Chagrin Falls, Ohio in February: stunning!

Chagrin Falls

Of course my boy fell in love with these gen-u-ine fox fur hats. I think they were in the neighborhood of around $500.00 each.

Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. That fact alone was enough to light us up with the desire to visit the village while we were visiting the kids in Ohio. Sonia had mentioned how charming the little town was, and that there was a fantastic old bookstore there. That’s all it took to get Amalia and Mack back into the car for another drive (this one much shorter, of course): Calvin and Hobbes and a new bookstore to explore. I wanted to see the place where the creator of our family’s very favorite comic strip grew up.

Perhaps some of his wild imaginative energy would rub off on me while we were there. Besides.

Calvin and Hobbes and I go ‘way back. We used to look forward to reading the strip in the newspaper every day, back when we were able to get a daily newspaper (they no longer deliver out to our house, remote and hard to find as we are *cough* ). We bought the big paperback books of compilations, one by one, and the kids read them until they fell apart and we had to buy new editions to replace them. Andrew, in his teen years, bought the big (expensive at the time) hard-back volumes that were the wonder and envy of all the rest of the kids.

They still print them, although the format is a little bit different.

Those big hard-back volumes are now being read by my granddaughter. She sits on the couch in the living room, with one spread across her lap, leaning way over and studying the pictures, one by one. *Phew* How time flies. I remember the very day that they came in the mail. Andrew had saved his money for quite some time before he ordered them. They were expensive, at least to a teen-aged boy. The day that they came, he happened to be very sick, and hanging out on the couch in the basement den. I can still see him rouse himself up on one elbow, and the delight that washed over his pale face as he opened the box.

In our family this, at least, is one thing that nobody every argues about: Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip.

That said–we’ve had to regularly take away all the C&H books from more than one of our sons, and put them away for a time, when they spent too much time immersed in the world of the literate, smart-alecky, naughty, mouthy Calvin, and began to think that they could get away with things that, in fact, they couldn’t. While visiting with Andrew and Sonia, coincidentally, I overheard Andrew taking special care to remind Anya that–while we all find Calvin very funny–he is often quite naughty, too, and that emulating him is never a good idea.

That struck me as a very funny turnabout, indeed. I’m glad that I was there to see it. 🙂 But Anya is much too sweet and well-behaved to ever surprise her parents with some of the antics that Calvin came up with. I mean, really.

Look at these beautiful innocent blue eyes.

Chagrin Falls in February

We were only in Chagrin Falls for a few hours but we found plenty to do. Of course the first thing we did was to seek out the falls that the town is named for. They are stunning, and right now with much of them frozen into ice and icicles, and surrounded with heaps of snow, they were a delight to gaze at.

There are some very nice walkways and staircases winding down to the base of the falls, but they were closed, since they were covered with half a foot of snow. Mack and I contemplated–for several minutes, actually–climbing over the fence and tip-toeing down the steps–snow or no, heck, what are boots for?--but then, upon reflection, we decided that spending the afternoon in the Chagrin Falls hoosegow might not be that much fun.

We had shops to explore. And pictures to take, after all.

To wit.

chagrin falls

chagrin falls

Chagrin Falls

You already know, Gentle Reader, how I love to gaze at shadows on the snow. I could have stood and studied these shadows for hours: eye candy for me!

chagrin falls

This is the popcorn and ice cream shop that C&H creator Watterson drew so often in the strip.

This is the popcorn and ice cream shop that C&H creator Watterson drew so often in the strip.

So many shops to explore!

So many shops to explore!

This shop had a mix of vintage and new things, all very French and all very pricey. I loved it. :)

This shop had a mix of vintage and new things, all very French and all very pricey. I loved it. 🙂

chagrin falls

chagrin falls

The bookstore, of course, was wonderful. We’ll drive up again, just to shop there.

chagrin falls

Of COURSE this bookish daughter of mine loved the bookstore. So did I. So does anybody who goes in it, I’m sure. It’s perfect. It’s a maze of rooms, three stories high, several rooms deep. Each room more fantastical than the last. Am I overstating? I don’t think so.

Naturally after hours of sightseeing and shopping, we paused for refreshment at a cute little restaurant. We had a good lunch, and Mack had a treat, for being so patient as Amalia and I shopped and shopped.

"I don't know if I can eat the entire thing-----! Never mind. I can."

“I don’t know if I can eat the entire thing—–! Never mind. I can.”

When we got back to Andrew and Sonia’s house from our day trip, alas, there wasn’t a surprise baby there for us to hold. But that was okay.

We could be patient. We still had one more day before we had to leave.


10 thoughts on “Chagrin Falls, Ohio in February: stunning!

  1. Lucy

    That “look” on Macks face………….priceless!

    Oh and what a nice surprise to see Lucy Goosey
    tagging along with you all…..I didn’t know she
    wore glasses…she looks rather classy in them
    if you ask me. {Please tell her I said “Hello” and
    don’t forget the….”postcard.”} You did get my
    address didn’t you?

    Otherwise keep having fun and…..carry on : )

  2. gene gage

    Nice photos! I have never been there in the winter, so those shots of shadows-on-snow are special. I have been in that bookstore and that ice cream shop. Did you venture far enough from the shopping area to see any of the 150 year-old houses?

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Gene, no, we didn’t. The day went by too quickly! We did drive through the area around town (looking for Trader Joe’s!) and some some really beautiful places, though. Lovely area!

  3. Chef William

    Nice photos of a town that still has stores that have brought us all delight over the years. I am looking forward to an afternoon at “Half-Priced Books” upon my return to Wisconsin. How many gems did you and Amalia pick up to read while waiting for the new child to enter the world.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, Chef. . . we both had our arms full. This bookstore had all the current titles, PLUS in nearly every room there was a corner or a box or a table full of “gently used” books for .99 or thereabouts. Talk about fun shopping there! A book-lover’s dream!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Bethie, the next time you go up to visit Andrew and Sonia, be sure to budget an extra day to visit Chagrin Falls. You’ll love it!!

  4. Glwyn Savage

    I so enjoyed seeing those photos of a frozen waterfall. I am 72 years old & had never seen snow until I visited my daughter in S.D. last May. I live in sunny, sunny Queensland, Australia, on top of the Great Dividing Range. We get very cold in Winter (frosts) but no snow.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, Glwyn, I’m glad you liked those photos! I stood in amazement looking at that place for some time: so much water and such enormous icicles!

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