Friday, July 30, 2010

Consider Cleveland... part 1

Ok. So the economy's kind of icky and most of us are a little less affluent than we were a year or two ago. We can agree on this, no? My kids would love to go on a plane ride to Florida or Hawaii, but there isn't a chance in the world that we can afford that! However, life is about living and living includes experiences and experiences can be found closer to home than we realize.

I was honored to be invited by the cvb of Cleveland, Ohio to participate in a promotional tour of their city. "Positively Cleveland" managed to pack in a week's worth of activities in just 3 days and though my feet are revolting against those 3 days of shoes on pavement, my mind is simply overwhelmed. My travel-mate for the week was Barb, aka Weaselmama. You might remember her from my trip to Galena, IL. We managed to ride in a car for 3 hours and all weekend on that trip, so I knew we could travel together without killing each other (always a good feature in a friend). When the words "Cedar Point" came up, I knew she was the perfect choice. I mean, if I'm going to the "roller-coaster capital of the world", I want someone who actually likes to ride roller coasters.

And ride them, we did. Amazingly enough, no one threw up as we were hustled from one thrilling heart-stopper to the next for 5 hours straight. The best ride, in my opinion: The Millennium Force (though the Maverick was a close second with it's never-ending twists and dips). The Millennium Force actually had me feeling light-headed on its first drop. Which meant that I simply had to convince our group to ride it again, just before we left. Let me tell you, it didn't require any arm-twisting to make that wish come true!

I sleepily stumbled into my hotel room that the Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Centre provided for us all. Their extra little touches (chocolates on the bed beside a personalized letter reminding me of the ammenities they provided)were definitely noted prior to passing out from exhaustion, but it wasn't until the next morning as I was drinking my gourmet cup of coffee that I managed to peer through the curtains and be amazed at the views before me...Stunning. This shot doesn't even begin to do it justice. The proximity of the hotel is such that we were able to walk to the arena, the downtown square, Lake Erie and the East Fourth Street district. I was so enthralled by the quiet beauty of the Cleveland morning that I got myself up and moving an hour early just to sit on the bench beside the street and watch the city come to life. Had I known how busy we would be that day, I might have stayed in bed a tad longer...

Part 2 will follow soon!
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