A few weeks ago we took a quick trip to Ohio that was a long time coming. Last Christmas I gifted Grant tickets for us to see Michael Bublé in what was supposed to be February, but obviously with the state of the world earlier this year, it was postponed not once, but twice. But thankfully, Grant enjoyed his gift and we had a great time!
The concert was originally supposed to be held on a Saturday, which would have been a great weekend getaway! But with the rescheduling it was moved to a Thursday, but we decided to have Grant take Thursday and Friday off of work and plan some other activities. Let me walk you through our mini vacay!
We left Pittsburgh late morning, which landed us in Cleveland around noon. Our first activity was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Neither of us had ever been, despite being in the Cleveland area in the past.
We were pretty excited to go. While there were some cool pieces to see, I am not going to lie, it was somewhat disappointing. Grant and I both agree that we were expecting much more from the experience and it was quite lackluster. While we are glad we went, it isn’t something we would do again anytime soon. You can experience something similar, on a much smaller scale of course, at your local Hard Rock Cafe.
I especially wouldn’t recommend the experience for people with young kids – I’d recommend this for kids 12+ who have a passion for music. Overall, if you’ll be in Cleveland sure, go, but don’t make a special trip! One thing that surprised/disappointed me were the lack of pieces from some staple rock and roll bands/figures, such as Queen, Aerosmith, Kiss, etc. I was just expecting to see more, especially from those groups considering their careers and the fact that they are inductees of the Hall of Fame.
After spending some time there, we finished up and decided to get a late lunch. One of our goals were to go to some local spots, and none of them disappointed. We stopped in for lunch in the city at Collision Bend Brewing Co. I had gotten the recommendation from a great Instagram page, @theclebucketlist, who are obviously local to Cleveland and specialize in Cleveland food and experiences.
I got the hot honey chicken sandwich and Grant got a pepperoni pizza. Both were delicious! I also loved that the restaurant had a great view of the water.
After lunch we headed to our hotel to check in and relax for a bit before we headed to the concert. The concert was at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and started at 8pm. Conveniently (I say that sarcastically), the Cleveland Browns happened to be playing Thursday night football that night at 8:20 only a few blocks away from Rocket Mortgage. Needless to say, driving in was a bit chaotic but thankfully parking wasn’t bad and our concert ended before the game.
The concert was absolutely amazing! We both love Michael Bublé and his jazz style music. But not only is he a great vocalist, he is a great performer! He was so funny, charismatic, and just made it a great experience. Bonuses were our fantastic seats – there were only two people between us and the runway portion of the stage – and his orchestra/background vocalists were incredibly talented. Overall, we had a great evening and I would definitely see him again – I’d love to hear his holiday music live.
On Friday we woke up ready for a fun adventure! We started our day enjoying a donut from Bigmouth Donut located in a suburb called Rocky River, which is just outside of Cleveland and near our hotel. It was such a nice little town and we walked around and did some shopping at some local boutiques. I particularly loved a store called Lovely Paperie & Gifts, which had so many fabulous items and I’ll definitely be shopping them online this holiday season.
After we finished up shopping, we quickly got lunch at First Watch (which isn’t local but Grant hadn’t been before) and headed to our next destination: A Christmas Story House!
I am not going to lie, I have never seen A Christmas Story the whole way through and the parts I have seen I wasn’t really a fan of. However, I have always wanted to go visit the house and it didn’t disappoint! You purchase a ticket to a tour in the gift shop, and the tour takes you through the house, which is completely interactive (you can touch everything, take pictures, etc.). After touring the house, you go into the museum, which is where the original props are under glass (which you’re welcome to take non-flash photographs of).
It was an awesome experience – whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, it was definitely something I would do again! The tour teaches you so much about the film (spoiler: only 15% of the movie was filmed in the house due to the house being too small for the film crew) and our tour guide was a great time as well. You can also rent the house out (as well as The Bumpus House next door) to spend the night! That would be such a fun family or friend activity during the holidays. Also, each year they typically host a 5k/10k run you can participate in.
After our tour, we headed to Vermilion, OH – a small lakefront town in between Cleveland and Sandusky. We checked out some local shops, like Erie and Anchor, then we went to see the lighthouse before heading to our dinner reservation.
We dined at Touché (the casual portion of Chez Francois) after hearing many great things about it. I am glad to report it did not disappoint! We enjoyed poutine, some soup, and cocktails of course. Then I got a delicious pasta with lamb meatballs for my entree and Grant enjoyed the meatloaf. It was overall an amazing meal and I’ll definitely be back!
I hope you all enjoyed this little travel blog post! Stay tuned for travel posts all about our Disney Cruise we recently embarked on. Be sure to sign up for my email list down below to stay up to date!