Travel: 5 Things I Love About Cleveland

A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of spending time with my college best friends, Shelby and Rachel. One quotation that always reminds me of Shelby and Rachel is

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” 
C.S. Lewis

I remember being really nervous about leaving for college after I graduated from high school in 2006. I didn't have high hopes that my future roommate (Shelby) and I would be fast friends. I was convinced we wouldn't have anything in common and that she would judge me for my likes and dislikes. Needless to say, I'm very happy that I was wrong. I'm thankful too that Shelby was a year ahead of me so that she could introduce to me to amazing people like Rachel! I couldn't be more pleased that the three of us have continued to travel across many miles several times a year since college to see each other for long friend weekends!

Photo from Shelby's Instagram account - shewill09

This wasn't my first time to Cleveland, but I think it was the best trip there yet! It goes without saying that the best part was seeing my friends and Shelby's wonderful family, but I thought it'd be fun to list some of my secondary favorites too.

1. Little Italy
I wasn't really aware that Cleveland had a Little Italy. I have since told many people about it, and none of them has known either. I was pleasantly surprised by the charm and wonderful atmosphere. Our first stop was Presti's - an Italian bakery and gelato shop. I got hazelnut gelato and it was delicious! I think Shelby got gelato as well, but Rachel had tiramisu.

Photo from Rachel's Instagram account - rfulkman

One of the best parts of being in Little Italy was that the weekend I was there was one of their semi-annual Art Walk events! Lots of stores were having special events and there were different sidewalk activities set up. I chose to participate in painting a square of a large mural. Big thanks go to Shelby and Rachel for waiting for me and also holding/getting my paint! :-) 

2. Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
Shelby graciously bought Rachel and me tickets to see a Cleveland Jazz Orchestra concert! According to their website description, it "feature[d] trombonist Jay Ashby and jazz infused with Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern and other world rhythms." We loved it - especially the bass solo in the final number!

3. Backyard Vacation Destination
Probably my favorite part of the trip was getting to Shelby's house after it was already dark on Friday and being immediately ushered to her back patio for snacks. Rachel and I were able to relax after our drive and it was the perfect time for us to get caught up with each other.

Chloe joined us too!

4. West Side Market
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the West Side Market to buy brunch ingredients. We ended up getting two kinds of bacon, fruit, cheese, and bread (which I didn't eat, but it smelled delicious)! I had never been before, but I really loved it!

One neat thing about this market is that a lot of local restaurants use products from the market. For example, we went to Piccadilly later that day for frozen yogurt and they had a sign up that mentioned they got all their fruit from West Side Market.

5. Sweet Lorain Antiques
I had originally heard about Sweet Lorain (also referred to as Suite Lorain) from one of my favorite blogs, The Dainty Squid, so I was really excited to go in person! One thing that is different about Sweet Lorain is that everything is super organized into different departments (e.g., one rack of clothes was just "1960s print cotton day dresses"). I ended up getting some jewelry and a birthday present for a friend.

Oh, I would also like to note how friendly the staff at Sweet Lorain was. A lot of times I feel like a victim of ageism at antique stores, but both employees we interacted with were very accommodating and pleasant. 

I'm sure I'll be adding to this list the next time I visit Cleveland! Thanks to Shelby and her family for all their wonderful hospitality!

I can't forget to mention that two highlights were hanging out with Jason and Chloe! I first met Jason back in March, and he had grown a lot! He's a sweet goldendoodle puppy. Chloe is a stray that the Shelby has adopted. She stays outside but gets food and lots of love!

Jason and me - March 2013 compared to June 2013



Check out my last travel blog - 5 Things I Love About Austin


Tyler Edelen said…
First reaction: "Piccadilly!!? No." Good thing you included a link. Also, I need that Chloe. Thanks!
Haha, Tyler! No, definitely not *that* Piccadilly! I don't think Shelby would do that to Rachel and me.

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