148: Lake Erie thaw

(A view of Cleveland and Lake Erie from Lakewood Park.  Lakewood, Ohio.)

We went north yesterday.  An hour north, to be almost exact.  For the past few years friends have been inviting us to attend the Ogrefest at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio.  We usually decline because of the hour-long drive.  The Ogrefest is, after all, a chance to sample a variety of good beers and who wants to drive all that way to get home after a few hours of sampling beers?  Bad idea.  Really bad idea.

For those that don’t know, I used to brew beer (at home).  M does it now, when he feels like it (which hasn’t been too often lately but we’ve both been vacationing from beer).  We enjoy sampling beers at places that brew their own, especially hoppy beers such as IPA’s.  So that was one reason to go.  Getting together with friends was another reason to go.  And…  I have a pair of Shrek ears.  Where else could one wear a pair of Shrek ears that would be more appropriate than an Ogrefest??

(Accurate depiction of what your eyes look like the morning after.  Shrek ear in the background.)

So we did a little planning this year and decided to go.  We had enough points at a certain hotel franchise for a free night and there happened to be one of those hotels close to the Brew Kettle.  We parked the car, checked in at our hotel, and took a cab to the Brew Kettle where we had a great time with our friends.  Thank you, friends!

As a result of the Shrek ears, I met a guy who said he couldn’t resist coming over to talk to me.  If I’m ever single again (hope not!), I now know how to pick up men. Wear Shrek ears.  One of the Brew Kettle folks said he should give me a vest to wear and call me Ms. Ogrefest.  I thought that was hilarious.  I’ve never been a Ms. (or Miss or Mrs.) anything other than as the wife of M.

(The Beer Engine in Lakewood.)

We’re out of practice when it comes to that sort of evening out.  I was feeling a little rough around the edges this morning.  The plan was to go further north to Cleveland to do a little shopping at the West Side Market and then make our way south and do some more shopping along the way at places we usually visit about twice a year (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods being two of those places).  Because we were fairly close to Lakewood, I also wanted to stop by a store there to look at Vibram FiveFingers.  I like the pair I bought last summer and want another pair that I can wear on the treadmill and to just walk around in when I go out and don’t care that I’m wearing shoes that look like Shrek feet.

We decided to skip the West Side Market but we did go to Lakewood.  I bought a new pair of Vibram FiveFingers (the women’s Sprint, if you want to know).  While we were in Lakewood we decided to check out the Buckeye Beer Engine.  Not necessarily for the beer (although a little hair of the dog didn’t hurt).  Some of our friends keep recommending the place, and their menu looks good.   The food was excellent.  I especially like their blue cheese slaw.  I may try to duplicate that at home.  It was one of the best versions of coleslaw I’ve ever tasted.

(Lakewood Park, Lake Erie in the distance.)

The city of Lakewood, Ohio is located along the shore of Lake Erie.  It was such a beautiful day and we were so close to the lake that we had to go have a look.  It’s amazing what a difference a few weeks and some warmer temperatures can make!

(Walking towards the lake.)

I don’t know how far out the thaw goes, but it looks like it’s pretty far out there.  There is still a lot of ice near the shore, the opposite of what we’re seeing here with our pond (the edges are thawing first).

(Lake Erie.)

There were a lot of people out and about.  Lots of parents with their children playing in the playground.  We even saw a cameraman filming for one of the local news channels.  Probably getting footage of people out and about on this beautiful day in February.  It was nearly 60 degrees (F).

(Ice near the shore.)

We walked around out there for about a half hour.  It was quite windy but even so, much warmer than we expect it to be this time of year.

(Cleveland skyline in the distance.)

There is an excellent view of the Cleveland skyline from Lakewood Park.  Lakewood is about 10 miles from downtown Cleveland, and appears to be a nice community with plenty of shops and restaurants.  I could see myself living there.  But I bet it gets pretty brutal there when it’s cold and the wind is whipping off the lake.

(Cleveland skyline.)

It was a fun little excursion.  And now that I’ve had my vacation from my vacation from alcohol, it’s time to go back on my vacation from alcohol.  (Confused yet?)

At home

Things changed a bit at home overnight.

(Yesterday’s view of the pond.)

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I skipped the early rising and yoga practice this morning.  I just couldn’t do it.  There are some people who sleep better after imbibing.  I am not one of them.  It tends to keep me up most of the night, almost as if I had a big shot of caffeine to go with it (which I did not).

As Scarlett O’Hara was fond of saying, tomorrow is another day…

24 Comments on “148: Lake Erie thaw”

  1. Christina says:

    It looks like someone took all the snow from AROUND the pond and threw it ON the pond overnight!

  2. Sounds like a fun trip and wonderful evening with friends! Say hello to Lake Erie for me!

    Hugs from Haiti,

  3. The sky is SO pretty in this group of photos! I love that shade of blue, so inviting to be outside when it looks like that. The chunks of ice are a harsh reminder that winter is nowhere near being over! I’m with you – I don’t drink much at ALL… I think I had one drink in the past several years (on the cruise). Just not that into it! Glad you had fun – LOVE the Shrek ears! I saw one of my son’s classmates with them on last week, and I thought they were so cute! What do you think of the FiveFingers shoes? I’ve seen them before, but never known anyone with them.

    • Robin says:

      I love the FiveFingers shoes, Holly. I was having some trouble with my knee when I tried running and the “barefoot” running seems to have helped with that. However, you have to take time to adjust to them. Early on, even though I’d been advised to wear them for short walks and work my way up, I went out for a walk/run and what was supposed to be one mile turned into three because it felt so good. Well, the next few days were NOT so good. lol! I was SO sore. You use different muscles in your legs with the Vibrams, and the soreness went from my ankles to clear up in my hips. I learned my lesson. Now I can hike for a long time in them, but I worked up to it.

  4. It’s so nice to see color and life from under the snow. Nice photos, the ice along the shore is interesting! I like the city views too!

  5. patbean says:

    Beautiful photos. I especially loved the Cleveland skyline in the distance, but most of all I enjoyed your pond back at home. As a fellow traval blogger, it’s nice to once in awhile enjoy the scenery as an armchair traveler. Ohio is one of the four states I’ve not yet visited. I have traveled along Lake Erie on the Canada side, however. Thanks for sharing
    Pat Bean

    • Robin says:

      You should visit Ohio someday, Pat. It’s is a surprisingly pretty state. Southern Ohio is what I think of as Ohio Appalachia, with hills and coal mines. Very similar to West Virginia and Kentucky in that area. The ride along the Ohio River, on the back roads, is especially nice, and there are some lovely areas for hiking (Hocking Hills region is particularly nice with caves and waterfalls). Even up here in northeastern Ohio we have some lovely parks, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park:


      I would like to explore Lake Erie more. My husband and I traveled around Lake Michigan for our vacation one summer many years ago (a camping trip) and I think it would be the same around Lake Erie.

  6. Karma says:

    I want to see a picture of you with the Shrek ears on!
    That’s quite the change at the pond overnight! If not for all the ice, that could be a spring picture. I’m jealous that you can actually see grass.

    • Robin says:

      Hahaha, Karma! I don’t think so. lol! Well, maybe, one day I’ll put on the Shrek ears and take a self-portrait (or have someone else photograph me). Maybe for Halloween. 🙂

  7. I’ve never been to Cleveland. Beautiful pictures, but I’m so tired of cold. Wore sandals for the first time this year yesterday, but today the temperatures have dropped back down.

    • Robin says:

      The cold can wear a person down, Thursday. I really enjoyed our warm-up, knowing that winter would return. We’re back in the 30’s again today.

  8. ladyfi says:

    Beautiful shots – and my, what gorgeous blue skies!

  9. milkayphoto says:

    Ogrefest sounds like fun (if only I liked beer! 😉 ) Shrek ears…that must have been a sight to see! Hmmm, why no shots of that, huh?

    I love the interesting rock line in the view of Cleveland from Lakewood Park!

    I CAN’T believe you have GRASS around your pond! We are months away from that!

    • Robin says:

      I was surprised to see the grass too, Tracy. I almost forgot there *was* grass under all that snow. Maybe that sight of me in Shrek ears will show up some day. Maybe. 😉


  10. penpusherpen says:

    Love the ‘accurate’ picture of the ‘eye’… I remember seeing something that like that on the morning mirror one New Years Day!! Never did drink again after that, almost tea total now.. ”I did say almost!!”
    Beautiful photo’s to feast the eye’s. (not bloodshot) and Tomorrow is most definitely another day…See you then… xPenx

  11. Marianne says:

    Sounds like a very fun trip, Robin.

    Ogrefest sounds like fun too.

    Your post has reminded me that my vacation from alcohol will be thirty years long this year.

  12. How hugely different your pond looked from one day to the next! Looks like spring is in the air!
    Love that first photo, and the one of the ice, very interesting.

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