Thursday, January 10, 2013

surprise party


The last time I threw a big surprise party for my man was the year he turned 30.  We were newlyweds, so I didn't actually believe him when he said he didn't like surprise parties.  I thought he was just being cute.  I thought everything he did back then was cute.

Turns out, he doesn't like surprise parties.

Thankfully, I can chalk that one up to being love-blind.  On the outside, the party was well-planned and well-attended.  And well-received (by everyone else).  While my husband was blessed by all of the kind things people said to him and the funny stories and memories they shared, I'm pretty sure he had about nine different escape routes planned on the off-chance he was able to get away. Get away, he didn't.  But, he did stay married to me.

And I never threw him another big surprise party.  Oh sure, I surprise him with something for his birthday every single year (I don't give up that easily), but I give it at least ten months' worth of thought before the actual execution.

(Funny how the word 'execution' also means killing.) 

So, this time around, I planned a stay in Cleveland, including visits to touristy spots we'd both wanted to see.


Friday night included dinner in Little Italy with our friends, Dan & Rachel, and an overnight at the University Circle Bed & Breakfast.  A classy older lady named Martha was our proprietor.  The moment we arrived, she sat us down in her plush antiqued living room and wanted to know all about us.  She had her own stories to share about her travels, family, and Cleveland history.  She made us chicken & waffles in the morning and didn't mind my hugs.





While in Little Italy, we dined on stuffed banana peppers, steamed mussels, and an assortment of pastas at Maxi's.  I ate my first cannoli at Corbo's Bakery.  Now, I know what all the hype is about.  Give me another!  The next morning, hubby and I walked around the old historical neighborhood of University Circle, and ended at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where we absorbed the visual stylings of over a century's worth of creative talents.  They had one whole room devoted to Pablo Picasso's La Vie.  Our favorite pieces were constructed by modern artists, Damien Hirsute and Anselm Kiefer. You haven't breathed until you've sat in the presence of Bringing Forth the Fruits of Righteousness from Darkness (yes, those are butterflies) and Lot's Wife.



In case you were wondering, the fattest squirrels live in Cleveland.


Side note: I like to get up close to art.  This works fine until you run your nose into the glass encasing a sculpture, causing you to drop your phone onto the laminate flooring in a quiet room. Strange how I didn't notice that many security guards when we entered the building.

For lunch, we walked to Euclid Avenue for lentil soup and samosas, then checked in on the newly built Museum of Contemporary Art. The ticket prices were more than we wanted to spend that afternoon, which limited our visit to marveling at the design of the building and perusing the gift shop (we'll be back).  But, thanks to one of my clients, we had two free tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so we returned to the B&B, packed our things, said our goodbyes to Martha and headed downtown.  The facility itself was a sight to behold. Since meeting our friend, Dan (an architect), I find myself paying closer attention to the exterior of a building, as much as I do the interior. Coincidentally, my husband's favorite progressive rock band, Rush, was just inducted in to the Rock Hall for 2013, an honor that eluded them for over a decade.  Way to go, boys!




Our date came to a close with a walk through the animated Christmas lights of Public Square (where parts of A Christmas Story were filmed, remember Higbee's department store?) and ate dinner at our favorite vegan cafe.

For the record, I still think my husband is cute.

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