Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cleveland Lake-Cation: Day 3

This is the third installment of my Cleveland lake-cation (and here are "Day 1" and "Day 2" if you missed them). Everything in this post covers our experiences on the Sunday (last day) of our trip.

And on the third day...

Bonbon Pastry & Cafe
Ohio City
Breakfast of Champion Bloggers
Our social media recommendations led us back to Ohio City for breakfast at BonBon Pastry & Cafe. At this point, you are probably wondering how I even had an appetite after Saturday night's dinner at Hodge's, but a few minutes in BonBon and I could have eaten anything because it was all so cute and tempting. I had the Breakfast Sandwich (focaccia, tomato, egg, maple sausage cheddar, and potatoes) with a grapefruit juice to wash it down (or in my Pittsburgh accent, "warsh it dahn"). Our table also shared the Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (perserves, house-made chocolate sauce, and sweetened mascarpone). It was a quality meal.

As I mentioned in the "Day 2" post, if one was taking a day trip to Cleveland to get goods from the West Side Market, it would be remiss not to try one of this city's great restaurants before shopping. Bonbon Pastry & Cafe would be the perfect place.

Bonbon Pastry & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Museum of Contemporary Art 
University Circle
Bottom Left: "Artistic Selfie"
I really liked this museum. I don't want to describe any of the artwork because I think I would spoil the effect(s). But I will say this- contemporary art museums allow visitors to take leaps of faith in viewing each piece. Even if one cannot fully grasp the artists' intent, motivation, or inspiration, I believe that it still beneficial to appreciate and respect their choices and their work. Oh yes, and the MOCA store had some really great gift ideas and accessories... like the watch I bought.

Cleveland Botanical Garden
University Circle
Um, National Geographic? Hire me. 
If I lived in Cleveland, I could imagine going to the Cleveland Botanical Garden regularly. I also tried to convince one of the Positively Cleveland gals to have her wedding there and let me plan it. Corinne, that means you. Anyway, with both indoor and outdoor gardens, this "urban escape" provided an overpowering dose of nature and solace. Ahhhhhh.

My final assessment...
Not everything that I purchased, but just enough to show you that I did pretty well in the souvenir department! 
Even though The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum didn't make it onto our itinerary, I feel that its awesomeness should be noted. I have been there at least six times over nearly two decades, and I will be returning in the next few months to check out its "Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction" exhibit. It should also be noted that we avoided Little Italy because of the Feast of the Assumption festival that was taking place on the weekend that we were in town. Otherwise, we would have hit it up!

I really do love Cleveland. I have always liked it, but this #HappyinCLE trip helped me to fall in love with it. Of course I am remaining true to my Pittsburgh roots, but I am an objective and reasonable traveler. I cannot dislike a place based on its sports teams or the preconceived notions of the ignorant. That's irrational and only hurts me. Think of everything that I would be missing... scary!

Now about how blessed I am to have been invited on this trip... if you don't already know, I do not get paid to write The Steel Trap. It's just something that I do because I enjoy it. Being included on an all-expenses paid trip was a privilege for which I will be forever grateful. Seeing Cleveland from the perspective of locals was invaluable; the additional bonus of making two great friends who live there is duly noted too. Hopefully these posts did this beautiful city with its "great" lake, impressive food scene, incredible cultural aspects, and overall spunk the justice that it deserves.

Thus, Cleveland is an excellent destination for a lake-cation from Pittsburgh and leaving on Sunday afternoon was bittersweet. So who's ready to go back with me?