After a harrowing drive through a severe thunder storm with heavy, driving rain (We found out later there was a tornado warning in effect for the area), we arrived in Richfield, OH-not far from Cleveland. We ate dinner (hummus, pita bread, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cheese, and nuts), and went straight to bed. On the agenda for the next day was Kirtland and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In the morning, it was cold and rainy, so we decided to start in Kirtland, where most of our activities would be indoors. The tour of the temple was interesting, but the real gem for me was the tour of the Whitney Store. I have heard the stories of the church history events that happened there my whole life. To see it all in person was insightful. One of the missionaries who took us on the tour was a student at BYU-I. She asked us about the recent flooding and said she couldn't wait to go back. The other missionary told us her family was the opposite of ours: She has 4 brothers. To that Wendy said, "That must me awful."
The weather cleared, and we went on our way to Cuyahoga Valley, where we had lunch (bagels with pesto, ham, and provolone cheese; carrot sticks). We forgot to bring the water, so I went into a gift shop to see if I could find some suitable beverages. I came out with a variety of locally made, naturally sweetened sodas, and some buckeyes-I saw something strange sitting on the counter and asked what they were. The lady guessed I wasn't local and explained that it was a local candy made to look like a Buckeye seed. It is made from peanut butter and chocolate which is a family favorite. So, we all got to sample some local treats.
A couple of short hikes and visitor centers later, Wendy and Nicole had earned their Jr. Ranger badges and we felt like we had a good feel for the park.