Holy Toledo is right! Being from Chicago, I can really appreciate a city that has a lot of its original historic structures. I LOVE the glass and steel towering monuments that make up Chicago, but visiting here makes me wonder what kind of beauty was ripped down and demolished to pave the way for becoming the “Home of the Skyscraper”. You also have to take into effect the miles of highways that seem to run right through the city of Chicago and what was lost to build these roads that are so traveled on today.
Our first stop in our journey was the “Black Kite” coffee shop. This is my friends place of employment and I got to enjoy a beautifully crafted brunch with the luxury of paying half of the original cost. My French toast was served with a sweet berry sauce that completely removed my need for maple syrup. He had some crunchy avocado salad with tortilla, chick peas and of course avocado that I found myself stealing bites from throughout the whole meal.
Next we wondered over to the Rosary Cathedral. BREATHTAKING. Born a Catholic and not so practicing, I really was reminded what it was like growing up in the church. It also made me realize that even being from Chicago, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a magnificent display of art and wonder. I took many pictures, lit a candle for my grandma and the fallen addicts before me, also blessed myself on the way out. I’m far less talented of a writer then most to be able to put into words the glory that I saw and the emotions I felt from just being in that building.
Down the road, within walking distance we stopped to see the Collingwood Arts Center which was taken over from an old school for girls and a convent. The building was old, built in 1875 I believe and barley touched. I don’t think there were any changes to the building since it was built. The glass windows where stained with a fog from the elements. The wood never touched, down to the wooden stall doors in the bathroom. The paint was chipping and the hardwood floor that haunting creaked was completely worn in. I LOVE IT. We got to do a full tour and entered rooms on all 5 floors hoping to experience something paranormal. I felt anxious looking around getting a real feel of what it was like to walk those halls all those years ago. The building was connected to the Christian Gerber mansion, also outstanding, accessible and in similar shape. I could wander and explore that convent and mansion for hours if time allowed.
There was a free swap across the street at the community garden where I picked up some worn boots and a hoodie. I’m a sucker for free shit. The real shopping started at “Handmade Toledo” a crafty gift and clothing shop where I managed to spend $120 on things to bring home to the family, friends and the boyfriend that I anticipate to have. I forgot that I probably, well, certainly spent more on myself.
Never hearing of the Toledo Mud Hens until my train ride, I became obsessed with the idea of getting myself a baseball hat. That brought us to Fifth Third Stadium and to my disappointed the gift shop was closed but will reopen tomorrow. I’M GETTING THIS HAT. Right down the street was the art museum and we toured that and I got a fabulous book about the sneaker exhibit that will soon be traveling through.
What a long eventful day! Next up is some dinner and a talent show to end the evening. All in all, a pretty amazing day full of exploring and sightseeing, exactly what this guy right here wanted to do. I always get a little home sick, and this time I know why. I got a special guy waiting at home for me to get back that I can’t wait to spoil with little Toledo gifts and kisses.