We spent the night in Buffalo at the Best Western, where I paid $160 for a room with an inadequate air conditioner and the Two-Toed Sloth Internet speed option. Don’t stay there.
It takes us nearly two hours to clear the New York border thanks to the Byzantine, yet somehow irksome system of toll networks, but finally we are “free at last”, and arrive in Canton Ohio, after driving through some surprisingly pretty farm country past rolling acres of green corn, old farmhouses, and the occasional antique shop. This is Amish country, but I’m disappointed to say we didn’t see any.
We pull into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I don’t know what to expect, but the building has a dome shaped like a football, so I’m pretty sure we’re in the right place. The main entrance lobby has a statue devoted to one of the greatest athletes of all time, Jim Thorpe, and you take a spiral staircase up to a second floor exhibit that includes historic memorabilia such as uniform items, old film footage, and famous signatures and the like that details the history of professional football in America, which started in Pennsylvania and blossomed in Ohio.
Then move into a room where you can see your favorite player’s bust cast in bronze, along with an interactive video touch screen that allows you to watch old video clips of players of your choice in action. On the same floor is a display of every franchised team in the league, along with their team statistics and important games.
Finally you can finish on the Ground Floor, where the Gift shop has a decent selection of signed items and team clothing and accessories, along with some games you and the kids can enjoy.
All in all, this was a good side trip and I’m glad I came, and I’m just a marginal fan now, though I still watch MNF occasionally and of course the SB. It could have benefited in my opinion from an informative introductory video, but that small detail aside, this is well worthwhile if you’re anywhere near the area and you’ve got even a smidgeon of nostalgia in you. If you’re a pro football fan, you won’t regret it.
After that, we drive to Sandusky, Ohio, and stay at the Knight’s Inn, which has a better air conditioner and faster Internet than the Best Western Buffalo for $100 less. I highly recommend it, but stay away from the street side, which is also the train side.
We eat at the Thirsty Pony, recommended by trip Advisor, but not very good. I have a shrimp salad and Jonathan has a chicken Philly (chicken Sandusky?), which sounds like just what it is, and it’s not likely to be a concept that travels well. I have 5 fried shrimp laying on top of a bed of greens and not much else for $12, and I feel ripped off, but at least I can watch and even bet on horse races, because they have gambling right there in the same building. Somehow, though, that doesn’t make up for bad food, at least to me. Don’t go there.
Tomorrow, I will lose my stomach somewhere high over Lake Erie, I’m afraid. Stay tuned.