Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christmas Story House

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  This is a fun stop for Christmas Story fans. The house and street were featured in the movie. Scenes where the street and surroundings could be seen through the windows were filmed in the house but most of the indoor scenes were filmed in a studio so the house interior layout doesn’t quite match the movie. It’s been redone to resemble the movie interior and outfitted with period furnishing. Playing with the props is permitted. Tours are given every half hour.

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  Tickets are also good for admission to a small museum with photographs and memorabilia from the movie. Two houses have been joined together to form a large gift shop.

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The gift shop is accessible but neither the house or museum have a ramp.

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  The streets are very narrow so it's a tight fit for large motorhomes. Parking is on the street but you may have to park a block away.  House

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Cleveland Botanical Garden

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  Most of the flowers are gone but the fall leaves are still very colorful. The garden consists of about a dozen small themed gardens and a greenhouse with two sections, one representing Madagascar and the other  Costa Rica. The Costa Rica section has butterflies and small birds. The garden is fairly small so it doesn’t take very much time to see it.

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  The main garden path is accessible but many of the paths into the themed gardens have steps and hills. The greenhouse is accessible. An elevator accesses the canopy walk. From the canopy walk visitors can enter the second floor of the visitor center, go down the steps and exit the gardens however since there isn’t an interior elevator visitors in wheelchairs must backtrack through the greenhouse to exit.

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The museum parking is in a garage but metered parking is available along Wade Oval Drive or Magnolia Drive. Magnolia Drive is a couple of blocks to the north. The sidewalks are bumpy but usable and the curb cuts are a fairly good condition.  Garden

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cleveland Museum of Art

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  Expansion of the oil and steel industries in the late 1800s along with the growth of a vast network of railroads made Cleveland’s industrial tycoons some of the wealthiest men in the US. Three of them donated personal collections and millions of dollars to build the art museum which sits on the edge of park land donated by an earlier millionaire, Jeptha Wade, who founded Western Union Telegraph Company. The museum’s holdings are large and varied with exceptionally fine pieces from around the world. This is one of the best art museums that we’ve visited. There’s so much to see that it took us three days with visits of 2-3 hours each day to view all of the rooms. And it’s free!

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  The museum is very accessible.  Even the doors into the exhibit galleries are automatic.

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  The museum parking is in a garage but metered parking is available along Wade Oval Drive or Magnolia Drive. Magnolia Drive is a couple of blocks to the north. The sidewalks are bumpy but usable and the curb cuts are a fairly good condition. Museum

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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  Almost all museums of natural history have a bunch of mounted animals that were collected in the days when big game hunting was fashionable. Usually they’re featured in dioramas but this museum has chosen to group the animals by their country of origin along with cases of cultural artifacts which makes it much more interesting. Information about how people used the animals for food, clothing, shelter, rituals and decorations (and sometimes caused extinctions) is included.

  Exhibits cover evolution, archaeology, and gemstones . A center courtyard with a creek flowing through is planted with native grasses, trees and flowers. None of the exhibits are large but everything is very well done.

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  The museum is accessible.

   The parking lot is too small for RVs but metered parking is available along Wade Oval Drive or Magnolia Drive. Magnolia Drive is a couple of blocks to the north. The sidewalks are bumpy but usable and the curb cuts are a fairly good condition. Museum

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Western Reserve Historical Society

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  When the Colony of Connecticut was granted land in the Americas by King Charles II their holdings extended west to the Mississippi River. After the Revolutionary War the state of Connecticut agreed to give up most of this land but kept a small portion which became known as the Western Reserve. Some of the land was sold and some was reserved for New Englanders who’s homes had been destroyed by British soldiers. The settlers brought traditional New England town planning, building styles and town names to northeast Ohio. Surprisingly little of this story and little of the history of Cleveland is included in the museum.

  The largest exhibit is an extensive car collection. Many of the cars were manufactured in Cleveland. Other are rare models including the first car to circumvent the world and four stainless steel cars. Two mansions have been incorporated in the museum structure. One has some rooms furnished with antiques and some rooms with museum exhibits. The other mansion is only shown by guided tour which we missed.

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  The museum is accessible. Some of the exhibits have LCD screens with slideshows or short videos. These are impossible to view from a seated position.

  Do not attempt to park in the museum lot if you have anything larger than a SUV. The lot is small and if it’s full or you can not fit there’s no room to turn around. Metered on-the-street parking is available on Magnolia Drive. Park directly across from the museum lot for an easy path to the museum entrance. Museum

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Historic Zoar Village

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  Zoar was founded in 1817 by a group of German immigrants who came to the US seeking religious freedom. They practiced a communal style of living which lasted for more than 80 years but by 1898 the villagers had voted to disband the society and the property was divided among the residents. The village is still very small with less than 100 buildings. Most have been restored, some are shops and restaurants, some are private residences. There’s a museum and a few of the buildings are open to tour but check the hours before visiting.

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The store, where tour ticket are purchased, has steps at the entrance. The museum has steps too. There aren’t any ramps or signs indicating any other access. The streets and sidewalks are in very good condition. We walked/roll through the whole town which was very enjoyable even though we had little information about any of the buildings which were all closed since it was the middle of the week.

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Parking for RVs is available at the south end of town in the lot near the hotel and cider mill.  Village

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Public Lands Interpretive Association

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  Another one for all of the map geeks! :-)  Link

The maps include all of the public lands in the western states with activities that are available in each and a good filtering system to make it easier to find just the things that interest you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Downtown Sugarcreek Campground

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  Very little information is available for this campground so we weren’t sure about what to expect. It’s nice – a large grassy area with picnic tables, restrooms, a dump station, and electricity and water at the sites. It’s located behind a fitness center and next door to a small IGA grocery store. Fees are paid at the fitness center.

  The little town of Sugar Creek is within walking distance. Sugar Creek bills itself as the “Little Switzerland of Ohio” but in reality it’s just a small town with some gingerbread decoration on a few of the buildings. There are a handful of things to see in the town and the surrounding area such as the largest cuckoo clock in the world. :-) Sugar Creek

  A sidewalk leads from the campground into town. The sidewalk  and curb cuts are in good condition with a slightly difficult spot at the railroad crossing.  Campground

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Alpine Hills Museum

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   An early wood shop with hand tools, a print shop, an Amish kitchen and a cheese making display are the major exhibits on the first floor of the museum. The second floor and the basement have more exhibits but unfortunately they are not accessible due to long flights of steps.

  Parking is available along the streets. Museum

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

World's Largest Cuckoo Clock

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   It’s big - 23 feet, 6 inches tall, 24 feet wide and 13 feet, 6 inches deep! The clock was built in 1972 as an attraction at the Alpine Alpa Restaurant. When the restaurant closed in 2009 the clock was bought by local businessman Mark Coblentz. After a complete restoration the clock was set in place in the center of the little town of Sugarcreek. Every 30 minutes the cuckoo pops out, a band appears from behind the doors and the couple twirls around to the music.

   A paved walkway allows wheelchair users a close up view.

   Parking is available along the streets. Clock

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