Weekend Recap – Parents, Art, Sports and A Marathon

This past weekend was the Cleveland marathon. As you may know, I was supposed to run it and my parents had planned to come in town to watch – but on Friday I learned that I would not be running. My parents still came into town and B and I showed them a great weekend and beautiful weather (for visiting not running) and more of what Cleveland has to offer.

Friday, I hobbled back into work after hearing the diagnosis from my new doctor. I was in a bad mood, as my coworkers probably could pick up on, and so I was grateful when two of them asked if I wanted to grab margaritas after work. Now if it had been two days before my race – I wouldn’t have been drinking. But two days before a race I couldn’t run? Margaritas sounded great!

margaritas from zocalo

Friday night,  my parents arrived and B and I introduced my parents to Greenhouse Tavern. Their first experience was not disappointing – they both loved their Ohio beef burgers, I enjoyed the seafood special (with local Lake Erie Walleye) and B enjoyed the lamb burger – which of course I snuck a taste of, yum! After dinner, we walked around and I showed off some of the new sights, including the new Casino. We didn’t go in, but the street was bumping!

Saturday morning we met my parents and headed over to the east side to experience the Rembrandt Exhibit. The last time I’d been in the Cleveland Art Museum was actually with my parents (last year), so I hadn’t seen this exhibit yet. It was really cool – not only was it a traditional art exhibit that showcased the artist’s work, but it also showed some works that were originally thought to be Rembrandt, but were later discovered to be either works by his fans or members of his studio. The exhibition showed how you could tell what was a real Rembrandt or not, and even showcased some work where it was yet to be determined if the works were his or not. The exhibition was also interactive- we tried out the audio tour and heard a few experts’ opinions on key pieces and played with the computer that let you digitally uncover a Rembrandt work (and see what had been done to touch up the painting through the years, so experts aren’t even sure it’s his). If I had better reception I would have been able to scan the QR codes to learn more about select paintings. If you haven’t gone yet, I definitely recommend checking it out – it’s here until May 28!

my family near the cleveland art museum rembrandt exhibit

Hanging out near the art museum

 After the art museum, we walked (I hobbled) around Wade Oval and then enjoyed lunch at Trattoria in Little Italy. I’m still eating leftovers of the spaghetti and clam sauce!

After our lunch, we headed to Progressive Field to watch an Indians game. Despite having to miss the first inning (for some reason, Will Call couldn’t find our tickets … and then they did but only found 3 of the 4 tickets … and then they still couldn’t find the 4th ticket and so on), we had purchased better-than-usual seats through the Cleveland marathon discount code and got to enjoy a fabulous game, up close. Both my parents were impressed with our affordable but still great seats (as you can imagine, being from NY, my parents are accustomed to pricier Yankees tickets) – and a great ending to the game (we won and Perez struck out three batters in a row in the last inning). Oh, and we also got up on the Jumbotron – the third time this season for B and me!

B and I at the Indians Game

After the game, B went home to relax before the race and my parents and I checked out Colossal Cupcake for dessert. We split two cupcakes – the chocolate peanut butter cup and the almond – which were delicious but slightly more expensive than I expected. Still, it’s nice to have a dessert shop open late downtown! (Dear awesome ice cream shop, like Yogurt Vi or East Coast Custard Truck– please come downtown soon! Thanks, signed Melissa).

Saturday night, in true pre-marathon fashion, B and I watched Saint Ralph. If you haven’t seen it and appreciate a Canadian feel-good (well, sorta) sports movie, I definitely recommend it. We watched it before we ran the Columbus half marathon and B watched it before he did the Tough Guy in England, so it was fitting that he watch it before his first marathon.

Sunday, B woke up early to head to the starting line at 6:15 a.m. I couldn’t sleep, and made it to my parents’ hotel by 7:45 to join them for breakfast and stake out our first marathon watch point-  just about the halfway point. B came by, feeling dehydrated, and at the last minute, his sister Katie (who wasn’t supposed to be running), jumped in and decided to run/walk the rest with him. A few hours later (and some sunburn later), my parents and I cheered on hundreds of other runners and saw B finish strong. I’m so proud of him for finishing the race – especially in the heat – but still disappointed that it’s not something I can cross off my bucket list. I’m so glad my parents were around – it was so great watching all the runners finish, but still was a constant reminder of the fact that I wasn’t able to compete with them all, and my parents helped to cheer me up. Anyone want to train with me for another marathon as soon as my aircast is off?

Me, B (with his Steve Prefontaine mustache) and Mary after their marathon

Hope you all had a great weekend in sunny Cleveland! Did you try something new this weekend?

Weekend Recap: PETEFEST 2012

Friday at 3 p.m., I shut down my laptop and put my phone on the Out of Office Mode. I had changed my Out of Office email to read, “I’m in Atlantic City for Petefest 2012 (don’t ask). I’ll be back, and checking email, on Monday, March 12” and my weekend was ready to begin!

This weekend, B and I traveled to Atlantic City in honor of Petefest 2012, the celebration of B’s cousin’s 21st birthday. Though I’d been to Jersey many times before (being from NY and Staten Island, I obviously have family that lives there), including the Jersey Shore (Seaside Heights, what what!), the only impression I had of AC was from Sex and the City. Who doesn’t remember that episode where it’s Charlotte’s birthday and they go to Atlantic with Richard right after Miranda has had a baby? I digress.

We hit the road around 4 p.m., picked up B’s sister, and headed on the 9 hour drive to New Jersey. We pulled into Atlantic City right around midnight, passing by the skyline – larger than I had expected. We arrived at the beach house about 10 min away from AC that B’s Aunt Marie had rented, and caught up with half the group (the other group was out gambling), including the birthday boy, who had returned from a day of celebration.  We stayed up to celebrate a little, but then decided against hitting the casino and instead headed to bed, as we had a 13.1 training mi scheduled for the next morning.

The next day we woke up early, ran our half marathon training run (more on that here), and then joined the rest of the group for a day of celebration.

half marathons make me sleepy!

After a quick nap (13 miles tires me out!) I put on my Petefest Shirt and joined the others in some games, including the longest game of Kings EVER and a heated game of Bunco (not to brag but my team may have won).

Aunt Marie prepared a pretty awesome meal of cavatelli and meatballs, and then we all got ready to head out for the night. Aunt Marie’s friend Bev did my hair – Jersey style of course!

We headed to the Legends Concert – the birthday boy’s request – and saw a rocking show of Tina Turner, Elvis, Ray Charles, the Blues Brothers and Liza Minelli. We then headed to the casinos to gamble and party some more.

The group with the Blues Brothers

What a fun night! When the birthday boy got tired, B and I headed back with him, knowing we’d be getting up at 7 (really 6 a.m. with the time change) to drive 9 hours back to Cleveland for B’s mom’s birthday dinner. But not without a stop in Philly to meet some college friends for brunch! Mitch (who had visited us a few weeks ago) had suggested the famous Philly brunch spot Sabrina’s, but after finding out there was a 1.5 hr wait (which would make us late for dinner), we headed to Hawthorne’s and enjoyed a delicious brunch! My eggs benedict with smoked salmon were AWESOME. We chatted it up with our friends, then headed back to Cleveland, and made it to dinner at 6! We were home by 10 p.m. and crashed from great weekend of 18+ hours in the car, 13.1 miles of running, fun, family and big hair.