Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for June, 2010

Franklin Park Conservatory Botanical Gardens

Ah!  The beautiful fragrance as you approach the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.  It welcomes you to a day of relaxation and education.

At this time beautiful blown glass pieces by Dale Chihuly are the special exhibit.  So it is no surprise that when you enter the building there is a video of Chihuly showing many of his creations and techniques.  Since there are many gardens to see, after a few minutes we tear ourselves away from this interesting story.  Since my Dad was a glass blower, this was especially interesting to me.

Admission to the gardens is a very reasonable price, especially for seniors at $9 and free parking close to the entrance.  Would be an excellent place to have a membership if you lived in the area as they have interesting events and displays throughout the year.

Exhibits ranged from tropical plants to those of the desert.  For a person who enjoys plants, this is a perfect spot to spend a day or several days.  Waterfalls, rocks, and small pools made you feel that you were actually there. The tropical plants held a special interest to me on this day as they took me away to a different location in our world without leaving Ohio! Strategically placed blown glass bubbles and balls added to the beauty of the exhibits.

Overhead the skylights were filled with glass pieces designed by Chihuly. So you needed to keep on your toes not to miss another beautiful scene either around the bend, at your side, or overhead.

One of the busiest places was the butterfly exhibit in the tropical foliage and flowers of the Blooms & Butterflies Center. After you watched the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, you could then see them released in the Pacific Island Water Garden.  This was a place of much excitement as the guide took them out one by one at first and let the children hold them.  They all had their fingers stretched out for a butterfly! The child in me got to hold one as well.

Checking out the gift shop finished our day there.  Had to buy a plant to take home as a memory of a day of exploring the Franklin Park Conservatory.  This is a place for a return trip especially during a different season of the year.  Wish I lived closer!

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Daniel O’Donnell Concert

Everyone aboard to hear the Irish singer, Daniel O’Donnell?  Time for the Buckeye Tours’ coach to leave Cambridge, OH and head north to Cleveland.  There are two coaches filled with Daniel fans from the Southeastern Ohio area.  They are anticipating a fun filled day listening to their favorite singer.

The sky is heavy with clouds but the spirits are not dampened by the dark clouds overhead.  As we head North, the sun peeks through the clouds now and then giving the effect of a spotlight on a farm on the hillside.

First stop was at the Hometown Buffet in Akron for a delicious but quick lunch.  What is more important today, Daniel or lunch?  There is no question with this group!  Lunch was very good and their coconut cream pie brought memories of Aunt Julie’s pies to mind.  Yum!

Seating is very comfortable on the Buckeye Tours Coach.  We have Carol for our guide and she is lively and friendly with lots of trivia about the city of Cleveland and she points out The Jake, Tower City, and Terminal Tower build in the 1920s.  Of course, we see lots of old friends from previous trips and even a neighbor or two in the group.

Arriving in downtown Cleveland at the Allen Theater, the bus pulls right up to the door.  That makes it quick and easy to get into the theater.  We are all sitting right in the middle so our view is perfect!

Daniel and Mary Duff along with their band of many years put on quite a performance.  Daniel and Mary have been singing together for 24 years so their voices blend perfectly on any song they sing.  Their energy level is amazing as after three hours, both are dancing full steam ahead as well as singing.

Daniel has a soft spot in his heart for older ladies as his Mom in Ireland is very special in his life.  After intermission he takes time to sing a special song to a lady who is 103.  Then he dances the polka with a lady celebrating her 91st birthday.  The crowd loves him!

Daniel has made it a tradition to close his shows with “How Great Thou Art”, which makes your heart fill with joy to hear the entire crowd join him in that spiritual song.  Gives you hope that all will be fine in the world.

We are the last bus to leave but we have enjoyed the day.  The sky is clearing now making way for a safe trip back to Southeastern Ohio.  One last stop at Arlington Exit for a sandwich and drink at a great selection of fast food restaurants.  We have worked up an appetite singing and swaying to the music all afternoon.

Back in Cambridge we say our goodbyes and thank Jennifer for her great job driving the bus today.  She made us all feel safe on the journey.  It was a great day for another road trip.

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