There is so much to write about this trip! Catch up on my Cleveland summary post first, then continue along with Day One’s itinerary below.

Day One:
After checking into the fabulous Holiday Inn Express downtown, we met our “tour director” April for our first meal. By social media poll, Positively Cleveland fans selected Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodlecat. This casual Asian spot on Euclid Avenue is a follow-up to the popular Greenhouse Tavern (just around the corner on East 4th Street!). A newbie to the noodle craze, I enjoyed my short rib ramen, but the fresh tomato steam bun was definitely the standout for me (sandwiches, man!). The lunch combo I selected came with a half salad (I picked the Asian chopped) and half aforementioned noodle choice — it was so much food for a midday meal. Yes, even for me.

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After lunch, we ventured out to Rocky River Metroparks reservation for a little kayaking on the river with 41 North Kayak. We were able to paddle all the way out to the lake (where we ended up hitting some choppy wake waters… yikes). You all know that I LOVE being on the water — and miss being on a lake — and this was such a relaxing and enjoyable way to check out the Cleveland skyline.

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There was a decided excitement from the group after being outfitted with Aquapac lanyards for our iPhones. I mean, we are a bunch of visiting bloggers… and yes, the phones worked inside the pouches! This is definitely going on my Christmas list.

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Did I mention how beautiful the weather was? Because that definitely added to the trip.

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After our outdoor adventure (and a short break), we met our minivan for an evening activity over in the Gordon Square Arts District. Our first stop: Third Fridays at the 78th Street Studios (another highlight of the trip for me). The studios are in an old American Greetings warehouse that was converted into work/art space and galleries.

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As it sounds, every third Friday of each month there is an “open house” of sorts. There are lots of unique things to see (and buy!). Bonus: some of the galleries sell wine and beer. I was especially drawn to the driftwood store and a delicate silver branch necklace from another independent gallery. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, and I didn’t make it up to the third floor. Regardless, I have a few more things to add to that gift list.

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For dinner, we had a strong competition in the online polls among our four choices: Luxe, Happy Dog, Spice & Pier W. Clevelanders picked Happy Dog (what is it with these weird hot dog places everywhere?). I was hoping to try something new (I’ve been to Happy Dog before), but I made sure to stray from my standard-dressed dog to kick up the adventure factor (that’s probably Adventure Mom rubbing off on me — the girl had OCTOPUS for lunch!): Spaghetti-O’s, Mac n’ Cheese, dill pickle and some kind of special hot sauce (that last one was a mistake… woof). Yes, I’m a 12-year-old in a 30-something body.

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Our visit to the neighborhood (I’m unsure at this point if it’s still Gordon Square or Detroit-Shoreway?) resulted in an impromptu stop into Valerie Mayen’s store Yellowcake. Seriously, if I hadn’t just splurged in an online designer closeout sale, I would have come home with a new dress (with pockets) and a new skirt (with pockets). Gah, her stuff is adorable! Added to gift wish list.

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Anyways, I ate my feelings in ice cream at Sweet Moses down the street. Keeping my 12-year-old self close, I loaded that sundae up with butterscotch sauce and marshmallow cream. The treat shop — named after Mr. Moses Cleaveland, the man behind the city’s namesake — is a throwback to old soda fountains and even has its own syrups and sodas. If you’re up for a challenge, Sweet Moses makes a Terminal Tower sundae that includes TEN SCOOPS of ice cream (one of each flavor) and is topped with hot fudge, sprinkles, pecans, marshmallow cream, whipped cream and cherries. That one will set you back $29.00. And probably a few Rolaids.

Saturday would prove to be an even busier itinerary, so it was early to bed for this blogger.
More about my Cleveland trip coming up in the next post!

Disclosure: Positively Cleveland provided accommodations, meals and admission prices for my participation in this socially-driven trip. All opinions herein are my own. Thanks to Positively Cleveland for the group pictures!

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