Friday, July 22, 2016

Travel: Cleveland, Ohio - Arrival, Westside Market, & The Christmas Story House

This year for our annual family vacation we flew to Cleveland, Ohio to visit Adam's side of the family. He was born and raised there until his parents moved to Florida when he was eleven. His maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins all still live there. We stayed with his Aunt Sue and Uncle Jerry and had a lovely time. I will post a few installments of the trip over the next couple days along with other posts as well. Lots to catch up on!

This trip held a lot of firsts for me. I saw my first ground hog, apple tree and chipmunk. These robins were in a nest in their apple tree in the front yard. Adam took the picture because of my lack of elevation.

You guys all know how much of a geek I am by now. So you know I needed to document my first apples.

Pretty much everyday we were there we got to hang out with family. Sue and Jerry have an amazing home for entertainment. This is their deck. Always full of people laughing and chatting. The girls were rarely there because around back were chickens.

The girls would be out there, in the coop, with about half a dozen clucking chickens in their laps at any given moment. They cried so hard when we had to leave the chickens.

Z's Bean and Cream caramel creme brulee ice cream after dinner.

Westside Market held top billing on the trip. We were going to go there and spend money on food come hell or high water. 

We all picked out a few things to eat and take back to the house to snack on. Scarlette got this huge cream puff she is pointing at and some pepperoni, Savanna chose a few macarons, Adam picked Italian dry sausage and beef jerky, I chose bacon jerky, macarons and spicy beef jerky.

After much food gazing we all earned a case of the munchies and decided to walk down the street to Town Hall for lunch.

I had injured my leg before we left for the trip and it wasn't healing well. I decided this anti-inflammatory juice drink couldn't hurt. It tasted amazing.

So did my Korean BBQ Bacon flatbread with cubanelles and pickled onions. 

Post-lunch book browsing.

I bought Scarlette a book about a rat and roach who start a rock band.

The Christmas Story is probably either a movie you love or hate. For me it is love. Like many, I grew up watching it on TBS every Christmas over and over. 

We declined the tour due to time constraints and budgeting but it was cool just to see it in real life. There is a museum and gift shop across the street as well.

Do you like The Christmas Story? Do you have anything like the Westside Market near you? I went to one in Charleston but it really wasn't like Cleveland's. If I could grocery shop there once a month I would be in hog heaven.

Oh! My macarons! I chose rose, lavender, pink champagne, blackberry, chocolate maple bourbon, and salted caramel. They were incredible.


  1. This looks like a wonderful trip! I love all the stunning photos and foodie descriptions especially. I recently took a trip to the coast and bought a bottle of blackberry wine, dark chocolate caramel marsmallows, and had a dinner of sand dabs and green beans almondine. It's so fun trying new foods on vacation!

    PS: I couldn't stop thinking about those HoG Refreshers you reviewed, so when I saw some listed really inexpensively in a destash along with some perfume vials and a scrub. I snapped them all up! I'll let you know my thoughts on them when they arrive; so excited to try them. Scents were Chillax and Sea Spa.

    1. Thank you Amanda! I am right there with you, the food is IT! Love trying new foods! Your dark chocolate caramel marshmallows sound freaking incredible. Your dinner too.

      Oh fun! How cool you got a couple for a song! Now, don't expect these guys to have any staying power. The fun in the refreshers is the cooling sensation and invigorating jolt of scent and moisture. I use them for when I will be cleaning, walking, hiking, or such. Before, during and after activity. Go crazy with them! I LOVE Chillax!! Sea Spa sounds lovely. I wonder if it smells like Selkie? I hope you like them :-)

  2. These pictures are so lovely!! Nothing like spending some good quality time with family, sounds like they have an awesome place! Valley City is such a neat rural area. Westside Market is pure love, how was it on a Friday? 99.999% of my visits are on Saturdays, with my one lone Sunday visit a few weeks back. I'm glad you guys found lots of goodies there!! Those macarons are <3. Townhall is just the best, one of the few places I could dine out when I was strictly paleo. That flatbread looks like something dreams are made of. Yay! I hope you guys had a good trip! Despite CLE not being a typical vacation destination, we do have a lot of things to see and do here! And I hope you guys didn't run into too much RNC chaos!

    1. Thank you Jacqui! It was very nice to see everyone and hang out. It was the girls' first time meeting some of Adam's family. You know, Friday we went around 10am and it was pretty mellow. A few people milling about but not enough to bump into people or have to wait in lines. I know I kept mulling over when to go to Westside. I think Friday ended up being for the best. Townhall was very very good. Good enough that when we go back we would eat there again and I rarely eat at the same place twice when traveling. We went to Tavi's too but Adam and I were not all that impressed. Cleveland had a TON of things to do and we didn't even scratch the surface.

      No RNC chaos at all and we skirted around downtown quite a bit. I did with you then when we went to Westside then when we went to the Metroparks. There were tons of cops walking around Westside but everything was peaceful and not crowded and hardly any traffic. If it wasn't for the news I would have never known it was there.

  3. That carcass is disturbing but I love the cream swans!! King Ludwig II (my current obsession) loved swans and is sometimes called The Swan King.

    And how cool that you saw the Christmas Story house!!!!


    1. Lol! We were all trying to guess what it was, turned out to be a goat. Ooooo swans huh? That is our town mascot. The Queen of England gifted our city two swans ages ago and now they are abundant at one particular lake. We do a swan round up each year where to get catches them and gives then s check up. Kinda neat.

      I loved it! Made me want to watch it. I might have to before I go back to work.

  4. Love the photos & I love that you went to a bookstore while on vacation! And all that yummy food & beautiful macaroons!! Christmas Story house - too cool!! :)

    1. Oh sorry! I must have missed this comment somewhere! Yes, I do love visiting local bookstores if I can. I would have bought a book in there but we were with other people and none of them wanted to go in. And I need to browsing time.

  5. Love this! I only live about 45 min away and haven't been to Westside Market. Leave it to a Floridian to inspire.
    The whole family went to the Christmas Story House last year, it was neat to see it! Loved seeing your highlights.

    1. I think where we were staying (Valley City/Strongsville) was only about 45 minutes or so away too. I do hope you get to visit Westside Market one day. It was easily one of my favorite places I went, neck and neck with Indigo Perfumery. I hear Saturdays are pretty packed so maybe try a Friday or Sunday if you want to avoid crowds. Friday was good for us. I think if I had a market like that near me I would want to go once a month if I could. SO much great food.

      How fun!!! Yes, I bet that was a nice family trip. I think it would be fun to see it in winter while it is snowing too. But snow is a novelty to me and probably not so much you. But it would totally set the mood for seeing the house.

      It was definitely a nice trip overall. And I am sure we will be back again to see my husband's family. But not next year. He is already missing the mountains. So back to NC we go I am sure. Where do you like to vacation?