Somehow, this photo of a sleepy Lauren at an Ohio truck stop got lost in the shuffle of my close-in-proximity trip to Florida for Christmas. My bad, but the coffee wasn’t. I’ve rediscovered the cafe misto… fewer calories and lots of deliciousness in a cup than, say, a caramel brulee latte. What? That’s what I said too. Ohio is wise to have beautiful oases along the turnpike on the way to Cleveland, all equip with a Starbucks. Well played, Ohio.
Cleveland does, in fact, rock.
It’s been awhile since I’ve travel blogged. You know, I mean, for REAL travel blogged.
I guess that’s probably because it’s been awhile since I travelled. A menacing schedule and many, many recent life changes have added up to a rather dry spell in the world explorations. However a number of mini-trips have shaped up this summer and so I’m once again stretching my traveling legs starting off with a weekend in Cleveland. This simple little road trip kind of blew me away and Cleveland proved itself as a new and surprising place that actually does, as they say, rock**
Or, I should say, Lakewood rocks.
Here’s the thing…. while I did make it into the city limits of Cleveland, it wasn’t the focus of the trip. On this approximately 36-hour vacay, Julie (my lady friend) and I stayed with friends in the charming suburb of Lakewood. Typically, charming and suburb are not two words that would ever share a sentence together, however Lakewood is a delightful walking town that purports big trees, chirping birds, unique old homes, and surprisingly the largest gay population per capita in the tri-state area.
Cleveland was all about friends, and food, and wine, and good conversation. It was a chance to escape from the chaos of life and the NATO summit in Chicago to slow down a little bit. Expecting something akin to Indianapolis, I found Cleveland to be a more progressive, unique, and hip experience than I ever could have anticipated (in other words, not at all like Indianapolis). Add to that good, honest, and honestly hip people and there’s not much else to report. I will, however, say that if ever in Cleveland, I have two off-the-beaten-path recommendations:
Be sure to make a stop in Tremont at either Prosperity Social Club or Lava Lounge. Better yet, visit both. Within a block from one another, these two establishments are locally owned and make for a great evening when packaged together. Steamed mussels and sangria at Prosperity were followed by a beautiful waldorf salad, mac and cheese, and a substantial wine list at Lava Lounge. Let it be known that Greg, our server, was hip, chillaxed, but simultaneously attentive and suave.
Good job, Greg. And good job, Cleveland.
** Apparently, Instagram, my new favorite iphone app, also rocks. I do believe that iphone photos come out infinitely hipper and better this way, as evidenced here.
Starbucks Around the World: Near Clyde, OH
An ominous sky hung over the Ohio turnpike on the return trip from Cleveland to Chicago. I was fairly hyper-caffenated already, but this being one of my last opportunities for a Starbucks before the Ohio state line made the stop imperative. I should add that I’d much rather pee in Ohio than in Indiana; the famed swing state is notorious, in my experience, for roadside rest cleanliness. No disappointment here, and since I was already 3 cups of coffee down from breakfast with friends I opted for the over-priced, but super delicious Iced Soy Chai. There were three lovely Midwestern Grannies running the floor – which made me rather giggle inside – and when I asked one of them what town I was in her reply was a confident “Well, you’re near Clyde, Ohio.” Well done, desolate rest stop at not-on-the-map-but-near-Clyde. Well done.
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