Cleveland Recap – Day 1

Disclosure: I was invited on a two night/three day blogger tour of Cleveland in exchange for writing about my experience. Opinions in this and other related posts are 100% my own. 

I was thrilled to be contacted by Positively Cleveland to participate in their Blogger Buddy Initiative where they pair a visiting blogger with a Cleveland blogger to tour Cleveland. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really have an opinion of Cleveland before this trip, other than I knew that’s where the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was. I had been there twice before for Yankees/Indians games and had gone to the game and immediately back home, not taking time to explore the city.

In a lot of ways, Cleveland reminds me of Detroit, we are both underdogs, but are full of great people that want to see the city succeed. Speaking of great people, I want to introduce my amazing tour guides for this Cleveland trip. These women were fantastic and are true ambassadors for their city.

Gina Prodan Kelly


Gina launched Unmiserable Cleveland after Forbes published an article in 2010 naming Cleveland as America’s most miserable city (Detroit was number four in case you are wondering). From what I saw during this weekend was nothing could be further from the truth and with people like Gina, Katie and Stephanie championing the city soon everyone will know it. Check out Gina’s mission statement here.

Katie O’Keefe


Katie is a wonderful lover of art, culture and life. She is a fantastic tour guide and lover of Cleveland. If you want to know more about the real Cleveland then she is the one you should talk to. Katie has a blog called Forest City Forever if you want to know more.

Stephanie Sheldon


Stephanie is the founder of the Cleveland Flea, which is sort of like an urban flea market, maker faire and food truck rally all wrapped into one. I got to experience a mini flea during my trip and it was so much fun!

Now that I have introductions out of the way, I want to share my first night in Cleveland with you.

Gina and I started our night by taking a walking tour of the city:

viewWe then headed off to a great restaurant that is known for farm to table style food, called Spice Kitchen + Bar to meet up with Katie and Stephanie.


The food was delicious, in particular the Polenta Chickpea fries were so good! I loved the atmosphere of Spice, this would be a great place for dinner and drinks with girlfriends.

cleveland collage 1I had a blast getting to know everyone!

Cleveland collage 2After dinner, we decided to hit Mitchell’s Ice Cream, which is this delicious handmade ice cream made right in the store! It was so delicious! You also get to see the inside of the factory – they have a little viewing area where you can watch the magic happen.

mitchells collage

I had a triple scoop of vanilla, rocky road and birthday cake:

ice creamOn the way back to the hotel, we got to drive around the city and I got to learn more about the city. We drove over the Hope Memorial Bridge where I got to see the Guardians of Traffic. There are eight figures carved into the bridge that represent the technological advances in transportation. Each guardian holds a different type of vehicle and they look like they are modeled after Hermes, the messenger of the Greek gods known for his speed. We drove by them so quickly I didn’t get a picture, but I was able to find a picture for you:

Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections

Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections

We made one more pass through Cleveland’s Playhouse Square in the theater district so I could see the giant outdoor chandelier. According to Guinness, at 20 feet, this is the world’s largest chandelier. This is brand new – they just lit the chandelier on May 2.


playhouse square Collage

I had a great first night in Cleveland and I can’t wait to share the rest of the weekend with you! Stay tuned for the Day 2 and Day 3 recaps.

For more information on Cleveland, visit Positively Cleveland.

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  1. I’ve been to Cleveland to visit the Christmas Story house. It’s a great city with stunning architecture.
    Chris B recently posted…Loot Crate Heroes – August 2014 Unboxing and ReviewMy Profile

  2. What a great recap! Looks like you had lots of fun.
    Shawn Ann @ Shawn Ann’s World recently posted…Blogging Concentrated in Grand Rapids 2014My Profile

  3. Looks like a fun time. That sounds like a great program too, where they match you up with a local blogger.
    Liz @ Yes/No Films recently posted…Movie Review: The November ManMy Profile

  4. So Cool! I love travel blogging!
    Mary H. recently posted…Mommy’s Back to School List with TMobile Free Data #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #shopMy Profile

  5. Looks likes an awesome trip and a whole lot of fun. What an awesome program and a great way to meet new people!
    Gwendolyn M recently posted…Dickey’s Barbecue in Ferndale,MIMy Profile

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