Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hale , nor very dreary skies can prevent me from enjoying a Country Inn Day. My Country Inn Days are delightful escapes from routine. If you know me, you know I have all sorts of Country Inn Days. There are “Spa Days” and “Culture Days”. I sometimes enjoy “Nature Days” or “Sharing Tea Days” where I invite new and old friends to my personal Inn for relaxed conversation and tasty tea treats. If the weather is really wicked I may stay cozy and warm and have an “Inn Day” where I hibernate, enjoying my favorite simple pleasures at home, or if the weather’s only a ‘little’ wicked I’ll partake in a “Hudson Day” where I take advantage of all that my historic Hudson has to offer me. BUT I sometimes have “ADVENTURE DAYS”! On Country Inn Days marked for adventure the only rule is that I must go off to explore places totally new to me, and on this particular Country Inn “Adventure Day” I am headed to the near west side of Cleveland, The Tremont area, to be precise.
I head north and drive for about 35 minutes and eventually end up at one end of downtown Cleveland near the baseball stadium.
Making a quick left I cross over the Lorain-Carnegie bridge which has the impressive sculpture of Henry Hering decorating it. The sculpture is titled Progress in Transportation and was created in 1932. A very tall figure is holding a carriage. I would’ve liked to take a better picture, but (shhhhh) I was driving after all.
Once over the bridge I found a parking lot, parked, took a short walk passing this neat mural on an old building, and headed for a coffee shop I admired in the past, but never visited.
I stepped inside and was pleased with the ambiance I found there. I ordered a cappucino and settled in at a table near the window.
I loved the windows of the coffee shop that allowed me to look out at people who passed by. The sun came and went as did the raindrops, all the while I sat sipping, cozy and happy inside the shop.
Just last week my husband joined me and son Rory for a meal at The Great Lakes Brewery. Rory lives in this neighborhood called Ohio City.
If the weather was just a little bit better I might have sat outside having my coffee on the sidewalk, but inside was very nice just the same.
I pulled out my fountain pen and got busy writing my daily letter. This letter is going to my son Patrick’s friend back at UCLA. Katie is a dear girl and a very smart dear girl. She is working on her doctorate in statistics. The coffee shop was quiet with only a few people present so I sipped, wrote, and enjoyed the view out my window.
Coming to this coffee shop could’ve been enough to satisfy the rules of “Adventure Day”, but the morning was young and there was so much more to see and do in the area.
I walked over to Penzey’s and browsed around the store. I love to cook so all their products interest me. Many have suggested recipes attached.
I purchased a large jar to hold my crop of basil (once I dry it) and I needed to stock up on their Country French Vinaigrette salad dressing base which I love. I also bought a ‘shallot-Pepper seasoning’ which is supposed to be good on fish, vegetables, chicken, pork or veal. We’ll see. I also purchased a seasoning called ‘Sunny Paris’ which is made up of purple shallots, chives, green peppercorn, basil, tarragon, chervil, bay leaf, and dill weed. All that in such a little jar! I put the ‘Sunny Paris seasoning’ on my eggs this morning and liked the taste very much. If you don’t have a Penzey’s nearby you can order online at http://www.penzeys.com
From Penzys I crossed the street to enter The West Side Market. Its origins date back to 1840 and that makes it Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market. You should google it because it’s a pretty neat place. If it’s food, you’ll find it there. But though I could easily make the rest of this post on The West Side Market, I had new places to investigate. I hopped in my car after browsing the market and headed to the area called Tremont.
Tremont is one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is just west of the Cuyahoga River and south of Ohio City. In recent years many people have been moving to Tremont, restoring its old houses, building new residences, opening restaurants and shops of all kinds, and it is becoming “the place to go”.
I drove around for a while looking at old houses that were restored and old buildings that were turned into condos. I saw a lot of new construction too and I bet in 20 years Tremont will be even more interesting a place than it is now. But I was getting hungry. It was lunch time and I also needed to find a map in order to better understand the town’s layout.
Just then, exactly on cue, who happened by, but a sweet young woman named Halle. She was crossing the street and I flagged her down to get a little information. Well, Halle was so very nice and so very friendly. (That’s Ohio for you!) She was on her way to a shop that usually had maps so I said “hop in” and off we went to that shop. But just my luck, the shop was all out of maps, so Halle gave me all sorts of directions, as well as a great suggestion for lunch. It was funny too, she said she just took some relatives from Hudson to the restaurant that she was recommending to me. I said, “Hudson? I”m from Hudson!” That was a coincidence all right. I told Halle she was so nice, when she next visits her relatives in Hudson she’ll have to look me up. I gave her my card and she promised to call me. ( If you’re reading this Halle how ’bout an email hello? I’ll write you one of my friendly letters once I have your address.) I was so happy meeting Halle on my “Adventure Day”. There’s nothing like making a new friend. Halle and I hugged good bye, and off I went to the restaurant she recommended.
I parked my car right across from these condos and walked over to Lucky’s Cafe.
Halle said Lucky’s was featured on the Food Network and Cleveland’s iron chef, Michael Simon, was crazy about one of their breakfast dishes. Oh boy, this is exactly what “Adventure Day” is all about.
Before I stepped inside I had to stroll around Lucky’s garden just next door.
How fun to see such a lovely garden in a city neighborhood.
There were also picnic tables set under an awning so dining could be enjoyed outdoors on nice days, but not today, though it was clearing up a little.
Being a lady who loves art play I really enjoyed all the sunflowers painted on the wall of the outdoor eating area.
I walked inside and liked the looks of the place. The old counter was very handsome. You can get breakfast all day at Lucky’s and it’s also a full service coffee shop. I love my coffee shops, but I was really hungry by now. It was time for lunch.
Kelly stepped up and we had a nice chat. She just recently moved to Cleveland. She was a college girl. She not only told me about all the great homemade goodies Lucky serves, but she also went out of her way to find me those maps of Tremont I was seeking. I tell you, Cleveland people are soooo nice, helpful, and friendly.
Kelly suggested I order the Reuben sandwich for everything in it was made right there – fresh as could be. I took her up on the suggestion.
The sandwich was delicious and my time at Lucky’s was very pleasant…
especially because there were fresh flowers at my table. Don’t you appreciate restaurants going the extra mile providing floral beauty in addition to good food? I sure do. I will definitely return and bring a Hudson friend or two with me, or invite Halle to meet me here for a nice little lunch or coffee. Wouldn’t that be fun?
I could’ve enjoyed staying for dessert, but I wanted to find the local bookshop before I had to leave Tremont returning to Hudson. One of the customers heard me asking directions (even though now I had a map) and she called out the exact route I should take. Like I said, Clevlanders are very friendly people.
I found the book shop easily. Don’t you love book shops? It was a cute old building and I sure love old buildings and historic preservation.
I bet this place fills up on a nice day or evening. I think I saw something about entertainment and refreshments. But today wasn’t such a nice day, so I went inside.
If I lived in Tremont I would be here all the time. I liked the chairs and tables tucked here and there for cozy browsing.
There was so much more to see and tell you about, like all the restaurants run by top Cleveland chefs. Cleveland really is becoming a foodie location.
There are lots more places I will need to look into, visit for drinks or dinner, but it was getting late and I had a forty-five minute drive home, and things to do back at the inn, but I will surely be back to Tremont one of these days, because it’s a really fun location.
And it’s so very close to downtown Cleveland, but when you’re in this little old town you can’t imagine a busy city is so very near.
I hope you step out of your daily routine now and then and have a Country Inn Day of your own. It might be a totally relaxing day where you stay home alone in your private inn or a day where you enjoy culture, nature, or afternoon tea with friends, but whatever it involves, a Country Inn Day will take you away, and when you return to your normal routine, it will be with renewed contentment.
If you don’t believe me, have yourself a Country Inn Day and see for yourself.
Life is short.
Seize the day!