Tag Archives: cleveland

Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

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Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

Hello! This past Saturday, I took my darling mom, JANE, out for a night on the town to celebrate Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, Pepper’s, and then we saw Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird at Playhouse Square. Our dinner was divine, the play was spectacular, but the company was even better!

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^^^ How cute is she?!

Pepper’s is an amazing Italian restaurant that’s about fifteen minutes away from Playhouse Square. We wined and dined with a glass of Reisling for mom and Prosecco for me and ate like the queens we are. I opted for my favorite of gnocchi but instead of my usual of Alfredo sauce, I decided to live a little and try the pesto. JANE went for the Penne with the house sauce and we savored every single bite. The salad, bread, pasta, and drinks were made to perfection and we pretty much talked about it until we got to the theater!!

After our dinner, which we are still daydreaming about, we made the short drive to Playhouse Square to park, grab a drink, and take our seats. And, of course, lots of pictures were called for:

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is, easily, one of the most important pieces of literature, film, and theater that there is. If you are unfamiliar with the plot, it is set in 1934 Maycomb, Alabama and tells the tale of Atticus Finch defending an innocent black man named Tom Robinson for the rape of a white teenager. It is just as relevant today as it was when the book was first published and it is truly a masterpiece.

My mom and I treasure this work of art so deeply and have been looking forward to seeing this play for months with our Playhouse Square season tickets. Atticus was played by the incomparable Richard Thomas and he was sublime. Mary Badham who played Scout in the film also was featured in a small role as Mrs. Henry Dubose. To be able to see this play performed with such seasoned actors was a gift.

We were so incredibly impressed by Richard Thomas and his portrayal of Atticus Finch was masterful. My mom and I also enjoyed the actors who played Jem Finch and Dill Harris. While Thomas was, obviously, the star of the show, I daresay that the supporting cast shined even brighter.

Jacqueline Williams as Calpurnia was simply gorgeous and Yaegel T. Welch’s heart wrenching portrayal of Tom Robinson, a man automatically guilty because of the color of his skin was STUNNING. And, we can’t forget Anthony Natale who played Link Deas. Natale is hearing impaired and he signed a majority of his lines while Scout or Jem translated, which was very cool to see.

Now, you might be surprised that I didn’t give a shout out to Melanie Moore, the actress who played Scout. She was, however, our only qualm with the show. In the book and film, Scout is a young girl. Melanie is a grown woman and, to be honest, she was quite annoying. I am not saying this to be mean, but the voice she used to sound childlike sounded exactly like Forrest Gump and it was kind of distracting. I understand that it had to be an adult actress who played Scout but there had to have been a better way to portray her and this was not it.

Seeing the play of To Kill A Mockingbird moved my mom and I so very much. There were parts that were physically painful to watch and our hearts ached as we left the theater. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for the world, though. The pain that we felt both physical and emotional is nothing in comparison to those who deal with injustice on a daily basis and I believe that Harper Lee’s work is a necessity in this world.

The play lasted roughly three hours and there were times when it felt slow moving but each scene was so crucial and there for a reason. By the time the show was over and we had time to digest it and decompress as we got onto the highway, we were ready to begin singing its praises. Just like the book and film, there were moments in that play that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I was moved to tears during several parts in the play. One of the most powerful scenes that I keep coming back to is when Tom Robinson was on the stand and being questioned by the prosecutor. He kept referring to Tom as “boy” while Atticus is screaming to call him by his name. It was chilling and I kid you not that my eyes have tears in them right now just writing about it. It was haunting and I can’t tell you how much Yaegel T. Welch’s performance as Tom meant to me.

I could go on for hours telling all of you about the experience of seeing Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird in play form. Rather, I will end it on: SPRINT, don’t run to see this show if you have the opportunity. I am so thankful to have been able to see it on a wonderful Mother’s Day date with my mom and it is something that I will never forget.

Have you seen any plays recently? What does To Kill A Mockingbird mean to you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

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Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

Hi! This past Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely girls night out with my mom to see Pretty Woman: The Musical at Playhouse Square. Every year for Christmas, my dad purchases season tickets at Playhouse Square and we divide up the shows between the family members. Originally, my mom and dad were supposed to go to Pretty Woman but he just had surgery so the tickets were fair game.

I was shot down by both my sister and Johnny to see the show with me and my mom finally agreed to come with, which I was so happy about! I can’t say that either of us were chomping at the bit to see the musical, but we were more looking forward to spending time together and it was a perfect night:

My mom and I got all dolled up and headed to the theater in downtown Cleveland around six o’clock to make it in time for the seven thirty curtain call. After taking some pictures, using the facilities, sharing a mimosa, and finding our seats, we made it just in time. It was almost a full house at the beautiful Connor Palace but no one happened to be sitting by us, which made it even better lol.

The set of Pretty Woman was amazing and featured the famous Hollywood sign, palm trees that lit up, and gorgeous ornate designs for the hotel as well as lots of set pieces that moved effortlessly across the stage. I have never seen Pretty Woman the movie before so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I did know that it was about a working girl who had her big break with a rich client.

My mom and I both weren’t overly impressed by the leading lady who played Vivian and the man who played Edward. While Vivian was cute, quirky, and obviously talented she was kind of difficult to understand sometimes while singing, which took away from her big moments. The man who played Edward was fine and, of course, he could sing well but he also could have been anyone and it made for a somewhat lackluster performance.

I could have taken or left both the male and female lead and it was the supporting characters that really stole the show, in my opinion. Vivian’s best friend, Kit, was fabulous and I loved her rock n’ roll voice and she had a lot of funny lines. “The Happy Man” who played the hotel manager/narrator was also excellent and most of our favorite parts in the musical came from scenes with him in it.

The first half of the show was pretty good, despite some songs that I could have definitely done without. However, it picked up the pace a lot in the second half and we both enjoyed that much more. Both my mom and I had similar sentiments on our favorite parts and absolutely loved “On a Night Like Tonight” when the hotel manager taught Vivian how to dance. We also really liked the opening and closing numbers as well as “Never Give Up on a Dream”.

One of the biggest stand out moments was “Entr’acte/Opening Act II” when Vivian and Edward went to the opera. The woman who sang as the main performer in the opera was divine and I could seriously listen to her all day. She had the most beautiful voice and it begged the question of “how does she do that?” as soon as she began to sing. It was wonderful!

Overall, Pretty Woman: The Musical was alright. It was a great show for a girls night but my mom and I agreed that it was one we would have skipped on if we didn’t have season tickets. The best part, of course, was spending the evening with my mom and that made me love every minute of it. Make sure you keep it posted for an OOTD from my night out soon! ❤

What is your favorite musical? What is your perfect night out like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

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Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

Hello! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had a wonderful date night to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Playhouse Square. This has been our first big outing since the pandemic began and it was even better than I could have dreamed! Also, huge shout out to my dad for making this possible with his yearly Christmas gift of season tickets to Playhouse Square for the family. Tomorrow, we will take a look at my OOTD so be sure to keep it posted for that!

Our date day began at Pepper’s Italian Restaurant in Lakewood before the show. We had a to die for dinner of gnocchi with Alfredo sauce, Margarita pizza, focaccia bread, salad, and Prosecco. It was absolutely delicious and my only regret is that it isn’t closer so that we could eat there all of the time. 😀

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After an amazing meal that I am still dreaming about, we had some time to kill before it was time to go to the theater to take our seats. We decided to have an after dinner drink at a bar down the street from Pepper’s called the Funhouse. Johnny has been there before but I haven’t and it was the coolest place ever!! It had the theme of an old fashioned carnival with tons of dark decor mixed with the bright colors of a fair. The Funhouse is definitely our kind of bar!

I was already sold on the bar based on the decor alone but their unique drink menu didn’t hurt, either. I just had to try one of their alcohol slushies and chose blue raspberry as my flavor. It was So. Yummy. and if we didn’t have a play to catch, I think I could have had one or two more. 🙂

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After a quick drink, it was time to head to Playhouse Square for the main event – seeing Jesus Christ Superstar. Everyone has a laugh when I say that it is my favorite musical because I am an atheist. I can’t help it, though, and have been enamored with it ever since having to watch it every Easter at Catholic grade school. The rock opera music gets me every time and I love that it shows a human depiction of the story of Christ’s crucifixion.

A few years ago, I made Johnny watch the classic movie adaptation of the musical and while he liked it, he wasn’t one hundred percent sold on it. I wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be to the show so as soon as it began and he whispered to me “this is amazing” my heart basically exploded because he was seeing it how I do.

We were lucky enough to see the show despite it being canceled last year due to the pandemic and were treated to an extra special viewing because of its fiftieth anniversary celebration. Because of this, there was a small orchestra playing in the wings of the theater along with the band playing onstage with wailing electric guitar, organ, keyboards, drums, and saxophone.

The stage was set with an industrial vibe of open scaffolding and a huge upside down cross going directly down the stage. This was also reflected in the costumes for the characters who were dressed in baggy clothing to maximize all of their beautiful movements. And the actors? They were sublime.

The chorus was fabulous and the individual roles were just flawless. I daresay that the actor playing Judas might have out shined Jesus but who really stole the show was King Herod. His flashy rendition of “King Herod’s Song” was a major highlight of the entire show and Johnny and I spent so much time on the ride home going gaga over it.

Jesus Christ Superstar was performed with no intermission so it was seamless from start to finish. The loud music, glam rock style vocals, and all of the little tricks that they worked into the show made for one of the best adaptations that I have ever seen. It was so incredibly creative and really is a production that makes you think.

I knew that I was going to enjoy the show but it made it even better that Johnny loved it too. Our hour long car ride home until we went to bed was filled with conversation about the story, what we liked, and reliving it in its entirety. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and it was seriously one of the best evenings of my life! ❤

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What is your favorite musical? Do you have a favorite song from Jesus Christ Superstar? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mary Kay Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss Swatch In Fancy Nancy

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Mary Kay Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss Swatch In Fancy Nancy

Hello! My best friend, Lea, will be tying the knot in October and I am so honored to be a part of her special day as one of her bridesmaids. From a DIY wine and paint night and bridesmaid dress shopping to attending a bridal expo with Lea and her family, it feels good to bond even closer to my bestie and become friends with the rest of her wedding party.

I didn’t write about the bridal expo we attended but, I’ve gotta tell you, it was really something. Lol and by something I mean it was totally overwhelming. The IX Center in Cleveland was completely packed by vendors and brides to be and it was major sensory overload for me. But, the bagful of free goodies I ended up with from visiting the different vendors made being packed in like sardines somewhat worth it!

I walked away with a reusable tote bag full of candies, chapsticks, BBQ sauce of all things, and some makeup samples including the following by Mary Kay:

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My first and only experience with Mary Kay makeup left much to be desired so I wasn’t particularly excited to try out the Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss in Fancy Nancy. However, the rose gold hue shining through the package looked pretty and I was interested in seeing it more closely.

I am not a big lip gloss girl and much prefer smooth matte lipstick over a sticky gloss any day. The Nourishine formula wasn’t “I spilled juice and forgot to clean it up” level sticky but halfway between that and a chapstick. In my opinion, it was still too much for me but it definitely applied smoother than the other glosses I’ve tried.

Despite not loving the texture, I absolutely adore the color and would be willing to try it in a lipstick, for sure. The over the top glitter gives a fresh, summery tangerine shine in the light and I think that it would look so charming for rooftop drinks with the girls come the hot weather. Would I go out of my way to order the Mary Kay brand? No. But I will definitely be keeping my eye out for something similar!

How do you feel about Mary Kay? Have you ever been part of a wedding party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

I’m So Excited!

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I’m So Excited!

Hello! One of my favorite things about dating my boyfriend, Johnny, is that we always have so many exciting plans to look forward to. We both love being out and about, planning trips, and going to concerts and we definitely will be doing a lot of all of that as we continue trying to kick winter out the door in Ohio.

Upon the warmer weather, I can’t wait to go back to our favorite bars with a patio to have drinks and play games with our friends outside. But, I am absolutely chomping at the bit to get to our bigger plans, because we have quite a few! Including:

1) Seeing Jesus Christ Super Star at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. My dad got me and Johnny tickets for Christmas because it is my favorite musical and I am simply thrilled to be able to see it live. I am also lucky enough to see it twice because one of my old theater friends invited me to go with her, too! 😀

2) The Rolling Stones concert in Cleveland! Aw yeahhhh. Johnny, my parents, my brother, and I will be in nosebleed seats attendance for this show. My dad hasn’t seen the Stones since the 70s and Johnny and I have never seen them and they are his all time favorite band. So, needless to say, we are over the moon excited.

3) Johnny and I will also be attending a Marilyn Manson and potentially Ozzy Osbourne concert if his health permits. My MAN got me tickets for Christmas just like I asked him to and I cannot wait to see my other man, Marilyn Manson, perform for the third time. Johnny hasn’t seen him live before so I can’t wait for him to experience that! Ozzy Osbourne performing would just be the cherry on top.

4) And, finally, for Johnny’s birthday I got us tickets to Riot Fest in Chicago. Riot Fest is a three day music festival and My Chemical Romance will be headlining. We don’t know anything else about the lineup except for that but it was enough to make me buy tickets because Johnny is always talking about how he’d love to see them live again. Our long weekend in Chicago is one of the major highlights of this summer and I am so happy I was able to score tickets that sold out within eight minutes for the two of us!

It’s always nice to have something to look forward to and Johnny and I have an abundance of that. I can’t wait to fill all of you in on all of these exciting events when they happen so keep it posted!

What are you looking forward to? What concerts are you attending this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dear Evan Hansen Review

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Dear Evan Hansen Review

Howdy! This past weekend, I enjoyed an outing with an old theater friend, Sabrina, to see Dear Evan Hansen at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Despite both of us not loving the musical, it was still a fun day filled with good food, drinks, and wonderful company. I was so happy when Sabrina invited me to see the show because our schedules never work well with each other so it was really nice to make up for lost time. As we are both theater nerds, we were able to have a great discussion about the show afterwards so here is what we thought as well as a brief synopsis (Without giving too much away!)

So, what you need to know about Dear Evan Hansen is the following: A troubled teen who is an outsider at school has homework from his therapist where he has to write letters to himself explaining why it’s going to be a great day. As Evan is printing his “homework” out in the library, an even more troubled teen named Conner snatches the letter and confiscates it after seeing his sister’s name in it. She just so happens to be the object of Evan’s affection but doesn’t know he exists.

A few days later, Conner commits suicide and the letter that Evan wrote is found in his pocket. A web of lies then begins because Conner’s parents obviously want to know who Evan is and he begins to spin a tale of how him and Conner were best friends. This quickly raises his popularity at school with the offset of The Conner Project and, suddenly, Evan exists because of his fake friendship with the kid who just died.

Okay, so the story line isn’t bad, but the writing and staging left a lot to be desired as well as lackluster performances from the cast as a whole. It was interesting to see the phenomenon of everyone instantly becoming “best friends” with someone who just passed. However, the main culprit of this was a girl named Alana and she was SO. FUCKING. ANNOYING. Omg, the scenes with her were just unbearable and I couldn’t stand it.

Another character who really didn’t do it for me was Evan’s mom. It was very tough to invoke sympathy for the mother of a struggling teen when she was so unlikable and all of her slow ballad songs felt lame and drawn out. Honestly, I didn’t feel any type of way about any of the characters because it just felt like they were there saying their lines and singing their songs and then the applause happened and it was on to the next scene. The play felt very disjointed and the flow was off.

A lot of this disconnect felt due to a poor choice in staging. It went from social media news feeds plastered all over moving walls and banners to a tiny room on a rotating circle in a matter of minutes. This felt very high school theater for a Broadway level show and didn’t create any visual interest on stage.

The quality of the script and songs just weren’t that good, either. A powerful message of looking out for the mental health of our teens was overshadowed by plot points that weren’t fully realized and writing that was subpar, at best. I understand that this show got a lot of hype but, frankly, I don’t understand why because I left the theater feeling very unsatisfied with the finale and the plot holes that never got filled.

I never say no to a night at the theater but, I think I could have passed on this one. I would rate Dear Evan Hansen with a five out of ten stars and I can’t say that I would recommend going to see it. If you’re into sappy teen musicals, though, I say go for it!

What were your thoughts on Dear Evan Hansen? What is your favorite musical? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: TrustArts

Psychic Experience

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Psychic Experience

Hiiii! Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I thought that it would be fun to go see a psychic. He has been to one before and I never have so we made a little afternoon of it. After searching for “the best psychics in Cleveland” for what felt like forever, we landed on a woman named Faye who had pretty solid reviews. Of course, all of the reviews for each place were a mixed bag with some people saying it was a scam and others claiming that it was the best reading of their life.

For cheapness’s sake, we decided to both do a palm reading and went on our merry way to meet Faye, who has a small business in downtown Cleveland. Her shop was very tiny with a sitting area in the front and an office style room in the back where she did her readings. As soon as we walked in, she decided that I would go first so I went back while my boyfriend waited up front.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely believe in the other wordly and spiritual powers. I do feel like Faye had it, but I also know when someone is just trying to upsell you and that’s exactly what she did to both me and my MAN. It was basically a case of “I can tell you more but you have to come back”. *Massive eye roll*

However, what she did tell me during the brief ten minute reading was all correct. She started off with the basic “you had a difficult childhood/teenage years blah, blah, blah” which I feel like isn’t that hard to tell by looking at me, lol. But, then she continued with being able to tell that I worked in the care profession, recently moved out, and had two specific people in my family that I worry about the most – which is all accurate. She also didn’t know my name so it’s not like she Facebooked me or read my blog beforehand.

I do wish that we could have talked longer, because I feel like she was holding back on everything that she told me so that she could pull the “but wait, there’s more” card. But, it was a really cool experience for what it was and it was even better that my boyfriend came up with such a unique date idea. Six out of ten, would go to Faye again. Twelve out of ten, would recommend this date to others!

Have you ever been to a psychic? What are your thoughts in favor or against practices like that? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Chardon Polka Band

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Chardon Polka Band

Hiii everyone! This past Thursday, my client and I were truly living our best lives because we got to see the Chardon Polka Band perform at one of our local libraries. I try to take this client out to concerts and anything music related whenever I can because that’s his favorite and he plays the piano so beautifully. We have seen the CPB play twice before and they are so much fun that we had to see them again.

Now, I know what you’re thinking “a polka concert sounds like a nightmare”. And, initially, I thought so too. But, they are the most endearing, talented group of people that I’ve ever met and it’s impossible to not love them. They are so kind to everyone in their audience from little kids, the elderly, and people with special needs and that type of selfless attitude makes me a fan of them no matter what style of music they play.

I had no idea that the Chardon Polka Band was kind of a big deal in Ohio until now, but these guys go around all over the country playing polka everywhere from funerals, and christenings, to elementary schools, and senior centers. And, of course, any beer related festival that you can think of! I never thought I’d find myself as a polka fan until seeing these whacky guys perform and it’s so nice to consider them as my friends now, too!

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos.

Both my client and myself purchased a CPB T-shirt that we wear with pride and we are so excited to see our friends with an unexpected cult following perform again soon!

Who are the local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What are your thoughts on polka music? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Docplayer

Lots Of Snow In Ohio

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Lots Of Snow In Ohio

Hiiii! This past weekend, my neck of the woods in good ol’ Akron, Ohio got absolutely pummeled with snow. It had myself and my family stuck indoors for three days straight and the roads were so bad that I couldn’t get to work when Monday rolled around. I also couldn’t go to my planned weekend trip to Pittsburgh for some quality cousin time. I was so bummed! In a nutshell, it was insanely boring, freezing, and oh so very, very snowy. Lots of people have been interested in pictures of what this massive snowfall looked like, so I ventured out into the tundra and snapped the following:

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^^^ As you can see, the snow was up to my mid thigh – yikes!

For three days in a row, I basically did nothing but hang out, play Candy Crush, watch TLC, and a few LifeTime movies. And, of course, stare out the window and watch all of the snow that we didn’t get throughout the winter fall outside in a matter of a day and a half. It was pretty crazy to see, because my area barely got any snow for the past few months – in fact, we had a lot of days in the forties and fifties. Incredibly mild, to say the least!

Since this RAS (Random Act Of Snowfall), things have pretty much gone back to normal weatherwise in the 330. It is definitely a lot colder than what we’ve been used to, though. But, single digit temperatures have never stopped us Midwesterners yet. 😀 #ope

What is the weather like where you live? What is your favorite type of weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cleveland Aquarium Pics

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Cleveland Aquarium Pics

Hi everyone and happy Friday! I hope all of you had a wonderful week and are looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend. This past Saturday, I visited the Cleveland Aquarium, and it was mediocre at best for the price of admission. And, we all know that this is no beuno for a gal who balls on a budget! But, I did get some nice pictures of the undersea life that was there so take a look and let’s discuss:

 

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The total cost of admission was twenty dollars as well as a six dollar parking fee and the time spent in the aquarium amounted to barely an hour and a half. This was disappointing to me because, although the displays that were there looked cool, I felt like I wasn’t getting a lot of bang for my buck. The aquarium, in total, was three or four rooms with spaced out displays and, then, two other rooms with full room displays that included a string ray touch tank and the shark tank with a walk in tunnel.

I really enjoyed the shark room and the walk in tunnel was really neat and long in length. However, the other rooms that had spaced out displays featuring aquatic life of different countries left a lot to be desired. There were about three or four tanks per room and that was it. So, it felt more like a large, well decorated pet store than an actual aquarium.

If you are planning a trip to the Cleveland Aquarium, my best advice to you is don’t. You are much better off spending a day at the Cleveland Zoo, which provides you with an excellent value for your money, as it is a whole park rather than just a handful of rooms. It is also cheaper than the Aquarium, too! 😀

What is your favorite activity to do in a big city near you? Who else has a zoo or aquarium close by? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah