Saturday, August 27, 2016

On the Road to Wichita – Day 3

The lady at the hotel suggests visiting the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, when I tell her I don’t want to go to downtown Cleveland and I want some place quiet. It’s only half an hour from the hotel.

I am on the road later than I’d planned as I had some blogging issues earlier. I want to drive for awhile before taking a break, but when I reach the exit and see the Holden Arboretum sign I decide to take the woman’s suggestion.

I drive and drive feeling like I’m veering too far from the interstate and getting into the middle of nowhere. Three times I almost turn around. I finally reach the place and there’s such an overall peacefulness about the entire area. I need this after stressful interstate driving.

I buy a general admission ticket and one for the canopy walk which also covers the 215-step tower (not sure I can handle that). The canopy walk sounds interesting, but I go inside the visitor center first. I explain my walking issues to the woman behind the desk and she says she will give me a special pass so I can park closer to the canopy walk. I see a garden out the huge back windows. I check that out first.

The back slopes down to a pond then up over flower gardens with fields beyond. I step out onto a terraced deck and immediately begin taking pictures. This is absolutely gorgeous! It’s a pollinators’ garden and the flowers and shrubs are amazing with colors and textures and patterns. One side of the pond has a fountain shooting water into the air and the pond on the other side of the bridge has water trickling down from the hill over rocks and into the pond.

I make my way down to the grassy path that meanders through the garden and around the pond. Benches are strategically placed to allow one to sit and contemplate. The chirp of birds and the trickling water sounds are soothing to the soul. Oh, yes, I need this after the busyness of the last couple of days.

I wander around, up a slope and down and cross another bridge circling back to the building. I sit under a pergola and look across the pond. I want to write a poem, but my mind is so boggled by the beauty, no words come.

Wait! Where did that pink water lily come from? I didn’t see it before. There’s another over on that side, then another. It’s like they are popping-up right before my eyes only I don’t actually see it happen. The blossom is suddenly just there. Oh, of course, there has to be pictures.

The sun gets to me. It’s hot and humid and it’s affecting my breathing. I feel woozy. Uh oh, I am not going to be able to do the canopy walk in this heat. The lady inside returns my $4. Darn.

I leave the parking area feeling a little downhearted that I can’t do the walking I used to do. I would make the attempt, but the heat would do me in. I stop for photos in a couple of places on my way back to the main road. I’m back on I-90W by 11:15 a.m. and soon take I-271. Oh no. There’s a division – I-271S Expressway and I-271S Local Traffic. What does that mean? Does it require a special pass? I take my chance and stay to the left.
Even getting through Cleveland on the expressway doesn’t mean it’s easier. There’s a lot of traffic and the speed limit drops from 70 miles per hour to 60 and is 50 through construction areas (of which there is a lot).

Interstate 271S goes on and on and there’s nothing spectacular to look at. This ends up to be another day of boring driving. I finally get on I-71S and it’s not much better. I get a glimpse of a farm every once in awhile. What’s really disappointing is that bridges all have concrete walls that you can’t see over, so I don’t get any river or water views. I suppose it’s good that my focus be on the traffic and road.

I see a Comfort Inn sign at an exit in Columbus. I want to call it an early day because I need to work. However, once off the interstate, I have no idea which way to go as there are no more signs. I can see a Hilton, a Residence, and a couple of other hotels from the traffic light, but no Comfort Inn. I turn right and drive for a bit then make a turn to try to get back. I take another road and then double back. I finally stop at the Residence Inn for directions and eventually I’m checked into the hotel at 1:50 p.m.

I would love to take the time to go for a swim in the indoor pool, but I’m afraid I have too much work. (I always panic that I won’t get it done in time, but I manage to do so.) Life is good.

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