It’s December and I’m fully embracing the holiday season. We’ve been lucky enough to have had seasonably warm weather (for the most part), no snow, and I’ve been loving every minute of it. This past weekend we were able to get out and enjoy some holiday-ish things around town, and it made me so giddy for this time of year.
lights in my neighborhood
Here’s what a holiday-ish weekend in CLE looks like:
Running a few miles outside. Yes, it’s cold (36 degrees), but there’s still no snow so it was GREAT!
Baking a bunch of holiday cookies with some wonderful ladies.
Comfort food out to eat. Superior Pho deliciousness. Plus a stop at the Asian market for some ginger candy.
A 5 miler with B in 40 degree temps on Sunday. The hat was a little overkill – didn’t need it! It was beautiful out and I’m so grateful it’s not icy or snowy yet and we’re still able to enjoy the outdoors and trail and road runs.
That afternoon, we met up with Dave and Anson to check out Circlefest and the great holiday events going on in University Circle. We got free admission to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and got to check out their decorated trees and gingerbread houses.
a MUPPET show decorated gingerbread house!
Along with ice sculptures outside – in 50 degree weather they were starting to melt!
For me, the holidays also includes a great Italian meal at Trattoria in Little Italy. Followed by their amazing tiramisu dessert. Their tiramisu is one of the few I like – not too coffee-ish, lots of cream and looks like ice cream 🙂
AND Sunday night Cleveland Orchestra holiday concert. A PERFECT ending to a holiday weekend – my favorite concert all year!
I’m so in the mood for the holidays. How about you? Some questions:
What’s one thing you do this time of year that signifies the holiday season?
What’s your favorite dish at an Italian restaurant?
Spoiler alert: This post contains 1 dose of bird poop and 6 Christmas movies. In one weekend. You’ve been warned.
I don’t know what’s up with me this year, but I just can’t get enough of the holidays. Christmas may be more than 2 weeks away, but I’ve been feeling SO in the holiday spirit. Really – I’m like the anti-Grinch. From watching waaay too many holiday movies, to decorating my apartment, to seeing the Cleveland Orchestra holiday performance to attending not one, but two, holiday festivals – I had quite the holiday-themed weekend. And it was amazing. Here’s a little peek at some of the fun:
Friday night B and I made plans – to stay in and do our annual decorating/Love Actually night. It was awesome. This year, we added red wine and sushi to the mix – a combo that was pretty amazing.
another dinner thanks to Sushi 86
Best holiday movie.
Saturday we slept in for the first Saturday in a while – which was definitely needed. I deemed it was too cold and slippery for an outdoor run, so we headed to our apartment gym and I was able to get in 5 miles on the treadmill plus a kettlebell workout. Yes, my muscles are still sore.
After our workout, B and I decided it wasn’t too cold for a walk to Ohio City. Grocery bag in hand, and super bundled up, we walked over the bridge to get in some shopping at West Side Market, as well as check out the Ohio City Holiday Festival. There, we were introduced to mulled Christmas Ale, which made standing outside and drinking a little less cold and miserable. Oh, and I also got pooped on by a bird. Which I hear is good luck, right? I’m not making it up – MSN says, “if a bird lets loose on you, then good things are coming your way. One idea is that it’s a sign of major wealth coming from heaven, based on the belief that when you suffer an inconvenience (albeit a pretty gross one), you’ll have good fortune in return.” Can’t wait to see what luck I have in store!
bundled up along the walk to Ohio City
watching them make the mulled Christmas Ale
After hanging out at Great Lakes for a little while, we walked back downtown and decided to hit Gallucci’s and pick up supplies to make pepperoni bread for dinner. When we got home, something amazing and hard-to-believe happened – B gave me the remote control and I promptly turned on the Nightmare Before Christmas and then a holiday movie I hadn’t yet seen – 12 Dates of Christmas, starring Mark Paul Gosselaar. It’s a pretty cute holiday movie, if you ask me (don’t ask B what he thought), and with that as the backdrop to our cooking pepperoni bread, I was pretty content.
B headed out to watch the OSU game, but I was pretty stuffed from our pepperoni bread and previous beers, so I decided to take on the daunting task of seeing how many other cheesy holiday movies I could get in before the game was over. How many holiday movies can I watch during an OSU game? The answer is nearly 2 whole movies: I’ll Be Home for Christmas (starring JTT and Jessica Biel) and Holiday Engagement (originally a Hallmark channel movie). So yes, that brings the total to 5 Christmas movies.
Sunday B and I had big plans – we were going to go to the east side for their holiday festival, Circlefest, before catching the Cleveland Orchestra’s holiday performance. I of course had to fit in another holiday movie – so I set my alarm so I could get up early, run on the treadmill, and watch my next made-for-tv holiday movie, Holiday in Handcuffs (starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez) at the same time. Don’t worry, I didn’t finish the movie so I never made it to 6 full movies.
Anyway, after my workout, we headed out east. We started out at the Cleveland Museum of Art for a holiday lunch with a few other members of the Cleveland Phi Beta Kappa board that I’m on. The food in the cafe is pretty good – I had a great beet and butternut squash salad with some pork and barley soup and we enjoyed the view (and some live music) in the Atrium.
After lunch, we walked around the holiday Circlefest and checked out the food trucks, live music, ice skaters and ice sculptures. Most of the institutions were letting people in for free, so we got to ride around Lolly the Trolley and check out the Botanical Gardens (and the Gingerbread House contest entries) AND MOCA!
old stone church gingerbread house at botanical gardens
outside MOCA – it’s all reflective!
After Circlefest, it was time for the Orchestra. Each year, B’s family gets together and gets dinner in Little Italy before seeing the Cleveland Orchestra perform their holiday repertoire in a private concert for St. Ignatius students, alumni and their families. I loved it! They even played a few songs from Home Alone – don’t worry I am not counting those songs in my tally of Christmas movies, but it was a fun and festive show!
It was a great weekend – filled with tons of holiday fun. And I can’t wait to continue the holiday fun this week – I’m traveling to DC for work (I’m getting a major award!!), celebrating the holidays in our building holiday party AND seeing A Christmas Carol this week!
Some questions for you:
Do you like running outside in the winter or do you prefer the treadmill? I always prefer outside. Even though I had a cheesy holiday movie to keep me entertained on Sunday, I was still wishing the roads were cleared and I was outside.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Have you seen any of the holiday movies I mentioned above?
Any fun travel plans this week? DC on Tuesday – and then that’s the last travel until I go home for Christmas!