BACK FROM VACATION... SOME THOUGHTS

     I've been away for ten days-- or did you notice?  We drove to New Hampshire-- with stops at Niagara Falls and Cooperstown along the way.  I hadn't been to the baseball hall of fame since my youth and let's just say there are some new exhibits since my first visit.  Cooperstown is about nine hours by car from Lansing-- and a stay at the famed Otesaga Hotel in the town of 2,400 is very good with a wonderful 18-hole golf course on the property.

     The cost is $16.50 for adults and we spent two hours in the building.  The area where the plaques are displayed is smaller than what I'd imagined and they aren't very big either.  And they are running out of room-- only a few more years left of wall space in the current set up.  The museum on floors two and three is all major league and if your kids aren't familiar with the majors then they won't enjoy it as much as those who grew up with the game will.  The exhibits around Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are good.

     There is local charm-- Mark Mulder, the former Spartan, has his hat on display from the first pitch he threw to open the new Busch Stadium in 2006-- which I thought was a stretch.  Lansing native John Smoltz has the shoes on display he wore last year when he won his 200th game.  Michigan media giants Ernie Harwell and Joe Falls have their pictures mounted (small) in the back of the building where the media is honored.

     The town has plenty of souvenir stores up and down the main street.  The post office is across the street from the hall of fame and both buildings look about the same.  Doubleday Field is in the middle of the town, two blocks from the hall.  There are no fast food restaurants in town by design and no other cheap motels.  If you visit, you'll head elsewhere to stay unless you're lodging at the Otesaga, at the foot of a beautiful lake in the mountains. 

     Riding home, you could go south through Pennsylvania and visit Williamsport (Little League World Series), Penn State, Cleveland (for Rock and Roll hall of fame or the Indians), Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and then Cedar Point is further west in Sandusky.  You can make the trip in about 1,000 miles and see a lot for a modest price.

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