustling with customers when we were there. It had oddities and taxidermy for sale, some of it quite large! I would recommend a visit. If you can't make it there, we have a local shop next to Cats  Like Us in Tonawanda, NY called Black Sheep Market that carries similar items, but has more small gifty items, less taxidermy, and a strong sense of humor!

After shopping and driving around, we worked up an appetite and planned to grab a drink at The Dark Room Bar. They have a list of horror movie themed drinks and seemed like a good fit for our trip... only...when we pulled up...they looked closed. It seems they had a fire. Strike two. Two places we had planned to go to that were closed. I swear I checked two days ago, and they had hours listed.

So what were we to do? We googled nearby restaurants and ended up at the Creekside Restaurant and Bar. We chose it because it sounded like an "old people place" that would have cocktails. It did not disappoint. Old people know where it's at! The food was delicious and service great. Good for people watching, lots of toupees, and golf style outfits. It's not surprising that as we left, there were tons of people waiting for a table. This ended up being a good choice.

We ate an early dinner, and were still pretty wired, so we decided to catch a movie. We saw Thor: Love and Thunder at the largest movie theater I have ever been in! You seriously had to walk up five flights of stairs to get to our seats in the middle of the theater. It was pretty cool. (Side note: I thought the movie was ok. It was much more of a goofy love story than a super hero flick.)

Now on to day two. (Sorry, this is a long blog post.) Our second go-to vintage shop is Flower Child. It's organized and two floors and we were really looking forward to checking it out we were walking up to the door a sign was being added to the front door. Really?! You got to be f'n kidding me! Closed for maintenance. WTF. I JUST checked their hours. It looks like they made a post on their Facebook the afternoon before we went there saying they would be closed. Three strikes. Ok, I tried to maintain composure and stay positive. 

We were not going to drive to Columbus, Ohio to their other location.

On to our next stop then, The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft. I wrote about them before, and they deserve another write-up! I mainly wanted to go back to the gift shop there. This place has such a good vibe. It turned around our day. The owner was working again, and I overheard him chatting with some customers. Everything he said is exactly what I say when my customers ask certain questions. Being a business owner isn't easy. You don't get days off. (and even when you do, everything seems to be closed. lol.) The shop is small but has a nice selection of books both new and used, and not just on witchcraft, but all kinds of subjects, there's a large crystal and gemstone display, altar pieces, and so much more! 

"Attention Shoplifters: The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick is protected by a 1000 year old curse. Don't test us."

I came home with three books, a magnet, glow in the dark T shirt, special blended positive tea, and tea leaf fortune cards. (Another side note...I took an online six week tea leaf reading course from The Tasseomancy Museum. That's another reason why I was M.I.A. for a little bit. I plan to take the advanced one in fall.)

I'm a fan of cemeteries. They are quiet, serene, and free. I don't get a chance to go to them very often. When we learned the Feline Historical Museum was going to be closed, we shifted gears and decided the Lake View Cemetery would be worth a visit. Yes, Eliot Ness and the James A. Garfield Memorial are there, but I really wanted to see the Haserot Angel aka "The Angel of Death Victorious"! It's a life size angel sculpture made of bronze and marble located under a tree canopy that appears to "cry" black tears holding a snuffed out torch to symbolize extinguished life. Haserot was the name of a canning mogul, and it's their tombstone. It's absolutely beautiful in real life and so metal! But really it's a stunning piece of artwork by Herman Matzen. You can walk around it to view the full piece. 

Here's me in the picture for scale. I'm 5'6". Some other notable tombstones...

Alan Freed. Cleveland disc jockey that coined the term "rock n' roll".

Eliot Ness. Public Safety Director for Cleveland that brought down Al Capone.

James A. Garfield Memorial. It has relief sculptures, stained glass windows, and a gold dome.

Rounding out the day, and since we had more time to kill (get it? we were in a cemetery?.... I apologize.) we had some time, and visited a park. Hung out on a park bench, and then visited with some tiki friends at their in home tiki bar. We met their four cats. It was so nice and relaxed, I forgot to take pictures.

Last day was the drive back. We drove by the Worlds Largest Stamp. Even though it's a park, there's no free place to park because it's so close to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (I've been there already. It's a beautiful, HUGE museum. If you go, be prepared to do a lot of reading and spend the whole day.)

Image taken from website, since we didn't stop and park.

The last last place to mention is that I finally ate at a Waffle House. (There aren't any in New York State.) Andrew is a fan and really wanted to go there. I thought it was fine. The bacon was made to my liking...burnt, and I was excited they had cinnamon raisin toast. He had a pecan waffle. 

So I guess the moral of my trip story... No matter how much you plan things, they may not work out and you will need to be flexible. I need to relearn this. Before I owned a shop, I was pretty easy going and went with the flow. This trip taught me I need to be able to pivot. 

If you got this far, thanks for reading!