EpiJunky's Tour of Toledo.... (H/T to CrankyProf for the idea, go read her tour, it's much more exciting than Toledo!)
*insert applause track here*
Okay okay, settle down... the queue forms over to the right.
Let's say that it's early May, for more favorable temperature purposes. Trust me, NW Ohio is a pretty dismal place to visit (or live) in mid January. It might have been freakishly warm yesterday (at a balmy 65 degrees), but we'll have a foot of snow on the ground by Saturday, trust me.
So, it's early, let's go grab breakfast...
One of our favorite places to get a fantastic breakfast is Scrambler Marie's. Excellent omelette's, fresh orange juice, and very friendly staff.
If you're in the mood for a good coffee (we have a long day ahead of us) I know a place! Beaner's Coffee. The Mocha Mocha is to die for. The sweet flavor combined with the bitterness is just enough without being overpowering. Yummmm...
Alright, now that we have a little caffeine and food in our systems, let's go exploring.
Home to 30,000+ pieces, and no admission. Some of the more notable pieces include the Rubens painting “The Crowning of Saint Catherine” and Van Gogh's “Wheat Fields with Reaper”. If we're lucky we can see the Toledo Symphony Orchestra perform in their home at the museum, the Peristyle. It's a stunning venue.
Across the street is the Glass Pavilion.
The Glass Pavilion opened in 2006 and is home to a good number of the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass collection... Toledo is the “Glass City”, you know. The building is absolutely gorgeous. The exterior and most of the interior walls are glass panels.
Okay, next stop on our list is the Toledo Zoo.
Something that I read about in the last few years was that a good number of the buildings within the zoo were built by the WPA (Works Progress Administration). I enjoy looking at the older buildings, and eating in the Carnivore Cafe (It used to be the “Lion House”, it has since been transformed into a restaurant, with tables set up both inside and outside in the cages). Don't worry, for those of you who remember the old Lion House, the smell is completely gone. The Africa exhibit is amazing, and of course we'll have to stop to see the baby Polar Bears. You would really enjoy “Music Under The Stars”, which they do on Sundays during the summer in the Amphitheater.
Lunchtime! Let's head to the East Side and the famous Tony Packo's. (If you've ever watched MASH, you might remember Klinger (Jamie Farr) mentioning Tony Packo's.) The building and it's contents are almost as well known as the Hungarian Hot Dog that they're famous for. Thousands of autographed hot dog buns encased in plastic hang on the walls. Everyone from the current President to the members of Kiss, to Jerry Lewis have left their mark in this Toledo landmark.
I hope you like baseball.
The truth is, you don't have to like baseball to have a good time at a Mud Hens Game. The Toledo Mud Hens (made famous once again, courtesy of Jamie Farr and MASH) are yes, actually a real minor league team in Toledo. They have a new home at 5/3 Field Downtown. The beers might be six bucks a piece, but they come in huge plastic (commemorative!) Tumblers. It's the little things ;) There's a playground for the kids, and every Sunday they can run the bases after the game (which I've heard, is an excellent way to wear out those excitable little ones!).
We can head out to Westfield Shopping Towne, or one of the outdoor shopping centers (Fallen Timbers or Levis Commons) to do a little retail therapy, or catch a show at the Valentine Theater (Hopefully the reconstruction after the explosion last month will have been completed by now).
For a late dinner, I've heard fantastic things about Sakura. It's a Japanese Steakhouse where they cook your food on a grill in front of you. I've been dying to try it. Another place we could consider would be the Dock's downtown (including Gumbo's Bayou Grille, Zia's Italian, Tango's Mexican Cantina, Real Seafood Company, Navy Bistro, and Eileen's Wine Bar). The view from the deck is amazing. Mancy's is legendary for their steaks and is always packed at night.
Night Life... Hrmmm. Well, the truth is I'm more of a homebody right now, but everyone has to get out and socialize from time to time, right?
The Oliver House is a historical landmark built as a hotel in 1859. In it's day it was quite the place to stay... Everyone from Abraham Lincoln to movie stars coming through Toledo stayed at the Oliver House. Today it's home to the Maumee Bay Brewing Company (Great food!), Rockwell's (Upscale, the steak is to melt in your mouth good), and Mutz (a bar with a fun atmosphere). The interior is an homage to brewing history in Toledo.
So that's my tour of Toledo in a nutshell. It's not all inclusive by any stretch... There are numerous galleries in the warehouse district, metroparks to visit, bowling balls to roll...
If we venture out of town we could go up to Ann Arbor where one could easily spend a day or three exploring the eclectic shops or honoring my team, THE University of Michigan. We could drive to Cleveland, or Sandusky (home of Cedar Point... America's Roller Coast! The BEST rollercoasters is the country.)
How could I miss Put-In-Bay??? Taking a ferry over to the islands to spend a day (or the weekend!) is a summer tradition. We could explore the caves, zip around the island on a golf cart, visit the numerous wineries and later on take in a show with Pat Dailey at the Boathouse.
Anyone out there who wants to add to my tour, please do...I know there are many hidden gems in Toledo that I didn't mention.. If you're not from the area, and you're bored, why not take us on a tour of your city?