On Sunday night, I got home from a week long trip visiting my parents in the Chesapeake Bay area. (Thanks again to @egrepp for posting while I was gone.)
While Scott and I were in Virginia, we took in an airshow and hot air balloon festival, local seafood restaurants, antique shopping, and our fair share of water activities. Highlights were revisiting the Bealeton Flying Circus, where I had taken my first biplane ride in grade school, and the ferry trip to Tangier Island (both worth checking out if you’re in Virginia). However, the reason these were my favorite parts of the trip was not because of the places we visited, but because of the time spent with our families when we were there. I don’t get to see my parents or my sister often, and Scott’s parents and grandmother also drove down for the week, so it was nice to catch up with everyone.
As we made the 8-hour trek home, I scanned through my calendar looking forward to our Cleveland plans in the weeks ahead – shows and games we have tickets for, Sparx City Hop, Labor Day festivities, eating at our favorite restaurants. Sitting in the car for such a long time got me to thinking about the difference in my feelings towards Cleveland and where I grew up in Virginia.
With my hometown, the fondness I hold is not for the place, but rather for spending time with my parents and my sister. Now when I visit Fredericksburg and Northumberland, I’m just a tourist without a huge attachment. To a certain extent, the same could be said about my feelings towards Philly. We make the trip along the Pennsylvania turnpike so we can see Scott’s family and reconnect with our friends from college – not necessarily because of a need to reconnect with the place itself.
On the other hand, when I think about Cleveland, there is something about the actual city that continues to draw me back – something more than just the people here. (Of course, the devil’s advocate in me would argue that without the people, we wouldn’t have so many great places to experience in the city.) The Hanna Theatre, Cleveland Orchestra, Burning River Roller Girls, Happy Dog, Bar Symon, Dim and Den Sum (who you should vote for as America’s best food truck). These are some of the places that have me happy to come back. They keep me #HappyinCLE.
Cliches are cliches because there is a bit of truth to them. And this time, when it comes to Cleveland, distance did make the heart grow fonder.