A few days without kids and a 3-hour drive made a 6-year anniversary trip to Cleveland relaxing and fun!
Yes, you read that right. The Cleveland locals looked at us like we were a little crazy too. Ted and I traveled to Cleveland this weekend for a little anniversary getaway. Just. The. Two. Of. Us. Honestly, you know you’re from the Midwest when a weekend trip to another cold and snowy Midwestern city sounds better than any beach. Could it be because we were without the kids? Of course. But it’s also because I just so happen to LOVE the city of Cleveland. Detroit always comes first, but Cleveland is a really close second. Here’s why:
Cleveland is actually where it all began for Ted and me. The emailing. The Facebooking. The texting. Our virtual relationship started while I was in graduate school at Case Western Reserve University, and after graduation I took the plunge [I guess you could say Ted did too] and made the move to sunny northern California to be with him. A few years later we got married, moved to Michigan, had a bunch of little Serbinski’s, you know the rest of the story. But Cleveland will always hold a special place in my heart, so it’s only fitting we traveled to America’s North Coast for our 6th anniversary.
One last backstory worth noting: I completed my undergraduate degree in dietetics from Michigan State University, and immediately after graduation I started my dietetic internship and master’s program at Case Western Reserve University, which is nestled on the east side of Cleveland [locals have this weird thing about being from the east or west side of downtown Cleveland— don’t forget your passport if you travel from one side of the city to the other]. My two years at CWRU and living at the top of Murray Hill in Little Italy were by far some of the best years and memories from college. Of course, I bleed green and white, and will always consider myself a Spartan. But I never could have imagined how much I would thrive in a smaller class setting, and how much a 3-hour drive from home would impact my confidence AND help me focus on my future career.
Ok enough blabbing about the past, let’s get to the present. Our Cleveland weekend getaway! Ted’s parents were able to make the drive from Virginia to stay with the kids [thanks to President’s Day weekend!] so not only did we know the kids would be in great hands, we knew we could make a weekend of our anniversary. Cleveland seemed like the logical destination, as we do a lot of northern Michigan travel in the summer, we went to Chicago this past November, and we were a little late to the game with a plan, so an airplane destination was out of the question. You better believe I’m going to be more prepared next year [subtle hint for the Grandparents??!!].
We left around lunchtime on Friday [remember we stopped at Tony Packo’s], which had us at our hotel, The Washington Place Bistro & Inn, on time for check-in in the early afternoon. A friend and former classmate of mine [Gretchen, who blogs over at Functional Kitchen Nutrition] is a Cleveland native and recommended we stay at this 7-room boutique hotel nestled right in the middle of the Little Italy neighborhood. She had me sold once she told me the hotel was in Little Italy, as I remember spending many nights studying and eating brownies at Presti’s Bakery AND many half-off wine nights at La Dolce Vita [all while being the best student at CWRU].
We ended up staying close to our hotel Friday night, mainly because I wanted to walk my old neighborhood and take in some familiar sights and sounds. Dinner at the hotel was DELICIOUS. I never thought I’d eat the best pierogis I’ve ever tasted at a restaurant in Little Italy.
Saturday started with a visit to the West Side Market [similar to Detroit’s Eastern Market], lunch at La Bodega [my favorite sandwich spot in Cleveland], followed by a two-hour spa session at Quintana’s Barber & Spa, and Speak Easy. Ted opted for a massage and haircut, and I just went with a classic manicure and pedicure. Yes, we need a weekend away to get the basics done, like a haircut and painted toenails. The joys of having small children folks!
Our day continued with a nap at the hotel, mass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, and then dinner at Parallax, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Tremont.
Our trip ended Sunday with an Orange Theory class— holy cow, I am still sore! And then the 3-hour drive home. The kids were glad to see us, as evidenced by no one leaving by side for 2 days. But we know they were well taken care of with Grandma and Papa.
Ted and I will definitely be back to Cleveland, if not for the other restaurants AND friends I want to visit, for the quaint neighborhoods and friendly people. Oh and easy drive.
Have I convinced you to visit one of my favorite midwestern cities yet?! Anyone else a fan of doing somewhat local for an anniversary or birthday?!