Even the cold, rainy weather couldn’t keep me from having a busy CLE weekend! On Friday night, CLEguy and I attended Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland’s Rolling on the River fundraiser. Held at Windows on the River, this event helps raise money for Hunger Network’s 100 food pantries, serving 60,000 people per month.
Rolling on the River featured live music, casino games, food and drink, and a silent auction. The silent auction items were awesome – everything from wine baskets to Lake Erie Monsters tickets to a very nice “executive” chair that I wish I had in my office.
The food and drink were fantastic too. Delicious appetizers, including bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, brie in puff pastry, and chicken pineapple skewers, a huge cheese and fruit table, mini carved beef sandwiches, a pasta bar, and cake!
Probably the most fun, though, were the casino games. There were craps, poker, and blackjack tables that were packed the entire evening. Included with your ticket was $2000 in fake bills to change for chips. CLEguy and I played blackjack until, inevitably, we lost everything.
We also ran into Erica, a college friend working at Metromix Cleveland, and Charlene (@cacoughlin). Unfortunately, we missed meeting up with Why CLE giveaway winner Sarah, but I heard she had a fantastic time! All in all, a great night for a great cause. Rolling on the River is definitely going on our calendar for next year!
Saturday, I kept the theme of the weekend going by having a “roll with it” kind of day. We found out late Friday night that CLEgrandpa had been admitted to the hospital. Nothing too serious, thank goodness, although he’s still there for tests and physical therapy. While I had every intention of checking out John Carroll University homecoming, a hospital visit was necessary instead. I will say that when I put “spend more time with CLEgrandpa” on my 30 for 30 List, I didn’t mean with him in the hospital. But he’s in good spirits and hopefully will be released soon!
After the CLEgrandpa visit, CLEguy and I headed on to Amanda and Scott’s clambake. I had baked a pumpkin spice bundt cake for the clambake. Well, I realized after baking it that I forgot to put in any pumpkin. See, rolling with it… Anyway, the cake ended up being tasty as a spice cake, which makes me think it will be even better when I actually remember the main ingredient.
There were a bunch of bloggers at the clambake, including Clue Into Cleveland (our hostess), Mildly Relevant Thoughts, Namaste or Should I Go, Finishing Firsts, and I Need a Playdate. We apparently tend to flock together!
This was Amanda and Scott’s first time making a clambake and it was delish! The food was so tasty and flavorful and just made me fall happy! Also, the wide array of Great Lakes and pumpkin beers added to the fall fun. One tip though: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat is kind of like my pumpkin spice cake. It says it has pumpkin in it, but it really doesn’t taste like it.
Much thanks to Amanda and Scott for hosting such a fun and tasty evening! We had a blast!
Sunday, after another CLEgrandpa visit, CLEguy, his dad, and I bundled up and headed to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
I hadn’t been to the zoo in ages and was excited to check out the new African Elephant Crossing. Despite the chilly weather, the elephants were out and about!
The African Elephant Crossing is a great exhibit, featuring not only elephants, but meerkats, mole rats, and a python. The exhibit is large enough to accommodate a breeding program and the zoo hopes to have a baby elephant to show off eventually.
We also spent quite a bit of time in the Australian Adventure, checking out koalas, wallaby (there’s a species called the Parma Wallaby, but it wasn’t wearing white socks), and various outback animals. Our biggest chuck of time was spent in the primate house, though, as most of the monkeys were out and quite active. We also saw a crazy (and I mean crazy) lemur who seemed quite enthralled by my “Madagascar” re-enactment.
He likes to move it, move it
It was a great day at the zoo, especially since it wasn’t too crowded. I can’t believe it had been so long since I had been to one of CLE’s best attractions!
Since we had worked up an appetite, we decided to head to Happy Dog for dinner. It was the perfect day to sip on Willoughby Brewing’s Peanut Butter Coffee Porter and enjoy a “Suggestive Weiner.”
My “happy dog” came with ballpark mustard, baked beans, steak sauce, carmelized onions, and Fritos. I think it may be my new favorite! CLEguy’s had peanut butter, mole sauce, bacon, and gouda cheese. And CLEguy’s dad went for vodka sauerkraut, beet and horseradish relish, and ”alien” pickle relish. Oh, and if there would be any doubt, getting tater tots with Tillamook cheddar and applewood smoked bacon is so yummy!
Since it was almost CLEguy’s dad’s birthday, we had to get something sweet to end our day! Where else but Sweet Moses?! For a limited time, Sweet Moses has a cinnamon apple sundae that is fall in a dish. Cinnamon ice cream is topped with hot apple topping and crumbled brown sugar oats. Divine!
It was a busy, chilly, not-exactly-as-planned weekend in CLE. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! What new answers to Why CLE? did you discover this weekend?
***Disclosure: I was given 2 complimentary tickets to Rolling on the River for myself and 2 to give away in exchange for blogging about the event, both before and after. As always, all opinions in this post are 100% my own.***