GrooveRyde, where Alicia teaches on Monday nights (take her GrooveFlow class…your thighs will hate you, but thank you), was one of several local businesses supporting the Heart Walk with additional fitness offerings, fun booths, and more.
I forgot how different it is to practice on the grass, though. You’re using different muscles to stabilize and you’ll definitely feel the difference the next day!
The view of the city at sunrise makes it worth it though!
So, I’m officially a soccer mom!
Jeffrey joined the school soccer team and had his first two games on Saturday morning. From learning which way to kick the ball (mostly because of kicking it the wrong way) to agreeing to play defense, then immediately asking “What’s defense?,” it was equal parts heartwarming and hilarious.
But I’m so proud of Jeffrey for trying something new and for the coaches for doing a great job exposing the kids to soccer specifically and sportsmanship generally.
I also snuck in one last birthday dinner at my parent’s house. We had delicious, huge crab legs from Lobster Brothers, tasty sangria, and a decadent ice cream cake from Mitchell’s.
Despite the candles literally singeing my hair (the hazards of a bigger number birthday), it was a lovely celebration. My presents also added two new leopard-print items to my ever-growing collection!
We started out by learning about different adaptations that dinosaurs developed to help them survive, such as large skulls, sharp teeth, and scales.
Our paleobiologists for the evening made the dinsoaur facts fun and interesting, with a Bingo game to help us learn.
Then it was time to meet Olive, the baby stegosaurus. Olive was sweet and gentle, posing for pictures with us…
…and even giving me a snuggle (although a dinosaur snuggle can knock you off your feet!)
It was a fun evening, getting a better sense of what the show will be like in October. While Olive is the smallest of the dinosaurs in the show, it was great for me to see that Jeffrey was not in the least intimidated by or apprehensive of her.
To be honest, we haven’t shown Jeffrey the Jurassic Park/World movies, but I feel confident in taking him to the show. There were a wide range of ages at the preview event and all the kids seemed intrigued by Olive. It’s sure to be a fun look at the world of dinosaurs with a slant toward learning more about these amazing creatures.
Jurassic World Live Tour will be at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse from Thursday, October 3 through Sunday, October 6. Tickets are currently on sale online. And you can save $5 off select tickets by using promo code CLE5.
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Jurassic World Live Tour. In exchange, I received an invitation to the preview event and complimentary tickets to the show in October. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Balance & Brews is preparing for a hiatus in its weekly beer and yoga schedule, so it was great to sneak in one more class before the break, especially since it was taught by Balance & Brews founder, Melissa.
After class, we enjoyed both the beer and the books at Bookhouse Brewing!
I love this cozy little spot with great beer!
Cleveland National Air Show
On Monday, we went to the Cleveland National Air Show: a staple in any Clevelander’s Labor Day Weekend plans. Usually we just watch the show from a distance, but this year we went inside the show grounds at Burke Lakefront Airport.
Not only do you get an up-close view of the planes and get to see lots of passes that aren’t visible from a distance, but there are also lots of aircraft to explore on the grounds of the show.
Some of our favorites this year included the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II, the Mike Wiskus Airshows, the USA Golden Knights, and of course the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
It was certainly an impressive display of flying talent, as well as the incredible machines that are part of the US military.
The Cleveland National Air Show is a financially self-sufficient non-profit, which means that your ticket proceeds help to continue putting on this world-renowned air show.
I can remember sitting in my grandpa’s driveway watching the planes from the Air Show when I was growing up. It was so cool to be able to see them up close on the Air Show grounds.
***Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the Cleveland National Air Show, courtesy of Destination Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Your trip to Isla Nublar takes a terrifying turn after the Indominus Rex escapes and causes chaos in the park! The adventure continues as you join forces with a team of scientists to unravel a corrupt plan and save Jeanie, an all-new dinosaur, from a terrible fate.
Along the way, experience some of Jurassic World’s most iconic dinosaurs including Blue the Raptor, Triceratops, Pteranodons and the mighty T. Rex!
This show is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults alike! Tickets for the shows at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse are currently on sale.
But I have a special giveaway to help you experience even more of the excitement of Jurassic World Live!
On Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30pm at Crocker Park, the Jurassic World Live Tour will be hosting a private meet-and-greet with Olive, the Baby Stegosaurus.
The event will include activities, meet-and-greet with Baby Stegosaurus, and dinner. You cannot buy tickets to this meet-and-greet.
All attendees at the meet-and-greet will also receive tickets to the opening night of Jurassic World Live on Thursday, October 3 at 7pm at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
So, by entering this giveaway, you will not only be able to attend the exclusive Jurassic World Live meet-and-greet in September, but you will also receive four tickets to the opening night of the tour on October 3!
Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each one):
1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite dinosaur (Jeffrey’s is the dilophosaurus).
3. Hop on over to my Instagram page and follow the entry instructions with the Jurassic World Live Tour image.
4. Follow @JWlivetour and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.
5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:
I want to win @jwlivetour tickets from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/08/30/why-jurassic-world-live-tour-giveaway
You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.
The giveaway will close on Tuesday, September 3 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Jurassic World Live Tour. In exchange, I will receive complimentary tickets to the meet-and-greet and Jurassic World Live. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
From a new school, new teachers, and new friends to the fact that he’ll be gone all day to the uniforms that make him look like such a big kid, today is pulling at my heart.
I am so proud of him and so sure that he is ready. I trust that he will remember to be kind, to listen, and to learn. I know he will have wonderful experiences, as well as challenging ones.
Someone once said that to be a parent is to have your heart forever walk outside your body. My heart is in that Kindergarten classroom now and it is full.
To all the parents from the first day of preschool to the first day of college, we got this. They got this (partially because we helped them get there). And if you need some support, I’m a virtual cup of coffee (or mimosa, I don’t judge) away.
What a beautiful weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:
On Friday night, Mom and I met up for dinner at Lola Bistro. It was the perfect night to sit outside and take in the great weather and the game night crowds on East 4th Street.
Lola Bistro is in the process of unveiling a new menu. Our server told us Chef Symon was recently in town to help develop the new dishes. For our appetizers, we selected one new dish and one classic one.
The Beef Cheek Pierogi, with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche, is still on the menu and is so delicious!
We also enjoyed the seasonally-perfect Tomato Salad, with fresh and pickled tomato, peaches, almonds, dill, and farm cheese.
Mom had the Strip Steak, with stilton au poivre, frisee, pickled shallots, and chives. The steak was perfectly done, simple, and delicious.
I had the Duck and Foie Gras Meatloaf, with celery root puree. The slices of meatloaf were thin, almost like terrine, and the flavor was smoky and rich, with just the right amount of foie gras.
For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the 6am Special, another item I’m so glad stayed on the menu. This decadent dessert has brioche French toast, maple-bacon ice cream, and roasted apple.
Mom had the My Dad’s Favorite Cake, with lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla bean ice cream. I love the combination of berries and lemon!
It was a fantastic dinner! The new menu at Lola Bistro is definitely worth a visit or two!
The Foundation Room is a membership-based space at House of Blues, with a great menu of cocktails and food;
a funky vibe, with lots of cozy spaces;
and a gorgeous new flower wall from CLE Flower Walls on the patio overlooking East 4th Street.
Foundation Room membership benefits range from food and beverage discounts to exclusive presale access to backstage tours. Click here to learn more about the various membership levels and elevate your House of Blues experience.
***I was invited to a complimentary event at the Foundation Room, with cocktails, food, discounted parking, and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
This annual event is a fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and supports not only the markets around town, but also their Access Programs, Mighty Locavores, and more.
I had the cool opportunity to be a judge for the beef competition of the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. Chefs from Nomad Culinary, CLE Kraut, and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute presented their beef and garlic creations.
I was blown away by the creativity, plating, and downright deliciousness of all the food!
Congratulations to Nomad Culinary, who won the competition. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, for sure!
We also checked out all the varieties of garlic for sale, the live entertainment, and the kids area! There is so much to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival! This is definitely an annual tradition for us.
***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival and to judge the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. In exchange, I received four weekend passes to the Garlic Festival. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
We actually had a few other things this weekend, including another festival, stopping by Matthew’s regatta, and a baptism, so you get the picture…it was a busy weekend!
Since Jeffrey starts school this week, I’m glad we squeezed in so much fun! How was your weekend?
Every year before Jeffrey starts back to school, we do a weekend away as a family to celebrate the end of summer break. The last two years, we’ve done an overnight trip to Cedar Point.
While Jeffrey spends a lot of time at Cedar Point over the summer since we’re season passholders, he never gets to see the park all lit up at night, so it makes for a great place for our weekend stay.
This year, we stayed at Castaway Bay, so we had indoor waterpark fun, in addition to Cedar Point fun.
Jeffrey could ride on all the slides at Castaway Bay, which is always a plus. He loved the colorful tube slides, the water roller coaster, and the wave pool!
Plus, being season passholders, we saved on our stay, since Castaway Bay is part of the Cedar Fair family.
Of course, we spent lots of time riding the rides at Cedar Point too. From cable cars to Camp Snoopy to lots of spinny rides, Jeffrey is a ride monster!
We also caught the last weekend of Cedar Point Nights, with lots of light-up fun and music on the beach.
While we were at Cedar Point, a nice couple who had won one of the midway games offered their prizes to Jeffrey and another little boy, so we ended up coming home with this massive shark!
We started a lot of conversations walking through the park with this! Jeffrey loves it and it was such a nice reminder of the kindness and generosity of the human spirit.
We all renewed our season passes for next year and found some great deals: Matthew and I have the new Gold Pass and Jeffrey has the Pre-K Pass. The Gold Pass and the Pre-K Pass include unlimited visits to Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores. Plus, the Gold Pass includes parking, as well as discounts on food, souvenirs, and resort stays. Check them out! Season passes make it easy to enjoy lots of fun at Cedar Point all year.
Do you do anything special as a family before your kids start back to school?
The show is playing at the KeyBank State Theatre through Sunday, September 1 and is truly something to see. You know the story, of course, but there are new songs and the costumes are incredible. Disney never skimps on production value!
Dinner at Home
On Thursday (Matthew’s actual birthday), we enjoyed a family dinner at home with tacos and birthday cake, which is a meal that can keep everyone from a 5-year old to a 40-year old happy!
Jeffrey helped make the cake, which made it even more special!
Masthead Brewing Co.
Then on Saturday, we gathered with friends at Masthead Brewing Co. for one last birthday celebration of this big year.
Masthead was the perfect spot to meet up: great beer, delicious food, a nice patio, convenient parking, family-friendly for those who wanted to bring their kids…
We ordered lots of pizza and pretzels to share and of course enjoyed lots of craft beer, too!
It was a fun few days celebrating! Where are your go-to birthday celebration spots?
Buckeye Winery offered lots of interesting flavored wines. We both tried the jalapeño wine, which I can’t imagine drinking an entire glass of, but was quite nice when you added Bloody Mary mix.
And we both took home a bottle of the Carménère from Urban Vintner (also, there’s a winery in my neighborhood that I didn’t know about…I’m failing).
All of us rode the ferris wheel and got some lovely views of Lake County.
It was a fun day of great weather, great wines, and great friends!
***Disclosure: I was asked by the Ohio Wine Producers Association to help promote Vintage Ohio. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
We also spent a lot of time on the Lake Erie shore this weekend. On Saturday, Matthew competed in the AIA Cleveland Beach Day sand castle competition at Edgewater Beach. Of course, Jeffrey and I had to stop up to cheer him on!
The team from AECOM (where Matthew works) has won the competition for the last five years straight, so they have quite the dynasty. It’s always so cool to see what the different teams create! This year, his team built “Nautical Nonsense on the Cuyahoga,” with lots of SpongeBob characters.
There were sand castle Rock Halls and Cuyahoga Rivers and even the Game of Thrones iron throne! You can see all the castles and participate in voting for your favorite sand castle on the AIA Cleveland Facebook page.
On Sunday, we found ourselves back on the shore, but further east at Headlands Beach State Park. Jeffrey enjoyed building sand castles and being silly with his cousins!
We’re so lucky to have great beaches in the Cleveland area and to be able to enjoy lake breezes and seashore fun!
Other than stuffing ourselves at B Spot Burgers, there was more fun to be had this weekend. Here’s what we were up to…
Cleveland Public Library Street Fair
On Friday, Jeffrey and I attended a Media Preview for the Cleveland Public Library‘s Street Fair, celebrating the library’s 150th anniversary.
The Reading Garden was filled with artwork, puppeteers, and Glen Infante creating a mural.
We also got to meet Eric Litwin, author of “Pete the Cat.” Jeffrey loves that book, so it was fun for him to get to chat with the author!
The Cleveland Public Library’s Street Fair really brought the community together to celebrate such a vital part of our history and culture. Here’s to another 150 years!
On Saturday night, Matthew and I had a date night. We started with dinner at Burntwood Tavern. I enjoyed the lobster ravioli and Matthew had the mahi mahi special.
Both were delicious!
Then we were off to see “Come From Away” at Playhouse Square. The last show of this season’s KeyBank Broadway Series was funny, heartwarming, sad, and thought-provoking.
It not only took the audience back to their own memories of September 11 and the days following, but also made us examine how we welcome each other as members of the human family.
When we arrived at the theater for the show, the man ahead of us in the Will Call line had two extra floor seats that he generously gave us. It was so unexpected and the perfect way to start a show about the kindness of strangers!
***Disclosure: I have a partnership with Burntwood Tavern and received a Burntwood Tavern gift card. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***