Saturday, November 11, 2017

October Fun! Visitors, New Orleans (again) and More!

October 2017 was a fun and busy month for us. We had our friends Ron and Jean in town for a weekend, followed by the Cavs home opener, the 2017 Medical Innovation Summit and another trip to New Orleans. Busy, busy, busy!

First up was Ron and Jean's visit to Cleveland. This would be their 4th visit to this great city and we did our best to show them some new places as well as some of our old favorites.

 Our first stop was the grand opening of LBM. The owner and investors are an awesome group of people we know from our old days at the Lakewood Melt. They are so fun and they make some amazing cocktails. They renovated the space of one of the most terrible bars (and bathrooms!) in Lakewood. We had been anticipating this opening for months and were exciting to share it with friends.

Next up was happy hour at Deagan's who hosts one of the best happy hours in Lakewood.

Our third stop was 16-Bit Bar and Arcade. This is one of the most unique spots in Lakewood. Serving cocktails to the 21+ only crowd with free arcade games. Always. 

We popped into Sarita where Kevin & Lisa joined us for a bottle of wine and then to the newly opened Harlow's for pizza and Rose.

Saturday morning started with breakfast sandwiches, Tommy's danishes, mimosas and Bloody Mary's. Steve and I LOVE these danishes!

Conveniently, Cleveland Beer Week was underway so we were able to partake in a few of their events. Platform is our favorite Cleveland brewery and they had an Ohio tap takeover where they served a plethora of Ohio beers out of every one of their taps.

Just down the street from Platform is Forest City Shuffleboard. It's relatively new to the area and offers a full bar with both floor and table shuffleboard. While shuffleboard is typically associated with retired people (Ron thought he'd fit right in!) it's actually trending closer to the early 30's crowd. We were very cool!

It was time for us to get more food so we hopped in an Uber and headed back to Lakewood where we enjoyed a few of Barrio's tacos. Barrio is another favorite spot for Steve and I and their tacos are cheap and delicious. We were not disappointed.

We walked the long block North to meet my mom at Jammy Buggers for a cocktail (or two!) and then next door to Merry Arts.

We Ubered back to the East end of Lakewood where we made stops at Barocco, Mahall's, Lakewood Village Tavern (for karaoke) and finally Angelo's after which we were able to stumble home. Whew! What a day. 

Sunday morning had us at our absolute favorite Cleveland Beer Week event. The Platform & Donut Lab collaboration at Edison's in Tremont.

Platform pairs 5 beer tastings with five sweet and savory mini donuts, ranging from blueberries to pulled pork and pickles! It is adventurous, fun and delicious. We each got a full pint of our favorite beer and kept the glass. 

After beer and donuts we headed home to watch our fantasy football team for a few hours before heading to Buckeye Beer Engine for some grub. Ron got the Cleveland sausage and kraut he had been requesting since they arrived!


Later that week was the Cavs home opener. This might be the only regular season game I attend this year, but I wasn't going to miss Kyrie's return to Cleveland. I attended the game with Kevin and saw a dramatic and exciting Cavs victory.

On October 19th, my brother Travis celebrated his 50th birthday! The family gathered at his house for good food and fun. Happy Birthday Travis!

From October 22-25, Cleveland Clinic Innovations hosts our annual convention at the Cleveland Convention Center. Lisa calls it our "Super Bowl" which is pretty fitting. It's an exhausting 3+ days of smart stuff combined with fun stuff. I work with an incredible group of people and this event highlights all of that. 

Steve and I stayed at the adjoining Hilton Hotel on Monday and Tuesday night and took part in all of the late night social events.

The Top 10 Medical Innovations is the culminating event at the convention and forecasts the medical innovations that will be disruptive in 2018. It's incredibly fascinating and empowering to be involved with such groundbreaking technologies. #1 for 2018 is the Hybrid Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery System. Click here to read more Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2018

As if we weren't exhausted enough, we decided to board a 6 am flight THE NEXT MORNING and headed to New Orleans for the second time in two months. Spontaneity at it's finest!
Cheap flights (literally, pennies...) and great food will have us visit any city time and time again. I did a very comprehensive happy hour search, which was the focus of our itinerary. We wanted good food and good drinks at low prices. Happy hour is the only way to get all of that in NOLA.
We used Marriott points to stay at the JW Marriott on Canal Street and after a 7:30 am arrival, we checked into our room and were off for an adventurous three days.

Our first stop was bloody Mary's at Daisy Dukes. This was not on my happy hour list, but there aren't any places that offer happy hour at 7:30 in the morning :) The steep price of this average bloody Mary had us on to the next place looking for more.

That brought us to The Grill. What a great place! Do you want a bacon cheeseburger at 8 am? Onion rings? Gumbo? Awesome (and cheap!) mimosas and screwdrivers? Then The Grill is your spot. Of course they also serve all of your traditional breakfast fare in massive proportions, but I don't love breakfast food and will always opt for a sandwich over an omelet. This place was perfect. So perfect, we visited twice!  

After our mid-day nap it was time to embark on happy hour. First was 1/2 priced cocktails and $0.75 oysters at Luke

Next was the $5 cocktails at Tableau.

....and then a snack and $3 wine at The Bombay Club.

Finally, we stopped at Antoine's where the Oyster Rockefeller was invented! Wow...what a day!

Friday had us eating lunch for breakfast at The Grill again and then for a walk around the city. 

We took a nap before heading to lunch at Sobou. Like I said, I had done a ton of research on deals around the city. Sobou seemed to have great food and a reasonable two-course lunch menu...but let's be honest, they had me at $0.25 martinis. These were serious. So serious, that I was only able to have two (the limit was three!) The food was great and the drinks were basically free. What. A. Deal. 

Next up was 1/2 off wine at Kingfish.

...and then the FREE bacon happy hour and (not free) wine flights at Orleans Grapevine.

We capped off the night with a final happy hour drink at Trinity. We were exhausted and decided to skip dinner and headed to bed!

Our flight on Saturday departed at 8:30 pm, so we had another full day of activities. We started with a Brandy Milk Punch at the Court of Two Sisters, followed by brunch at Sylvain

Like I said, I choose lunch over breakfast every time, so we opted to split their famous fried chicken sandwich along with a few specialty cocktails. It was all fantastic.

Next up was a stop at Tropical Isle for a Shark Attack. This was the only touristy thing we did on this trip and our only stop on Bourbon. The video is why I had to go back...and Jo Jo loves her new shark!

We had a late lunch at Domenica. We had visited this place in August as well, but this time we reaped the benefit of their fabulous happy hour. 1/2 priced pizza and wine!

Our next stop was at The Bombay Club again for a $4 snack and $3 wine. These prices were some of the best and a Saturday happy hour is hard to find. My research sure paid off!

Our final stop was at The Backspace Bar where we treated ourselves to a "Death in the Afternoon". Sure, it looks cute, but it doesn't taste cute. We knew what we were getting ourselves into, but the couple next to us did not..."We'll have what they're having" didn't work for them as they were horrified by the taste. They offered to give us their drinks, but we had a flight to catch and kindly declined. 

Our flight home was flawless and I ended up sitting in the lucky seat, which rewarded me 5,000 bonus Spirit miles. Where will our next adventure take us??

Whew! What a month. October 2017 was fun. We'll see you next time!

No comments: