Cleveland has it all. Fine dining, entertainment, wealth, poverty, traffic, the grit of the city, and (one of its most underappreciated assets) the beautiful Lake Erie. I am convinced that many Clevelanders don’t fully appreciate the amazing natural wonder that is Lake Erie, which they are so fortunate to live next to.
So I was thrilled to finally visit Vermillion, a small picturesque town about 45 minutes west of Cleveland. Tourists and retirees seem to flock to this little town to enjoy the lake, which is something I have been wanting to do since I moved to Cleveland!
A short drive west of Avon Lake, with my aunt and uncle bubbling with excitement about the birth of their newest granddaughter the day before and a few other fun conversations – “Oh, you’ll love the antique shopping in Vermillion – there’s an auction we go to nearly every Friday night!” – and we soon found ourselves contentedly exploring the rolling hills peppered with farms and homes. We passed a particularly interesting-looking alpaca farm, when my uncle remembered that friends of theirs had recently purchased an alpaca farm, and maybe that one was it. So, we took a short drive up the driveway to inquire, and lo and behold, it was their friends’ farm! Their friends weren’t in, but the farm manager, who looked like an overgrown, tattooed scary-looking biker, cheerily invited us to look around. We pet the friendly alpacas and a stray deer he had taken in, and he happily told us story after story about the various strays he’d rescued and close calls he’d faced looking after animals for the past several years. He’d worked in a steel mill for 25 years before being laid off, and then found a second calling working with animals on farms in the years since then.
The beach on the lake in Vermillion is absolutely beautiful, and there were kids there swimming and laughing and having a great time in the chilly water.
Sometimes the serendipitous parts of road trips and traveling is even better than what you had planned.