Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Cleveland

Over the last few months, I've been really convicted and challenged to be intentional in our time here in Cleveland. Whether it's getting out of the house and exploring the things the greater Cleveland area has to offer or putting myself out there to get to know the ladies at our church better, I'm feeling the need to dig as deep as I can while we are still here. We don't know what the future holds, but it seems that our time here could very well be quite short, so the absence of time is pressing this intentionality more than it would if this was the place we thought we'd be living forever. So I'm praying that I will be more thoughtful with my time. I don't think it's good to be gone every night of the week and to ALWAYS ALWAYS have plans, but I know that I'll regret not getting the most out of friendships here if I just stay in and watch a movie.

Deanna and Lana, friends of mine, are helping me with this by introducing me to places I've wanted to go and haven't. At Community Group one week they noticed that I'd said "Oh, I've never been/eaten there!" one too many times, so Deanna took it upon herself to enforce my getting out there and I'm thankful! We've made trips to a few Cleveland places already and have plans to continue.

Happy Dog
The first weekend, we went to Happy Dog, which is a hot dog place with SO MANY options. I've heard good things but hadn't experienced it and finally did! You get a paper with a bunch of topping options and just check off what you want on your hot dog, paying a flat $5. My hot dog had garlic aioli, bacon, a fried egg, caramelized onions, a pickle and feta cheese - and mine wasn't even unique! Happy Dog had Froot Loops, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti-o's and other crazy options. Carson didn't go, but it was only $5, so I think I'll have to introduce him.

West Side Market
The following week, we went to the West Side Market, which I've heard SO many things about in our time here. It's similar to Pike's Place Market in Seattle, but only open a few days a week. It's huge and there are vendors selling fresh produce, meat, popcorn, cheese, bread and all kinds of other great things. I spent $15 and came home with SO MUCH STUFF. It was fun to look around and be surrounded by crowds of people. We will be back!

Playhouse Square
AND did you know that Cleveland has the second largest theatre district in the world (second to New York)? I certainly didn't, but since we learned that, we've been wanting to go to plays here. Friends in our community group work for the Cleveland Playhouse so they offered free tickets to the group. Lana and I decided to go down there on a Wednesday night to see Yentl, a play about a Jewish girl who wants to study Jewish law but can't because she's a girl, so she pretends she's a boy and goes anyway. It was really interesting!

(I took this before the show - before they said not to take pictures)

It was a beautiful building and I wish I'd brought my good camera.

So pretty at night!

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