Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend to kick off the unofficial start of summer! Friday was Jeffrey’s second birthday, so we had a day of fun things planned to mark the special occasion.

We started at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, where we checked out the fish, turtles, and even got to see the diver show.

The Aquarium is a great place to explore and Jeffrey loves the shark tunnel and sting ray tanks especially. It’s also such a great example of repurposing space. For example, there are now jellyfish swimming in what was the Powerhouse’s chimney. Pretty cool!

We worked up an appetite, so we headed to a family-friendly favorite for lunch: the Winking Lizard. Since Jeffrey was born at a reasonable time of day (not 3am), we make sure we’re all together on his official birthday time. The past two years, we’ve met up with Matthew for lunch and been able to celebrate as a family.

Friday evening, we had our parents join us at the house for a Winnie-the-Pooh themed dinner, which meant a lot of honey incorporated in the recipes and puzzle pieces repurposed to be place markers for the guests.

I made fried chicken with Ancho honey (recipe here), honey roasted red potatoes (recipe here), and golden sweet cornbread (recipe here).

Jeffrey also got to open his birthday present: a Power Wheels Kawasaki Teryx. He loves it, although steering isn’t exactly his forte quite yet (he nearly hit me right after I took this)!

Over the weekend, we also checked out the Cleveland Scene Taste of Summer event on the East Bank of the Flats.

If you would have told me three years ago that I’d be going to a summer festival with my son down in the Flats, I don’t know that I would have believed you. It’s incredible to see how bustling and revitalized the East Bank area is now!

The Taste of Summer featured East Bank restaurants and bars like Lago, Crop Sticks, Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar, Punch Bowl Social (their free bags of cheddar popcorn were a hit), and Bold. There was live music, big inflatables for the kids, and of course plenty to watch along the Cuyahoga River.

I couldn’t resist trying the Crop Sticks chicken skewer with curried cotton candy. And while Jeffrey looks skeptical (there’s chicken under there?!), it was a totally tasty treat that I could enjoy while meandering through the festival.

I hope the Taste of Summer becomes an annual event and that the Flats continue their awesome comeback!

On Monday, we had a very typical all-American Memorial Day with a parade…

…and a cookout with fabulous friends (kudos to Alicia and Hans for hosting and to #FranktheFuzz for being the perfect playmate for Jeffrey).

So, time with family and friends, plenty of good food (including those pastries we got to make), and gorgeous weather?! Summer, you’re off to a perfect start!