Tuesday, April 15, 2014

24 Hours in Cleveland, OH

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This past Friday, Chris and I celebrated our ten year anniversary by getting the heck out of Pittsburgh. We had originally planned a longer weekend trip, but had to reconfigure at the last minute due to some car trouble earlier in the week. No matter, I think we did a pretty good job of making the absolute best of the situation.

Rather than stick to the same old dinner-movie-argument routine typical of anniversaries-past, we decided to skip town for the night, and I think it was exactly what we needed. Chris and I, despite (obviously) loving each other dearly, have a bad habit of getting into arguments over the stupidest things on days that should otherwise be happy (read: anniversaries, and only anniversaries). I think it's the pressure/expectation of doing something SUPER SPECIAL. So, creating some very literal distance from that pressure and having a bunch of new and exciting things at our fingertips was a great way to take the pressure off and just enjoy each others company.

So, off to Cleveland we went! After snagging a great deal on a hotel from Hotwire -- my first experience with the site -- and confirming with a friend that she could feed Zeph, we each packed a bag and crossed our fingers that the car would keep running (it did, what a champ). Here's a play-by-play of where we went and what we did, in case you're ever in the area:

Sweet Lorain
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As soon as we got into the city, I made a beeline for Sweet Lorain, which has become my absolute favorite vintage store ever since my first visit last year. I was especially excited to bring Chris here, since they have a pretty impressive men's section that isn't just shitty 90's tees and Cosby sweaters -- lots of military separates, denim, leather, and classic pieces here. He wasn't disappointed and walked away with a vintage patch for his backpack, and I scored a pair of men's military trousers for $12. The prices here vary, but the selection is so enormous you'll likely find something, and I'm of the opinion that the prices are justified due to the sheer selection, organization, and obvious care devoted to the store. I would live here if I could.

West Side Market
Pittsburgh has the Strip, Seattle has Pike Place, Cleveland has West Side Market. We just did a quick walk-through since it was towards the end of the day and the vendors were shutting down, but if we had the time and a cooler, we would absolutely do some grocery-themed damage here.

Market Garden Brewery
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We stopped in here for a quick beer and a bite to eat before heading over to our hotel. Located right next to West Side Market, Market Garden Brewery is Cleveland's first beer garden. There's an outdoor patio and the beers that we had were great. Good for lunch but a little too casual for dinner.

Double Tree Downtown
We got a good deal on Hotwire, which is how we ended up here. An excellent location if you're planning to visit the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame (we didn't on this trip) as it's right across the street -- you can see the HOF and Lake Eerie from many of the hotel room windows. I appreciated it's proximity to a Starbucks (in the building) the morning after drinking a few too many mai tai's (see below). 

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Recommended to us by Erin, we decided on SoHo based on location and the fact that is wasn't packed to the gills with people. The menu also looked great and it's Southern comfort food angle did not disappoint. I had shrimp and grits and Chris got the late-night style chicken and waffles.

Porko Lounge & Tiki Room
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Let's just skip to the chase: Porko Lounge was sort of the highlight of our weekend. Modeled after a vintage tiki bar, Porko's offers traditional-recipe throwback drinks that will annihilate you (I say this as a warning. Let me be crystal clear, that is not why it was a highlight). Take a cab there, we did, thank god. We met up with Erin and a few of her friends and had a great time drinking from ceramic coconuts and chatting up the owners.

Cleveland Museum of Art
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We decided against the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame on this trip, opting instead for a visit to the CMA. It's free, which is great, and well worth your time. We spent a little too much time in the religious art galleries -- there's an impressive collection -- and had to leave before seeing much else, but I'm looking forward to making a second trip sometime soon. The grounds are also gorgeous.

BonBon Pastry & Cafe
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I visited BonBon on my last trip to the city, and I was excited to go back and try the pastries. Everything I've tried off the breakfast menu is delicious and Chris said his sandwich was amazing. SO amazing that neither of us had any room left to try a pastry.

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My second favorite vintage store, Flower Child boasts an incredible selection of vintage home decor and men's and women's clothing.

So yeah, our weekend was basically food and vintage shopping, can it get any better? I love that Cleveland is just a short drive away, a nice change of scenery to what we see day to day.
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dela belle k said...

It look like y'all had a great time. I would love to visit those vintage stores!


Stephanie said...

I work at the CMA and I was there all day Saturday and Sunday! I'm so glad you liked it (I think the galleries you probably visited are some of the newest reinstalled ones, and they're just so beautiful). Thanks for giving CLE some love, and happy anniversary to you and Chris! My fiance and I celebrated our anniversary last Friday as well.

Sasa Zoe said...

Awesome pictures ! <3

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Kate said...

I'm surprised as a Pittsburgh resident you said you liked Cleveland! Traitor! (Just kidding) I'm a Pittsburgher as well and have been meaning to go to Cleveland for awhile. Your post may act as a catalyst for making my own weekend escape to Cleveland sometime soon.

Also, I lived in rural western Ohio for a time, and made trips to Columbus when my hubby and I needed that "city escape." There are some great thrift stores and eats there. (Jenni's ice cream is amazeballs, too.) Just another place to consider if you're looking into doing another weekend getaway. :)

Orchid Grey said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Kate! I'm looking forward to hopefully checking out Columbus soon. I've met a lot of people here who "hate Cleveland", and I've yet to fully understand why. I guess that's the beauty of being an out-of-towner living here - we pretty much have zero preconceptions of what to expect, we just know we need somewhere to go, haha!

Amanda said...

This looks like it was the perfect getaway! I love going a little trips to help celebrate a special time. Happy anniversary!

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