Showing posts with label i heart summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label i heart summer. Show all posts

your September = planned

If this weekend is any indication of what weather is to come, I can tell you that summer in Cleveland isn't quite over just yet. I think we have a few more weekends of beach weather to soak up all the sun before the snowmageddons hit in December.

But you can come for me, Jon Snow! I'm stocked with new snow boots and two stylish new coats because I have a obsession for shopping thing for a structured blazer, coat or peacoat. (Yes, there is a difference.)


Detox events

Pose Cleveland Opens - Downtown Clevelanders are throwing both hands up with the opening of this hot yoga studio in the Bingham Building on W. 9th st. There will be drinks, appetizers and music by DJ MisterBradleyP with a FREE class.

When: Friday, September 18th, at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Night Market Cleveland - I'm so happy that I will finally be able to make it to this event in Asia Town. There will be vendors galore with trinkets to buy and food and beverages to drink throughout the night.

When: Friday, September 25th, 5:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Rockwell and East 21st



Ohio City Street Festival - Love this neighborhood? Then don't miss this festival filled with food, brews and everything in between with two beer gardens from Great Lakes Brewing Company, Platform Beer Co and Market Garden Brewery. The WSM will be open (yep, that's right) as well as a dunking booth and Mitchell's Ice Cream eating contest. (Sidenote: You MUST try the vegan caramel ice cream. DELICIOUS.

When: Sunday, September 27th, 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Retox events

Rock the Core Cider Festival - Look, I have a wedding this day otherwise you would find me front and center sipping on some cider ALL DAY long.

When: Saturday, September 12, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Voinovich Bicentennial Park

Hullabaloo Rooftop Soiree Preview Party - Valerie Mayen is at again with her designs and throwing her annual party to show them off in a great location in Battery Park. Purchase your $10 tickets here.

When: Thursday, September 17th, at 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Shoreway Lofts


Cocktail Muse - This event is just barely in October so it's worth including so we don't forget to have plans the first weekend in October. Have you been to Uptown lately? You need to and see all the updates this little neighborhood has gone through in the last two years.

I say let's enjoy some 1960's inspired cocktails and get in touch with our inner Twiggy. You don't have to dress in 1960's attire but why the hell not?! (Did this era love sequins? I feel like they did...) Tickets are $30 each, which includes drink tickets along with complimentary food served and the option to sign up your friends for an hour of free bowling.

When: Friday, October 2, at The Corner Alley Uptown University Circle




goodbye, summer

Well there it went.

Summer.

All three months of it flew by with only a few 80 degree days mixed in for me to barely get a tan with my Polish, Croatian and Hungarian skin.

My Labor Day weekend went something like this.

Thursday - Pre-season Browns tickets on the most perfect summer/fall night where my friends and I somehow landed on the field during the national anthem. Note: While on the field, my friend and season ticket holder almost was hit in the face with a warm-up punt (or whatever you call that). Luckily she didn't because she would have totally broke her nose and likely half of her face. No photos were allowed on the field, otherwise I would have caught this almost-terrible-accident on camera.

Look closely and you'll find me!


Saturday -  This summer, I haven't made it to the Put-in-Bay like last year. It's still on my list to somehow pull off in the next month or two in between Browns games. Instead of slinging back shots in the Roundhouse, my boyfriend and I spent the afternoon at East Harbor Beach all the way up in Marblehead for a day of relaxation. Believe it or not, Lake Erie doesn't look like the Lake Erie in Cleveland - it has hints of the ocean in it I swear.


The birds preying on us

Sunday - I continued the relaxing weekend with a dinner with friends at Luxe in Ohio City with a patio dinner. I have been to Luxe countless times and never have eaten on the patio. I know - I was shocked too.

With the best server ever, matching outfits with Tony

That's a wrap, summer! Now let's focus on fall fashion with New York Fashion Week kicking off on Thursday and the Browns season starting on Sunday.



it's about how many times you get up

I finally, yes finally, completed my first voyage into Lake Erie all year long to try stand up paddle boarding.

Hallejuah!

After my first try was foiled by Mother Nature with a storm, I was able to cash in my reservation with Nalu and join 10 other strangers to see who would fall into the lake the most times while trying to stand up.


Six.

Six is the number of times I fell exactly how we were directed not to fall in the lake. The instructors spent about 15 minutes giving us newbies basic instructions of the board, the right way to paddle and how not to fall into the lake when we lost our balance. We were supposed to fall big and flat. Not flail around like a crazy person.

I fell six times so incredibly awkwardly that I somehow and ended up with a big bruise on the front of my right ankle.

Besides my lack of graceful falling, my stand up paddle board experience was 1) amazing and 2) would have been five times easier if it weren't as windy as it was.

But holy hell, was it so much fun! You can paddle on your knees or stomach until you get comfortable in the water and on the board. Like a true newbie, I paddled on my knees for only a few minutes and tried to hop up like surfer pro Kelly Slater and lost the first battle to the board and toppled over into the water.

Note - If I would have been paying attention during the instruction, I would have known that you stand with your feet parallel, not like a surfer, which makes standing up a million times easier.

After I figured out the feet positioning, it was smooth sailing (or as smooth as it was going to get with the rough water) for the rest of my time standing up.

Try it yourself before the lake gets too cold. If nothing else, you get a killer workout from so much paddling and may or may not be as graceful as I was.









taking time to see the lights

Sometimes I can make a million excuses of not getting somewhere or seeing someone and lately it has boiled down to work. Work, work, work and more work.

Work has been dominating my life for the past two months in the best way possible. I have been challenged in every which way, slicing and dicing my time to be as efficient as possible, reinforcing my exhaustion with caffeine from my Pour Coffee and wearing bold lipstick to conquer each day like I imagine Beyonce does.

Simply put, I wouldn't have my lack of work/life balance any other way right now.

Last night, I took a little break to make it Edgewater LIVE, a happy hour I've tried to make every Thursday but was either out of town or had a prior commitment.  Since the Cleveland Metroparks took over Edgewater, the beach is completely clean and there are more events than ever and people fill up the beach up on Thursdays for live music, SUP lessons and dinner from the food trucks.

It was a beautiful 80 degree day that was begging me to go to the beach and get out of the coffee shop. So, that's what I did and enjoyed dinner from a food truck and kettle corn for dessert by the beach.


Best kind of happy hour

Over the past year, Mall B in downtown has completely transformed in this beautiful mini park in the middle of the city. I frequent this area on my runs and sprint up and down the incline on top of the convention center and will do a few box jumps on the cement benches. Play frisbee, bring a book to read or your beach towel - it's the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon if you want a beautiful place to relax right in the heart of the city.

Last night,  AHA! Festival of Lights officially turned on it's installation during PechaKucha Night event, where 10-12 speakers present rapid presentations (20 slides for 20 seconds each) about the arts, technology, or all about Cleveland in the case of many of the pechakuchas last night. I knew the first two presenters who talked about the Gay Games and Believe in CLE events that kicked off the night with powerful presentations.

Obscura Digital put on this mind-blowing "Transformations" show on the side of the Public Auditorium, which even made the kids who were running around on the light display sit the hell down and watch in awe of how the building was transformed into a living canvas. It was truly incredible to see it switch from scene to scene and my iPhone 5 doesn't even begin to do the show justice.

Light show on the Public Auditorium


The light installation everyone can't stop talking about


We all need a break from the daily grind and must force ourselves to find a way to decompress from the day. Even if it's just an hour or two for yourself, I find I'm more creative, energized and focused when I have an incredibly lengthy list of to dos.

Let's go Friday - I am winning today.




well that was fun.

It's July 28 and the month has absolutely flown the hell by. 

Where have I been? Where have you been?

I've been all over in Cleveland, drove 12 hours southeast to the Outer Banks then just a quick 5 hours west to Chicago for a weekend.

My family descended upon the Outer Banks for a week where we successfully avoided the hurricane, had daily dance parties by our pool, celebrated LeBron's return back to his hometown and went crabbing every night on the beach with my mom and aunt. If you have ever vacationed with your family, I hope you do this - it's absolutely ridiculous where you walk in the beach with flashlights and get "surprised" every time you come across a big ass sand crab. 



Pool time; selfie for Lebron coming home!!!; Peltz family; toddler Ethan looking fierce with water wings


Greg modeling; sunscreen is a family affair; couples; family bonding time

Every Sunday so far this summer has been pretty much spent on the volleyball courts followed by corn hole and our new favorite game, the list, over lots of summer shandy's. We win some games, we lose some games but we always end at Sunset Grille to finish out the weekend. 

This is an intense game.

One Saturday night, we all decided to throw it back like it was Thursday straight to 1983 or '85 or '87, depending on what you were born and partied in our best neon, denim and spandex combination for the Ultimate 80's party.  A little rain couldn't keep us away (or our hair flat) and we danced to Madonna and Whitney mashups like it was nobody's business. 

Don Johnson and me; Tony posing with his flock of seagulls hair; Madonna wins with the best costume of the group; taking over the dance floor like a champ

One of two of my favorite "tastes" happened in Tremont on an absolutely beautiful 80 degree day where I ate my way through the streets of Tremont. And, interestingly enough put on a banana costume and tried to do my best Timberlake impression of "bring it on down to bananaville" instead of omeletteville. Why not I ask you???

View of Professor; my best impersonation; so many choices of where to eat

It's been a busy summer, people! Let's keep it going!


family vacation or bust

Family vacations.

Breathe that phrase in.

For some, it can cause major anxiety because one week with your relatives can be quite interesting, dramatic or down right ridiculous if your family knows how to have a good time.

As a teenager, I loved taking our yearly trips to the Outer Banks with my family, which always consisted of some mix of cousins, aunts, uncles and my brother and I battling it out for who got to bring a friend that summer.

Summer of 1999

Luckily for both of us, our parents were friends with their parents so we always had between one to three friends on our trips. Our first trip was in 1999 and the last one was somewhere around 2003 to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks.


Summer of 2001

As a 31-year-old, I haven't spent an entire week with my extended family in almost 10 years.


Family photo circa 2001

One beach house.

11 people.

2 kids under the age of 2.5 years old.

2 new significant others.

Even though Hurricane Arthur is threatening our Saturday arrival date, I truly believe we will have no problem at Saturday at 1 p.m. for check-in time for our Corolla beach house.

Why?

Because we are years over due for a family vacation and family vacations are where you make memories with the people you don't spend enough time with as an adult. We have work, friends, more work commitments and its easy to let that "other stuff" get in the way of the important parts of life like spending time with the important people.

get me to our pool. now.

I look forward to spending the next 7 days with my family and capturing moments that we will remember forever, laugh about at our next holiday gathering and refer back to for the next 10 years.

Now, Arthur, I'm going to need to swing away from the coast and head out more east. Please and thank you!




summer solsticing at the Cleveland Museum of Art

The first day of summer was quite possibly the most perfect summer weather night you hope for when you are planning to attend an outdoor event.

Two years ago at the Cleveland Museum of Art: Summer Solstice party, it was balls to the wall hot, humid and completely unbearable because I only lasted an hour with friends there.

It was the kind of heat when you stepped outside you started sweating immediately and any hope of your make-up staying put was pointless as your face literally would melt in a matter of minutes. The kind of heat where you need to be indoors or in a pool at all times.

Not this year, friends, not even close! It was a gorgeous evening outside celebrating summer and the "hottest summer music festival."

sea of the party people

Like past years, I opted for the late entrance tickets at 10:30 p.m. but after this year's event,  I'll upgrade next year to get the 8 p.m. tickets. The late tickets work well because you can grab dinner in Little Italy (or in our case Washington Place Bistro) and leisurely make your way to celebrate the first day of Summer.

Two reasons why it's time to go earlier:

1) You only have about 2 hours to see everyone and that's a TON of space to cover and friends to make sure you see.
2) More time to dance your ass off outside and inside the atrium.

You use the hashtag, your photo was shared throughout the museum

Party people partying with balloon hats and limbo

Tickets for CMA Solstice keep selling out quicker year after year just like the Jump Back Ball at Playhouse Square. I love this event every year - it's one of the first Cleveland events and kicks off the summer season with a bang.

If the weather is right, you are lucky enough like we were all on Saturday night to enjoy a beautiful summer night out with thousands of closest friends at one of my favorite places on the east side of Cleveland.

Why hello summer, it's great to see you again!


the best kind of book club

I would consider myself somewhat of an avid reader of fictional books and fashion magazines. Each month, I read Lucky, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar RELIGIOUSLY and include a book a month.

The book part can be iffy because sometimes I can easily fly through two or three books a month and other times I'm dragging out a book for two months.

I keep a very detailed list on my iPhone of what I should read next and that list keeps on growing and growing. With my upcoming family vacation, I plan to knock out three books that week - The Discovery of Witches, The Invention of Wings and Contagious - a fun little marketing type book.

Based on my inconsistent reading schedule, I am the least likely candidate to join any sort of book club that I have to complete reading the book because I will fail. It's like my juice cleanse try - great idea in theory but when it comes times to stick to juice, I simply can't!

Enter my friend Kelly and her genius idea of a book club. A book club to end all book clubs where you can't NOT read these books.

We are only reading books written by the Real Housewives of Bravo.

That's it.

The only books we will talk about each month are written by our favorite Bravo leading ladies.

That's right - anything and everything written by the riveting women who pull hair, cook and flip tables while dining with prostitution whores we will read.

Girls gone wild

Still my favorite cast even with Teresa

Our first book on the agenda was written by Brandi Glanville, author of Drinking and Tweeting, who loves her endless bottles of sauvignon blanc, educating readers on her vagina rejuvenation and coming up with hilarious insults for that child star turned country music singer.


First book done!

The book club discussed our first book over a breakfast of mimosas followed by pool time. It's a Cleveland summer and we crave our pool, beach and lake time like no one's business because we had one hell of a winter.


Bathing beauties

Technically I still haven't finished the whole book but you better believe I will finish it so I can start the next one from Brandi's other cast mate, Taylor Armstrong.




your summer = planned

I have one phrase and word I absolutely abhor - "it sucks" and "no."

It's almost as if I hear nails on the chalkboard, need to cover my ears and get goosebumps all over my body because I can't STAND when I hear that from people. There are so many other ways to eloquently describe a situation than "it sucks." You could say "well, that is just terrible" or "what an unfortunate situation" or "I'm not cool with that, let's kick his or her ass."

See? Sounds so much better.

Now, the word "no" just doesn't work for me in a lot of the times. I prefer a slow yes instead of an abrupt "no."

While I equally despise those words, it brings to my next least favorite phrase I hear people say, "I'm bored."

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to several events happening in Cleveland over the next two months.  Get our your calendars, start the group text and buy tickets with your friends to make a memorable summer with a combination of events for you to rehydrate to dehydrate together.


Booze your face off options:

Luau on the Lake - It's in its 9th year and I've been ZERO times because I've been on vacation the past few years. I have friends who organize it and say it's a smashing good time and supports Shoes and Clothes for Kids. Do this!

When: Luau on the Lake, Saturday, July 12 at 4 p.m to 9 p.m. Tickets: $40 - $60

Scene Ale Fest - Two years ago, I went with friends and it was so much fun. People are incredibly intoxicated all afternoon, they will run out beer and then the attendees are left to meander around Tremont looking for a good meal. I recommend Prosperity Club and add a pitcher of Sangria to cap off your evening!

When: Ale Fest, Saturday, July 19 at 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: $10 - $55.


Cheers to Ale Fest

Whiskey Island 80s on the Lake - My two favorite things - Whiskey Island and 80s music. May I suggest a mash-up of Eddie Money, Duran Duran and Madonna?

When: 80s on the Lake - Friday, July 19 at 2 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. Tickets: Don't need any!

Krusty's Summer Camp - It's been revived! We were told last year it would end but never fear - a group of people have brought back the end of summer drink fest. The question is - can you make it all day?

When: Krusty's Summer Camp, Saturday, August 2 from 12 p.m. until ???? Tickets: $50-$60.
last year's afternoon view


Hydrate, stretch and work off the boozing events:

Run the Bridges/Rooftop - Look, you have two options to kick your own ass with running with the Harness Cycle crew on Wednesdays and then namasting it out on the rooftop of the Federal Knitting Mill.

When: Run the Bridges, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

When: Hingetown Community Yoga, Sundays at 11:30 a.m. FREE, just sign up on the site.

Believe in CLE - If you don't know about this, you must live under a rock because every Lululemon west/east/southsider MUST know about it by now. But, in the event you don't, you should show up to join 800+ people again for an unbelievable night.

When: Believe in CLE, Friday, June 27th at 7 p.m. Tickets: FREE but register on the Inner Bliss.

Looking forward to this year's


And there you have it, now get planning!


the time I didn't spill anything on my all white outfit

Summer has quickly rushed in for me and most of my 12 weeks has been planned out pretty well from here on out.

It's funny how that works out. Between Cleveland outdoor events, weekly volleyball games and planned vacations and out of town weekends,  I have quite the amazing summer planned with friends over the next two months.


Friday: the first MIX of the summer
In the last two years, I have been exposed to more interesting movies, people and events at the Cleveland Museum of Art than I would have ever thought possible. I've been to the museum four times in the past six months for a movie viewing, MIX event, Mother's day and now MIX this past weekend.

Only this time, my friends and I seemed to miss the actual MIX event because we were too busy enjoying our meals within Provenance and the amazing cocktail list to join the rest of the party. I suppose we can make up for it at Solstice in just two weeks.....

On the upside, my all white outfit won against all food, dessert and alcohol consumed for the night, which was partly because I sipped only white or clear cocktails to increase my odds of winning against impossible odds.


moscow mule and lavender french cocktails and strawberry shortcake


Finally, I stand out from the decorations.


Saturday: a preview of The Shoreway Lofts and Yellowcake Shop designs
If you commute east on the shoreway, you have seen the huge sign that says "Shoreway Lofts" hanging up for the past 6 months. While most of the units are already rented (only 6 left), guests were given a tour of a model unit as well as an up close and personal seat to Valerie Mayen's latest work and great taste in music as models and mini models strutted down the runway with fun and fresh dresses in colorful and some even with giraffes on them. Who doesn't love a fun print?!?


Carnaval runway set and ready to start.


Obviously I was a fan of the candy table


Added my new favorite J'adore necklace to my jewelry collection from Oceanne


Sunday: a 57th birthday celebration
My mom invented the birthday week for us as kids so it's only fitting she take one herself. I don't know if she actually called it a "birthday week" when we were kids but there was always a tremendous celebration around our birthdays that typically consisted of two parties, which meant we had the option of choosing two cake designs.

This year, my mom wanted a Sunday Funday with her family on what was supposed to be a sunny day but the weather gods had different plans for the forecast on Sunday. Lots of rain to sprinkling rain to simply overcast for my mom's Sunday Funday but it's about the people you are with, right????? My mom also realized that this year was her ACTUAL 57th birthday. Last year, she thought she was celebrating her 57th birthday but after two glasses of wine of her calculations not quite adding up to the age she said she was turning, we did the math for her and corrected her birthday celebration seeing as she was actually ONLY 56 in 2013.

My mom, you have to love her and her crazy ways!



"Allison, isn't this a nice bow? Look how nice Matt wrapped the gift!"


Disclosure: I was provided a discounted dinner to dine at Provenance and free tickets to the Shoreway Lofts events. I was planning on attending both events without the discount. 

the start of summer

Ahhh, Memorial Day.

The unofficial start of summer.

As Clevelanders, our Memorial Day weekends can be a mix of several weather elements - rain, cloudy, 50 degrees or 80+ degrees, as we all got to experience this weekend. After the insanely  long winter filled with polar vortex after polar vortex, I was ridiculously happy to soak in all the sun rays and be outside from afternoon to night without a jacket on.

Even though I was happy, I still complained I was sweating on Press's patio with friends on Saturday and we cursed our local weather anchors because they lied! Sixty-five degrees, no way! I have the sunburnt shoulders and chest to prove it.


Memorial Day weekend Tremont bar crawl

There's always one who loves a duck face.

The weather continued to work in our favor with a breezy 80+ degrees through the holiday. Even though, we were still complaining that we were sweating while laying at Whiskey Island, I came up with a list of summer activities to check off my list.

Friends, my brother stretching and not a cloud in the sky

Well, maybe not a long list of activities but still, I already have 6 weeks planned so squeezing these in  should be no problem. I hope......
  • Put-in-Bay trip
  • Rent a boat and jet skis for the afternoon
  • Spend the afternoon at East Harbor Beach reading amazingly awful beach reads
  • Friday night Indians game
  • Scheduling a date for my Real Housewives Book Club with friends

Better hydrate - it's going to be a busy summer!


three days in Bordeaux

Bordeaux arrived at my doorstep last week in the form of 12 vibrant bottles of red and white wine from the Saint Emilion wine region.

special arrival from France

It was a pleasant surprise to have them arrive early and sent me back to that afternoon where my friends and I spent an hour in the most beautiful wine shop surrounded by Matt, our incredibly patient and impressive tour guide, and Hugo, the French version of Prince William. Tall, sort of quiet and shy with a full head of sandy hair and very soft blue eyes. I mean...he could be the new Christian Grey since it looks like the role is still open!

Tour guide Matt was right - he did have quite beautiful eyes that sold us three cases of wine and shipped across the Atlantic.

After three very touristy days spent in Paris, we arrived with Matt, our private tour guide, waiting to take us on our first day of wine tastings to the Medoc region, which was about forty minutes away from our hotel in Bouilac, just above the city of Bordeaux. Kudos to my friend Lindsay who suggested hiring a private tour guide because Matt was worth every s-i-n-g-l-e penny for his rich history knowledge of wine, Bordeaux and slow but stellar driving skills where he happily let us hop out and take EVERY single chateau photo we wanted along our drive.
Medoc region wine tasting

Chateau hopping in the Medoc region

A trip to France wouldn't have been complete if we left without taking cooking lessons from our hotel, Le Saint James, which overlooks the city of Bordeaux with the most breathtaking views at sunset. Out of all the hotels we stayed at, this was truly the most amazing one with impeccable service and an outstanding garden view that looked over the city with vineyards and twinkle lights when the sun finally went down over the patio.

Foie gras two ways and Lissa assisting Chef Ben



Celebrating Lindsay's birthday at our hotel restaurant

After spending five hours with us, tour guide Matt decided he could handle my friends and I for another day so he drove us to Saint Emilion for the afternoon with a guided tour in a 12th century church, catacombs, a leisurely lunch, the wine store with Hugo and a chance to sit on the steps of a medieval castle.

Touring a 12th century church in St. Emilion

The  most adorable and chic wine store

dream come true sitting in front of the castle

After three days, we wined and dined ourselves into the most delicious food and wine comas we could have asked for in Bordeaux. Next, we headed to the beach for the weekend to continue a little R&R in Biarritz, a small beach town along the coast of the Bay of Biscay that is NOT to be missed if you are in France.


play that country music

Besides traveling all over the world and jumping out a plane, I checked off another bucket list item (so to speak) last weekend when I willingly attended my first country concert for Jason Aldean.

I consider myself a concert goer and really do go to anything from the New Kids on the Block concert to Lady Gaga to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. But really, chances are is that I'm up to try anything except country.

I have never been a fan. I blame my dad - my brother and I didn't grow up on anything country. And, quite honestly, I listened to so much Eric Clapton and Allman Brothers growing up, I didn't realize there was a world beyond "Layla" and "Ramblin' Man."

It all sort of sounds the same to me and involves girls wearing short jean shorts, drinking whiskey and achy-breaky hearts unless of course you are Faith Hill or Carrie Underwood.

Now that kind of pop country isn't exactly nails on chalkboard to me but you would never otherwise catch me blaring Blake Shelton or Miranda Lambert anything from my apartment.

As a group, the worst best decision we made was to rent a bus to carry our 20+ group to the dreaded Blossom Music Center, which provided an easy commute in and a hellish one on the way out.

The bus ride to the concert:



The concert and parking lot:

Mel and me; Jill and Allison; Jason Aldean; let us in!

Even though I hardly knew any of the songs, I still could pull off my white girl dancing that really applies to any type of music. Just a little less jumping and arm waving for this one.



island time

Crossing summer places to go off my list, one weekend at at time.....

Saturday: I was on island time....

The last time I was in PIB was for a bachelorette party was in 2010. I swear it was just yesterday I was celebrating my friend's impending nuptials but time really does fly when you are having fun. After canceling this trip more times than I want to admit, I was nervous we wouldn't make it to the island this summer but it happened on the most perfect mild summer Saturday.

Having never been to the pool bars, it was pretty much the exact scenery you would expect - lots of interesting characters (some clad with accessories like a bright green rubber glove) and then guy who was a dancing machine next to me in a video doing his best Britney Spears impression of sorts.


The morning boat ride to the island


Mist pool bar in all its glory





leopard casualty: RIP my favorite Sperry summer sandals


Sunday: everyone is Italian at the feast

I'm not Italian but always like to pretend I amwhen I'm at the Feast each year. My favorite choices? Fried dough, fried dough and fried dough! I understand that's just dough covered in an obscene amount of sugar but get out of my way - I have to have it!

Excuse me, while I eat this piece of fried dough.

After we ate cavatelli, artichokes, stuffed peppers and cannolis to go, I was able to finally take a look at what everyone has been talking about regarding the major renovations to the Uptown neighborhood. I still have to make a trip to MOCA but was able to walk through the new buildings and scope how much the area has evolved over the past two years. It looks so completely different and the only thing I recognized was Mi Pueblo a few blocks down.

(Sorry for the lack of photos if you haven't been - I was too busy chatting with my friend and eating lemon cookies from Presti's Bakery to snap any photos as we walked through Uptown and Case's campus too.)

Disclosure: Thank you to Katrina and the Miller Ferry for providing my friends and I free tickets and access to a golf cart for our island time.