This weekend, Matthew and I decided to have a “staycation babymoon,” if only to see how many made-up words we could use to describe one weekend. We did so much great stuff, I have to break it up into two posts! Not only was it a fun and relaxing weekend, but it was a great reminder that you don’t have to leave home to find plenty of new and different things to do.
Friday evening, we went on the Grape Escape wine train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This was the first time on the Scenic Railroad for both of us and the sold-out Valentine’s event seemed like a great way to check it out.
The menu consisted of five Italian wines, paired with small bites supplied by Moe’s Restaurant. This proved a particularly good deal for Matthew, since he got to have all my wine! Our first course was prosecco paired with garlic and herb cheese and crackers.
All the appetizers were cold to make serving/transporting easier. Our second course was pinot grigio paired with a mixed greens salad with cranberries, nuts, and goat cheese.
All of the servers and trainmen on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad are volunteers. You can tell they just really enjoy and have a passion for the railroad. Unfortunately, since it was winter, our ride took place in the dark and we didn’t get to appreciate much of the scenery. We did get a glimpse of the Boston Mills/Brandywine ski areas and downtown Peninsula, though.
Our third course was “broken-heart” pasta salad, served with a light red wine (the varietal escapes me now).
Our fourth course was a chicken salad croissant, served with the first of two chianti wines. And the sweet finish to the evening was chocolate mousse with strawberries and shortbread cookies, served with a fuller-bodied chianti.
It was a fun and unique way to spend Valentine’s Day and I always enjoy crossing something off my Cleveland to-do list. There are monthly Grape Escape and Ales on Rails rides on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (click here for more information), along with many other special events for everyone from adults to families. Hop on board and explore the beauty of our area’s national park, as well as the neat throw-back feeling of riding the rails.
How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?