The internet is a crazy thing and of course we have Al Gore to thank for it…
Within the last couple months a friendship was created between a guy in Ohio who likes to blog and a girl in TX who found his blog through Twitter. Small talk started and things slowly progressed to the point where phone conversations started. Music taste was shared as well as appreciation for literature, art, and history. It was clear that these two people had a lot in common.
Weeks later a plane ticket was purchased and TX invaded OH.
If you have not figured this out yet, I am OH and TX is my pal Jenn who I am more than thrilled to have started a friendship with. Last weekend she visited me and I thought I would re-cap some of the fun we had.
Friday was one of those work days I wanted to hit fast-forward on until the shift was over. It was a long day because in my mind I was trying to figure out all the things I wanted to show Jenn. As soon as 2:30 hit the clock I was out of the building and off to the Akron / Canton airport to pick up Jenn.
After the initial meeting he hopped on Route 8 and searched for something to eat. I immediately thought of an Akron staple and headed to Luigi’s Pizza where we caught up face to face and lunched on some great food. After lunch we headed to Highland Square as I wanted to show her one of my favorite Akron music stores, Square Records. We checked out some other shops in the area and decided to head back to my pad to hang out as Saturday was going to be a busy day.
Saturday was one of those days that I had been planning in advance for weeks upon hearing Jenn confirm she was going to visit OH. We started the day by heading out to Lakewood to eat an early lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland, Melt Bat & Grilled. I called the ever cool Matt from Addicted To Vinyl as he agreed to meet up with us to see if he was awake or passed out in a ditch somewhere. Surprisingly he was not only awake but waiting for us to arrive at Melt. He even put his name in for a table and stated we only had to wait 30 minutes!
I actually had something to take care of upon entering the Melt establishment that i had been meaning to do for quite some time. So the moment I walked in and was greeted I rolled up my sleeves looking for a staff member…and showed them my Melt tattoo.
Yes, a Melt tattoo.
Melt Bar & Grilled started a tattoo promotion recently where if a loyal fan of the establishment gets the Melt logo or a variance of it they will receive 25% off their sandwich, FOR LIFE. As a grilled cheese fanatic I could not pass this up so I had my tattoo artist Ronnie Castro tattoo the permanent coupon on my arm in November.
Now that I was standing there in Melt it was time to get into the gang of loyal grilled cheese lovers. After some appreciated compliments, photos, and the ever important “Tattoo Family Member” card I joined Matt and Jenn at a table for some grilled goodness.
Matt the trendsetter ordered a “Mighty Mac Melt”, the sandwich of the month and as a huge fan of mac & cheese I had to order the same. Jenn had to be a rebel and ordered an Italian grilled cheese. The three of us chatted so much that it seemed like only moments passed until we were served our sandwiches. That meal was a highlight of my year! No joke… My sandwich was a giant friend mac & cheese nugget snug in a grilled cheese. My arteries clogged and I only ate half (don’t worry I saved the rest for dinner, as did Jenn) but it was worth it.
After we stuffed ourselves silly Jenn and I said by to Matt and I decided to take Jenn to the park down the street to see the Cleveland skyline. I do not care how cold it is outside, there is something about the Cleveland skyline I think everyone needs to see from Lakewood Park. She really enjoyed it a lot as did I.
Once our fingers turned blue we decided to pack it up and head downtown. I drove up and down the streets and gave Jenn a mobile tour of one of my favorite cities. We really did not make any stops as I wanted to get to Collinwood before it started to get dark so Jenn could see Waterloo during the daylight.
After a couple of laps through the city we hopped back on the highway and headed out to the artsy district of Cleveland also known as Collinwood.
Stopping at Music Saves and Blue Arrow Records were on my agenda while out there but much to my surprise I was informed while at Music Saves that there was a Rock N Roll flea market going on at the Beachland Ballroom. With plenty of time we headed down there and checked out what was good. I really wanted to buy stuff there but money is tight these days on the BHP ranch so I was a good boy and looked with my eyes and kept the $1.27 I had in my wallet.
I plan on checking that out again one day when I have a couple bucks to spend. There was a guy there who’s name escapes me but he had this box full of CDs from local Cleveland bands of the 90’s. There were a few bands in there I remembered hearing about or even seeing live as a young music lover. If I had it my way I would have grabbed a bunch just for the memory. The guy said he had vinyl too but left it at home so I am hoping next time he is there. We shall see.
Merchants were starting to pack up so I headed down to see Pete at Blue Arrow Records to see what was good. I love that store and I had to show it off to Jenn. While there I flipped through endless vinyl and found a Pacific Gas & Electric LP I had been looking for so you could say I was excited.
As we headed back to good ol’ Akron, OH it started to snow ever so slightly. It was a nice end to a long day. Once home we just kicked it and geeked out (relaxed) for the duration of the evening.
Sunday morning I did my best to make a breakfast of sorts and was pleased with the outcome. I cubed up some potatoes and fried them up as well as made eggs and refried beans. I then fried up (with Jenn’s help) some corn tortillas and make tacos. The outcome was an OH take on a Tex-Mex staple breakfast meal and I was thrilled.
I scored major brownie points there. Speaking of brownies, the night before while we were geeking out I snuck in the kitchen and made brownies with chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Yeah, they were amazing. I pride myself on those.
Sunday morning I did not want to do much of anything but relax and Jenn was ok with that. Suddenly I came up with the great idea of taking the pups up to Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls to show Jenn the fun little area as well as the Cuyahoga River. While walking around she took tons of pictures and I just soaked in the beauty of the river and surroundings. I love having that place just down the street from me. The pups had fun dragging me all over the place.
Right before heading back home I noticed that the open light was on at Metropolis Popcorn so we picked up some snacks for afternoon football watching. I got my favorite Chicago style popcorn (cheddar mixed with caramel) and Jenn chose the dill popcorn. Both were amazing.
The rest of Sunday was chill and of course the Browns lost but at this time it does not bother me anymore. There is always next year – and a hopeful first round draft pick.
Monday was departure day. I know Jenn had fun because she thanked me multiple times throughout the morning. I thanked her as well for coming up. Not only was it a pleasure to have met her face to face but it was also awesome just to show her around Cleveland/Akron at the places I love. Had we more time I would have taken her to many more places but I think I did good with what was shown. Still, I wish I would have dropped by Cleveland Hts. and showed her Coventry. Oh well, next time right?
Jenn is back in TX and I am sure she left OH with a good idea of how fun our city is, well at least I hope she did. Upon exiting my car at the airport she reminded me that I was always welcome to visit her in TX and I hope to do that one day very soon.