Jason and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary last week and decided to have a fun weekend alone to mark the occasion. Baby C spent two days and one night (his first away from us!) at Grandma and Pap Pap’s house while J and I took day trips to Erie and Cleveland on Friday and Saturday, respectively. We used to do day trips like this all the time but have gotten away from them since Caleb was born. It was fun to reconnect as a couple.
After a wonderful breakfast at a local diner, we hit the road to Erie on Friday. We headed straight to Erie wine country to visit a few wineries. We picked up a few bottles of wine as well as some fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegar. After all those wine tastings, we needed to eat. We had a great lunch at Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub in downtown Erie. I had an order of “Devils on Horseback” — goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon — and I am now obsessed. I will be recreating these this week!
After lunch we stopped at Romolo Chocolates. A few weeks ago, a friend brought me the most amazing chocolate toffee cookies from Romolo’s, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more of them. Unfortunately, they were all sold out of that variety. Instead I bought the last four cookies in the store — two double chocolate mint and two chocolate pecan.
Next stop was Presque Isle.
I initially had visions of J and I biking around the park and walking on the beach, but….it was cold! Nonetheless, we enjoyed the car ride and got out a few times to get some fresh air. We wrapped up the day with a quick visit to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle. It’s a beautiful educational center, especially considering that admission is free.
The next morning we woke up blissfully well rested, but it was weird to be at home without Caleb. We made a quick stop at my parents to say good morning and to give him a kiss before heading to Cleveland.
We were so excited to check out the West Side Market. It’s a bit like Pittsburgh’s Strip District but much more condensed and way cooler. It was packed, so we didn’t get to browse as much as we would have liked, but we managed to pick up some Ohio City pasta, fresh bread and local maple syrup.
We grabbed lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant just around the corner. It was tasty!
We spent the afternoon at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — a huge museum with so much to see!
We had some time to kill before dinner, so we wondered around downtown Cleveland to see the sights. We ran across filming of Captain America 2, as well as 4 or 5 wedding parties. It was beautiful day, so lots of people were out and about.
We then had the most amazing meal at Lola Bistro, one of Michael Symon’s restaurants. The only table available was the chef’s table which overlooks the kitchen — best seat in the house in my opinion. Since we had an early reservation, we were able to chat with the line cook while he prepped for the evening. It was really interesting to see how a high end kitchen runs — very calm and efficient! J and I shared an appetizer of poke which is a raw tuna salad similar to a ceviche. (If you had told me a few years ago that I’d willingly be eating raw fish with a fork, I’d have said you were crazy.) It was phenomenal. For the entree, I had scallops served with peas, orange and pearl onions while Jason had the hanger steak served with fries (and these weren’t just any fries…). I was slightly disappointed in the chocolate cherry cake we had for dessert, but I’m willing to overlook that because otherwise the meal was definitely one of the best I’ve ever had.
We hit the road back to Pittsburgh full and happy :-) It was a great two days, but I couldn’t wait to spend Sunday and Monday with our little guy.