Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
A couple dozen men and women in formal wear, blasting loud, bass-thumping music, while smoking cigarettes and loudly cavorting and merrymaking—that was our visit to Squire’s Castle.
Friends of ours had been through the Cleveland, OH area not too long before, and when they knew we would be traveling through there, too, recommended including this Willoughby Hills park one of our stop-and-stretch breaks. We found it was close to our route, and it sounded really neat, so we were glad to make the small effort to include it in our day.
What we weren’t expecting was the giant wedding party photo shoot! 🙂
The Castle is just a couple miles off of I-271, that being the highway that goes around the southeast side of Cleveland. We exited the highway and found our destination, and quickly thereafter found the bathrooms! It was our first stop for a couple hours, so bathrooms were the first priority.
As we were ready to head on to the original primary destination—the really cool-looking castle in the near distance—we heard some loud, muffled music booming from an approaching vehicle.
This was no ordinary vehicle. It was a tall, shiny bus. But it was no ordinary bus, either. It was a limousine bus. Clearly this was either a celebrity, or some kind of group heading to a prom? There was another vehicle close behind the lead celebrity vehicle, but I’m not sure they were actually with the “celebrities”, it just added to the entourage appearance.
And this entourage was headed straight for our destination! A destination we previously imagined to be our private playground, if only for a few short minutes.
We froze as we observed the events unfolding before us. Watching from a distance we saw several ladies in blue gowns exit the bus, and then some men in formal attire as well. Eventually there were a dozen or so couples slowly making their way toward the castle, talking loudly as they went. (Clearly they were enjoying their visit to Squire’s Castle!)
The next thing we noticed was about a quarter (or maybe a half?) of the group were smoking cigarettes. There’s nothing definitely wrong with smoking cigarettes, but it just looked kind of funny with all of the formal wear and fancy-looking people. And, as we got closer to them, it smelled pretty bad, too. So, we kept our distance from the raucous crowd.
There is an enormous, rolling lawn that spreads out in front of the Castle, and since Alex had a football, it made sense to make use of this large green space! We played for a few minutes, wondering what to do next since the wedding party photo shoot would probably not be quick.
After a short bit of grassy pigskin fun, we boldly approached the Castle’s gates, hoping to avoid the cameras’ lenses.
It worked for the most part. We explored the castle while the photographers arranged their subjects, and the subjects continued to smoke and enjoy their own visit to Squire’s Castle. We managed to mostly steer clear. (Even with six youngsters excitedly exploring the innards of a “real castle!”)
The Castle was built by a rich landowner in this area back in the late 1800s, for his gatekeeper. It’s relatively small, but it looks like a real castle. Tall ceilings (and no ceiling in one room!) and stone walls, a couple big fire places, and definitely a neat, castle-y feel! We explored room to room, excepting the ones occupied by the noisy wedding party, and took a few photos of our own—albeit only iPhone photos… we were wishing we had remembered to bring our real camera!
Finally we headed back to our van, recalling the very strange timing of our visit, being simultaneous to that of this rather large, boisterous, smokey wedding party!
It’s always the strange stories that make the best memories, isn’t it?
If you’d like more information on this little park, here are a couple links:
Squire’s Castle, Cleveland Metro Parks
Squire’s Castle – Wikipedia