Hi there! My name is Christina and I blog over at Juggling Real Food and Real Life. I would like to thank Nicky for letting me take over her blog today. Sure, I love to talk about food, but another favorite topic of discussion is my hometown. When she asked me to write a post for her Hometown Adventure Series, I was super excited.
First, a little about me and then on to my post on Cleveland, Ohio. You will be surprised at all Cleveland has to offer.
My name is Christina Wiley and I am the mother of 4 children who span the ages from College to Elementary School. They each have their own unique personalities, but they have one thing in common. They are all driven to be active. I fondly refer to them as my little over-achievers. They are not happy being involved in one activity. They actually keep score to see who is the busiest. Let me tell you, it is not easy to keep up with these kids. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this.
Because we were always so busy, I let my family fall into some really poor eating habits. We were always running from event to event so driving through the local fast food establishments seemed like a good answer. Oh boy! Was I wrong! My family gained weight and we were slowly slipping into less than ideal health. How could we keep up this busy pace, if we never had any energy? Out of my research of food my mission to provide my family REAL FOOD instead of fast food was born. It hasn’t always been easy. Even now, as this way of eating has become the norm, we constantly are finding new challenges to overcome. The Juggling Act of keeping REAL FOOD in my family’s belly, while maintaining our busy schedule never ends. This is the reason that I turn to my online friends for friendship, support, and advice. I hope that I can be that to you as well.
We invite you to join us in our mission. Juggling Real Food and Real Life will provide plenty of information and support for you to be a success. We will walk you through our family’s transformation from Fast Food to REAL FOOD which really was a complete transformation. We have changed what we eat, where we shop, and what we thought of as healthy. We were surprised to find out that many of the things that we thought of as healthy were not healthy at all. You may be surprised as well.
Now off to Cleveland……………..
Have you seen Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet? If you have, you have seen a little bit of the city I know and love. There have been lots of movies filmed in Cleveland lately. In fact, The Avengers was also filmed partly in Cleveland. However, through the magic of movies, they made it look like New York City. The Christmas Story was also filmed in Cleveland. You can visit The Christmas Story house and the Higbees department store from the movie……….that is now Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino. The picture below shows a scene from Captain America in which you can see Cleveland in the background.
In addition to Cleveland being a great movie town, Cleveland is also a great place for families to visit. Cleveland is home to museums, great food, professional sports, and a pretty spectacular arts community.
Some of our favorite museums to visit include the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Home to Steggie the Dinosaur who greets visitors upon their arrival and a really cool planetarium, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has something for all ages. You can be a paleontologist for the day, learn about weather, and discover outer space. The little ones will really enjoy the hands-on Discovery Center located on the lower level of the museum. What excites me most about this museum that I have been going to since I was a kid is that it changes all of the time. There are permanent displays, but the museum is always trying to be on the cutting-edge with new and exciting exhibits.
The Music enthusiasts in your family will not want to miss the Rock-N- Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The “Rock Hall” as we call it in Cleveland is home to the greatest stories in rock history. You will get lost in rock history as you enjoy 4 theaters, interactive displays, and 7 floors of exhibits. Watch Elvis movies and see costumes that your favorite 80s bands wore on MTv. There are special events going on all of the time, so keep your eye out for a really great party. You never know who you might see at the “Rock Hall.”
Another museum you won't want to miss is the Great Lakes Science Center. Situated right by the Cleveland Browns Stadium is the Great Lakes Science Center. The day will quickly disappear as you participate in 100s of interactive exhibits, watch movies in the Omnimax theater and watch live science demonstrations. The Great Lakes Science Center has a way of turning learning into fun for all ages.
Now for some food…………..
Have you ever heard of Iron Chef Michael Symon? He is from Cleveland, Ohio and is buying up the city and opening restaurants. Some of his restaurants are Lola, Lolita, and The B-Spot. You will want to call ahead for reservations at these restaurants. They fill up quickly. Must have something to do with the food being so delicious!
Cleveland is also famous for Melt Bar and Grilled. As you might guess from the name, Melt is a grilled cheese restaurant, but not just any old grilled cheese. Your basic grilled cheese is available. It's called a “Kindergarten”. You can also get grilled cheese with a piece of 3-cheese lasagna on it called the Godfather. My favorite……..the grilled caramelized peanut butter and banana. I know………weird right? No cheese at all!
Cleveland is also famous for its pierogies and ball park hot dogs. Make sure you get your hot dog with Stadium Mustard on it. It's a Cleveland thing. Don't miss out if you have the opportunity to eat these Cleveland staples. You won't be disappointed!
Clevelanders are also very proud of Playhouse Square. Playhouse Square draws more than a million people to its 8 venues each year. Most of the venues were built in the 1920s and renovated in recent years. The theaters are absolutely beautiful. Cleveland's theater district is only 2nd to New York City and is home to touring Broadway Shows, comedy, opera, dance, concerts, and children's programs.
Cleveland is home to the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Cleveland Cavs so no matter the season……..we have a sport for you.
Oh! Did I forget? Cleveland is also right on Lake Erie. So if sun, beaches, and boating are your thing…………Cleveland has plenty to offer you as well. It's hard to be in a bad mood when you are out on the water.
Come on over and see us! I've talked and talked and I've only just begun to share with you all of the wonderful things there are for you to see, do, and eat while in Cleveland. I would love if you would connect with me on social media as well. You can find met on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.
If you are looking for other family friendly travel destinations, please check out the other cities featured in our Hometown Adventure series.
We are always looking for new places to be featured. If you are interested in writing/telling us about your hometown, please let us know.