Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cleveland Weekend Part 1

Hey everyone!  I have such a wonderful recap of our weekend spent in Cleveland, OH.  Rather than try to jam it all in one mega post, I've decided to break it apart so I'm sure not to miss anything. 

Okay, here we go…

Friday morning- 

I called off on Friday, knowing that we would be leaving late morning.  There was still many things I needed to get done around the house as well as pack so it was nice to have the morning to do this. 

Breakfast was a particularly delicious bowl of oats.  

Banana Pear Oats with Almond Butter, Vanilla Oikos, and Granola 

Toly got home a little later and we were on the road before noon. 

After a little while of driving, we were ready for lunch.  I packed us some sandwiches using up whatever was left in the fridge.  My sandwich ending up being one of the best things ever! 

Smoked Salmon on WW Bagel Thin with Veggie Cream Cheese, Dijon, Spinach, Avocado, and Capers

I couldn't get over how good this was.  I am head over heels in love with smoked salmon! 

The drive to Cleveland is about 5 hours, and I usually need at least one or two pee stops.  On the first one, we ran into a DQ so Toly decided to recharge with a blizzard.

Me…I was holding out for a Starbucks. Every ounce of me craved an iced coffee like nothing else.  The route we usually take has a Starbucks at almost every exit, but this time around, Toly wanted to try a new route.  Unfortunately for me, this new route did not believe in Starbucks because I swear there was not a single one to be found in all of PA. 

My cup was empty therefore my heart was empty.  :( 

Finally, after 4 1/2 hours of driving, we found a rest stop with a Starbucks!  Thank goodness! 

Much better! 

We made it to Cleveland, checked into our hotel and went straight to Toly's cousin's house for a backyard BBQ. 

After an entire year, I was finally able to meet our little cousin Karina. 

Isn't she cute? 

We had a great time catching up with his family and enjoying everyone's company. 

Saturday Morning- 

I woke up early and used the hotel gym before Toly was awake. When he did wake up, we went downstairs to take advantage of the hotel's free breakfast. 

Nothing stood out, so I opted for my own cereal that I brought from home.  Always come prepared right?!?! 

Kashi Go Lean Crunch, Kashi Cinnamon H2H, Blueberries and a Banana with Almond Milk

With Coffee and 1/2 English Muffin with PB

After we ate, Toly and I wanted to do some sightseeing.  We've been to Cleveland many times, but haven't had much time to explore the city on our own.  

We went to a cute little town called Chargin Falls which had quaint shops and a beautiful waterfall to see. 

We spent the morning walking around the town and posing for some scenic pictures. 

Haha, this picture kind of looks fake

I stumbled upon this Organic Coffee Shop and had to check it out. 

I ordered a juice (Apple, Pear, Beet, Kale, Ginger and Lemon).  Super refreshing! 

After a few hours of walking and window shopping, we had enough of Chargin Falls and moved onto some more exploring…..

And it just so happened that we discovered this…..

I swear this store just follows me now!  

Eventually, we both got pretty hungry and stopped for a bite at what looked like a pretty cool Latin American restaurant. 

We started with a basket of Yucca and Plantain Chips with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa.

I ordered the Grilled Salmon Salad.

Very good lunch. 

We had a great morning/afternoon together but eventually, I parted ways with Toly and went on to next next anticipated excursion of this trip, because no trip would be complete without a blogger meet up! 

This meet up was particularly special, however.  Look at who my meet up was with!!!

That's right!  The one and only Veggiegirl! 

Liz has been such an amazing influence in my life this past year.  We've discovered that we share a common connection and have been able to help and support each other through it.  In doing that, we've developed a great friendship!  Amazing how people are brought into your life for all the right reasons at all of the right moments. 

We had such a wonderful day, walking around the mall and shopping like we were old friends.  Even though this was my first time meeting Liz in person (we've been talking through email and on the phone for months) it felt as though we've known each other for years.  What an amazing girl!  :) 

Well that concludes part 1.  I'll be back later with part 2 which includes the big Russian Celebration! 

Hope you all had a great weekend! 



  1. Ooh you met VeggieGirl! Love all the photos from the trip!

  2. Great job packing lunch up for the car!! I do the same thing when Josh and I travel - such a life saver. I am always on the lookout for Starbucks on our travels and get totally bummed when I can't find one. Glad you were finally able to. TJs!!! <3 that store. And the latin restaurant looks great- unique chips and salsa! Veggie girl! What a fun meet up. Can't wait to read the rest.

  3. You look so chic, ready for your road trip, haha! Love the shades.

    Sorry about the lack of Starbucks on the way there :( Usually there ARE many locations, no matter which route is taken. Bummer! But hey, you finally got the drink in the end - score!

    Karina is a doll!

    Chagrin Falls is definitely a gorgeous town; and I love the Organic Energy Café! I've only been to their Solon location though, not the other one.

    Ahh, the restaurant you went to near TJ's is called Paladar, right? Love that one too :)

    Thank you so much for your kind words, girl - friends for life! :)

    Can't wait for Part 2!

  4. Such a fun weekend! It's so nice that you finally got to meet Liz- I've loved developing friendships on the blogworld, and it's always so cool when you meet them in person!! Can't wait for part 2 of the recap :)

  5. how cool that you met up with liz! and i agree, smoked salmon is terrific stuff. i always forget you can put it on things other than just bagels.

  6. What a fun start to your weekend. It looks as though you had a blast. And, how cool is it to meet blogger friends that you have such a connection with? I'm glad you and Liz had a great time together!

  7. So glad you got to meet Liz! She's such a special person, and a great friend as well.

    Looks like an all around great weekend!

  8. Looks like it was a great start of a weekend! cannot go wrong with Trader Joes and Starbucks in your life : )

  9. Hey, I notice you visited the hotel gym. Would you mind writing a review at