Coming off a horrifyingly awful winter, I have never been more determined to make the most of the best season Cleveland has to offer. So, to propel me into getting off my ass and doing stuff I decided to go about making a 2014 Summer Bucket List. All the things I plan to do with myself (not including the things that would happen anyway, like going to the beach and eating meals outside) this year before the temperature turns cold again. Not that we’re even thinking about that right now.
- Complete the Cool as Ice (Cream) Tour.
Twelve local, and delicious, ice cream shops in twelve weeks. The three shillelaghs will accomplish this remarkable feat! And then I will write the definitive guide to Cleveland ice cream.
- Take a trip to Geneva on the Lake.
Located an hour from Cleveland lives one of the kitschy-est time capsules of a lake side town that has ever existed. With Eddie’s Grill, a throw back of a hamburger joint, delicious donuts at Madsen’s, mini golf, and more Arcades than you can shake a stick at, Geneva on the Lake is always a good time. I didn’t make it last year so this year it’s definitely on the list.
- Eat a lobster roll on the Cape.
- Attend Fleur-de-Lis Camp’s 85 Reunion.
My life is measured out in summers at Fleur-de-Lis and it’s turning 85 this year so I will be there, with vast other numbers of alumni, to celebrate. I’ve started writing about camp on many occasions and haven’t ever managed because the most important things can never really be talked about too much, can they?
- Take a trip to Put-in-Bay.
One of the best things about living in Northeast Ohio is the rather large body of water to the north. Lake Erie has great beaches, great recreation, and (best of all) islands. South Bass is probably the most famous and definitely the most fun. It’s been called the Key West of Lake Erie. Not that there’s much competition, but with a strip of bars serving delicious girly drinks I can see where the comparison comes from. There’s nothing more fun than tooling around in a golf cart or going to the top of the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial to check out the view. Last year I got K and J to go with me and they had as much fun as I did so now it’s a yearly tradition.
- Go to the Holden Arboretum.
One of the largest arboretums in the country the Holden Arboretum boasts more than 3,600 acres of nature and gardens. I haven’t been there in years. I haven’t been there in so long that I don’t even remember the last time I was there. So when LivingSocial had a half off entry fee deal I decided to add this to the list.
- Tour the James A. Garfield National Historic Site.
I’m a big fan of touring historic homes. I’ve traveled all over the country touring historic homes. So, it’s a little ridiculous that I haven’t been to one of the historic homes that’s in my general vicinity. President James A. Garfield’s house was built in 1876 and saw his successful front porch campaign. It was his home until his death in 1881. Now it’s run by the National Park Service.
- FINALLY attend Parade the Circle.
Parade the Circle is a pretty big deal. The enormously creative parade around University Circle goes off every year the second Saturday of June. Unfortunately, in the past, I have always been working the second Saturday of June. I have never seen Parade the Circle. Which is especially ridiculous since my best friend is usually IN the parade. This year though, this year, I am not working. I will be there! With bells on.
- Go to the Terminal Tower observation deck.
I’ve wanted to do this forever. Often in the summer the observation deck is opened up on weekends at the Terminal Tower, Cleveland’s pretty little building, which was the tallest in the country when it was completed in 1928. I’m terrified of heights, but I will do this or bust. This year.
- Have a picnic in the Metroparks.
I don’t care which one, I don’t care when. But before the summer is over I am having at least one picnic in Cleveland’s wonderful “Emerald Necklace” (I’ve always thought that term was super weird, for any city).
- Go to the Botanical Gardens.
We have a lovely Botanical Garden in Wade Oval and I don’t even remember what they look like.
- Go to a Wade Oval Wednesday.
During the summer they do this thing called Wade Oval Wednesday, which conveniently anagrams to WOW! They have free concerts, movies, performances of all sorts all in the grassy oval situated in the middle of the majority of the city’s museums. I have never been to one of these, which is ridiculous. So, this is the year.
- Attend the Tremont Art Walk.
The summer before last I went to a couple Tremont Art Walks, which take place the second Friday of every month. I’ve found that the best way to approach this event is to just stroll around the neighborhood rather than work too hard at finding art.
- Have a meal at Walnut Wednesday and/or Food Truck Monday at Legacy Village.
While Food Truck Monday is new this year the food trucks about town have been gathering downtown, on Walnut, for a couple years now. They block off the short street and everyone can chow down. It’s nice knowing where the trucks will be, since they are often one of the best meals in town.
- See the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center.
I wanted to do this a couple years ago, and even picked out the particular concert I wanted to see. But when the day came my mother, who was accompanying me, declared it was too hot. I haven’t attempted it again. But this year I picked out the concert and I’ve already purchased the ticket. No backing out now! This outdoor music venue can be found, in small variations, in pretty much every city. But there is a reason for that.
- Go to the zoo.
I think this is fairly self explanatory. I get to go on a nice walk, see animals, and visit my favorite elephant, Moshi. Plus, it’s free on Mondays. No excuses here.
- Attend a Demolition Derby.
Sometimes you just want to get down and dirty and enjoy ridiculous crap like this. There are two county fair demo derbies to choose from so I am pretty sure I can swing one of them. It can be fun to watch a bunch of stuff get smashed.
- Go on the Stan Hywet Hall Nooks and Crannies Tour.
Stan Hywet Hall was the home of the Seiberling family who owned Goodyear rubber. The aforementioned penchant I have for touring homes basically means that I’ve been to Stan Hywet, in Akron, plenty of times. However, I have never been on the Nooks and Crannies tour, which shows extra bits of the house and servant areas.
- Read one Edith Wharton and one Evelyn Waugh book.
I love them both and seem to have amassed a large collection of both their books. It’s time to start reading.
- Visit Amish Country.
The best cheese around? Yep. Delicious pies and baked goods? Yep. Beautiful views? Yep. There is plenty to love about Ohio’s Amish country even if you’re not into eight million woven baskets or antiquing. It’s always worth a trip down to Holmes County.
- Attend the Civil War Reenactment at Hale Farm and Village.
For the sesquicentennial of the Civil War Hale Farm and Village has been doing a reenactment battle in August. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get there for any of them. Being 2014 I figure this is pretty close to my last chance.
With all these goals, it’s sure to be a good (and busy) summer. What’s on your list?