We've had a lot going on over the past couple of months, so I thought I'd try to capture some of it in one consolidated post before we head off on our next adventure!
Let's start with our annual trip to Alexandria and D.C. for our fantasy football draft over Labor Day weekend. Kevin, Lisa, Steve and I left after work on Thursday and made the trek to Alexandria. We have opted to stay at the Westin the past couple of years mostly because it's cheap and within the immediate proximity to our draft location. We took Friday to see the sights. We boarded the water taxi to the National Mall where we rented bikes, visited some monuments and enjoyed a few snacks and drinks in our Nation's capital.
Saturday was DRAFT DAY! Kevin ended up with the 1st pick while Steve and I were handed the 2nd pick.
Kevin was also the not-so-proud recipient of the horse's ass trophy awarded to the last place finisher from the previous season.
On Saturday, we met our friends Jenny and Bob to celebrate their new house and Jenny's newest pregnancy.
We were joined by our friends Todd and Gina again this year who make the annual trip (from Hudson, OH) to celebrate their anniversary. Jon and Katie hosted us for a crab boil and BBQ on Sunday night.
I can happily (and nervously!) report that after week 11 Steve and I are in 1st place (PIBE and SHIG) and Kevin...well, Kevin is not in 1st place (Smiles are Free). He might have to change his name next year because Smiles certainly are not free week after week. I am also one of two remaining players in our King of the Hill competition where we pick one team to win each week and cannot pick the same team twice. It's been nerve-wrecking, but a lot of fun. Fingers crossed!
Next up we took a weekend in September to enjoy the beautiful weather in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio. It's about an hour from our house and a nice quiet getaway to Ohio wine country. My friend Laura was getting married, so Steve and I decided to stay an extra night and take advantage of the hotel wine shuttle. We visited four wineries and had plenty of loot to show for it!
Laura and Karl were married at a local church and held their reception back at the hotel.
Steve and I have stayed at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake a handful of times and thoroughly enjoy dinner at the nearby Crosswinds Grill. This visit was no different and we visited twice!
October brought the MLB Playoffs and some special visitors from New Jersey (also Red Sox fans) for the ALDS. Many of you know Ron and Jean from our July trips to Mexico. Ron has been a lifelong Red Sox fan, so when they were slotted to play the Indians in Cleveland, they decided to make the drive to Cleveland for the long weekend.
This picture was taken during the ALCS in 2008. Steve was also a lifelong Red Sox fan until recently...He has officially claimed Cleveland as home and was rooting for the Tribe all the way.
The Indians ended up sweeping the series and we had a great time enjoying some of Cleveland's finest with friends. Mabel's, Melt, Angelo's, El Carnicero, Lakewood Park and karaoke (of course!) all made it on the agenda. There is always so much to see in so little time!
Shortly thereafter, Steve's parents made the drive to Cleveland and we hosted a dinner party for all of our parents and celebrated Sue's birthday. I made my "famous" lasagna in addition to a gluten-free zucchini noodle lasagna. It was a fabulous time with great food and even better company.
On Sunday, we watched hours and hour and hours of football and I made street corn dip and barbacoa tacos. Simply delicious!
Cleveland Beer week was next and Steve and I attended a handful of events hosted by Platform Brewery, Winking Lizard, Great Lakes Brewing, Buckeye Beer Engine, Angelo's and Edison's. Our favorite was the Donut Lab and Platform beer pairing.
The Indians continued their playoff run by defeating Toronto in the ALCS. The Cleveland Indians would be playing the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. An epic battle.
Game One of the World Series fell on the same day as the Cavs home opener where they unveiled the 2016 Championship banner. Simultaneously, we were hosting the Medical Innovation Summit for work and my boss was hosting VIP guests in the Cleveland Clinic suite for the Cavs game. He stumbled upon a few extra guest passes, so instead of sitting in our regular seats, Sean, Kevin and I ended up in the Cleveland Clinic suite for the game. I smiled, shook a few hands, watched the Cavs live and the Indians on the in-suite TV's. It was unbelievable. Since our Summit was being held at the downtown Convention Center, I was able to snag one of the prime hotel rooms downtown. It was truly a night to remember.
Somewhere in the mix of all of this, we celebrated Halloween with Lou and Jo and hosted a retirement/birthday party for my dad and Berneda.
We all know what happened next. The Tribe went up 3-1 in the series and ended up losing three straight to give the Cubs their first World Series championship since 1908. Cleveland made an incredible run and we had a total blast. I guess we can say, there's always next year...