Tag Archives: ohio

CLE is the place to be!

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For once I’d like to say we were ahead of the curve!  With the RNC picking Cleveland to host the 2016 convention and today’s announcement of LeBron coming home to the Cavaliers, there is an awful lot of pride going on here in little old Cleveland.  Much of the charm of Cleveland that we’ve experienced is from the outside simply not knowing how great this city is, so hopefully this is a good thing (at least maybe some of you will be more excited to come visit!!)  Seriously, today I had to pick from going to the beach, the pool, or one of the many parks/playgrounds that are all within a few miles of us, many of them along beautiful Lake Erie.  (I’m very blessed by my hardworking husband who allows us to have this lifestyle – and with a 2 & 4-year-old in tow, the word relaxing you will not hear!)

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I figured I was overdue for an update – going on 9 weeks here – and this is as good of reason as any for just that!  See my first two updates here & here, keeping up that momentum, we’ve been keeping very busy.  1st order of business – we bought a house!  Very excited.  We’ve loved living where we are so much, that we bought a house just a few streets over.  1 block from Lake Erie, in quintessential small town America.  Lots of people have been here their whole lives and there is a lot of pride in living here (also evident in the almost 3% property taxes – yikes!)  I’ve also heard it referred to as a bubble – sound like another town GA friends??  We are set to close this week and move over the next few.  Very excited to get settled – also stay tuned for some house projects.  A deviation from what I usually blog about – but I think it may be fun to document.  Thanks to Houzz.com – we have lots of inspiration!

I’m so overflowed with pictures that yesterday my iPhone told me I couldn’t take anymore – so sorry for the photo purge – but we’ve just been doing so much AND it’s just so beautiful here.  (We’ll talk come winter!)  So here are a few more things to do in CLE!

Bay Days Festival.  An old-time carnival invades this picturesque small town around the 4th of July.  The kids had a blast on all the rides (which can also be described as old!) and this year we kept them up late to watch the fireworks.  An amazing display over Lake Erie made it a magical first time (and a lot of live up to!)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  I’ve mentioned before how impressed I am with the Metroparks system here.  The zoo did not disappoint, so much so, we bought a pass!  We first got to visit doing a 5k, then went back.  We could go a few more times before we see everything there is to offer.  But a beautiful zoo, easy to get to, and not for the out of shape – as there are A LOT of hills, but makes for some good exercise, especially with the double stroller!  There is tram for those who can’t keep up though!  And not to miss is the Circle of Wildlife Carousel – beautifully handcrafted – you can pick almost any of the zoo animals to ride!  (And you can also see LL on a real camel!!)

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Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  As a member of Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I was happy to learn we get reciprocal membership here in Cleveland!  We’ve been seeing adds for the latest exhibit – Nature Connects – a Lego exhibit – so we went for a quick trip.  In a really cool park of town – University Circle – the gardens sit among many other museums all around a circle!  Will definitely be back often to visit more of these cool places!

Local Beaches, Pools, and Splash Pads.  Kids completed two weeks of swim lessons at our local pool, which doubles as a small waterpark, really I’m impressed with it!  And growing up going to the Jersey shore, Lake Erie beaches don’t bother me, so it’s fun to mix it up and go there, and the kids don’t know any different!  I think I had mentioned before too – but there is a dog beach that the dogs have been loving too!  And even a few local splashpads for more water fun!  (Now if it would only get above 70 – haha my GA blood is already thickening – I have no idea how I ever survived in the 90’s!)

Last week we also wished our Zevon a Happy 10th Birthday!

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Anything peak your interest?  We will very soon have our own house, complete with guest room – so come visit!  All the cool kids are doing it! Thanks for stopping by today – have a FABULOUS weekend!

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1st week in the Midwest!

Hello again from Ohio!  We could not have asked for a prettier week here to get acclimated.  It’s been busy, some fun stuff – some not so fun, but enough to warrant a new blog post for those of you wanting an update!  And I have been reading, actually have finished 3 books since my last review, so hopefully next week I can get some reviews up and get back into Teaser Tuesdays.

From where I left off (see our drive from a week ago here), our first stop, even before unpacking, car dealerships.  With 2 little ones, and not a lot of patience for car salesman, we made one stop to check out the Pathfinder at a local Nissan dealership.  We went in wanting the captain’s chair 2nd row (LIKE a minivan), and although I had read online that this was an optional feature, that was sadly the one feature we did not end up with.  That is okay though, only having 2 kids, we will only need it on special occasions, and this came fully loaded with everything else (including 4×4 which I’ve heard may come in handy during the winter months!) and so much more.  So we can check that box off!

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Next stop – Ohio BMV.  Yes I said B not D (GA friends) – Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  I’m now licensed to drive in Ohio.  Check that off!

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Next stop – find local Chick-fil-A.  Here we are at Westgate Chick-fil-A in Rocky River.  “Taste of Home” as I proclaimed on Facebook!

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Also while in Rocky River, we stopped by Rocky River Park.  Beautiful spot along Lake Erie, complete with a playground!

And another fun playground later in the week, this one complete with a Fire Boat for our LM!
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Even checked off a few places on my “Why they say Cleveland Rocks” post from a few months ago.

We joined the Lake Erie Science and Nature Center.  All their camps for the summer are full – but hoping maybe some spots open up for LL.  (And I love that lizard with his tongue out – keeping that around for when I need a quick smile!!)

The Westside Market.  Picked up some local produce and scoped it out for many future trips!

Some fun around our rental.  Rope swing in front yard, watching a bunny & chipmunks in the backyard, and pulling out some good old college dorm room decorating with posters!

And Crocker Park is a really neat area.  Great restaurants, great shopping, live music and other events, chess sets (regular and giant size), a splash pad, and a train ride!  We checked out the B Spot (by Michael Symon).  Good stuff.  Will be back to this fun area!

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I’ll say it again – great week to be up here, and more to come as it’s only a half-day into our 3-day weekend!  Daddy made it home from work each day for dinner (yay!), so settling into the new normal.  We purchased a new jogging stroller/bike trailer too, which has and will accompany us on many more adventures.  So stay tuned!  (And come visit – we miss family and friends to do all of this with!)

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Greetings from Cleveland, OH!

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All packed and ready to go!

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My Co-Pilot!

Hello!  The first half of our drive from Atlanta to Cleveland was filled with tears, but also inspiration for a funny blog post.  I had snapped a few pictures entering Tennessee and had a rolling voice note in my phone of all sorts of witty things to write about.  You’ll just have to take my word for it, but it included lost hits from the 80’s & 90’s, cows wagging tails, llama farms, monster mini-vans, and I’m sure so much more, and I think it was funny!

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Pretty shot through TN!

Once we hit Kentucky, all of those thoughts faded and the drive because so very stressful (and I’m not including the pouring rain which accompanied us through TN.)  My 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, going around 70 miles an hour, proceeds to completely shut down and kindly tell me to “Stop Safely Now.”  So I drift over to the shoulder of I-75 and do just that, shut down.  Thankfully Steven was close by in our rented Budget truck, but he had 2 dogs with him, and I had 1 dog, and 2 kids with me.  200 miles to our 1st stop in Dayton, OH, 400 miles from Cleveland.  Panic set it.

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It was pretty though – wish we could have enjoyed it more!

I start-up again and for the next few hours I grasp the steering wheel white knuckled and hold my breath at various points and have both words of anger and pleading with my Creator.  It happens 7 more times on the way to Dayton.  We do some research, seems like a common problem, albeit annoying.  Could be a computer glitch, could be a small problem, could be major.  We decide to push forward Sunday morning and TRY to get to our final destination. (After enjoying a nice night with family!)

I do need to mention that my kids are ROCKSTARS, seriously.  They are the best passengers I could have asked for during this time.  What should have been maybe 12 hours in the car, turned into closer to 16, and they powered through.  Much better than I.

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8 more times this happens between Dayton and Cleveland.  I plead with AAA, they can tow my car, but can only call us a rental or a taxi for me and my small kids.  Yes Steven was there, but we all couldn’t fit in that truck.  And it was Sunday, no rentals available, and I’m not even going to guess what cab fare from middle OH would be.  We push through.  And we made it Sunday afternoon.

So to the point of this post, we are in our rental house at our intended destination.  I’m sure I have a few more gray hairs, my kids have heard words they shouldn’t have, and we apologize to anyone that came in contact with us yesterday.  But we are here and things can only go up from here.  We had some great family help us unload, received our first welcome basket, and are started to get unpacked.

We were hoping house searching would commence this week, but our new plan – buy a new car.  Now don’t think I’m crazy extreme, but from what Google is telling me, they haven’t pin-pointing this issues, so it COULD happen again – you just don’t know until you go 100-300 miles on the highway.  Not risking that ever again.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
Psalm 107:6

But in conclusion, we were delivered, yet again, and as always by our gracious, yet always teaching God.  Not quite sure what to take from this lesson yet, but all I can do is be thankful it is over and push forward.  I miss you all and look forward to some happier posts, but for now – greetings from Cleveland, OH!

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And just for fun (as I have a million pics from the last few weeks – here is Steven and I when we moved into our house in June 2009, and when we moved out in May 2014!)  We did have  of the pups, but look how our family has grown!  So blessed!

 

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Because I knew you – I have been changed FOR GOOD!

I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.

Wow, I cannot believe I have to write this.  My heart is so heavy, which may be why much of it will be staying in GA as we head up to OH.  To all of our friends, family, neighbors, to all of those who have been in our lives the last 11 years for me, 18 for Steven, 4.5 for Molly, and 2.5 for Cooper, we will miss you.  You have all taught us, comforted us, loved us, prayed for us, prayed with us, grown with us, celebrated with us, grieved with us, helped us, been with us through good and bad, ups and downs, and because of that, we are all who we are today.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you’ll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.

This song brought me goose bumps when it was just a song in a musical (albeit the best musical ever – Wicked), now I could not think of a better way to express my feelings on physically leaving all of you.  And you all know by now I like to express myself in song, so this is my chosen Swan Song (Sing Off anyone?)

In Wicked, Glinda, the good witch, sings this song with Elphaba, the “wicked” witch, when their lives take different directions and they must part ways.  They started as enemies but developed an unusual friendship which each of them came to cherish.  Their paths may never cross again, but because of knowing each other, they were changed for good.

I think I will keep it short, because this song really says it all (and I could probably ramble on for quite sometime), take a listen below.  Each one of you has left a hand-print on my heart, and in a great book metaphor from this song, has been rewritten my story by you being my friend.  This also is true of all the other chapters in our lives, God places people in our lives at very specific times for a reason, and this song speaks to that truth.  I hope it is not the case, but we may not meet again, as everyone moves on, but I am still so thankful I knew you, even if only for this chapter.

“Whatever way our stories end, I know you’ll have rewritten mine by being my friend”

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we love you, we will miss you, and we have been changed for the better because you were in our lives.  Keep in touch, come visit, and we will be back.

“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good”


*Not the full song from Wicked (find that here) but the best video I could find to embed.  Or here are the lyrics.

And a post from me would not be complete without a few bible verses.  Here are a few on friendship and the companionship of others that I’ve been meditating on this week:

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future.
Proverbs 19:20 

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

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Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Amen – thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for much more from OH, love you all!

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My Life in Disney Songs

Hello my severely neglected blog and followers.  As you should know by now, we are in the process of moving.  Selling a house, travelling back and forth, and just figuring out the million little pieces and keeping them all in motion, has me a little stressed to say the least.  But in our free moments, we like to have Disney Dance Parties, and I’ve come to the realization that our life right now can be summed up using a variety of Disney songs. So I hope you enjoy this fun little glimpse into our lives as told by songs:

As we are preparing to move and enter into “A Whole New World“, the motto I’ve been trying hard to have is “Hakuna Matata” – you know how it goes – it means no worries!  Not quite that easy to “Let it Go“, but we’re trying.  (Check out a past post on that song specifically!)

We’re realizing we can get by some days with just the “Bare Necessities“, but each day it’s “Heigh Ho“, off to work we go.  While I wish we had a fairy godmother or a magic wand to say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and have it all be over with (the work that is!)

We are  “Almost There” and will soon be singing at last “I See the Light” when we can proudly say we’ve been able to “Go the Distance.”  .

I guess it’s all part of the “Circle of Life“.

But I will always be singing “You’ll be in My Heart” to all my beloved friends in Georgia and know that “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” always and forever.

And please know that everyone is always invited to Cleveland to “Be Our Guest” anytime!!

And finally just for fun – since I am out of words – here is one of the kids favorites these days “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious“!!

Thanks for stopping by today – any others I forgot?  What sums up your life these days?

The songs are from these movies referenced above are (in order):
Aladdin
The Lion King
Frozen
The Jungle Book
Snow White
Cinderella
The Princess and the Frog
Tangled
Hercules
The Lion King
Tarzan
Toy Story
Beauty and the Beast
Mary Poppins
And pictures were all from this link. (Unless they link to their original source)

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Why they say Cleveland Rocks!

So you’ve heard by now, we are relocating up north, like way up north.  Take a pencil from Atlanta and go directly north as far as you can in the US and you’ll hit Cleveland, OH.  Not a foreign land to me, like it may be to many born and bred southerners, after all I am from Philadelphia and spend 19 years of my life in Pennsylvania.  But it may be to you, so that is why I am posting today things to look forward to in Cleveland.  This list is not only for my own reference, but also yours as we want you to come visit.

I think by now I have expressed how much I will miss everyone in GA (and the GA weather especially this time of year), so this list serves as my way of justifying that I can do this (and maybe convince you to come too!).  Atlanta will always hold a (large) piece of my heart and has so many great points too (in case I am too convincing for you!)  Ha!

I am excited to reconnect with family that I haven’t seen in a while.  And ofcourse to be closer to Penn State!  (Hoping to take Steven and the kids to their first game this fall!)  Cleveland is a bit smaller than Atlanta, so we are also hoping traffic will not be a huge stress for us, and most importantly, will allow us to find a MUCH better commute for Steven.  Like 15 miles (v. 55), one way!

Some fun Cleveland nicknames before I start are: Forest City, Metropolis of the Western Reserve, The Rock and Roll Capital of the World, The Plum City, C-Town, The Cleve, Sixth City, North Coast, Mistake on the Lake, Halle Berry’s Hometown, Comeback City, Land of tha Heartless (found from this fun blog here!)

Now onto some things my detailed research has found:

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – a place that I’d say at least 50% of the people I mention Cleveland to automatically mention.  With music being such a big part of our lives, I think we’ll soon become members!  Steven is excited to take the kids to teach them all about music, especially The Beatles exhibit, whose songs LL has been singing since she could talk.  It looks like they have preschool programs and many events that will keep us entertained all year round!  We’ll be sure to have some extra tickets on hand for your visit too!

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The Great Lakes Science Center looks like an awesome museum too, as Cleveland sits right on Lake Erie.  Home of the OmniMax, great exhibits, and even a Polymer Funhouse for the little ones.  This place is high on our list of things to do!

The West Side Market – I have seen this listed on every list of what Cleveland has to offer, and agree that it deserves a spot as this place looks awesome!  Cannot wait to make this a weekly stop.  Sounds perfect on my quest to eat cleaner and local!

  • Produce Is Fresh Daily
  • A Wide Selection of Organic Foods
  • Unique and Specialty Items Found No Where Else
  • Produce Costs an Average of 30% Less than Grocery Stores
  • Higher Quality & Better Selection of Meats
  • The Best Butchers in the Area
  • Family Owned Businesses, Operating as Long as 75 Years
  • Personal Service
  • Weekly Specials in All Areas of the Market for a Greater Value

“Today the market is home to over 100 vendors of great ethnic diversity. You can find not only fine meats and fresh vegetables, but also fresh seafood, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, and even fresh flowers. There are also booths that sell ready-to-eat foods, herbs, candy and nuts.”

Lots of other museums/places to go including (but not limited to):

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One local place (to where we will be staying for awhile) is the:

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Lake Erie Science and Nature Center – This looks like it has programs and events geared toward the little ones.  Including being able to adopt your own animal!  And it even has a planetarium – I haven’t been to one of those in forever – I think the kids will love it!

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If none of those are convincing enough, behind the Rock & Roll HOF, the second most mentioned landmark is Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.  This amusement park, located on a Lake Erie peninsula, is less than an hour from Cleveland, and boasts some of the biggest, baddest roller coasters in the world!  Now if this doesn’t get you up our way – I don’t know what will!

“Cedar Point is known for a couple of things. It’s known as the roller coaster capital of the world. But some just refer to Cedar Point as the world’s best amusement park. Cedar Point is an amusement park that brings people together through thrills. With 120-mph roller coasters that have 80-degree drops. An amusement park that, on top of roller coasters, has exhilarating thrill rides. An amusement park that has rides for the entire family and gives you water rides that make you wonder why it’s simply only the roller coaster capital of the world. And, of course, Cedar Point amusement park gives you great dining. What else would you expect from the roller coaster capital of the world? Or, as some say, the best amusement park in the world. Cedar Point is the place to strengthen family bonds and stomachs.Cedar Point. Thrills Connect.”

Cleveland even offers all your professional sports and seems to have a lot of pride in them: (the Monsters are minor league hockey)

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There seem to be parks on every corner and even a few beaches along Lake Erie.  We are very much looking forward to getting the bikes back out, teaching LL to ride a bike, and even purchasing a bike trailer to tow the kids too!

And ofcourse if you know me – I love a good festival – so tons of those to visit too!

Skiing is not too far away, another plus for Steven as he loves to ski and can’t wait to get the kids on skis while they are little.

Lots of new local restaurants to try.  (I know every city has this – but we love eating out – so excited to try some new local places!)  Also included with eating is drinking – so looking forward to new local craft beers, like the Great Lakes Brewing Company and Rocky River Brewing Company!

And who knew – Superman was created in Cleveland too!

I could go on as I am finding out so much, I’ll save more for later, like restaurants, parks, and festivals I want to try.  (And hopefully some reviews of these places when we actually get up there!)   Please feel free to add your favorites here too, this list is just my attempt to organize some things that are on our Cleveland Bucket list, and like I said before, to get us excited about going to a brand new city.

Thanks for reading and please COME VISIT!!

Thanks to Positively Cleveland for many of these ideas!
And here’s another good list I found: 25 Reasons Why Cleveland Is The Best

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