Cleveland does, in fact, rock.

It’s been awhile since I’ve travel blogged.  You know, I mean, for REAL travel blogged.

Cleveland rocks!! At the Lava Lounge in Tremont

I guess that’s probably because it’s been awhile since I travelled.  A menacing schedule and many, many recent life changes have added up to a rather dry spell in the world explorations.  However a number of mini-trips have shaped up this summer and so I’m once again stretching my traveling legs starting off with a weekend in Cleveland.  This simple little road trip kind of blew me away and Cleveland proved itself as a new and surprising place that actually does, as they say, rock**

Or, I should say, Lakewood rocks.

Here’s the thing…. while I did make it into the city limits of Cleveland, it wasn’t the focus of the trip.  On this approximately 36-hour vacay, Julie (my lady friend) and I stayed with friends in the charming suburb of Lakewood.  Typically, charming and suburb are not two words that would ever share a sentence together, however Lakewood is a delightful walking town that purports big trees, chirping birds, unique old homes, and surprisingly the largest gay population per capita in the tri-state area.

Cleveland was all about friends, and food, and wine, and good conversation.  It was a chance to escape from the chaos of life and the NATO summit in Chicago to slow down a little bit.  Expecting something akin to Indianapolis, I found Cleveland to be a more progressive, unique, and hip experience than I ever could have anticipated (in other words, not at all like Indianapolis).  Add to that good, honest, and honestly hip people and there’s not much else to report.  I will, however, say that if ever in Cleveland, I have two off-the-beaten-path recommendations:

Sangria at Properity Social Club

Be sure to make a stop in Tremont at either Prosperity Social Club or Lava Lounge.  Better yet, visit both.  Within a block from one another, these two establishments are locally owned and make for a great evening when packaged together.  Steamed mussels and sangria at Prosperity were followed by a beautiful waldorf salad, mac and cheese, and a substantial wine list at Lava Lounge.  Let it be known that Greg, our server, was hip, chillaxed, but simultaneously attentive and suave.

Good job, Greg.  And good job, Cleveland.

** Apparently, Instagram, my new favorite iphone app, also rocks.  I do believe that iphone photos come out infinitely hipper and better this way, as evidenced here.

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