Photo’s are here or you can just click on the photograph above.
Where are you going to go once you’re finally fully vaccinated and you haven’t seen your best American friends since well before the world unexpectedly shutdown 15 months ago?
Obviously, you’re going to grab the first hopper flight you can between Tampa and Cleveland and spend Memorial Day weekend in Cuyahoga County, Ohio … where else?!
Not only were we celebrating a return to some kind of post-vaccination normality, we were also there to imbibe way too much champagne and far too many cocktails in honor of Don and Sue’s 20th wedding anniversary. If you’re feeling flush (and you have as many reasons to celebrate as we had) where better than French restaurant, L’Albatros in Cleveland? Set in an old carriage house on the University campus, we had intended to dine in their patio garden where we could be as raucous as we liked without upsetting the gentry of Cleveland but the wind, rain and temperature drop of some 50°F between Florida and Ohio on Saturday night put paid to that idea.
The festivities continued with a day trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to wander along the boardwalks through the forest to visit Brandywine Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. There was also an obligatory pitstop at the visitor centre to buy stocks of Ohioan Buckeyes, which barely survived longer than the walk back to the car. Last time I visited Ohio, Don and I drove down to the Amish towns but rather than subject Geoff to the dubious delights of a dinner plate of strawberry jelly and mashed potato at the Amish eateries (this was, after all, his first visit to Ohio and I didn’t want to scare him off) we headed to the pretty, upscale town of Chagrin Falls. We ate lunch at Bell and Flower Social Kitchen in their patio garden because the wind had finally subsided, the sun had appeared and the temperature difference for the visiting Floridians was no longer unacceptable 😉 Bell and Flower is a casual restaurant also well worth a visit.
Chagrin Falls is, unsurprisingly given its name, dominated by the sizable waterfall which rushes through the centre of town. If you want to chill out on a sunny summer’s day somewhere suitably attractive you can take a seat in the park with an ice-cream and watch the parade of pampered pets saunter past with their owners.
Memorial Day itself is probably not the best day to choose to visit anywhere unless you like sitting in long lines of stationary traffic waiting for the procession of fire engines to pass. Don stealthily weaved through back-roads (back-tracking wherever necessary) and eventually we arrived at Hinckley Lake which we circumnavigated in an attempt to shed some of the calories we’d consumed over the previous 2 days. We weren’t up to renting a kayak out on the lake and there were absolutely no circumstances in which we would have immersed our bodies in the dingy-looking foamy brown water in the (surprisingly) popular swimming area of the lake; so we walked the 3 mile loop instead. The trip nearly over, we hot-footed it to Burntwood Tavern in Brecksville for emergency lunch. This was undoubtedly the lowlight of the culinary experiences of the weekend – no need at all for anyone to add it to the potential list of restaurants should you ever be in the area! Thankfully the company more than made up for the drawbacks of the tavern which encompassed the gamut of disappointments one might endure at a very mediocre restaurant … from the dismal service to the food …
A fab time was had by all during our flying visit to Northeast Ohio. Plenty more to do and see next time 😀