Friday, August 9, 2013

5 on Friday - Cleveland edition

Hi friends.  I took a little blog vacay over the last week or so.  Sorry.  Life was super busy getting ready for our trip and I've been in recovery mode since we've been back.

For this 5 on Friday link up I thought I'd share some highlights from our trip.


Food!  Oh my gosh this was one of the best food trips we have taken.  Our first night we went to Iron Chef Michael Symon's restaurant Lola Bistro.  We had purposely left Seattle at 6 am so we could get to Cleveland earlier and have a chance to go to this restaurant.  It did not disappoint.  We wanted to do a chef's tasting menu but found out you have to call ahead.  So, instead we just ordered a lot of food.  Beef cheek perogies, roasted bone marrow, hanger steak, braised pork shank and for dessert the  6 am special (French toast, maple bacon ice cream and carmelized apples).  And the bill wasn't too terrible - we've definitely spent more.

My cousin Laura held her wedding reception at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio.  In addition to it being a wonderful space with beautiful decorations (more on that later) the food was ah-ma-zing.  We had a 5 course meal with stuffed squash blossoms, beautiful vegetables and salad, mushroom bisque, beef shortribs and.....cake.  Oh the cake.  Apparently the woman who makes cakes for Martha Stewart magazines and books made the cake.  It was beautiful.  And so delicious.  Chocolate with meringue, butter cream frosting and sea salt.  It tasted like a yummy smore. 

The next day we went to The Happy Dog.  Its a hot dog place in Cleveland where you can get one of 50 toppings on your hot dog (including options such as peanutbutter, fruit loops, and siracha).   While this wasn't gourmet (or healthy) it was fun to pick toppings.  I ended up getting garlic aoli, carmelized onions, alien relish, and bacon.  It was delicious.

To finish it off, we had to take the opportunity to get some Chick-fil-a on our way back to the airport.  We don't have any in Washington so I get my fix when we travel.

Pinspirations!  Laura had a peacock themed wedding.  Lots of jewel tones which are my favorites.  She did the painted bottles for center pieces which I've seen on Pinterest many times.  She did them all herself.  It was impressive and I'm now totally inspired to do this at home. 

The Hampton Inn.  I love the Hampton. Its definitely one of my favorite hotels to stay at.  They offer a great free breakfast, they have down comforters on their beds instead of those nasty bed spreads and their staff is always amazingly nice.  All of my extended family stayed there and we took over their lobby on more than one occasion.  Sawyer crawled all over the place and the ladies that put out the breakfast fell in love the Sawyer.  The housekeeping staff was super accommodating and often cleaned our room late since Sawyer was napping.  They always left us a note in our room.  It was a great experience for us.

Sawyer loved the plastic spoons at the Hampton Inn

*note these opinions are strictly my own.  I received no compensation to make the above statements, however, if the Hampton wants to offer me a free stay at their hotel I would gladly take it.

Roller coasters.  On Monday we went to Cedar Point in Sandusky.  It has 15 roller coasters and I LOVE me some roller coasters.  Unfortunately, it was so crowded that it was an hour and a half wait for most of them.  When you have a small child, waiting in line all day isn't feasible.  On top of it, Sawyer got sick during the day so we ended up leaving early.  $55 for 3 rides but it was still fun.  Hoping someday to go back and ride all 15..

Millenium Force - did this with my mom.  It was awesome!

The Raptor was an inverted coaster.  It was good but the Millenium was better.

Family.  My extended family is great.  I'm so blessed to be a part of such a great family.  Everyone gets along and we all enjoy the few times we get to all get together.  And my immediate family is fun too so it was nice to have a few days with all of them.  Sawyer loves watching my niece and nephews and they love entertaining him.

Be sure to check out Darci and all the other 5 on Friday bloggers!  Have a great weekend!


  1. Glad you're back, just when I started to read you're blog you disappeared! WOW that cake is gorgeous! Love cedar point, when I lived in Pittsburgh we used to go!

  2. I've always wanted to go to Cedar Point, but hearing about the long long wait for each coaster makes me feel a little bit less jealous! LOL

    1. Well for an extra $85 you can get a fast pass bracelet and get in a shorter line that was usually only 30 minutes. My husband and I decided that next time we would go without kids and do that so we could ride all the coasters :-) Thanks for reading!