´¯`•. December 28, 2016

Toledo Adventure: Day One (excluding TMoA)

The world is a book, and those who don’t travel have only read one page.
– Augustine of Hippo

Now for the trip!

Friday night we spent packing (and then relaxing in the hot tub), and Saturday morning we got up bright and… not so early (why not sleep in?  It’s vacation!) and took to the road.  First stop is always getting an oil change and gassing up for the trip, but then we were on our way!  We had a three hour drive to Toledo, and stopped for lunch when we reached Hwy 23.

Just a funny:  I’m an idiot.  We got to the restaurant, and I had to go to the bathroom pretty bad, at that point, but Brian always makes me order, since I know what everyone likes.  So I’m ordering and squirming and the guy at the counter is kinda pushing buttons on his screen, and when I get everyone’s orders in, I pat Brian on the arm and say, “Okay, now you can handle peeing, I mean PAYING…  Freudian slip… I gotta go!”  Both the guy and Brian were laughing.  Sorry, just… sorry.  As we were leaving, I said, “Happy Whatever-it-is-that-you-celebrate!”  And Brian cracked up.  “Happy Holidays is fine, you know.”  Yeah, well… mine’s good, too!

Then we were off to the wilds of exotic Ohio.  O-HI!!!-O!   Just… hadda do that.

img_0256-444x286See the Jeep in my photo?  LOVE it!

Our first stop was the Toledo Museum of Art, because it was only open X-mess eve.  According to the website, it was open until five, but when we got there, they said, “Too bad, we changed our minds – it’s only open until four, now.”  Which is why we didn’t make it to the Glass Pavilion.  We had to make a choice, and we chose to do the Museum, itself.  There wasn’t time for both buildings.  Both are free, by the way, but parking is $7.  Still, that’s really, really good.

img_0261-555x355I’ll do a separate post on the Museum.  It’s too much!

After we were finished at the museum, we went in search of our hotel and set up our room.  The pressing problem was finding someplace that would be open for dinner.  Lucky for us, Applebee’s was across the parking lot from our hotel, and was open until 8pm.  We also got a 20% discount if we showed our room card from the hotel, so that was nice!

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After that, we took off downtown to see Hensville.  I’d seen pictures on-line of the light displays in Hensville… hundreds of thousands of lights, run up and down the buildings for an entire city block!  Let me go and see if I can grab a picture of it, for you.  (And by now you should be asking yourself, ‘why is she going to grab a picture… doesn’t she HAVE one?’  And that’s a good question, but first look at Hensville, lit up):

I was stoked about seeing this, for myself.  Sure, Toledo indoors was closed, but there were amazing things to see outdoors, right?  WRONG.  Here’s what Hensville looked like on X-mess Eve.  X-mess EVE.  

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Well, there’s evidence of there once having been an X-mess display… I guess?!  C’mon!!  It’s X-MESS!!!  They can’t even light the ever-lovin’, dad-gum street for X-mess?!?!?  ((I was grumbling.  Loudly.  Unhappily.  Curse you, Hensville!))

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Since we were there, we took a family selfie outside of the stadium… which kind of wasn’t impressive.  We actually have a 5/3rd bank stadium in Grand Rapids, kthxbye.  AND OURS HAS A HUGE X-MESS LIGHT DISPLAY!  ON X-MESS!!!!  Toledo, you blow!!

(I’m stopping now.  Really.)

In our hotel room, I’d (wisely) checked the Trinity site again, to be SURE that they were having a candlelight service, and to my delight, there wasn’t just an 11pm service, they were doing Handel’s Messiah at 10pm!!  Oh, WoW, right?!  But we had some time between Hensville and that, so our itinerary had us taking the Wayne bridge across the river, going down to International Park to take pictures of the cityscape, then checking out the Seaport (not knowing that it was all fenced off and blocked).

 img_0358-555x287Veteran’s Bridge from International Park.  Isn’t that impressive!

img_0364-444x331This is a Maritime museum.  The ship, the flag, the bridge… photo op!

img_0366-444x188Ironville, from as close as you can get to it, pretty much.

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On the south side of the river is Tony Packo’s.  If you go to Toledo, everyone says you HAVE to go to Tony Packo’s… because it’s mentioned on the TV series, M*A*S*H by Klinger (played by Jamie Farr, who is actually from Toledo.  And by the way, there’s a Jamie Farr Park, but it’s buildings have been around WAY before Jamie Farr was a twinkle in his mama’s eye, so I think they just changed the name to honor him).  Online reviews say that it’s kind of a thing, to eat at Packo’s, but that the food blows… and since they were closed most of our visit, we just took a picture of the original Tony Packo’s, to show we’ve *been* there.  (There are actually four locations.  This is the original.)

Then we headed back downtown and went to Trinity Episcopal church.  Built in the Civil War era, Trinity has had a team of experts excavate the paint layers of the church, and discovered how the church originally looked… and they’ve re-done it to look exactly like it originally had… which, by the way, includes a Hogwarts-esque night sky ceiling!

Sadly, church attendance in Toledo is in the hole.  To the point where they pulled the pews out, and put a circle of seats in, that holds about one hundred people in an intimate setting.  (There were a lot less chairs than in this picture, there.)  Which means when a new person arrives (with a husband and FIVE children in tow), we take up a whole row and draw a LOT of attention.  Luckily, there were other visitors, that evening.  Because of the performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, it was a full house, with even an extra row of chairs added.

img_0398-444x325We were shocked to see a small orchestra and tiny choir appear at the front, and with the acoustics, twenty people could carry the ‘Messiah’ with no problem.  It was beautifully done.  But it wasn’t the kind of setting that one could *sneak* out of after the concert, and the priest (lady) had kind of latched on to us the moment we came in the door… so we stayed for the service, too.  I’ve never been to an Episcopal service, before.  It’s… really not that different from Catholicism.

They invited us to do communion, but when they started talking about the ‘mystery’ of communion and the ’embodiment’ of the elements, I quickly shook my head no, and we stayed away from that whole thing.  We also had a long conversation on the way back to the hotel, after, about how there is cultural, artistic, and historical value to all things, we just have to take from them what is good, and not have anything to do with the stuff that is not.

Life is tricky that way.

Anyhow, that was day one in Toledo!

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