Tag Archives: pool

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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Beaches, Parks, Baseball, & Dogs – 2 more fun weeks!

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Hello friends!  3 weeks now in Ohio (see week 1 here) and we’ve been keeping quite busy (so not to think about how much we miss everyone in GA).  Today is a cool 62 and we are stuck inside due to the rain (after checking out a local church!), but this is the first day this has happened, so I’ll use it for some catch up.  We are free and clear of all home-ownership right now (yay for our GA house closing this week), but ramping up our search in Ohio.  We are not finding exactly what we want, but trying to wait patiently and pray for the right house to come up.  It’s pretty cutthroat here too – actually put in an offer last week and lost out to someone willing to pay higher than list..more power to them if they want to overpay, not my style (but probably should prepare for that scenario.)

Have I mentioned how beautiful it is here?  So many people outside all the time and so many parks to explore!  Here is my attempt at a selfie on my new favorite mode of transportation (but hard to get the full bike and trailer in!)  But loving our new Baby Jogger POD as both a bike trailer and jogging stroller and how easy it is to get around via bike!

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Since I last posted we spent a nice afternoon with some family at the beautiful Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie:

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Attended a Memorial Day Parade, followed by our first visit to Huntington Beach (part of the AMAZING Cleveland Metroparks – which I’m guessing you’ll hear a lot about as there are a lot and they are all so unique and cool!), and then an afternoon swim for Zevon & Baxter at another local beach dubbed the “dog beach”.

Celebrated my birthday taking in an Indians game at Progressive Field.  And let me take a minute to tell you just how impressed I was!  It didn’t hurt that Steven was able to use corporate tickets to get us VIP parking, club access with all you can eat, and great seats!  (See our panoramic view at the top of this post!)  Sundays are also kids day, so the kids were able to make crafts, play, dance with hot dogs, see a magician, see a variety of exotic animals, watch a live interview with an Indians players, and they had a blast!  A bright, sunny, 80 degree day, really made this a perfect afternoon.

The next week brought more great weather, more parks & picnics, our weekly Chick-fil-A visit, and the grand opening of our local pool.  It won’t be relaxing chasing 2 young kids around the pool, but it sure will be a fun place to spend many days.  The kids pool alone has a 1 ft toddler area, a zero-entry area, and a playground with a slide and more squirters than you could ever imagine!  Then there is a lap pool, diving boards, and 2 huge slides for the more daring!

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And then I’ll end this weeks segment with a fun event we attended yesterday at another Cleveland Metropark – their Farmpark.  About a 40 minute drive from us, the promise of a “Working Dog” festival (along with it being a working farm) was well worth the drive!  In addition to sled dogs, search & rescue dogs, sheep herding dogs, agility dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and rescue dogs, the horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens were quite entertaining.  There were a lot of hands on activities (you’ll see one below of LL operating on Tigger at a mock animal clinic), I was guided by a Golden Retriever guide dog for the blind, and the kids will tell you the playgrounds in the middle of the park kept us all very entertained!

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Stay tuned for more – and hopefully some updates on our home search so you can come visit!  And since it is Sunday (and I’m way behind on any calling posts), I’ll leave you with a verse:

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“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12.

Amen – have a blessed week!

 

 

 

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Hilton Head Island Fun!

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School’s out, vacation time!  I cannot think of a better way to kick off summer than a week at the beach!  After much research (seriously for me to commit to a place is a LONG process) we decided on Hilton Head Island, SC.  I know most GA people swear by the Gulf Coast beaches.  Maybe the Atlantic isn’t as pretty as the Gulf, but let me tell you, I am sold on Hilton Head and plan on returning next year!  Thanks to Sarah (over at Small Town Love) and her hubby Ike – our fur babies were taken care of too – which is always a big plus knowing they are in good hands!

Once the location was picked, accommodations was the next challenge.  After even more research, we decided on a 2-bedroom villa in Harbour Town in the Sea Pines Plantation.  Due to a little bit of last-minute booking, this may not have been my first choice as it was a bottom floor unit with no view.  But the location was great and other than some loud upstairs neighbors and an uncooperative A/C unit, it suited our family well.  I seriously am thinking about looking for next year’s digs very soon!  Amenities of the area included a playground (which the kids loved), pool, fitness center, tennis courts, and a trolley to the beach.

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When I made our reservations, the booking agent asked if we wanted to reserve bikes.  Apparently that is the preferred method of transportation on the island.  I went ahead, still a bit skeptical, but after our first day there, that was a suggestion I am glad we took.  We rented 2 bikes, and Steven’s pulled a kiddie cart, which the kids loved!  The bike paths were very easily accessible and we took them every chance we had to meals, activities, and even just for fun/exercise.  And how did I almost forget the best part – the island is so FLAT – that even someone out-of-shape can manage a few mile bike ride without too much struggle!  It doesn’t hurt that the paths, like the streets, are all lined with big trees and Spanish moss (shaded and beautiful).IMG_3030

The island seems to boast a bunch of little “towns” or harbors, each with their own set of shops, restaurants, and activities.  As mentioned, we stayed in Harbour Town, home to the famous Harbour Town Lighthouse (which we all, even LL, walked 114 steps to the top).  While there we ate at The Crazy Crab, Harbour Town Grill, Lowcountry Produce, Guiseppi’s Pizza, and Harbour Town Bakery & Deli.  We also took an afternoon Dolphin Cruise on the Vagabond.  (Which I was SO excited there was a Living Social Deal for at the time we were there – saved us 50%!)  I also spent a nap-time or two wandering the many shops of Harbour Town and admiring the boats and view!

052213 (40)Aboard the Vagabond

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Top of the Lighthouse

South Beach Marina Village is another little town.  It was a 3.7 mile bike ride down.  Home of The Salty Dog Cafe.  We went down there twice.  The first night we were there, they had a Low Country Boil, live music, face painting, and a special appearance by Jake the Salty Dog, all to celebrate his 25th birthday!   Then we went back later in the week to buy our shirts (I think I saw somewhere this was required – haha!), presents for our pups, and to eat in the actual restaurant.

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The next little “town” we visited was Shelter Cove Harbor, home to Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.  I had looked into this for lodging for a few minutes before moving along due to price (seriously like $500/night), I know LL would have loved it, as even seeing the Mickey logo brought a huge smile to her face.  Maybe someday…but this had another group of restaurants and shops and was home to the big Neptune statue.  We ate at Scott’s Fish Market, which was probably my favorite meal of the week.  It had an open-air patio on the harbor and had a guy with a guitar playing many enjoyable classics that had us all dancing and singing along!  As Steven pointed out – it was very fitting that the name was Scott’s (like my father) as the music came straight from his record collection, a nice little reminder/message to discover.

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I cannot forget to mention the beach!  We spent 4 mornings playing on the beach.  It was nice and flat and hard (perfect for riding bikes – which we’ll do next time), and had little shallow wading areas that were perfect for the kids to play in without waves.  Steven got the kite out and the kids really just had a blast digging, building, catching hermit crabs and various sea creatures (ok – maybe that one was me!), and watching for birds and dolphins.

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A few more activities to note were mini-golf.  Maybe not the best idea with a 1 & 3-year-old, as we had to throw our competitiveness out the window, but at least we tried!  The Sandbox: An Interactive Kid’s Museum, cute for the little ones with various sensory activities.  And Lawton Stables, where they had many animals to pet (goats, sheep, pigs, deer, llamas) and LL got to take a pony ride on Romeo the blue-eyed pony!

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We even made it to church on Sunday.  And I have to point out that they have a Publix there, which really makes shopping a pleasure in an unknown place as it feels like home to me!  Sounds silly, but with trying to eat breakfast and lunches in, I like to know and be comfortable with what I am buying and eating!  Speaking of eating, this week was a bit of a break from clean eating, but I am looking forward to jumping back in as I really have felt much better!

So overall – a wonderful week, now back to reality (not without posting a recap and some pictures first though!)  Next year, the dogs are coming along (or at least a few of them).  My research neglected to uncover just how dog-friendly the island is.  But we’ll check this off as a scouting trip and make next year’s even better!

052413 (15)LL bringing the dogs their presents!

Happy Memorial Day weekend and may you have a GREAT summer filled with special memories like ours!

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Filed under Celebrations, Children