"" Writer's Wanderings: Flat Stanley's Rainy Day Activities

Friday, February 01, 2013

Flat Stanley's Rainy Day Activities

Well, as all good Clevelanders say, "Wait a half hour and the weather will change." We waited a couple of frigid days and sure enough the weather changed--to rain! At least it was warmer but that cut into our time to get out and show Stanley around. Instead, I pulled up a few pictures and showed him what we could see if he visited in nicer weather.

The Cleveland metropolitan area has quite a park system that includes what is called The Emerald Necklace and the Zoo. The Emerald Necklace refers to the park areas that rings the area almost like a necklace would on a neck. There are ballparks, picnic areas, waterfalls, trails, nature centers, horseback riding, and all sorts of other activities that fit into the four seasons we have around here.

Another gem is located very close to Independence where we live: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It is one of the few parks in the nation that is totally free. Running through the park is the old Ohio & Erie Canal as well as the Cuyahoga River. Interpretive centers offer information and history about the canal that was a vital link between Lake Erie and the Ohio River in the 1800s. There is a towpath that follows the canal for quite a distance and we would have taken Stanley on a little hike if it hadn't been raining. Lots of wildlife to see and a peaceful place to visit--peaceful that is until the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad engine blows its whistle.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs through the national park between Independence and Akron. During the winter months, it only runs on Saturdays but during the warmer months, it makes several runs a day and even has a bike car so that you can take your bike one way and then ride back on the towpath. In November and December the train becomes the Polar Express taking kids and parents nightly to the "North Pole."

Stanley agreed he would have to come back sometime and see more but now the weather was about to turn nasty again and we were due to head south to Florida. Our trip will take us through West Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia before we reach Florida and our destination: Key Largo. Meanwhile, we needed to make a trip to our library for CD-books to listen to along the way. Wonder if Stanley's book is on a CD?

Lots more to see, Stanley, before you have to return to Plain City.

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