Monday, January 21, 2008

Very Cold Road Trip - But It Was Definitely Worth It!

The Cleveland Boat Show began last weekend and ended yesterday. Over the past few weeks Dave mentioned it several times in passing, sounding kind of wistful. However, I didn't think too much about it. On Friday night I was really wiped out and my guard was down. (After the cruise and the holidays these 5 day work weeks are killing me.) Dave chose that moment to suggest a road trip. Cleveland is about 4 hours from Dayton, and he suggested we just drive up for the day.

I groaned inwardly. The temperatures were expected to be in the single digits, and since Cleveland is right on the lake it was bound to be windy. Then I saw an opportunity. This would be a chance to visit Fine Points, a yarn shop that claims to have the biggest inventory in Ohio. When I suggested it, I think Dave groaned inwardly, but he agreed.

Cleveland is Jeanne's turf, but there wasn't time to contact her before we left.

We were on the road by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Dave announced that we would stop at Fine Points first. As we approached the outskirts of Cleveland he told me I could have 1 hour in the store. I nodded, pretending that sounded fair and reasonable.

To get to Fine Points from the south you have to drive through some "iffy" inner city neighborhoods. Dave was doubtful that a high-end yarn shop would be located in that part of town. We spotted a late model Bently sports car going in the same direction. I confidently told Dave the Bently was headed to Fine Points, just as we were. He scoffed at that. At one intersection, the Bently went straight but we turned. Sure enough, when we pulled up in front of Fine Points 5 minutes later, the Bently was parked across the street.

The store was packed with merchandise and customers, and there were plenty of friendly sales clerks to assist everyone. We never did identify the owner of the Bently. Dave waited in a cosy seating area near the front window where a friendly knitter was happily ensconced and glad for the company. I tried to take in the store.

This is the view from the cash register. It's a blurry picture, but it's one of the few areas of the store that are open enough to stand back for a broad photograph. The rest of the store is too crammed with name brand yarn to be able to step back very far.

The Rowan was on this wall. You can see part of it, but the wall continues to the right. Facing that wall are cubbie holes crammed with Debbie Bliss.

The Noro was stashed in the cubbies on this wall. The Colinette was displayed above.

The Fiesta yarn was kitty-corner to the Rowan wall. I got to fondle La Luz for the first time. Yum!

The store is so crammed with merchandise that they put out only a few skeins of every colorway. The rest is stored in the basement.

There was more yarn and lots of knitting books and patterns upstairs.

That's where I found the Cascade and the Manos. Fine Points also sells "Art to Wear" apparel, and that's upstairs, too.

By the time I got upstairs my head was spinning. The clock was ticking, and I was having trouble focusing on yarn for purchase and possible projects. It was overwhelming. A sales clerk laughed at me, and told me that's a common reaction. Eventually I got a grip and settled on some "souvenires." I'll post about them tomorrow.

Despite Dave's initial time limit, he was really patient and a really good sport. I managed to get in and out of there in less than 90 minutes, which is probably record time. I can't wait to go back, let me tell you.

From there we went to the International Exposition Center. The place is huge, but some boats were too big to put up the masts and sails.

Only the smaller boats were displayed with sails.

The sail boats ranged in size from sunfish to 45 feet. We didn't even look at the power boats.

Visitors were able to climb aboard the boats and look at the interiors.

This Hunter was about 35 feet, I believe. It was comfortable, but the 45 foot Beneteau was incredibly spacious. Its interior was really beautiful, but there were at least 5 people roaming around below deck, so I didn't get pics of that one.

This is a V berth (sleeping area in the bow) of a mid-sized boat (30 -35 feet - I can't remember exactly.) Since the cabins are below the water line, the interiors often don't get much natural light. We liked the interiors that had lighter woods and fabrics - but we would have been glad to take any of those babies home.

With the long drive home ahead of us, we stopped in Medina for dinner and stumbled into what looked like a little Italian restaurant called Santo Suosso's. When we entered, we were happy to see a number of empty tables. However, the hostess explained that they were all reserved. We opted to dine at the bar. We weren't the only ones. The restaurant quickly filled up, and we discovered there were at least 2 more dining rooms - both full - in the back. The food was more than just a pleasant surprise. It was outstanding. Next year, if Dave wants to go to the Cleveland Boat Show, I'll be more than happy to go with him - so long as we can stop at Five Points and Santo Suosso's along the way.


Teresa said...

That's quite a road trip!
I bet you were happy to have an extra day added to your weekend after that!

Maybe the Knit Nite Knitters need to make a trip to Fine Points?

Sourire11 said...

Man it would suck to drive both ways in one day!!!

I've actually never been to Fine Points - it's on the East Side and I never seem to make it over there. Your pictures make me want to leave now and go, though!