Summer Vacation 2015 – Cleveland

John and I finally decided to take a vacation that we had been planning for two years…the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! We originally had planned to visit for one of John’s milestone birthdays, but life happened and it didn’t work out for us. I never forgot about it and planned to make it happen for him for his birthday this year. We decided to make a road trip out of it since we had to make a stop in Cleveland before heading down to Kentucky.

My dad’s birthday is in July and I always get us tickets to go to a Yankees game (we are lifelong fans) and this year they happened to be playing in Cleveland. So I figured we could all meet up for the game and then John and I could continue our trip down to Kentucky.

I must preface my vacation recap by saying that I took some awesome pictures on our trip and then the day after we got home my phone crapped out on me and I lost everything back to February (when I last backed up). I am happy to report that I am backed up to the Cloud now, but those pictures are gone. I had to piece my recaps together with what I had posted on social media and the pictures John took – but just know that I had some really great pictures for you.

We drove down to Cleveland mid-afternoon and checked into our hotel, the Aloft Cleveland which was pretty close to the stadium. Cleveland is a great town to explore – for ideas check out my previous Cleveland trip.

Aloft Cleveland

We headed over to meet up with my dad at Progressive Field where the Cleveland Indians play. If you’ve never been it is a fun stadium to go to. Plus I love hearing John Adams play his legendary drum.

Progressive Field Progressive Field 2 Progressive Field 3

I’m going to show you a little before and after picture, because this ended up being a crazy game lasting for 16 innings! You can see in the second picture that nobody is left. I found this article that had some crazy numbers from this game. The final score was 5-4 and the game took five hours and four minutes to play. How weird is that? Even though the Yankees lost it was still a great game to watch and since it was only the second Yankees game we got to attend this year we definitely got our money’s worth!

Yankees 3

The next day before we took off, we stopped for lunch at The Willeyville next to our hotel.

Courtesy of The Willeyville as my photo was lost from the great phone fiasco.
Courtesy of The Willeyville as my photo was lost from the great phone fiasco.

This will forever be remembered as the day I introduced John to a Bloody Mary. I didn’t realize that he hadn’t had one before or else I would have tried before now. He loved mine and ended up getting one for himself.

the willeyville 2

We had a blast and I will tell you more about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in my next post! What are your favorite places in Cleveland?

For more travel posts, click here.

Cleveland Recap – Day 3

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.

Sunday morning in Cleveland was what I imagine my perfect Sunday to be like. Food, yoga and shopping!

We started our morning at the Cleveland Flea and it was so much fun! I was hungry, so we hit up Elise’s Crepes for a Nutella and banana crepe.

Elise's Crepes

We then scoured the Flea for some goodies. There were a number of jewelry boutiques, including Red I Jewelry from my Day 2 recap! I also found this cool perfumery called Indigo Perfumery. They have classes where you can make your own perfume. I would love to do this the next time I’m in Cleveland!


After shopping at the Flea, I got to join a rooftop yoga class hosted by Harness Cycle. This was so refreshing and a great way to close my weekend.


This was the view from the roof. Thanks for an awesome weekend Cleveland! See you soon!


UPDATE: I was included in one of the tourism videos, check me out!

Day 3 was so relaxing and refreshing! Here is Day 1  and Day 2 in case you missed them.

For more information on Cleveland, visit Positively Cleveland.

Cleveland Recap – Day 2

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. 

Day 2 in Cleveland was probably the most jam-packed day of my trip. I had so much fun and loved all of the activities.

I met Katie, my tour guide for the day, at Coquette, which was a quaint patisserie and wine bar. This was so perfect to start the day and I will definitely be coming back here with my girlfriends. They have pastries, macaroons, champagne and just anything you could think of. I enjoyed Pistachio and Dark and Stormy macaroons and another pastry that was delish!


After breakfast, we visited The Feast of Assumption Festival in Cleveland’s Little Italy. This was so awesome and I wish I hadn’t been full from breakfast! I saw so many restaurants I wanted to try and this is a place I would love to bring John to.


We headed to the cultural area of Cleveland next and took a quick stroll through the Cleveland Museum of Art, which was beautiful! I wish we would have had more time to see some of the exhibits.

Museum of Art

On our way to the next stop, we drove through the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, which has 36 different gardens for a variety of cultures. They were all landscaped differently and were really neat. It would have been cool to do a bike tour through the gardens or picnic there.

My favorite part of the day was our trip to The Christmas Story House! A Christmas Story is one of my favorite movies and I make my family watch all 24 hours of it on Christmas Eve.

We started out with the official tour, which was awesome!! I got to explore all of the fun parts of the house and reenact my favorite scenes. I tried to get a good picture of the leg lamp in the window, but it was SO sunny!

Leg Lamp

I had tons of fun playing around in the house!

Do you know what Ralphie just said?

I’ve gone blind!

Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine!

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

We visited the museum, which had a ton of keepsakes from the movie and the gift shop where I loaded up on souvenirs!

Since I was in the mood to shop, we headed to Banyan Tree, where I found this amazing lariat necklace from Red I Jewelry, which I am just in love with!

banyan tree

We finally had to head back to the hotel and get ready for dinner. We had pre-dinner drinks at The Velvet Tango Room, which specializes in prohibition style cocktails. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but I loved the atmosphere inside. I could have stayed here all night and hung out with the girls. I would love to come back here on a girls trip!

Velvet Tango Room

We had dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern, a rustbelt restaurant in downtown Cleveland, which was where all the action was:

greenhouse tavern

Then we headed over to Chinato, an old-meets-new Italian style restaurant. Next time I will have to come here for dinner!


I’m not even sure how we packed all of this into one day, but it was AMAZING! There were so many cool places I would love to come back and check out.

Day 2 in Cleveland was so much fun! Here is Day 1 in case you missed it. Stay tuned for Day 3!

For more information on Cleveland, visit Positively Cleveland.

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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