after our time in batavia, we headed west, all the way to erie, pennsylvania (whomp whomp), where we spent the night to be closer to cleveland, where we had mid morning plans.
we planned to stay at a walmart, but when we arrived and noticed no other rvs, we inquired within and learned that this was not a walmart that allowed overnight rv parking. so, we backtracked to a TA truckstop near the highway. then, derek realized we hadn’t switched the fridge to propane on the drive, which drained the battery. so far, so good. no big deal, we would just charge back up with our generator. except then that started on fire. derek was able to put it out and figure out what was wrong (the cap was not secured properly at the last oil change). but, it made for an eventful and stressful start to our big adventure.
we awakened after a peaceful night under the glaring floodlights of the parking lot and headed into cleveland, home of the “a christmas story” house. it’s a lidkid favorite, so of course we had to check it out.
the tour was really informative and funny and interactive. i normally don’t expect much from these sorts of things. we learned about how the movie came to be filmed at this house and the history of the house since the movie, efforts to recreate some of the props, stories about filming and the actors, and lots of fun easter eggs to look for in the movie.
the girls got to get under the sink where ralphie’s little brother randy hid out, crying because he was worried that “daddy’s gonna kill ralphie!” and the kitchen was almost exactly like the movie, but now i’m forgetting the differences. oops.
the bathroom upstairs had the notebook where ralphie decoded the secret ovaltine message and the bar of soap used to wash his mouth out, which we were specifically asked not to attempt.
ralphie and randy’s bedroom, complete with books, toys, and ralphie’s prize winning, hand written, red rider bb gun theme.
there were two manifestations of the iconic lamp. in the living room, it’s lit brightly in the front window (which you can see outside). and in the entryway, you can find it in it’s fragile shipping container. the living room was also decorated exactly like the movie.
it was so cool to walk around the house and explore the place where all those scenes took place. surreal, really. and we were encouraged to be hands on, which is uncommon for this sort of thing. it was so much better than i anticipated.
after the house, we moved across the street to the museum. this is where all the actual movie props are located. and so much more information was blasted at us. i’ll spare you a bunch of pictures of props in cases, but here’s a few. and a picture of hazel doing her best ralphie in bunny pj’s impression.
after our tour, we made our way to a farmers market area downtown for lunch. but when we saw a welcome to cleveland mural, we obviously had to jump out for some photos.
the farmers market roads were a bit nuts, since it was june and pride month and a weekend and downtown-ish. lots of parades and the like. eventually we found parking and scoped out the craft and artisan area. we bought a zillion stickers and i think maybe some other stuff that i can’t remember now.
at the farmers market, we scored some lunch for the kiddos. and plenty of snacks and treats for us all. since ruby wasn’t allowed inside, we had to take turns walking her, while different groupings of family members perused the selections. then we sat outside on a tiny strip of grass and filled up on all the foods.
we had a few other options for things to do whilst in cleveland, but in the end, we abandoned those and got on the road to the next spot. (well, to a parking lot layover somewhere in between and then to the next spot)…