7/12 Cleveland, OH 3996 Miles

Up early, very early. Packed and ready to leave, we’re gonna go home. It is with a touch of melancholy that I bid adieu to this great nation’s capitol, but it must be done. I have a house and cats and a job waiting for me, so I must begin my trek back to the Midwest. We checked out and kindly Mohammed lifted the suitcase that I would bet was larger and heavier than himself into the car. Parcels rearranged, we set out to find gas, coffee, and the freeway out of town. Gas and coffee were relatively easy, but the freeway was not. As I said before, the city is easy to drive in as long as you ignore all the angled streets and all of the circles. At first it seems that the angled streets are a good idea, a quick way to cut across town when your destination is at an angle from your current location. These angled streets are deceptive. Sure, on the map they look fat and quick, but every few blocks you have a circle with a damned statue in the middle and things get all mucked up and you have to drive slowly and read each street sign so you find the right turn out of the circle, plus you have cars roaming in and out of the circles and their goal is not to get somewhere, but to kill you. But my point is not circles or angled streets or the city planning commission, I am trying to tell you about the freeways. I-95, 295, 395, and 495 all run in and around the city. You can see them clearly marked on the map. What you do not see is any agreeable way to enter these freeways. Street signs led me on a crazy chase all over town, and 18 years later I finally ended up on 495 in the middle of morning traffic.
Meeting up with I-95 was easier, and we headed on our way to Cleveland. The trip was uneventful, really. I had one of those perfect music moments as I was listening to Prodigy while whipping through the Allegheny Mountains at 90 mph. Nothing quite like “Smack My Bitch Up” blaring while you watch the scenery whiz by. We made a quick reroute so we could drive into and out of West Virginia, just to say we had been there.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike was almost completely construction free and reasonably priced. Peace, Love, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike indeed.
Nothing to report about Cleveland, as we didn’t care to actually go exploring. If my experience in Cleveland were the basis for reality, I would have to say that Cleveland is populated entirely by drunken New Yorkers waiting to go to a Yankees game, as well as woefully uninformed desk clerks. I am certain this is not the case, as it probably has its share of shady lawyers and snotty baristas, but I can only work with what I know.
I was in the mood for sushi, but I figured Cleveland sushi would be suspect, so we ordered some room service, watched some TV, and fell asleep.