Why? Weekends!

Aside from breaking in the new Lindey’s Lake House, we had a very theatrical weekend, so let’s get on with the show…

Beck Center for the Arts

On Friday, Matthew and I went to see a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center for the Arts.

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Held in the intimate Studio Theater, you felt as if you were in Emerson’s Bar and Grill in Philadelphia in 1959.

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The show dramatically recreates a performance given by Billie Holiday a mere four months before her death. Her classic songs are interwoven with funny and tragic stories from her troubled life.

Nicole Sumlin is brilliant as Billie Holiday and the practically one-woman show left us riveted.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” continues at Beck Center for the Arts through April 14. You can purchase tickets online.

Community theater is a vital part of our arts community and Beck Center not only allows performers and audiences a chance to enjoy great shows, but it also furthers arts education.

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Beck Center for the Arts offers multiple theater experiences, from shows suited for adults and families alike. Check out their upcoming shows, including “King Lear” and “Matilda the Musical.” Beck Center also offers educational programs, with a full array of summer camps.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a performance of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” at Beck Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the performance. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sesame Street Live

From jazz and blues and tales of addiction to magic and sing-alongs and inspiration, we shifted gears and attended Sesame Street Live Make Your Magic on Saturday.

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Jeffrey felt like he might be a little big for Sesame Street Live, but as soon as the show started, he was transported and thoroughly enjoyed the songs and story.

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Elmo and Abby and friends learned not only how to perform magic tricks, but also how to find wonder if the every day happenings of life.

It was a fun, vibrant performance that we left singing.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Sesame Street Live. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets to the show.***

How was your weekend? Did you get outside and enjoy the glorious weather?

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Why? Lindey’s Lake House!

It certainly felt like patio season this weekend, which is perfect timing for a new restaurant to open in The Flats. Lindey’s Lake House is taking over the former Coastal Taco location and opens to the public today.

Lindey’s has the same owners as Coastal Taco and Cedar Creek Grille and the menu brings together favorites from both those restaurants, as well as the Lindey’s location in Beachwood.

The vibe makes you feel like you’re relaxing on the patio at a friend’s vacation home, with a lot of white walls, vintage vacation photos, and cute decor accents.

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As at Coastal Taco, the large bar that looks out to the water is the focal point. The cocktails are summery and delicious. We particularly enjoyed the Dockside Buzz (Bulleit Bourbon, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, ginger beer, and bitters) and the Farmers Market Rickey (Beefeater Gin, Domaine de Canton, lime juice, watermelon, and mint).

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We shared the guac & house chips and the sweet & spicy calamari to start. The calamari was lightly breaded and the citrus Asian red chili glaze was so good!

For my entree, I had the Miso-glazed Outer Banks cod. The glaze was flavorful, without overpowering the delicate white fish.

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Matthew had the crab cakes, which were very good. We both really enjoyed the vegetable hash that came with our entrees.

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Do not skip dessert at Lindey’s! The homemade pies are truly something special. Matthew loved the Key Lime, which was not overly sweet and very creamy.

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My blueberry pie was packed with real blueberries and didn’t have that artificial glaze filler.

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The food and atmosphere are sure to make Lindey’s Lake House the place to be in The Flats this spring and summer!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Friends & Family Opening of Lindey’s Lake House with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Taste of the Tee!

Last night, Matthew and I attend the Taste of the Tee event to benefit The First Tee of Cleveland.

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While strolling food and wine events are common, this one had two unique aspects that made it stand out: the chefs for the evening and partnership with other non-profits.

First, our chefs for the evening were students in The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee program, which teaches children healthy eating habits, cooking skills, and life skills.

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Obviously, Cleveland’s weather is not conducive to a golf-based program year-round. So, Fit to a Tee allows The First Tee of Cleveland to offer impactful programming, even when it’s too cold to be on the course.

The Fit to a Tee students paired with students from Tri-C’s Culinary Arts – Hospitality Management program to prepare delicious dishes on an event scale.

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We enjoyed avocado fries, grilled shrimp…

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Japanese vegetable pancakes, bison meatballs, veggie skewers, Asian lettuce wraps and two kinds of tacos (mahi mahi and cauliflower and chickpea).

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For dessert, there were banana cupcakes and chocolate avocado mousse, served in a meringue shell (to everyone who didn’t get any, I’m sorry I ate so many of those).

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How often can you go to a strolling food and wine event and actually feel like you made healthy eating choices?! Even Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic, who specializes in functional medicine, addressed the attendees and praised the healthy cooking skills taught by The First Tee of Cleveland.

The food was expertly paired with wines selected by Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute and Brandon Chrostowski.

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There was also a delicious charcuterie and cheese table from Edwins, as well as a raffle for a personal cheese and wine tasting at the restaurant.

The whole evening was set to beautiful music by students from The Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee harnessed the power of four non-profits to come together to make an amazing event. But more than that, it illustrated the impact the programs at The First Tee of Cleveland have. Our young chefs not only made delicious, healthy food, but they showed poise and politeness throughout the entire evening.

If The First Tee of Cleveland’s programs and philosophy sound like a great fit for your child, there will be an open house tomorrow, Saturday, April 6 from 10am-12pm at all four of the First Tee of Cleveland locations. You will learn more about the programs, meet staff and coaches, play fun golf games, and enjoy refreshments. Check it out!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Flight Cleveland!

I’m just going on out lately on crossing things of my 2019 Blog Bucket List! This week, I met up with my friend Beth for drinks and nibbles at Flight Cleveland.

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Located in what used to be Latitude 41N, Flight has completely re-imagined the space. It is bright, airy, and comfortable. The bar area has funky vintage chairs and couches for lounging and the room off the wine shop has tables.

The wine shop is huge too, perfect for perusing the sips you fall in love with while at Flight.

Flight offers pre-made flights with every style from white to red to bubbly, as well as wines by the taste or glass. Beth and I each started with the Smooth and Easy flight.

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This is one box of wine I definitely liked! I tried some new wines and really enjoyed all the selections in the flight.

We also shared the “I Like Meat” and “I Like Cheese” boards because, well, we like both those things.

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The choices were interesting and tasty! Oh, and get an extra order of the “Try My Nuts.” The perfect salty/sweet snack!

Flight offers snacks, rather than full meal options, but we had plenty to nibble to keep us happy.

After my flight, I had to get a class of the M Cellars Brut Rose, which is a must-order for me anytime I see it.

Flight is not only a cute setting for drinks, but it offers an awesome and diverse wine selection, whether you’re getting a flight, a glass, or a bottle to take home.

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Why? Market at the Food Bank!

As spring event season heats up, I’m getting excited for a great evening of food and fun with Market at the Food Bank. Happening on Sunday, April 28 at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse, this event is not only a wonderful chance to contribute to the Harvest for Hunger campaign, but also a unique way to see firsthand where the proceeds from the event go.

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The Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse is truly an impressive space that will let you see the well-oiled machine that is the Food Bank, but it will also give you an up-close view at the scope of the need in our community.

Market at the Food Bank is a strolling food and beverage event that features small bites from amazing local restaurants including Landmark, EDWINS, Melt Bar and Grilled, Strip Steak House, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, TownHall, and many more. You’ll also enjoy beverages from CLE Urban Winery, Private Reserve Fine Wines, Beverage Distributors, and more.

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There is also a fabulous silent auction and live raffle with great prizes up for bid, all to raise even more money for Harvest for Hunger.

 

 

Tickets are currently on sale for Market at the Food Bank. General admission tickets are $127 and include unlimited food and beverage samples, a souvenir wine glass, and valet parking. VIP tickets are $202 and include all the general admission benefits, plus early admittance to the event and access to the VIP lounge. You can purchase tickets online.

I hope to see you at Market at the Food Bank, as we fight hunger in our community and experience some of the best of Cleveland food and beverage!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Market at the Food Bank. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Happy Home Opener, Cleveland! There may be snow on the ground, but the home opener means summer is just around the corner…

So, how did I fill the chilly last weekend of March? Let’s get to it…

Brewery Crawl

On Saturday, Matthew and I met up with our friends Ritch and Denise for a brewery crawl. Ritch has a goal of hitting a certain number of Cleveland breweries by a certain birthday (numbers withheld because we’re all getting older), plus it was just Denise’s birthday, so what a fun way to celebrate!

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We started at Saucy Brew Works, where we love the food just as much as we love the beer.

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We shared the Nashville Hot Chicken and Bees Knees pizzas and definitely couldn’t decide which we enjoyed more.

From there, it was a short walk to Bookhouse Brewing. This cozy, bookstore style brewery made us want to sit there all day. I had a sampler and really enjoyed all the (fabulously-named) beers I tried: Patio Season, Maybe Partying Will Help, River of Memories, and Reasons to be Cheerful.

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Next up: Brick and Barrel Brewing, where we played board games while enjoying our brews. I had a Roasted Out of My Gord pumpkin porter, because if this cold weather is sticking around, so is my love for porters and stouts.

Our final stop was Terrestrial Brewing Company, which was filled with great beer, but also with sweet fuzzes. I love bars that are dog friendly. I spent most of my time hanging out with the pets (sorry, friends).

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It was a fun afternoon and such a great reminder of how many awesome breweries we have in Cleveland, who are putting out creative, delicious beer! We also picked up a bunch of stamps in our Cleveland Brewery Passport!

Monsters Purple Game

That evening, we picked up Jeffrey and headed to the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game, to benefit the American Cancer Society, Ohio.

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We had so much fun (and amazing seats). The Monsters games are action-packed and really family-friendly, which make them a favorite sporting event choice for us.

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Plus, the Monsters commitment to the American Cancer Society was really touching and made it an even better night out.

The Monsters auctioned off a special commemorative purple jersey to raise funds, as well as showing videos throughout the game and having people make support signs for those in their life impacted by cancer.

When everyone waved their purple rally towels, it was a sight to see!

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Stay tuned for my on my growing involvement with the American Cancer Society…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Purple Game. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets and a parking pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Superstar and Nuevo Modern Mexican

I had a Sunday Funday with my mom, when we attended “Superstar: The Songs. The Stories. The Carpenters.” at Playhouse Square. I got Mom the tickets for her birthday and have to admit to not being a huge Carpenters fan going in to the show. But, the music was great!

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I had no idea going in that Helen Welch, the lead singer, is a Cleveland resident who has performed at places like Nighttown, so the local connection had me enjoying the show even more.

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Nuevo Modern Mexican. There’s something about having guacamole and a margarita while it’s snowing that just makes you feel like you’re shaking your fist at the weather.

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Gosh, I can’t wait for patio season!

We shared the habanero jelly guacamole and then I had the Cuban sandwich, which was meaty and flavorful!

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For dessert, I had the manzana gallette because I seriously cannot pass up an apple dessert.

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It was a great way to end a great weekend! How was yours? What are you doing to celebrate the Home Opener?

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Why? Toledo!

Remember my 2019 blog bucket list? One of the things I wanted to do was take more day trips around Ohio.

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Yesterday, Jeffrey and I checked off a day trip to Toledo with the help of our friends Haylie and Zak (remember when they came to visit me in Cleveland) and our new pals at Destination Toledo.

We started our day at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

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From tales of shipwrecks…

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…and WWII aircraft carrier practice drills…

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…the Great Lakes have a storied history to share.

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The National Museum of the Great Lakes has plenty of hands-on elements that kept Jeffrey entertained, too!

We also had a chance to visit the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, once known as the Queen of the Great Lakes.

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Our guided tour let us see the sheer size and majesty of this ship.

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Captain Jeffrey approved!

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Then it was off to lunch at a location of a Toledo classic: Packo’s at the Park, located right near the Toledo Mud Hens stadium.

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This casual café serves loaded hot dogs, as well as Hungarian classics of stuffed cabbage and chicken paprikash.

Tony Packo’s is a Toledo institution and has attracted national attention. The walls are covered with autographed hot dog buns signed by famous visitors from actors to politicians.

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Tony Packo’s is also known for their pickles (you can try the sweet hots at B Spot). I ordered some fried pickles to share with the table and didn’t share any!

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Next up was Jupmode, because everyone loves city-themed merchandise! The store is fun and funky, with a pinball machine…

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…and a wall of very good puppers who have visited.

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I couldn’t resist this Lin-Manuel Miranda-themed shirt and I am currently wearing it as a write…

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Then it was off to Imagination Station, a wonderland of science-themed fun for all ages!

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I especially enjoyed the Popnology: From Sci-Fi to Wi-Fi special exhibit, open through April 28.

Imagination Station lets you truly experience science, from becoming a human yo-yo (Haylie was brave enough to try it) to flying a flight simulator.

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Imagination Station is bright, fun, and engaging…a perfect place to spend an afternoon with your kiddo and kids at heart!

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We said goodbye to Toledo with a stroll through Promenade Park, which especially comes to life in the summer with a splash pad and outdoor concert series.

It was a jam-packed day that gave us a taste of the family fun that Toledo has to offer.

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You know I’m always encouraging you to explore Cleveland, but there are also lots of other great places to explore in Ohio, so take a day trip beyond your backyard and see what you can find!

***Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the National Museum of the Great Lakes and Imagination Station and complimentary lunch, courtesy of Destination Toledo. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Stay Dog Daycare!

There’s a new local business in town, that’s making their mark by being the only 24/7/365 dog daycare and boarding facility in town!

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Stay Dog Daycare and Boarding is conveniently located in Gordon Square, perfect for drop-off and pick-up on your way downtown. The facility is staffed 24 hours a day and you can drop off or pick up your pooch at any time of day.

If you’re traveling and need to leave early for the airport, if you work a non-traditional schedule, if you just need some extra hours at the office, Stay Dog Daycare makes sure your furry friend is happy during that time.

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There’s a large, temperature-controlled indoor run, with plenty of space for the dogs to play and indoor K9 grass. If your pup is spending the night or eating lunch there, your dog will have their own private crash pad to go to. Stay Dog Daycare also has crates large enough to accommodate multiple dogs, if you have pooches who would like to stay together.

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One of my favorite features is “Grandma’s Living Room,” with couches, chairs, and more for the dogs to curl up and enjoy.

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Pricing starts at $9 for an up to 2-hour drop in (great for somewhere for your dog to go while you grab dinner in the neighborhood) up to $40 for 24 hours. Regular pricing includes group play, food, snacks, and administration of medication.

You can also add in extras such as bath ($25), personalized play or cuddle time ($15 for 20 minutes), additional walks/runs ($15 for 20 minutes), brain games ($5), and homemade treats ($5-$10).

Click here to find out about the services and decide what’s right for you.

You can tell the folks at Stay Dog Daycare will treat your pets like family, just as you do! Stay Dog Daycare doesn’t just watch your dog while you’re away, either. They offer monthly pup photo shoots for you to bring your fuzzy family to and plan to be involved with neighborhood festivals and gatherings to truly be a part of the community.

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If you need a place for your pup to stay for a short break or a long vacation, look no further than Stay Dogs Daycare and Boarding!

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Why? Tails and Cocktails!

Last week, Matthew and I had a chance to attend the first of a new series of events put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society: Tails and Cocktails.

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Tails and Cocktails brings together a casual, panel-style presentation on various Zoo research topics with tasty small bites, adult beverages, and even some special Zoo guests.

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The first Tails and Cocktails was titled “Gut Reaction,” on how what and when we eat impact our health. The panel included two researchers working at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on how to improve the gut health of animals, as well as a digestive specialist from the Cleveland Clinic and Chef Ben Bebenroth from Spice Kitchen and Bar (who brought tasty fermented food samples) to talk about the human connections to this topic.

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The panel discussion not only taught me more about the animals at the Zoo and the research being done to improve their health, but also about our similarities in digestive health issues.

We also had the chance to sample some of the first Conservation Series beer from Terrestrial Brewing Company, appropriately titled Probiotic Warrior. Terrestrial Brewing and the Cleveland Zoological Society have teamed up on a series of beers that will benefit CZS, available at Terrestrial and special CZS events.

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There are three more Tails and Cocktails events in the series:

Tickets are $15 for general admission and free for select levels of Zookeeper’s Circle members. Don’t miss these fun events that let you learn more about the Zoo’s animals and their connection to you!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Tails and Cocktails. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to Tails and Cocktails: Gut Reaction. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? South Florida!

This weekend, Mom, Jeffrey, and I headed down to South Florida for a little spring break trip. The reason for our visit was to celebrate my Great Uncle Ray’s 80th birthday, but we also squeezed in some other South Florida fun.

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We stayed at B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, which was right on the beach. Jeffrey loved both the time on the beach and at the hotel pool.

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We brought home lots of seashells (and sand!) The last time Jeffrey was in this part of Florida, he was just under 2 years old, so his excitement over the ocean was almost brand new.

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While at B Ocean, we had a delicious lunch at the Naked Crab. The rock octopus was so smoky and good!

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We also took a stroll down A1A…

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…and found Bo’s Beach, a perfectly-situated beach front restaurant with delicious Frose cocktails and yummy churrasco steak.

Everything tastes better with beach breeze blowing through your hair!

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By chance, we happened to be in Florida for a John Carroll Alumni Presidential Reception, so we had a chance to attend the luncheon at The Capital Grille.

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Not only was the lunch so tasty, but it was a great chance to connect with some Florida alumni and hear what’s been going on at campus lately from the new president, Dr. Michael Johnson, and his wife, Jill.

Now, to the point of the whole trip: Great Uncle Ray’s birthday! We surprised him and he was truly shocked when he opened his door to the three of us standing there!

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From a delicious birthday dinner at Cooper’s Hawk (get the gnocchi with roasted butternut squash)…

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…to time spent at their house in the pool, it was a wonderful chance to catch up and celebrate!

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And while we had lots of other fun on the trip, the whole point was the family time. There’s truly nothing like face-to-face connection and I’m so glad we had a chance to make it happen for this big birthday!

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How was your weekend? Are you doing any spring break travels?

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