Weekend Wrap Up: 5th Anniversary Edition

Over the weekend, Brad and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. This year was actually a milestone.

We were unusually home on our anniversary and it was a Saturday. So, we had a nice relaxing day, then went out to a nice dinner at Strip in Avon. Strip is a cool steakhouse in an old barn.

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I Went to Vegas and Left My Husband Home

That title sounds scandalous, doesn’t it? Every word is true though.

During the last week of September we moved into the house on Friday and Saturday, tried to unpack as much as possible on Sunday and early Monday morning, I got on a plane to Las Vegas and stayed there for three days.

When I was originally scheduled to fly to Vegas for a trade show, we were expecting our house to be finished in October, so I would have been back in time to move. Instead the move happened directly before my trip. As you may have figured out already, I was in Vegas for work. I think if the timing with our house had worked out differently, Brad may have come out with me. Regardless, it was my first time in Las Vegas and it was interesting.

I go to industrial trade shows for my clients periodically and often travel alone, though I’ve had luck ending up on flights with clients, work partners or the media people the we work with, I don’t normally run into friends or family. When I checked in on Facebook at the airport, showing I was headed to Las Vegas, I said which trade show I’d be attending. When my flight landed, I had a message from Brad’s aunt (in Seattle) that Brad’s uncle was on his way to the same show and had just landed! Small world! Continue reading

Bienvenido a Isla Mujeres

For our fourth anniversary, Brad and I decided to take a trip. Normally we like to cruise, but we wanted to 1.) do something different and 2.) force ourselves to relax.

Brad and a colleague were in New York visiting a client over the winter when it was extremely cold. Somehow that brought up the desire to be somewhere warm… like the Caribbean. His colleague recommended boutique hotel called Hotel Secreto (“secret hotel” if you didn’t figure out the translation) on Isla Mujeres near Cancun in Mexico. Come to find out the hotel came highly recommended by multiple people.

We found great airfare on Southwest right over our anniversary so we booked everything… before deciding to sell our house. The plan was to list our house for sale a week before vacation and then the realtor would be able to show it anytime while we were gone because by then the listing would have picked up interest. Little did we know that it would be sold by the time we left and a clock on us to get out of it. We actually looked into canceling or moving our trip with everything that was going on, but according to the cancellation policy, we would owe for it anyway. So might as well go!

I’m glad we did.

The Hotel Continue reading

Dazed: Trying the Best Wings in Cleveland

This is the tale of trying one of the top wing places in Cleveland… a really long wait for food and getting my butt grabbed by a toddler.

Toward the end of voting, Brad and I decided to go try out one of the front runners for NEO’s Best Wings, a dive bar called Good Olde Daze, near us in Parma. *Spoiler Alert* they ended up winning NEO’s People’s Choice for Best Wings for 2015.

We went on wing night, it wasn’t an incredible deal on wings, but it also wasn’t bad, 50 cents per wing in quantities for six with a drink purchase required… and oh yes, cash only. (They do have an onsite ATM). Brad and I went on a cold Thursday night and found no parking spaces, so we parked across the street and braved the ice to make it to the door. A door which we weren’t positive was the right one, but we found ourselves inside the small, but crowded place. When I say crowded, I mean there were people at every table, but the line of arcade games and pool table that occupied 50% of the dining area were not being used.

Right next to the door

We crossed the “game” area of the bar and tried to look for seats, the only server working confirmed that there were only two of us and seated us at the end of a table where a family was sitting. We ended up sitting by the other door, which lead to the parking lot and apparently the outdoor smoking area, because every time someone left or entered, we were blasted with cold air and cigarette smoke, several patrons were taking  frequent smoke breaks.

Our server was nice, not the best service we’ve ever had, but she was serving the whole dining area and it looked like the bar as well. There were maybe two seats open at the bar and not together. Continue reading

Weekend Wines and Vines

Two weekends ago we hit the vineyards of NEO with our friends (more specifically the Madison/Geneva area).

We started off with lunch and tasting trays at Debonne Vineyards. The food was okay, but the wine was excellent. Brad and I had “paninis” which were more like melt-style sandwiches and they were good. Our friend Tyler had a Chicago-style hot dog and reported that it was okay. Natalie ordered a burger and it was not good. Since they were grilling it in the outdoor pavilion, we saw how they cooked it and if I’ve learned anything from Brad’s and my reality TV guilty pleasure Bar Rescue, you should not be cooking a burger under a dome the way that they did.

But the wine was the main attraction here. I discovered that even though I love blueberries, I do not like blueberry in my wine. Peach Grigio is a whole different story though! A couple of my favorites that we tasted were the Razzbery Rieseling and the Peach Tree Grigio, the River Blanc was also very good.

We went down the road a bit to the Red Eagle Distillery, which is NOT a winery, but was still pretty cool. It’s an old barn that was converted into a distillery where they distill whiskey, bourbon and vodka. The atmosphere was cool and the cocktail menu looked amazing.

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