Friday, May 4, 2018

The Rain, the Park, and Other Things......

6:43 am - Friday - May 4th - Ashtabula, OH - 65º F, 86% humidity, wind 11 mph out of the south.....heavy cloud cover......forecast high for today is 76º F with a chance of rain later today.  Rain on and off most of the night......

Our Jello plan for Thursday was to drive south to Canton, OH and the NFL Hall of Fame, just as we had driven into Cleveland to the the RRHF* the day before, however, my advance research had failed to unearth the fact that here in Ashtabula we are 103 miles from Canton!  Somehow I had mistakenly come to the conclusion, based on what I don't now know, that it was about the same distance as about twice as far in actuality......😞

Well, there was no way I was driving 206 miles round trip in the rain.....maybe 108, but certainly not 206.  So, our team called an audible and stayed put for the day.  It rained for the entire morning, and into the early afternoon before quitting around 1:30 pm......

 Still raining at 11:40 am

.....I observed this large coal ship cruising northeast along the shores of Lake Erie......there is a coal depot in Ashtabula where ships are loaded with coal, so I'm sure that's where she was headed.

When the rain suddenly ceased and the clouds parted we decided it was time to get out and stretch our legs by driving over Bridge Road where the Merchant District is replete with quite a few 100+ year old red brick buildings.  This whole area has been revived and is full of cool little restaurants, bistros and cafes.....

 One from the 1890's

.....we had hoped to catch the local 'lift bridge' in action, but were told that the only time it is raised this time of year (before the summer season and there are a lot more boats in the harbor) is when the Coast Guard ship needs to ingress, or egress.  So, the odds of us seeing it in action were remote......

 Lift bridge

.....we spent time walking up and down Bridge Road, and even went in the local Goodwill store where both TLE and I found some articles of clothing without which life could not proceed.  We paid $20 for our four purchases and headed down the street to see if we could not find a cool place to have a late lunch.  Of course, you know that we always find a cool place to eat, and on this late afternoon we found the perfect place to have a couple of brews, and sandwiches for a late lunch/early dinner.....

......Briquette Smokehouse is located just 1/2 block off Bridge Road right on the entrance to the Marina.....TripAdvisor gives them 4.5 stars on 244 reviews, while Yelp gives them the same rating on just 20 reviews.....they are both right on the money!

We went upstairs to their second floor, which has a great view of the marina, taking bar seats so we could enjoy the view.  I ordered a pint of their North High Filthy McNasty Imperial Stout and TLE a pint of their Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale for starters......

......for our entrees TLE chose their Smoked Ruben and I had their special.....Beef-N-Swiss Melt (smoked brisket).....OMG.  TLE says this is the best Ruben she has ever eaten, and that is saying a lot.  She has ordered and eaten dozens of Rubens all over the USA over the past 6 years of travel.  Previously her all time best was one she had in Cedar Key, FL back in January of 2013.....

 Left to right: Smoked Ruben, Beef-N-Swiss Cheese Melt

.....we sat there for over an hour cherishing every sip of beer, and bite of our sandwiches.  The Beef-N-Swiss Melt was out of this world......'off the hook' as Guy Fieri of Triple D would say......a real 'trip to flavorville'!

Well, all good, wonderful things must come, eventually, to and end.....we paid our bill and then set out to walk up the hill to Point Park and the Ashtabula Maritime and Surface Transportation Museum.  As luck would have it the museum is not open until Saturday.......

A lot of stairs to climb to the museum

......then our luck I snapped a picture of the inactive lift bridge I noticed there was a cabin cruiser waiting for it to was about 4:25 pm at this time, and the bridge is only lifted, when it is lifted, on the half hour.  We waited for 5 minutes and then the bridge began to rise.....I took this 3+ minute video of it in action......

I took this video of the lift bridge in action......fascinating!

Ashtabula lighthouse left of center, in the background

.....the perfect ending to a perfect afternoon!  You can't make this stuff up!

We were home about 5:15 settling in for the we went to bed we could hear the rain on our aluminum roof again.....sweet!

Thanks for stopping by!

* RRHF - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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  1. I hope the weather clears up for you, looks like you are having a nice adventure anyways. Definitely giving me the urge to do some traveling myself. Thanks for the share, have a good weekend.
    Greg Prosmushkin

  2. Wow.....amazing. Glad you got to see the bridge raised.


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