Cleveland Still Rocks!

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The second half of my trip to Cleveland rivaled the first in friendly hosts and fun times.  I had met John and Michelle several years back at a friend’s wedding and decided immediately that they were my new best friends. When I let them know I was coming to town they invited me to stay with them and I am so glad that I did!

The first evening we had dinner at their restaurant; John Palmers Bistro 44 is located in Northeast Ohio. I had heard about the restaurant and was excited to try the cuisine. I dined on a perfectly cooked filet mignon with a side of brussels sprouts and gorgonzola redskins which are a heavenly cheesy potato side. I was also encouraged to try the tater tots which were unlike anything I had ever had and amazing. If you are thinking this doesn’t sound like the cuisine to lose weight…you may be right sometimes you have to bite the bullet or the steak rather.

The next day they played tour guide and we went downtown for some good old fashion casino gaming. I skipped the slot machines, hovering around the black jack tables before settling down at a table for an hour or so and making about $500! Fresh off a good run I was tempted to map out all the casinos on my upcoming path to help bankroll this trip but decided that was probably not my best idea.

The next morning John and Michelle hooked me up with their personal trainer for a session. I met with Troy, Owner of Body Physicans at his studio in Concord Ohio. Upon walking in to his studio you can see that it is not your typical gym. Troy has developed and created all of his own equipment. The pieces look like an average piece of equipment you might find in your gym but at a closer look you can tell there is something different. After a good stretch Troy had me hop on one and the range of movement was different than any I had ever tried before. He has been working for years on developing his machines and has sold them to other trainers and football teams in the past. When my workout was complete Troy asked if he could pray for me. It caught me completely off guard. I don’t want to get into religion here, just as I won’t be speaking to you about politics but regardless of what you believe it is nice for someone to take a moment, put his hand on your shoulder and pray for your safe journey.

Troy’s studio is located at 9853 Johnnycake Ridge Road in Concord Ohio, his number is 440-853-8472 if you want to contact him.

Cleveland was amazing for me, mostly because of the people but also because of the cool city. It was common to hear “why would you go there” from people when I listed Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland but all provided me great experiences and I truly enjoyed what they had to offer.

Sadly I didn’t take any pictures. I need to stop having so much fun and start photo journaling my journey!

Cleveland Rocks!

SJM Weather

Chief Meteorologist here, weathering the storms of this trip, there has been plenty of sunshine, a rainbow or two and an occasional shower. Cleveland was a definite ray of light, I was hosted by two different groups of friends. To keep the post somewhat short I will be writing two posts.

My first two nights were spent with my friend Meagan and her family. One of the highlights of this trip is experiencing how other’s live. On my first morning Meagan and I got up early to drop her two daughters off at school, not being a parent this was my first school drop, let me tell you it is very much like you see in the movies. The kids were eager to hop out of the car having spotted their friends and they were off, it was like a whirlwind. We squealed (ok, not really) out of the school driveway eager to start our tour of downtown Cleveland.

On our agenda for the day was the West Side Market, Cleveland’s Public Market which recently celebrated their 100th anniversary. It is natural to compare things to your home, in this case Pike Place Market, however I couldn’t choose a market I preferred. I liked West Side for the set up of its food vendors, they were organized in square pods with a different vendor occupying one quarter of the space. I liked the ability to look around from one vantage point and see the various offerings of meats, poultry, seafood and cheeses. Pike Place seems a bit more disjointed in its placement of vendors. However, that said, I preferred the fruit and vegetable set up at Pike Place over The West Side Market. There seems to be more vendors, more variety and less heckling. As we walked through I felt like I was unable to shop in peace as the vendors were all yelling trying to get my attention.

We next headed to the Cleveland Museum of Art for a quick bite before perusing the exhibitions. The Provenence Cafe, was another museum surprise, offering locally sourced authentic cuisine. I ordered a tandoor-baked chicken claybread sandwich and a side salad. The man in charge, Chef Douglas Katz, hopes to align the food to the quality experience that art lovers encounter throughout the rest of the museum. If my meal was a representative of the rest of the menu I would say he is right on target! Our only complaint…the sandwich wasn’t served with a bib.

Our final stop of our tourist day was at the Lakeview Cemetery. It might seem like an odd stop, a cemetery where I knew no one residing there but it was a very interesting and informative visit. You can get a sense of the people who built a city by the engravings in the headstone. The Cemetery houses graves of some pretty prominent individuals to include President James A. Garfield, John D. Rockefeller and Eliot Ness.

There is a free tour of the monument of President Garfield, a quick hike up the stairs to the top of the building provides a birds eye view of the cemetery. Additionally, the Wade Memorial Chapel is not to be missed. This chapel was was designed by glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. The intricate details are breathtaking.

Our day was complete when I got to sit in on a filming of a pre-game show called Tailgate 19. It was my first time in a news studio and I was able to sneak in some time at the weather desk before heading off to dinner.

I had so much fun that there was danger to me extending my visit, however, I know that its best to leave when the ratings are high so I took my departure.

West Side Market

West Side Market

Cleveland Market 2

Westside Market

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Cleveland Museum of Art

Feeling Cocky

Feeling Cocky

President Garfield Monument

President Garfield Monument

President Garfield's Monument

President Garfield’s Monument