´¯`•. December 29, 2016

Toledo Adventure: Day Two

“In a day, when you don’t come across any problems, you can be sure
that you are travelling in a wrong path” ― Swami Vivekananda

 I was going to do the Museum of Art, from Day One, but let’s save that for after the overall trip is completed, shall we?  It’d wreck the continuity to stick it in, here.  IMHO, anyhow.


MERRY X-MESS!!   It was X-mess day, and we were able to sleep in, because for holidays and Sundays, the hotel had breakfast until ten (instead of the usual 9am).  This was a very good thing, because after the busy day before (and staying up until well after midnight), the kids needed the extra sleep.  We got up, opened the window… and ‘Mom!!  Winterberries!  We’ve got Winterberries for X-mess!”  And sure enough, right outside of our window?  Winterberries.  It started the day off, perfectly.  Happily, we padded to the elevator, and went down to breakfast.

In Toledo, pretty much everything is closed for X-mess.  We knew this, going in… but I had planned a plethora of activities for us that were all free and outdoors, so for the most part, there were no time constraints, beyond one:  We needed to be at the Holy Rosary Cathedral by 11am, when Christmas Mass ended.  I learned how to do this, last year at Notre Dame’s Cathedral: you go at 11am (since services start at 10am), and as it’s finishing and people are milling about, you can go in and check out the architecture and see the amazing art.

So we took off, but because of the loop/grid, we got to Old West End twenty minutes early.  This was not a problem… I saw architecture, and immediately took off across the parking lot, to go and see what there was to see (… which was like heading for an iceberg and having NO idea how huge it really was, under the surface!).  In just one block south of the Cathedral:

img_0402-555x416Abandoned and empty… and beautiful.

img_0407-555x290How would you like to go to school, here?  This is the High School.
(Well, one of them. Even Rossford High School has astounding architecture!)

img_0409-478x555Christian Gerber House, est. 1872.
And that’s not all… look behind it.  Do you see that?  Check it:

img_0413-416x555Christian Gerber Manor, looking down the side, behind the house.

img_0415-444x292And the side view, facing it.  Absolutely mind-blowing.  And mostly empty.

img_0414-341x444The other side of the parking lot.  It felt a little like England!!

img_0417-444x333(Not so England. Definitely Toledo, here.)

Then it was time to go back past the Catholic school and offices and make our way to the Holy Rosary Cathedral.  When we came around those buildings, our jaws dropped, anew:

img_0400-555x317Look at the roof!!  Look at the colors!!  Homigoodness!



Funny:  Actually, this wasn’t funny at all, but Brian is STILL laughing his hiney off over it.  I haven’t been so embarrassed since the time I asked a cardinal on the steps of St. Paul’s in London what the queen’s last name was.  Anyhow… okay, so you want to hear the story, even though I *cringe* to tell it.  There were the front doors to go in, but there was also a front side door, and I thought that might be less obtrusive than walking in the front door, right?  But it was locked.  So there was a rear side door… and it was cracked open.   It was also where the highest concentration of cars were, so I figured that was the entrance people used, right?  So Brian says, “Go up and check it.”  So I do – I climb the steps, crack the door open…

… and it’s RIGHT where the altar is, in the cathedral.  The priests, altar boys, bishops… everyone is RIGHT THERE.  And they all look over at me.  GAHH!!!!!  I shut that door so fast…!!  Now of ALL the DOORS in the ENTIRE church, why was that one cracked open?!?!?!?!   ((((((Mortification!!!))))))  Ha’Shem laughs His hiney off at me, too… you know this, right?!

img_0428-555x415I see you back there…  And I’m praying for your very blonde soul.

Anyhow, we go in the front doors, sit down, and catch the end of the service.  And yes, I shamelessly take pictures of everything, because I have a super-silent, flash-less spy camera.  And one chance to be here, hello.  Besides, it’s freaking gorgeous in there, and other people are taking pictures, too.  Well, after services, anyhow.


img_0431-555x416Brian didn’t like this one.  Said it was too gaudy.

img_0432-416x555It was a little garish, you must admit.  But I read on-line that this is “the mother church of the 124 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo.  This cathedral is unique architecturally in that it was designed in the Spanish Platereque style. It was designed with Toledo’s Sister City, Toledo, Spain in mind. It was built in the spirit of the great European cathedrals of the Middle Ages.”  That’s quite impressive, don’t you think?

From there, we went on to the Toledo Botanical Gardens, which are both free and open all of the time.  And before you say that gardens aren’t pretty in winter…?  Take a look for yourself:







It was a nice, but very, very short visit.  In winter there isn’t as much flourishing, so we can move along through it much, much faster.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t a nice walk.  And the weather was very nice – in the high 30s, so it wasn’t frigid.  Only ears and fingers felt the cold.

And then, practically next door was Wildwood Metropark.  Toledo has a great number of ‘metroparks’ (not to be confused with city parks).  Metroparks are a little… more.  They’re designed to get people out of the house and exercising, seeing new things, and some of them have historical significance.  I chose Wildwood because it’s a historical manor house, and it’s all done up for X-mess.  (Unfortunately, they do their X-mess holiday weekend around November 17th, so before Thanksgiving shows up, Toledo is done with their Christmas stuff.  I can’t even speak about the stupidity of this, because it’s a trend that’s happening all around the states.  Nothing Christmas happens in December – even Santa Claus parades are freakin’ November 30th, anymore.

Anyhow… Wildwood Metropark!img_0502-555x413Stables, which are now the information center
and hub of all of the hiking trails.

img_0503-555x412My kids insisted that’s Regina’s tree (from ‘Once Upon a Time’)

img_0507-333x250I didn’t know it before we went, but ‘Wildwood’ was once ‘Stranleigh’ – the lavish home of the creator of Champion spark plugs.  Along with Libbey, Stranahan was instrumental in the booming industry in Toledo.  Who knew?

img_0512-555x416The Stranahan Manor.

img_0523-444x333And gardens, although most of it was put to sleep for the winter.

img_0526-444x361Covered Bridge walk.  The one trail I could get my grumpy kids to take.
(S’okay… by now the park was getting BUSY, with bored X-mess peoples.)

img_0533-416x555I did manage to talk them into taking a back-way shortcut to the car.

img_0534-555x416Which took us past the one trail *I* had wanted to take.
Doesn’t that look fun?!  Eh, well.  Some other lifetime, perhaps.

img_0542-555x434The shortcut took us past this!  Can you imagine?
A ballroom with the balcony overlooking a horse arena?!

img_0545-555x416As we were walking, deer jumped out ten foot away from me.  See ’em?

img_0547-555x321Back at the stables, we decide to use the restrooms before heading out.
We were NOT expecting this!!!  Gives new meaning to bathroom ‘stalls’!!!!

img_0548-416x555Yes, I’m irreverent enough to do this.

Dining on X-mess is always disastrous.  This is why I bring food along.  We actually passed a Boston Market that was open, but the line was around the inside of the building, and out the door.  (I told you – people don’t want to sit home.  Why can’t businesses GET that?!)  Anyhow, it was sobering, and we decided to find our supper place (we were planning on Chinese – they’re always open on X-mess), and GET RESERVATIONS!!!  So we did that, and then headed back to the hotel… where we discovered the fridge wasn’t working.  We ate oranges, granola bars, rootbeer caramel corn, and all of the non-cold items I’d brought along.

Halfway through the Botanical Gardens, I got this pounding headache.  So by the time lunch came, I was pretty miserable, and the ibuprofen I carry wasn’t touching it.  So we crashed in the hotel room (which the kids wanted, anyhow), and Brian and I took naps.  Me because I was trying to kick the headache, him because he just loves to snuggle.  When we got up, we decided to drive up the north side of the river, and see what there was to see along the bay.

img_0552-555x416I could see a lot more, from this side… it was just one long line of city parks with views.

img_0579-555x293Ironville, with my zoom lens.  This was taken from near Jamie Farr park.

img_0587-555x291BayPoint Light!  Isn’t it festive and beautiful?!

img_0594-555x414Toledo Cityscape from the window of our car, atop Veteran’s bridge.

img_0597-555x393Look how ENORMOUS these buildings are, from the size of the cars…!!

img_0607-416x555Headed back downtown, to St. Patricks.  I wish I’d gotten a better shot
of the gargoyles.  They were actually cute.  You can see them here, actually.

img_0612-555x416-2Since we were in town, we drove down to see a few more place on my list.
I should state that this entire trip, I’m the only one getting out to see things.

img_0623-444x360Not the Daily Planet, but just as kewl a building – the Toledo Blade.

Anyhow, when it got close to the time for us to go to supper, we headed back out to the airport area.  BOY, was I glad we got reservations earlier in the day – it was packed out the door, with the people at the tables waiting over an hour for their food!  It was CR-azy busy.  (Again… why…?!?!!  Y’know, nevermind.)  We had a nice table in the back room, and made our reservations after the supper rush, so it was less harried, and I ordered in such a way that ‘courses’ could be brought out and keep us busy for the whole hour and a half that we were there.  It was more expensive that way, but was nicer, too.

And our waiter loved that we cleared/stacked our dishes for him, and weren’t giving him sh!t (<< we were seated next to doctors.  They made sure everyone knew.  They felt they were IMPORTANT and should NOT have to wait like everyone else.  They were also not happy with anything that poor waiter brought.).  He preferred us… and at the end, loaded up with seven water glasses, two dishes, a teapot and a bowl… we were gasping and laughing and he was having a wonderful time showing just how much he could carry at once.  Too fun!

We went back to our hotel, and the kids went swimming before bed.  That headache, though?  It morphed into a cold.  And by bedtime, Brian had the headache, along with Owen.  We picked something up in Toledo… and it was a bug.  Ugh!


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1 Comment

  1. I quite like the Spanish influence, very colorful and not imposing at all. The ivy climbing up the walls reminds me a bit of Durham, very nice!


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