Cleveland Rocks!

Saturday morning Jerry and Sarah took us to the top of the building where Jerry works. We got some great shots of the city, including the House of Blues sign.

One of the buildings in the area was sporting this fabulous diagonal stripe, clearly the former location of a fire escape. It’s interesting to see evidence of days gone by.

Next we headed over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame designed by one of my favorite architects, I.M. Pei.

We decided not to spend the time, and rather pricey entrance fee, touring it this time. We’ll catch it on the next visit to Cleveland. We did get to check out this pretty cool line up of hand-painted guitars on display outside the museum though.

After that, we walked over to this windmill and a memorial dedicated to Cleveland fire fighters.

The Cleveland fire fighters memorial used to be located in Willard Park, a public park adjacent to city hall. The park is now the home of the Free Stamp sculpture, which is supposedly the world’s largest rubber stamp.

After our awesome, whirlwind tour of downtown Cleveland, Sarah suggested we tour the house used in the movie A Christmas Story. This house is a little gem hiding in the burbs of Cleveland.

We bought our tickets and waited outside for our turn to see all the magic inside.

While we were waiting, we took a bunch of photos. Unfortunately, the house next door was having a lot of work done so Mr. Blue Tarp is in the background of a lot of the exterior shots.

Finally it was our turn. The leg lamp was waiting for us as soon as we entered the house.

Then a nice lady gave us some history about the making of the movie, explaining that although only the exterior shots were filmed here in Cleveland, they decided it would be fun to set up the inside of the house to look just the way it did in the movie.

She then said the most wonderful thing I’ve ever heard escape the lips of a tour guide: “Feel free to pick up the leg lamp and take your picture with it.” We can touch the leg lamp? Why yes. Yes you can. So, of course we had to (At least Jerry and Sarah did.).

In fact, they let you touch ALL of the props in the house. All. The. Props. From this point on, I pretty much look like a crazed lunatic pretending to take a plastic turkey out of a cold oven and bring it to a table in a fake kitchen.

Come on. How can you NOT get excited about props! They had a fake turkey. A fake turkey!

So we set out to recreate all the kitchen scenes. We hid under the sink like Randy.

Sarah showed us “how the piggies eat”…

while Jerry read the paper (I love this shot. It cracks me up.).

Unfortunately, I was so distracted by all the props in the kitchen that I completely missed the Red Ryder BB Gun prop. I really regret not getting a shot of one of us holding the gun off the back porch. My one solace is that no one shot their eye out.

We did get to pose in and around the shed though.

This is me trying to “break in” like the robbers. To be honest, I don’t even remember this scene. It’s a good thing Sarah was there to remind me of it.

Now, you may have noticed Zach didn’t pose with the leg lamp. You may also have noticed Zach didn’t pose with ANY of the props. Don’t get me wrong, he enjoyed the tour. As an observer. But because he loves me, he patiently tolerated my over-the-top excitement throughout the tour. He’s a keeper.

Okay, back to the props!

Upstairs they had the famed bunny suit on the bed in the boys’ bedroom. And here’s the crazy thing: You can put in on! If we had had more time (and I didn’t think it would cause Zach to divorce me), I think I could have been convinced to don said costume. Yes, we’re dealing with some real mental instability here.

I SO wanted to accurately recreate the soap scene and put that bar in my mouth but had a moment of clarity and thought better of it listened to Zach when he suggested I not put a bar of soap touched by potentially thousands of people in my mouth.

As you can see, we had a blast recreating key scenes from the movie. So much fun.

After the tour, we took a couple more shots by the house and then headed over to the museum.

The museum had a map of the USA displaying pins that people had placed representing where they were from. Obviously Ohio was well represented, but there were pins from all over the country too. They also had a collection of world maps which showed a surprising number of people from other parts of the world. This was a prop Zach could get excited about. Well, at least not roll his eyes at.

The museum had a diverse collection of props used in the movie including the door and chalk board used in the school house.

Here’s a collection of some of the toys used in the movie.

Of course no tour is complete without a trip to the gift shop. I particularly loved this strand of leg lamp lights.

And this amazing leg lamp Halloween costume.

In the end, I resisted buying anything. Not even a magnet!

Has anyone else been to “A Christmas Story” house? Did you go nuts over the props, like I did, and carry a fake turkey to the kitchen table? Or did you feel more like hiding under the kitchen table in embarrassment, like Zach?

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