Happy 100th Birthday Metroparks!

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Hey Cleveland! It’s a hot one out there…soooo humid. We have been trying to stay cool with multiple trips for ice cream, some serious pool time and lots of time inside in the AC. From what I can tell we are going to get some rain to cool everyone off in the next day or so which is awesome…as long as it is over by Saturday!

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This Saturday, join most of Cleveland for the biggest and best, beachfront birthday party celebrating the Cleveland Metroparks 100th year Anniversary. As a constant cheerleader for our city, I couldn’t be more proud of this organization for everything they do for our community. From the incredible walking, running and biking paths to this summer’s newest new construction beaches, they truly as an integral part of our city.

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Have you been down to Edgewater for a visit to the new beach house? It is incredible both in form and function. The space is open, clean, modern, not-fussy but also feels special and incredibly well thought out. There is a snack bar and extensive dressing rooms on the first floor and the second floor has space for lounging with your friends and sipping a cocktail from their bar. (Note* the bar is only open Thursday through Sunday; check their FB page for specific hours)

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To officially celebrate, the team at the Metroparks have put together an all day celebration with food, music and tons of fun! Take a look at the schedule below for entertainment times.

Where: Edgewater Park
When: Saturday, July 22
Music & entertainment:
2:30 p.m., Forecast
4 p.m., Trios
5:30 p.m., Old Boy
7 p.m., Billy Morris and the Sunset Strip
9 p.m., Michael Stanley & Friends
9:40 p.m., Fireworks! (Custom choreographed fireworks display with music courtesy of WHLK FM/106.5 “The Lake.”)

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They are recommending you try and Uber, walk or ride your bike for the afternoon celebration. When the parking lots are full they won’t be letting people drive through the park from the shoreway.

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The celebration will wrap up with a large fireworks display that will be released from a barge out in the water in front of the beach. It seriously is one not-to-be-missed. We are so excited and are hoping our little guy will take a great nap that day and be able to hang a bit later to watch the sunset!

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To top off the weekend birthdays celebrations, the team at the Metroparks are encouraging Northeast Ohio to get out into the actual parks on Sunday. Go support your neighborhood parks; take a walk, pack a picnic even plan to head into the water. Happy Birthday Metroparks! As a big fan I feel so honored to be able to celebrate you and the next 100 years together. Cheers and make sure you blow out all the candles! For more information on the party and all of the fun activities visit their site here!

  An afternoon at Cedar Point Shores!

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Hey friends, happy gorgeous Sunday evening! How has your weekend been? So much summer excitement over here, from pool parties and barbecues to graduation celebrations and the Cleveland Flea…and our adventures at the new Cedar Point Shores Waterpark it has been fun filled, for sure.

IMG_3177 from Charity Crawford on Vimeo.

On Friday I took a half day and filled the car up with our little guy and a few friends and headed for the newly designed Cedar Point Shores Waterpark. From Lakewood it only took us about :50 minutes or so to get there. They were calling for thunderstorms on and off all afternoon but we actually had great weather and even some large stretches of sunshine to warm our afternoon visit. We pulled up (special Shores parking lot in back of the park) and were changed into our suits and poolside within a handful of minutes from arriving. The park was busy but not packed so I would suggest a Friday afternoon if you have little ones who want to play.

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IMG_3113We parked our stroller and set up camp in Lemmy’s Lagoons which was the best spot for families with little ones to play. It has a variety of water-sprinkling creatures, a handful of mini slides and of course the incredible green dragon; Lemmy himself. The water was warm and the mix of sprinklers and fountains kept me pleasantly happy and cool.

IMG_3162 from Charity Crawford on Vimeo.

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We also took a ride down their lazy river…Runaway Rapids. It was a great ride for parents and kids as it had a good mix of cruising, waves, waterfalls, twists and turns. Our little one was a bit apprehensive at first but then wanted to go “again and again!”

The two older kids in our group went off to explore the parks new waterslides like the Lake Erie Nor’easter and the Riptide Raceway. They tried to ride the futuristic slide ride; Point Plummet but their nerves got the best of them so they turned around and met us back in the kids area.

IMG_3107 from Charity Crawford on Vimeo.

The new waterpark also has a handful of outdoor café’s and bars…we saw a few live bands playing outside one of these watering holes…there was seriously something for everyone.

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I honestly had a great afternoon at Shores! I was kinda dragging my feet at first about going because the idea of running after a toddler in my wet bathing suit in front of a bunch of strangers sounded kinda overwhelming at first. I promise you, once you get there you forget about all the not-so-fun stuff. The staff at the waterpark were so friendly, welcoming and you could tell they were keeping everyone in check, making safety an important part of your park experience.

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It was a magical afternoon and we will for sure go back soon…hopefully the sun is out longer next time, but if it’s not…no big deal. Who needs the sun when you have a bright green servant to spit water on you and let you slide down their tongue! Thank you Cedar Point for inviting us to check out your new waterpark, it is really incredible; great job!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Cedar Point who invited me to share about the new Shores waterpark as part of their social outreach. I received  tickets in exchange for my review of their new waterpark offerings. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  Ohio Wines, perfect for summer fun!

IMG_2754The other night my family and I went to one of Cleveland’s coolest summer happenings, WOW…Wade Oval Wednesday. It was SO packed with people because Carlos Jones was playing and there were also FIREWORKS! All in all, super fun though.

It was the perfect evening to pack a picnic, a few fun lawn toys for the little guy and a bottle of crisp, cold Chardonnay…Ohio Made! Did you know that there are nearly 200 wineries in our great State of Ohio? So many more than I imagined.

So anyhow, in order to celebrate Ohio Wineries and all the yummy wine we produce I thought I would pick up a few bottles and take them with us on our picnic night at Wade Oval for a tasting with good music and GREAT friends.

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We really enjoyed a bottle of Pinot Grigio bottle from Laurello Vineyards grown close to Geneva, OH. It was crisp and perfect for an evening picnic complete with cheese, crackers and Ohio-grown blueberries. So the moral of this post is, don’t disregard our Ohio Wines when shopping for summer picnics, parties and dinner soirée’s, they are just as crisp and bold, dry and buttery as many of the California and French wines we are familiar with. Trust me…I don’t joke about wine! HA!

IMG_2747Happy long weekend everyone. Next time you are out shopping or grabbing a bottle of vino to take to a summer picnic, don’t disregard all of the great choices we have from Ohio! #30CheersOH #OhioWine

  Put in Bay overnight with Jet Express

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Hello friends. How’s your week going? I am so excited that we are headed to a long, holiday weekend ahead. We have our little guys 3rd birthday and are having some family in town so it should be a fun few days. Now, fingers crossed for sunshine and no rain!

Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit Put-In-Bay thanks to our friends at Jet Express. We managed to leave work on time and arrived in Port Clinton just in time to catch the 7pm boat and were welcomed with open arms by their friendly staff! The boat captain tracked down our little guy to make him official co-captain of the ship by “pinning” him with wings… to say he was excited would be an understatement.

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It was a great ride, nice and flat…smooth sailing as we arrived in the Bay. We got off the boat and enjoyed the walk through the town park. Of course we couldn’t resist a stop at the seal statues and the multiple playgrounds. The mayflies were out in full effect but that didn’t bother our guy as he crawled right over them up the slide and down the climbing wall, he loved being free to run and play in the park.

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We finally pried him away from the monkey bars and made our way through town to our home away from home for the night: The Put-In-Bay Resort & Conference Center. The staff was so welcoming and put us up in one their recently remodeled rooms; they were really so nice. Our room had a glass walled shower with a stone floor (felt so nice on my feet!), new beds, stylish artwork and a view of the resorts palm tree water fountains. It was located very central in town, just behind the main drag but also close to the grocery store.

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Once we got settled in we hit up the PIB Candy Store for island sugar rations. I’m not sure who liked this place better, Mr. C or the toddler, HA! This store is great, it’s filled with so many nostalgic sweets from homemade fudge, a collection of Pez and candy necklaces to more modern candy technology including mini m&m’s and nerd ropes! I got a small roll of hard butterscotch candies which I am still enjoying, they remind me of being a kid.

After a few more laps around town it was time to take our toddler to bed. We tried our best to stay up late, watch an in-room movie and have a drink but to be completely honest all three of us crashed by 9pm we were beat.

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The next morning we awoke to the sounds of rain. It was literally POURING cats and dogs outside…we were kinda at a loss as to what we were going to do with our time on the island in a downpour. We had a lazy morning in the hotel room and then the sky opened up just enough for us to go grab a golf cart with a rain cover, so that was awesome. We had a nice breakfast and then swung by the grocery store for matching family ponchos to keep us dry. We drove the golf cart all around the island, exploring the homes and monuments, shops and beaches in the rain. We didn’t let the weather get the best of us and really were having a great morning…dancing and singing in the rain. Too silly for sure.

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We were psyched when we made it over to Perry’s Cave to explore the infamous cave under the island. Perry’s Cave is a natural limestone cave that is full of Put-In-Bay history and folklore. The guys really thought the tour was cool but honestly I felt a little claustrophobic down there. It was also pretty chilly down there which makes it a great place to escape the summer heat and cool off.

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After the cave we visited the Butterfly House. Built in 2004 this greenhouse is home to over 50 types of exotic butterflies. There were seriously SO MANY gorgeous species, and they seemed so happy to be living it their own little Put-In-Bay paradise. We loved this place as it was warm and smelled so fragrant from all the gorgeous flowering plants. Our little guy ran circles around the pretty butterflies while we enjoyed a few minutes of rest on the inside gazebo. It was a great spot to explore with a little one.

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Once he had finished running around it was my turn to pick what was next so we went across the street to one of the islands two wineries, Heineman’s Winery for a wine sample and a cheese break. The wine was very good, not sweet /dry, just how we like it. The cheese plate was a great sharing option for the whole gang. They even had straight up grape juice for the kids to try. It was super family friendly and welcomed everyone from in out of the rain. Check out how pretty their geranium window boxes are…at least something was benefitting from all of the rain. :)

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From there we decided we were actually really hungry for lunch and so we took our golf cart back downtown to the Boardwalk Restaurant for lobster rolls, fries and a cold beer to cap off the adventure. I wish I had a picture of this to share…but I was so excited when we got them that I ate them before I could snap a pic. But even without a picture to share I can tell you they were DEELISH!!! I highly recommend them.

So after all the morning fun we decide to escape the rain and hop on board the next Jet Express out of town and head back to land. We sat down below to stay dry and enjoyed the roll of the waves below. It was a great overnight and the perfect amount of time to have your toddler with you on the Island. before we left he kept asking if we were going to ”Adventure Island” and boy OH BOY was it an adventure..but so fun! We will for sure bring him back some other time…but maybe next time we go, it will be just me, Mr. C and Mojito Bay!! HA HA! Happy Summer trip to the Islands everyone. I hope my experience excites you to go explore!

SPONSORED :: Thank you to Jet Express who invited me to share and overnight at Put In Bay with my family as part of their social outreach. I received Jet Express tickets, an overnight at The Put In Bay Resort & Conference Center, entry into the cave, butterfly house, wine samples, our golf cart and a few other fun things in exchange for my review of the island happenings. Thanks for supporting this business, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!

  (sponsored) It’s SOLSTICE week!!!

Summer_SolsticeHey CLE friends. Hope you all had a great Father’s Day weekend with all your fun, adventurous and loving Dad’s out there. We enjoyed some welcome down time at home (long walk to the bakery, big homemade breakfast, lots of play and best part, no house chores!) and then visited family later in the day, all in all a good day. How about you? Did you do anything extra special for your Dad’s?

Not to change the subject at hand but can we even talk about how excited I am for this week knowing it is solstice week? Seriously my favorite time of the year when summer is officially here, days are long, the lighting bugs are roaming the backyard and staying up late seems totally necessary. PLUS it’s the biggest party of the year at the Cleveland Museum or Art, seriously not to be missed. Sunset on the 21st won’t come until 8:25 in the evening, meaning we will have a long 16 hours and 38 minutes of sunlight! It’s SUMMER… let the fun begin.

A couple of fun things we have added to our house in preparation for summer entertaining and having friends over for the next few months and those long summer days from our friends at Wayfair

Summer rugs : I love switching out our warm winter rugs with a few brighter and lighter ones for summer. It’s kinda like bringing the beach indoors. This one is from the Novogratz Collection and would look great in any room.

Outdoor Drink Dispenser : This chic pink and gold dispenser looks stylish both inside and out. It keeps summer fruit-infused waters as well as the perfect summer cocktails chilled and ready to grab and go. Plus this one is just so pretty I would leave it on my countertop all summer long.

Toddler-friendly pool floats : I am very drawn to these new versions of “noodles” and they are fun for both toddlers and adults. I have to admit I sorta LOVE the big jellyfish one, it’s so sweet it “stings!”

Pouffs : Summer is a time for lounging and entertaining at home. The more pouff’s in your place the better for kicking back and relaxing summer style. Currently I have a bunch of “global and bohemian” pillows around so this pouff will fit in nicely without being too matchy matchy!

Have a great Solstice everyone! I hope you are able to spend some quality time at home this summer with your loved ones. Also, I hope to maybe run into you this Saturday night at the party…I can barely wait!

SPONSORED POST : Thank you to Wayfair who invited me to share my solstice home picks as part of their social outreach. I received a gift certificate to their store in exchange for my review of their products. Thanks for supporting this businesses, while allowing me to create special content like this for iheartcleveland!