When I was a freshman in high school, sitting in my grade school classroom pretending it was really high school, I had a young, gorgeous priest for religion class. He knew he was a handsome devil and proved it. He would sit on the corner of the desk, and talk to us about sin and hell and mostly about good intentions. He’d roar out in a deep masculine kind of voice, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I never forgot it, or hm — a few weeks later he skipped off to Michigan with the mother of one of the students.

Could that be why when I make good intentions — like writing this blog on the Sue-Ann Great Road Trip to Ohio — I don’t follow through or at least not right away? I guess the truth is it’s easy — as my teacher proved — to make the good intention but sometimes oh so hard to follow through.

Enough of that, it’s starting to sound like an excuse to me.

It all started in the summer when friend-teacher-caregiver-lovely person Sue, said to me, “I’m turning 50 this year and I want to take some road trips and I want to take one with you.” Whoa, I thought, I haven’t been out of the city let alone the country since the pandemic started so the thought of venturing forth into the perhaps unvaccinated-world was a little daunting. “Where do you want to go? I asked. She said, “Ohio.” “Why?” I answered. She wanted to meet my family and she’d never been there so why not. I suggested we should maybe stay in Oh Canada with fewer guns and not quite as insane politicians but, alas, not my family. Nope, Ohio it would be. Then I reminded her that the Queen on the couch, aka Rose The Cat, had to get insulin twice a day and blah blah blah. “You have until September 1 to find someone to take care of Rose.” Sue is a very direct person and she knows me very well. The ball was in my court, as they say. I did find someone, I think my friend Tim just wanted to give me a chance to get away

We Are On the Way

So, almost two months ago to the day, it was time to hit the road. Chaos prevailed that morning: The Queen was getting buried on the TV which Queen Rose was watching devoutly, the bug guys showed up earlier than scheduled to attack roaches and I forgot to get a key made for the Rose Sitter.

But once out of here and in the car and on the road, all of the past three months of stress just faded away and I could get excited about the Sue and Ann Great Road Trip to Ohio.

Day One

Crossing the Peace Bridge into the US

I had driven the Queen Elizabeth Way (an appropriate route to take on that day) to the border many times by myself with a book on tape, a red cooler in the passenger seat and straight highway all the way to Columbus. Not so this time around. I was in that passenger seat responsible for the comfort and entertainment of the driver. Such fun — Sue had brought a selection of CDs which I
fed into the slot while feeding her with bagel/egg sandwiches, fruit, sweet and salty snacks and stories of other trips. One thing I discovered about Sue on this trip, is that when she is hungry she has to eat then nor an hour later. It’s good to know.

So then, we were on our way to Cleveland on the Lake. Since Sue’s partner had programmed the GPS to avoid all toll roads, once we slipped out of Buffalo — I guess if one can shuffle to Buffalo one can slip out — we left the highway and took a meandering road through the countryside passing Watch Out signs for deer and bears and turtles crossing the road and horses and buggies which, as if on cue, one surprised us both when it clopped down a side road as we passed. It was all such a relief from the stress of the highway and I wasn’t even driving.  And anyway, on a highway we would have missed the Bear Ass Road or three huge ceramic roosters decorated in red and greens and yellows and blues watching the road, or, really,  a sign for the Dirty Donkey Dispenser Company! We passed through the lovely Village of the Little Valley or was it the Little Village in the Valley. Sue’s still in New Zealand so can’t ask her. On down the road was a sign for Versailles and another telling me we were passing through the Seneca Nation and I wondered how much of this beautiful land was being farmed by them.

View from patio and pool ares of the Shoreline. Unfortunately, we never had a chance to swim there.

But, enough meandering, we were on our way to Cleveland to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and celebrate Sue’s 50th Birthday. She found us a place to stay right on Lake Erie. Walking through the lobby of the Shoreline condos, you could see right through the windows to the lake close enough to put your feet in. The building had been a holding place for cars coming down from Detroit on a barge which docked here and unloaded the cars right into the building. It was a great location spitting distance to downtown — in a car this is the US — and just down the road from the R&R. But that’s the next day

Me anticipating a cold beer and warm tacos. I was not disappointed

Food was in order so we went back to the car and drove to downtown Cleveland which, being a Monday, the city was pretty closed up tight. Visions of hunger danced in our heads. But, finally, after much searching we found the little core of Cleveland that had bars and restaurants and PEOPLE on the street. It was the arena area where the shrines to football and basketball and baseball and probably something else lived and where there was just enough activity for us to find a wonderful place for tacos and Columbus Ale. While we waited for a table, Sue played Jeopardy through the window and complained they were changing the questions too fast. It was a lovely way to end the first day of TSAGRT

Next the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame