my weekend out & about in #CLE (The Feast of the Assumption edition)

We have many summer traditions – most of them revolving around 1) being outside and 2) eating – and so when the annual Feast of the Assumption creeped up on us this year, I thought we wouldn’t make it out to Little Italy on short notice. Yet in a moment of jump-in-the-car-and-go, our little family got ourselves there for an evening of eats, Italian culture and good times.

Most aren’t aware that the Feast is organized by the Parish of Holy Rosary Church, located there in the East-side iconic Cleveland neighborhood. The church has hosted the celebration for the past 118 years — amazing!! — and honors the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a Catholic Holy Day on August 15 each year, commemorating Mary being taken into Heaven. During the four days of festivities either before or after the 15th, vendors are set up all over featuring Italian foods, desserts, live music and entertainment for all ages.

Our go-to plan each year is to go late afternoon on Saturday before the crush of people settle into Mayfield Road that evening. I normally insist we arrive around 4pm, so when we got there after 5pm this year, I was panicked — but it turned out to not be as much of an issue as expected because everyone was running late this year. The crowd was still manageable, so we got to browsing the many options to eat and drink.

In years past, we would start at Little Italy Wines on the far East end for a wine tasting to start off our feasting, but with Baby B in tow, we opted to sit on their benches outside as we devoured a plate of cheese ravioli with meatball which I am 99.9% sure came from Corbo’s Bakery.

I know our little girl could have demolished that plate of pasta goodness on her own, so by the time all three of us shared it, I had wished we snagged a second! Instead, we started strolling down Mayfield Road — running into fellow Italian / my favorite Chamber of Commerce President, Tony Gallo (@ChamberTony on Twitter) and his wife Theresa — before stopping by our go-to stand for stromboli. Not only did I not take a photo, I couldn’t even tell you who sold it to us, ha! (#badfoodblogger) It’s the stand right at the corner of Mayfield and Murray Hill, across the street from La Dolce Vita.

In our annual tradition, we always end our feasting inside of Presti’s Bakery. Cannoli are ALWAYS on our dessert order. Gelato usually is, and was this year considering we had our ice cream loving 9 month old with us. Then Hans splurged on a mini cheesecake to round out the decadence for the close of our meal.

LONG STORY SHORT: Just because 1) you have a baby, 2) you didn’t plan, or 3) you’re in a weight loss challenge group at work and you have a good chance at winning doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Feast. In fact, this was the most fun I had in years! We got in — for all you parents out there, the baby carrier makes for a MUCH smarter choice than a stroller. We quickly made our food selections. We found spots to sit/stand away from the crowds to savor each bite. And then we got out and back to our car in just over an hour. But if you think I’m sharing our go-to parking spot, you’re sorely mistaken. I am half Italian, after all, and some secrets are meant to stay within the family!

Keep an eye out for the Feast of the Assumption every August. It’s always around the 15th of the month and is a right of passage for all Clevelanders, new and old. So how about meeting us at the wine shop on Saturday next year? First round is on me!

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Yoga + Beer at Platform Brewing Co. (PLUS my next two yoga classes!)

Have I mentioned lately how much I missed teaching yoga?…

…specifically classes with time to hang out with my students and enjoy a beverage after?

Last Saturday’s Yoga + Beer at Platform Brewing Co. was such a blast. Teaching in a new venue is always an interesting challenge for me, especially one outdoors. I learned a lot about sequencing (yoga teachers note: avoid low lunges on cement), holding space for all attendees and laughing at myself as old skills come back to me (at one point I said, “is this my right or left hand?”). The best part — we raised money for the Arthrits Foundation, got to enjoy some delicious brews and found out our bagel sandwiches featured Cleveland Bagel Co. bagels. (#YAAAASSSSS)

from @kb093’s Instagram

While part of me misses teaching in a studio on the regular, there’s something incredibly special about taking the show on the road with these yoga events and making fun memories like these!

Speaking of, I have two yoga opportunities coming up in the next handful of days — the yoga is just getting going! One is another fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, another is me bringing back everyone’s favorite combo… hope to see you on the mat, friends!

UPCOMING YOGA CLASSES THIS WEEK:

…and every other Sunday after // REGISTER HERE

 

A fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation // REGISTER HERE

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my weekend out & about in #CLE (the Bridgestone Invitational edition)

Family Fun Fact Time!: I’m married to multi-year golf league member. My brother worked for Golf Galaxy for years throughout high school and college. Me? I’m more of the drive-the-golf-cart-around-the-course kind of gal.  So it shouldn’t surprise you too much to hear we gathered up our foursome – plus the youngest, cutest caddy you’ve ever seen – and headed down to the Akron area for the annual Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Saturday.

The Bridgestone Invitational is part of the World Golf Championship series, a group of four annual events for professional golfers created by the International Federation of PGA Tours. And sure, there’s a LOT of golf to see while you’re there, but what we came to find out there’s a lot to do for everyone in the family. Especially the hungry ones! Here’s what we ate and drank while on the course that day…

Our group started off our afternoon with a wine tasting from William Hill Estate Winery, a Napa Valley staple, plus a couple of Galley Boys from the Swenson’s Food Truck. Good thing we live near the Seven Hills’ location — Baby B was a BIG fan of those burgers!

Next, we headed over to the 19th green to the Grey Goose 19th Hole Lounge. A round of their signature La Poire Green Monster Mules made a quick appearance — and didn’t stick around for too long! While there, I learned why the 16th hole is called The Monster — you can learn why here.

From there, we were off to Firestone Village. The spectator area, open to everyone, was located between the 10th and 13th greens, with proximity to the 18th tee in the middle of the course. Firestone Village features the Labatt Blue Beer Garden and famous burgers from Michael Symon’s B-Spot Burgers. It’s been too long since I’ve had one of his burgers, and who knew their onion rings were so good?

Next stop was the 12th green for Firestone Foodies, which featured a variety of food truck options from local vendors, including BarrioLobster Louies and Hatfield’s Goode Grub. Now, I’ve sung my praise over Barrio in the past, but the other two trucks were new to me. Canton’s Lobster Louies Food Truck offers seafood cuisine, including numerous lobster rolls and seafood “slidahs”, as well as tacos from the sea. Baby B LOVED their fried crab balls! Hatfield’s Goode Grub brought Southern comfort food to the course, featuring BBQ pork, beef and chicken… and some incredible French fries and mac-and-cheese.

To close out the afternoon, we ended back up at the Penzoil Fan Zone to enjoy a couple of cups and cones from The Float Factory while Hans and Baby B took their hand at chipping at the 16th Hole Bridgestone Green Monster Challenge.  (No pictures of the latter: I was too busy enjoying my pineapple coconut ice cream.)

LONG STORY SHORT: With all the new fan enhancements and local food options at the tournament this year, the Bridgestone Invitational wasn’t just a destination for golf. It was a destination for a fun family afternoon out in Northeast Ohio. Sharing all that delicious food with family was as good as it could get… especially when our littlest one was experiencing it all for the very first time! I know when Baby B is talking at this time next year, she’ll be asking to go back to the Bridgestone Invitational in 2018. I know I will!

Be sure to follow the Bridgestone Invitational’s social media feeds for the latest tournament updates — including 2018 info — on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: I was invited to tour the Bridgestone Invitational and received complimentary admission, eats, drinks and to-dos for myself and my family. All opinions are always 100% my own.

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An #IGoRTA GIVEAWAY: See #CLE with the RTA this summer!

How’s August treating you so far? The summer is slipping away from us, isn’t it?! Feels like everyone around is feeling how close the close of summer sneaking up, so Hans, Brenna and I got out and about this weekend — and specifically had quite the Sunday Funday thanks to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA)!

from rideRTA.com

In case you didn’t know, the RTA has teamed up with an incredible amount of local institutions to bring you quite the array of deals this summer. They are all listed riderta.com/igorta, and include University Circle’s Wade Oval Wednesdays, the Cleveland Metroparks’ Edgewater Live series (last one is this Thursday, BTW!) and Cleveland Indians games at Progressive Field. Show your RTA pass at any of their partners listed their site above and get great deals in return!

This Sunday afternoon, the RTA got us to a Cleveland Indians game — Brenna’s first visit to the ballpark!

On Fridays and Saturdays, you can visit the RTA street team’s station in right field for a chance to win autographed memorabilia, learn about all those great RTA partner deals and maybe even snag a RTA t-shirt to take home!

from RTA’s Instagram feed

To make the process of using our excellent public transportation service even easier, use their RTA CLE app. The RTA CLE mobile ticketing app for iOS and Android devices allows customers to set up a secure account to purchase, save and use tickets for RTA bus and rail trips right from their smartphone — all getting you on the rapid or bus faster and to your final destination speedier. Key features of the app include being able to plan your trip inside the app, buy your fare from your phone, manage your purchasing history and skip the lines at kiosks! Can’t beat that!

How easy is it to use?

  1. Plan your trip and/or buy tickets
  2. Create an account
  3. Enter credit or debit card Information
  4. Pay for your fare
  5. Activate ticket when you are ready to ride
  6. Show your live ticket screen session to operators or have it ready when boarding RTA vehicles.

Download the new RTA CLE mobile app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) today. 

Ready to Go RTA this summer to Progressive Field? Here’s your chance — right here on the blog this week! #IGORTA when I go to a Cleveland Indians game. Tell me how do you Go RTA for a chance to win TWO (2) tickets to a Cleveland Indians game and a FREE monthly RTA pass! Enter via the Rafflecopter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until THIS FRIDAY, August 11th at 11:59PM to enter. A winner will be announced the next morning on the blog’s Facebook page.

Stay in touch with the Greater Cleveland RTA via their Facebook page and over at Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #IgoRTA to share wherever the RTA takes you!

Disclosure: The Greater Cleveland RTA provided me with a month RTA pass and tickets to an Indians game in exchange for this promotion, social shares and giveaway.  All opinions are always 100% my own.

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