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Friday Favorites!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hi!! It is FRIDAY!  Yay!  We travelled up to Cleveland yesterday and are here today, while my husband attends a residency event where he went to podiatry school.  I thought it would be fun to feature some of my Cleveland favorites in honor of us being up here for a visit!

Just some quick background info- we lived in Cleveland for 4 1/2 years while my husband went to podiatry school.  We moved last May to Indianapolis, where my husband is now doing his residency.  I have to be completely honest and say that there were many parts about Cleveland that were not "favorites."  The biggest one being: THE WEATHER.  It is SO cold and snows so much during the winter....and the cold, gloom and yuck seem to last for about 6-7 months.  Dealing with the weather, with 3 very young children, with no family in town, with a husband who was always working or studying...well...that made for some loonngg days.  HA!  So- the weather really was a big thumbs down for us.  

BUT- there were so many things we loved about Cleveland...here are just a few!

ONE
Melt Bar and Grilled. Hands down our favorite restaraunt in Cleveland!! I have talked about Melt before here on the blog. OMG. SO YUMMY!! We actually ate there last night!! Their claim to fame is outrageous grilled cheese sandwiches.  Everything is made from scratch...including their french fries, salad dressings...you name it.  You feel totally gluttonous when you are done eating there...but it is SO worth.  If you are in the Cleveland area or in Columbus (they have a couple Melts down there now too) EAT AT MELT.  And wear elastic pants- HA!

TWO
We LOVED going to the Cleveland Zoo!  The zoo is HUGE, beautifully maintained and they have an indoor rain forest zoo- that is perfect to walk around during the winter!  A couple of years ago, they opened a huge elephant exhibit and it is SO neat.  You can even watch the elephants get their shower in their stalls!  One of my favorite parts about the Cleveland Zoo is Monday is Free Admission for all residents living in Cuyahoga County (the county which encompasses Cleveland and surrounding suburbs).  This was SO nice for us!  We would pretty much go every Monday during the summer!  We showed up right when the zoo would open, walk around for a couple hours before it got busy and then head home for lunch and naps.  Definitely one of our favorite things to do while we lived in Cleveland! 

THREE
Fall in Cleveland...Northeast Ohio for that matter, is SPECTACULAR.  The winters are rough- but man- fall is absolutely breathtaking. There are SO many beautiful orchards, fall festivals and anything and everything you could imagine fall is "supposed to be like."  One of our favorite things to do was just walk through all the beautiful, local parks and just take in the scenery.  The girls LOVED collecting leaves- there were so many colors to find!
Here are just a few pictures I took one year...they really don't even do the true colors of the leaves justice!



FOUR
One of our most FAVORITE things about living in the Cleveland area was the Cleveland Metroparks.  There are 18 park reservations spanning 23,000 acres!! We lived right by the Brecksville Reservation and went hiking and running there all the time.  We are big nature people- so it was WONDERFUL having so many amazing parks and trails to explore!  


FIVE
Sooo...the purse strings were pretty tight (well...they still are-HA!) while Aaron was in school.  We had to get really creative with our money and were always on the look out for "deals."  One super awesome deal we found was at a Cleveland based frozen yogurt shop called Lemonberry.  On Monday's, they had "happy-hour" from 5-7pm and your frozen yogurt was 1/2 price. It totally became our "thing" to eat an early dinner, then head to Lemonberry for a fro-yo treat every Monday!  I have so many sweet memories of us loading up in the van, even in the dead of winter, to go get our frozen yogurt.  It was one of my girls' favorite parts of the week.  DUH! HA!  Even when it is not happy hour at Lemonberry, it is CERTAINLY worth it...I think they have the BEST frozen yogurt, TONS of toppings and it is always super clean.  And the girls working there never got mad when I asked for 5 different samples.  That right there makes them the best frozen yogurt shop! HA!


By far the best thing about living in Cleveland was the wonderful friends we made.  It took us a couple of years to find them and we didn't have a ton of friends...but the people we ended up becoming close with are still some of our best friends!!  While I don't miss the Cleveland winters...I do miss our friends- A LOT.

Okay...so I have to know- if you are from the Cleveland area (ahem Laura)...what are some of your FAVORITES?  I know I only skimmed the surface on things to do and places to go...I would love to hear what you think!! 

Here's to a fabulous weekend ahead! Today is my precious Cora Maye's 5th birthday and we are off to have a fun day celebrating her!!

Hope you have a wonderful day and a great weekend!

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!

21 comments:

  1. I live in Akron and I wholeheartedly agree with your favorites and your not favorite of winter. With two littles winter is rough because of not wanting to expose them to the elements too much but still needing to get out some. I'm very very excited as a rumor is going around that Fairlawn is getting a Melt! I might gain some weight. Have a great weekend celebrating!

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    1. Cat! SO fun you live in Akron!! We lived in Broadview Heights- so only about 20 minutes from you!! And I hear you- those winters are SO ROUGH with little kids!! We got really good at getting bundled up and playing out in the snow...even if it was just for 20 minutes. Kids NEED fresh air! And YAY for Fairlawn getting a Melt!! I love that area!!!

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  2. Melt sounds ah-mazing!!! I think i would definitely enjoy it =) And I would give anything to have a nice big zoo around us here! We have a couple of small ones, but nothing all that wonderful. I hope you have a fab weekend!!!

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    1. Johannah! Melt is CRAZY good. I am pretty sure you would love it :) And bummer about not having a major zoo near you! It was definitely a huge perk for us while living in Cleveland. We are also lucky there is a great zoo here in Indianapolis...it is a little farther away from our house though...so we don't go as much as we did when we lived in Cleveland.

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  3. I was born in Cleveland and raised in Stow. Our all time favorite thing about the area is the metro parks! Growing up we would always do the hiking badges and get the hiking sticks, etc. Pretty much every Saturday or Sunday (or both) our family would be out in the metro parks enjoying nature. My dad still works in Cleveland and often he will take the scenic route home where he basically drives through metro parks and wooded areas the whole way back to Stow. Definitely a big bonus of that area. Now I want to go home and go for a hike!

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    1. Amy! How fun that you are from NE Ohio!! I love that you love the metro parks!! Seriously- they are SO awesome!! I think that is so neat your dad takes the scenic route home- he is a smart guy- it is so beautiful and probably is such a relaxing thing to do after a day at work! :)

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  4. Wow those Fall pictures are getting me SO excited! I seriously cannot wait! I hope you have a great weekend :) - Seri from www.Serisblog.com

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    1. Hi Seri! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! Fall really is such a fun season!!

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  5. i love the fall leaves! so, so pretty!!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Isn't crazy how beautiful the leaves are when they change colors??

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  6. Oh...if fall only looked like that in East Texas! Maybe by late November it will start to resemble that.

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    1. Hey Leslie! My husband is born and raised from Texas and I lived in Austin for 3 years before moving to Ohio. I have to agree with you- Fall in Texas isn't the same as it is in the Midwest/East Coast. But you have cowboy boots, sunshine and BBQ!!! All things that I love and miss about Texas! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  7. The pictures of the Fall leaves are so pretty. I'm getting so excited about Fall. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Hi Angela! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! Those fall pictures are some of my favorites that I have from our time in Cleveland!

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  8. I'm a Northeast Ohio girl too. I have to think that Ohio winters are not much different than Indiana, no? I am not a huge fan of winter but knowing that I choose to live where I do, I try not to complain about it haha. I never quite understood why people are surprised when it gets cold and snowy every year...I just shake my head and say, "Hello people, you live in Ohio!" LOL!

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    1. Hi Kim! So fun you are from NE Ohio! I have to tell you- that yes- there is a difference in the winters here in Indianapolis versus Cleveland! We definitely get the cold and some snow- but NOTHING like what goes on up in Cleveland! The biggest difference to me is that it starts warming up so much sooner down here where as winter seems to last until about April up in NE Ohio. All that to say- you are right- it is funny when people complain about the weather in the area where they live! HA! Just part of the package deal, right?
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  9. Oh, and YES to Melt. I ate there once a few years ago when we were visiting Ian's old hometown of Solon!

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    1. April! I remember you mentioning that Ian is from Solon! Such a small world!! And seriously- isn't Melt SO DARN GOOD?!?

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  10. I just wrote the longest comment ever....hit publish....and it isn't here :(

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