CLE Summer

Scenes from my Weekend: The Birthday Edition

I celebrated my birthday this past Friday, and as one should do, I turned it into a celebratory weekend. Nick got me some gorgeous roses and my favorite La Marca Prosecco as part of my birthday present. The other part involves a photo shoot with pet photographer extraordinaire Greg Murray.


Friday evening we got dressed up and headed out to dinner at new-to-me restaurant Trentina.


If you haven't been to Trentina yet, I highly recommend a visit. The decor is a gorgeous white + black + gold combination-- I wanted to move in. The space is pretty small and intimate- only 30 or so tables, and the experience is intimate to match. 


The food is truly exceptional. We saw General Manager, Larder Master, and Wild Food Forager  Jeremy Umansky speak at TedxCLE, and we excited to try some of the innovative creations from Trentina. Trentina's food is focussed on the northern Italian region of Trentino; the restaurant offers a 12-course, 3- hour, tasting menu experience, as well as an a la carte menu. Nick and I went the a la carte route, and it was spectacular. From the charcuterie board, to the crudo, the amazing house made pastas and pizza's, our meal was flawless. After dinner, Jeremy graciously escorted us on a tour of the kitchen and the larder, where he is working on some really interesting creations for the restaurant.


Saturday morning, the weather was so perfect that it was time for Beach Day part deux. 


Unfortunately, I misjudged the amount of sunblock necessary, and left with a slight burn on the back of my arms and the tops of my thighs. Oops. and Ouch.

Sunday, I did something truly amazing for me. For the very first time ever, I'm on target to complete a real New Year's Resolution by the end of the year. I became a licensed spin instructor!!! I am so excited to find my instructor gig (I have a pretty good idea of where I will be starting off), and really hone my skills as a ride DJ and coach!



It was a fitting end to a great weekend. Naturally we had to top it off with some delicious ice-cream and churros. 

This week is going to be a little weird for me: Tuesday I'm having surgery to fix my deviated septum, so I'm going to be a little out of it for the rest of the week. Don't worry though, I have some posts planned, so keep coming back to visit! 

Explore CLE: The Orchestra at Blossom

This past weekend, Nick and I joined our fellow Circle members for The Cleveland Orchestra's kickoff to summer at Blossom Music Center. Nick and I really don't like driving, but lucky for us, the Circle had taken care of this problem by providing its members with a bus that drove us from Severance Hall to Blossom. Once at Blossom, we were treated to a yummy barbecue dinner and Great Lakes beer, after which we all made our way to the lawn to enjoy the show. 



It was a beautiful summer night, and as you can see, it was a packed house to listen to the Orchestra perform Beethoven's Ninth.





As always with the Cleveland Orchestra it was a great show, but since it was at Blossom, it was a very different experience, and one I highly recommend. However, if you are an Orchestra at Blossom newbie (as I was), here are five things you should know:
1. Blossom is WAY more casual than Severance Hall. This is an all ages event, so you can take your kids. There were a few parents who had even brought a change of clothes, so the kids were in pjs about half way through!
2. Unlike most concerts at Blossom, you can take coolers into the Orchestra shows. Which means you can bring in your own food AND wine
3. The ground can get a little wet as the sun goes down, so you definitely want a picnic blanket, ideally one with the water resistant backing
4. It can also get a little chilly after sunset, so an extra blanket or cardigan or hoodie is a good idea
5. Take bug spray

We had such a great time at Blossom that we're already planning our next visit. The lawn tickets are an incredible bargain at $26/each, and there are some really fun performances coming this season. A great way to experience our world-renowned Orchestra in a super casual setting!

Disclosure: I serve on the Board of Directors of The Circle. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. That being said, I LUUUUURVE The Circle-- it is absolutely the BEST value for money for a young professional in Cleveland. $20/month gives you 2 tickets in a household (even if you're single, you should get the double and take a friend!), which includes 12 events per year, at least 6 of which are concerts. Circle Members also get a 20% discount on classical concerts, and most important, the members themselves are fun and welcoming! Additional details available here



Scenes From my Weekend: The July 4th edition


How is it July already? While I'm very happy that summer is firmly here, this year is going a little too fast. Did you have a good 4th weekend? Nick and I both had the day off Friday, so we really enjoyed our long weekend!

Thursday marked 11 years since Nick and I got married. Yes, we were very young, but I think we were both very mature for our age, and very clear on our expectations of each other, which is why I think we've worked so well! I don't necessarily advocate marrying young, but I do advocate being realistic about who you are, and who your partner is, and not expecting either to change. If you're in a relationship where you argue a lot while you're dating, odds are you're going to do the same when you're married. The act of marriage doesn't change a relationship-- I think its important to remember that before you take the leap.


And with that, I'm done with my Dr. Phil moment. This is one of my favorite pictures of Nick and I from a photo shoot we did a couple of years ago. Thursday evening, we headed over to Alexa & Chris' housewarming party, where I ate myself silly, enjoyed a lot of prosecco, and obsessed over Megan's necklace (below). 


After sleeping in Friday morning, Nick and I took the pups to Nano Brew for some patio time and lunch. The patio was recently re-opened after a major renovation and it looks great! Clair and Webster were on their best behavior, and got lots of petting and love from our server and tables nearby, and they even got a few treats.


Friday evening, we headed off to Charity & Ben's to celebrate baby Max's first birthday.  I didn't get any pictures of the birthday boy (shockingly I had my phone put away most of the evening), but I did manage to snag this pic of Nick holding Penny (he doesn't hold a lot of babies-- this was a momentous occasion.)


Saturday, it was time to work off Max's delicious birthday cake with a challenging 45 minute ride at Harness Cycle. Chill Pop Shop was on hand giving away delicious popsicles-- who am I to say no to such yumminess?


Nick brought the pups up to Hingetown to meet me for coffee and breakfast at Rising Star


Sweaty cuddles and selfies later, we were off to the dog park for some playtime. Clair is terrified of fireworks, and our whole goal for the day was to get her as tired as possible so that combined with anti-anxiety meds, she would just sleep through all the noise.




Post dog-park, it was porch-time in the neighborhood. My drink of choice a lovely dry rose--- perfect for a summer day!



I had the most AMAZING July 4th meal of crawfish etouffee, ribs, and mac-n-cheese.


We didn't exactly go see fireworks per se, but we could see plenty of them from our neighbor's front porch. And best of all, Clair and Webster did mostly sleep through them all!

Sunday was recover day = lots of lazing around, watching The Spoils of Babylon (such a weird, ridiculous show), and napping on the couch. Sunday evening Nick and I finally got around to celebrating our anniversary with some crab legs at Salmon Dave's


Overall,  a lovely 3-day weekend, the started and ended with us celebrating 11 years of marriage!