Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for the end.

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


Z is for the end

This is the view from my window

I hope you have learned a little bit about how great Cleveland is.  If you're ever in the area let me know, I'd love to show you around!

Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!



Z is for Zzzzzzz




Congratulations on making it to the end! I hope you had a wonderful time doing the Challenge this year and found some great new bloggy friends, I sure did!

Don't forget to check out everyone else on the A-Z list!


Kathy :)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y Cleveland?

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


Y Cleveland?

Lester, the hot dog vendor on 9th street
We've lived in the Cleveland area for almost 10 years now.
But one long weekend last August we decided to take a vacation in Cleveland. We wanted to be able to explore our adopted city like a tourist, not having to rush back home at the end of the day.

We stayed in a hotel right off 4th street. We went to an Indians game and a musical at Playhouse Square. The girls and I went to the One Direction concert, the boys refused and went to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame next door. We visited the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, the shops at Tower City, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and just sat at the banks of Lake Erie and watched the waves roll in.

Best of all we met Lester. We were all walking down 9th street when a hot dog vendor saw Ryan and seemed to think he was the coolest kid dressed in his leather jacket, Cleveland hat, and shades. We stopped and talked for a while and he gave Ryan advice on life and a huge handful of candy. Ryan felt he'd made a friend and the next day he and my husband went back to Lester and enjoyed "One of the best hot dogs ever!", in Ryan's words.

To us, Lester represents a kind of Zen spirit of Cleveland. Despite heartbreaking sports losses and less than perfect weather, it's a happiness to be right here in the moment, to be friendly and kind and enjoy the people who cross our paths, to touch other's lives in unexpected ways.

We had a wonderful time and didn't want to head back home when the weekend was over. We were all glad that Cleveland is only a 45 min drive from our house.

So Y Cleveland? 

Because it is unexpected. It is culture, beauty, cuisine and fun all hidden in a city that no one expects to be anything special. That's exactly what makes it so perfect.



Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!


Y is for Yoda


One day more of the Challenge, there is.

Today is Friday!  Yay!  Have you ever taken a vacation to your own city?  How has the Challenge been for you?  Have you ever taken a vacation to your own city?


Kathy :)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for X-Mas Ale

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


X is for X-Mas Ale

Great Lakes Brewery outdoor patio
My husband demonstrating you can drink beer with a straw.
Christmas Ale is one of Great Lakes Brewing Co. most popular seasonal beers. It has a distinct flavor with hints of honey, ginger, and cinnamon and has been a 6 time medal winner of the World Beer Championships (I didn't know that even existed!) 

I'm not much of a beer drinker but when this brew hits the shelves in November all Clevelanders stock up.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. started when two brothers, Patrick and Daniel Conway, wanted to bring back the tradition of brewing beer in Cleveland. 

In the 1800's there had been over 20 breweries in the city but during the next century they consolidated and many of them closed down due to Prohibition. In 1984, the last brewery had closed its doors.  

The Conway brothers felt a brewery would contribute to the revival of the city and they were right. With their focus on quality, sustainability, and fresh local ingredients they have not only created great beers and cuisine but they've also invigorated the surrounding family farms and businesses. The brewery and its pub have helped bring back the area of Cleveland known as Ohio City and made it a destination worth visiting.

Here's a link to a cool video on the company if you want to learn more.

Great Lakes Brewery History and Philosophy

References:
Cleveland Brewing History
Great Lakes Brewing Co.


Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!


X is for Xtra Cute






Have you tried a Great Lakes Brewery beer? Hope you're having a great week! Don't forget to check out everyone else on the A-Z list!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for West Side Market

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


W is for West Side Market


West Side Market 


Opened in 1912, Cleveland's West Side Market, has everything. You can find high quality meats, cheeses, pastries, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and many ethnic specialties. There are currently over 100 vendors that sell their goods to the over 1 million visitors that come every year in part spurred on by featured segments on Food Network and the Travel Channel.





Fruit and veggie area of the market












and Winter Wonderland



I know everyone is looking forward to summer after a cold grey winter, but Ohio is beautiful when it snows. Sure I love warmth as much as anybody, but it is so peaceful when the Earth is covered in a blanket of snow.












Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!


W is for Water Boogle

Rory was really scared to get in the water at first, but he seemed to like it after he realized he could swim.








I can't believe we only have three days of the Challenge left! How have you been holding up? Have you been to a large city market?  Hope everyone is having a great week! 


Also Jess wrote an amazing post on her new blog: My Unofficial Guide to Everything, check it out!

Kathy :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Views


Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!

V is for Views
You may not think of Cleveland as very scenic place but there are a number of beautiful spots in and around the city. Here are a few.

The family enjoying downtown

Chagrin River in Gates Mills, Ohio (photo: 
Kathy Schreiber-Castrataro)

Ryan downtown



Chagrin Falls, Ohio


Rory on a hike 


Autumn Splendor

The pond in our neighborhood


Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!

V is for Velociraptor
Whenever I cook salmon for dinner, Rory knows he's going to get a treat of salmon skin and he often takes this pose to see over the counter or when it's treat time.  Usually his front paws are held up a little higher though, more like a velociraptor's claws.




Happy Tuesday! 


Kathy :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for ... change of plans?

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


U is for... change of plans?

Because both my daughters are starting college this fall, I was thinking of posting about all the great universities around the Cleveland area, but when I started writing my post, I realized how boring that would be so this morning I began scrambling for something else that began with "U".


St John's Episcopal Church (photo: Wikipedia)
Underground Railroad

First, I found that Cleveland was part of the Underground Railroad. Cleveland was code named "Station Hope". It is said that runaway slaves would hide in the bell tower of the St. John's Episcopal Church, watch for signals from ships on Lake Erie, and when it was safe run down to the waterfront and board the ships to Canada and freedom. There seems to be some question though as to whether the church was actually involved as there is no "documentation" of it.



Underground Subway
Then I found out that in the early 1900's there was a very small portion of an underground subway that was built in Cleveland and ran from Detroit-Superior Ave. Supposedly, every spring they open up the area for visitors to walk through. Again, there was very little reliable information on this so I'll have to do some more digging. I did find a video showing what it looks like, which I've added to the links below if you're interested.

So while Cleveland's "underground" history seems a little up in the air it sparks the imagination a little more than just a list of the colleges nearby! :)

References:
St. John's Episcopal Church
Cleveland's Abandoned Subway
YouTube


Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!


U is for Upturned Hip






Have a great Monday!

Kathy :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Towpath Trail

Cleveland is Cooler Than You Think!
All over the media, in tv and movies, Cleveland gets made fun of. In this year's A-Z Challenge, I'm here to show you everything Cleveland has to offer!


T is for Towpath Trail

Canal boat being guided by horses, 1902 (Photo: Wikipedia)

In the 1820's-1830's the Ohio and Erie Canal was built to connect Lake Erie with the Ohio River. This was the final link to complete the inland water route from New York City all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
After the Civil War the costs of maintaining the canal were becoming too great and then in 1913 the area suffered unprecedented flooding destroying most of the locks and aqueducts.


Towpath Trail
(photo: Kevin Payravi, Wikimedia Commons)
Today, there is a trail that runs along the entire 110 mile canal system for hiking, biking, horseback riding, or if you prefer you can take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad which seems to take you back in time as it ambles through the Cuyahoga National Forest, little towns and a 19th century working farm.  

This whole area was designated by Congress as one of the 49 National Heritage Areas in the U.S. in order to "preserve and celebrate the rails, trails, towns, landscapes and sites...that helped Ohio and our nation grow."  

Over 2.5 million visitors come each year to discover the hidden beauty the canal trails have to offer.

The Towpath Trail is one of the several trails that runs through the canal system. It is over 85 miles of trail from downtown Cleveland south to New Philadelphia.

We spent one day biking on the Towpath Trail, a couple summers ago and took the Scenic Railway for a short trip, both were a lot of fun for the whole family.



References:
Ohio and Erie Canal Way
Trail head maps
Ohio and Erie Canal Wikipedia



Doggy Style (It's really not what you think!)

My three kids have taken up the habit of naming all the different positions our beagle Rory gets himself into.  Most of the time even I can't quite figure out why they chose the names they did but I thought it might put a smile on everyone's face to share in this silliness!



T is for Towel Pup

Rory doesn't like baths but he hates being toweled off even more so I'm amazed that he sat still for this photo! 



and Torpedo

He lays like this when he's waiting for me to accidentally drop stray veggies while cooking.




Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Kathy :)