Get Away

Get Away

Happy Multi-Generation Holidays (and Here’s How)

If this is your first 3-Gen holiday, think carefully about how much of your own space you will want, especially if the grandchildren are very young and things could get hectic and noisy. Will you enjoy being in the thick of it or prefer to dip in and out and have your own space to retreat to? ...
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The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in NEO – Although Our Own Backyards Are Great, Too

You can drive to far-flung leaf-peeping places (the Blue Ridge Parkway and Vermont come to mind). But why waste the gas or time? We've got plenty of lovely leaves to see right here in NEO. There's no reason to "leaf" Greater Cleveland to take in the season's colorful explosion of colors. ...
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Grab the Grandkids and Head to the Maltz Museum This Summer

What makes a hero? Is it physical strength or is it the courage to use the strength we have for good? In each of us, there is a hero. Inside, we are strong enough, brave enough, and courageous enough to make choices that lift others up. Sometimes, we must even lift ourselves up first so that we can help someone else. ...
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Destination: Akron … RubberDucks, a Wine Train and a Zoo, Too

Cleveland gets all the attention, but just a few miles down the road is a great city with a fine art museum, its own minor league ball team, an extraordinary mansion, Ohio's only national park - should we go on? Oh, that's right, it's got a nice zoo that has not only interesting animals but some lovely gardens, too. Akron, my friends, is a terrific city to explore. Check it out. You'll like what you see. ...
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An NEO Winter: A Bird in the Hand, Snowshoes, and Ice – Lots of Ice

Cleveland Metroparks has plenty of parks to explore in winter, but our region's county parks have a lot going on, too. Start your tour in Geauga County, which has a full slate of outdoor (and free) activities this winter. ...
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Take Your Coat Off and Enjoy the Winter Indoors

I’m suspicious of any activity that requires a signature on a liability waiver.

I’ve gone years, in fact, finding plenty of things to do that don’t require a waiver. I’m rethinking that. Northeast Ohio has had an indoor recreation boom recently, and the activities look like a lot of fun.

Trampolines, rope courses, climbing walls, indoor cycling. All are great winter-busting activities and don’t require layers of clothing and boots better than the ones I already own.

Here are a few places to try, either with some friends, alone (if you’re self-conscious) or with a grandkid or two.

Play: CLE is an indoor adventure park in Avon with the added bonus of serving both food and alcohol. It’s got a zip line, a rope course and a climbing wall.

Sky Zone in Boston Heights offers an indoor trampoline park with ladders, climbing walls and other activities.

Zip City in Streetsboro has an indoor zip line, a trampoline park, a ropes course, a Ninja course and two Ninja laser mazes.

Ray’s Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland is open October through April. Don’t have a mountain bike? Rent one there. The course is user-friendly for folks of all skill levels.

The Golf Dome in Chagrin Falls has an indoor driving range, mini golf and batting cages.

Get Air Cleveland in Middleburg Heights is just what it sounds like: a trampoline park with foam pits, trampoline walls and other indoor adventures.

Marie Elium fell off a mini-trampoline in middle school and hasn’t been on one since.





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The Real Mayberry


If you watched any or all of the 249 episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s — or still catch reruns — consider a visit to Mount Airy, N.C. Griffith, who plays Sheriff Andy Taylor in the show, grew up in this small town and used it as a model for his series.


While the show exists only in reruns today, parts of the town are happily stuck in the past. Just six and a half hours down Interstate 77 you’ll find an entertaining getaway that makes the most of its connection to Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie and the rest of the gang.


Glimpses of the Past


During our visit, we slept in the retro, pragmatic and clean Mayberry Motor Inn at the edge of town. Keep in mind, this is a flashback to simpler times, and the motel appropriately small and historic. Rumor has it the owner sometimes dresses up as Aunt Bee while working the front desk.


The best start to visiting the town, after a good night’s sleep, is the Squad Car Ride. While we waited our turn in the Ford Galaxy (the fleet consists of ’62 ’63, ’64 and ’67 models) we checked out the replica of Wally’s Service Station.


Inside the historic corner building, we took turns posing in the jail cell and propping our feet on Andy’s desk. Definitely Facebook moments.


For our ride, we perched on the vinyl backseat and cranked down the old windows. Riding up and down the streets, we learned about the man and the show. We saw places that Andy Griffith/Andy Taylor frequented such as Floyd’s City Barber Shop and The Snappy Lunch.


After getting the lay of the land, we slid into a small booth at the 94-year-old The Snappy Lunch diner for North Carolina’s official pancake-battered pork chop sandwich.

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Happy Glampers

Style Under the Stars


By Traci McBride


If you haven’t stepped foot in a campground lately, you’re in for a surprise.


Elaborate tents with strings of solar lights. Fanciful campers with flowerpots and outdoor rugs at the doorways. Extravagant treehouses. Funky yurts.

You may drag along musty, stained sleeping bags and a package of hot dogs for a few nights under the stars, but your neighbors have upped the camping game: They’re glamping.


Outdoor Style


Camping lost its novelty for many of us with memories of miserable nights, too many bugs and ash-sprinkled food. The bugs are still there, but the rest has undergone a stylish transformation.


Glamping is getting away from it all while enjoying the luxuries of home. Are you a tent, RV or Airstream camper? Spice things up with practical, traditional yet supremely comfortable details that introduce color, patterns and simple amenities to your campsite. You’re a glamper.


Details Matter


You’ll sleep better and have more enthusiasm for hiking when you’ve rested on a queen-size blow-up mattress, having spent the evening listening to a waterproof battery-operated sound system after cooking a gourmet meal.


A portable kitchenette that includes a spice rack, paper towel holder and lantern pole makes food prep easy. You are more likely to get the grandkids to join you if they don’t have to lie on the hard ground and are still able to earn some tablet or cellphone time with a solar-powered charger. Download outdoor apps (such as SkyView and the Audubon Bird Guide) to enhance your hikes. Beautiful design plus practical functionality equals the ultimate glamping experience.


Products have certainly affected traditional camping. Battery-operated portable showers, solar chargers and battery-powered twinkle lights keep everyone clean and add a little romantic sparkle.

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