Nestled along the southern shoreline of Lake Erie and along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, which has famously caught fire on multiple occasions, you’ll find the City of Cleveland - and its 380,000 residents. The second largest city in Ohio, Cleveland was founded in 1796 in a New England style with a public square at its center - a traffic and pedestrian nightmare, but a great work of modern landscape architecture today. Given its location on the edge of the lake, Cleveland was a major port city, its growth fueled by industry, trade, and growing railroad connections - notable in its history is that it was the birthplace of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. It may, however, be most well known as the birthplace of rock n roll where WJW DJ Alan Freed first spun the tracks over the airwaves in the 1950s.
Today, Cleveland is in a state of active and continual rebirth. The Cuyahoga River is recovering, and no longer catching fire, there’s a burgeoning arts scene and the population in the downtown area is trending younger and younger. With world class museums, including the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland offers a plethora of activities for any age group. For foodies, as we here at FTWS are, there is no shortage of creative concepts, excellent breweries, and fun spots to grab a snack and a drink. It’s also a city that’s surprisingly walkable, in pockets at least. From 4th Street Downtown to Ohio City and University Circle, there’s plenty of unique neighborhoods to explore.
The way that this trip came about is quite interesting, I know many of you are still thinking: Cleveland? And we certainly caught lots of questions on Instagram asking why as well, but the answer was simple. When our Los Angeles trip fell through, and West Coast COVID numbers soaring, we turned our attention closer to home and looked to cities in driving distance that we hadn’t been to. Cleveland popped to the top of our list - we were both intrigued by it’s grit, history, and lack of expectations we had for it. So, we snagged a rental car and were on our way, one speeding ticket later… I think I speak for us both when I say we were more than pleasantly surprised - read below for a glimpse of why!
It's no surprise that those of us here at From the Window Seat are missing the experience of travel that we'd come to take for granted. And while we've begun to slowly get back in the air and on the road, many of our readers are still working from home, or not yet comfortable with the new normal that exists around us - especially as we see a new spike in COVID cases. So, we asked them: "What is one unexpected thing that you miss most about travel?"
Learning fun facts about your destination!
We can vouch for this reader, she loves her fun facts. At the end of the day though, what better of a way to learn about you destination? Maybe it's the beer capital of the world, has a natural wonder that you'd never heard of, or a unique historic background that intrigues you. Either way, or whatever it is that you learn, fun facts are definitely an amazing way to fill out your itinerary!
The anticipation of the trip!
We all know this feeling right? It's that good kind of anxiety - the not being able to sleep from excitement the night before your next flight. The planning of what that first stop will be off the plane, where you'll grab a drink after you check into the hotel, or looking forward to seeing a new museum, natural wonder or piece of architecture. Yeah, we miss it too...
Sure, we can just pick of some snacks at the grocery store, but there’s something special about eating those Terra Blue chips onboard jetBlue or placing your United Stroopwafel over your coffee on a morning flight, and don’t get us started on snacking on an iconic Biscoff cookie! As we start to get in the air again, and airlines beginning to reintroduce service, we look forward to snacking away safely again soon.
Meeting random people throughout the journey...
Some go through their travels with their heads down, you know them: earbuds in on the plane, scrolling their phones one in the Uber; but, others embrace the journey by making connections with others along the way. After all, isn’t part of traveling the people that you meet and connect with along the way?
Seeing the architecture of different airports.
At its worst, the airport experience is long, stressful and something to endure. For some of us, though, it can be a work of art to marvel at! Many airports feel typical and sterile, but some of the very best are masterpieces of modern architecture! Next time you’re traveling, take a moment to look deeper than the food hall, above the moving walkway, and beyond the rows of seating: the space you find yourself in may just surprise you.
The pure joy of it!
This reader summed it up best! The joy of travel is something that is engrained in some of us: a need to get out and explore, to try new things and meet new people. Without it, life has lost a bit of its color, but as the world cautiously begins to reopen, we’ve begun to venture out in it even as things have changed.