This weekend was spent road tripping to Ohio with my best friend and college roommate, Amber, to see a wonderful friend get married. {Don’t tell them, but I’m secretly glad the husbands didn’t come – this was our first boys-free trip in 6 years.}

After 8+ hours of driving, we were greeted by the most wonderful of wonderful sights:

Uber comfy hotel beds, stacked with luxurious piles of pillows.

intercontinental hotel beds in cleveland

We were also greeted by care package of chocolate, water, and mixed nuts from the bride.

wedding care package

I’m not sure what I was more excited about: the fabulous tub and shower, or the fact that our hotel was smack dab in the middle of the Cleveland Clinic. Probably the latter. Winking smile

luxurious hotel bathroomhotel shower

the cleveland clinic hospitalcleveland clinic

Our hotel from the outside- our room’s the one with the open window in the rounded section.

intercontinental hotel cleveland ohio

And our view from said window:

hotel view

Much more impressive than the last dingy hotel I stayed at!

Before it was wedding time, we did a quick tour of the Cleveland essentials: food & Lake Erie.

We started by chowing down on fancy pizzas at Bricco, an Italian-inspired restaurant.

bricco restaurant cleveland

Bread with whipped chipotle butter held us over until our giant pizzas arrived.

bread and chipotle butter

I chose the veggie pizza, loaded with artichokes, roasted red peppers, wild mushrooms, and goat cheese.

roasted veggie pizza

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as it looked.

artichoke red pepper pizza

The architecture in downtown {and most of} Cleveland is beautiful; too bad there wasn’t more time to explore.

downtown cleveland

In the morning we hit up Big Al’s Diner. Though not a diner fan, this was one of my favorite breakfasts in a long time.

diner breakfast at big al's diner

The French toast was crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and was fantastically flavored.

french toast from big al's

The home fries lived up to their name; home made fried potatoes with sautéed onions.

diner homefries

Apparently Cleveland loves it’s trees so much it wraps them up in sweaters.

yarn bombing tree

We couldn’t be this close to a landmark lake without laying eyes on it, so we headed over to Lakewood Park to catch a glimpse of Lake Erie.

lakewood park ohiolakewood ohiolake erie path

The park itself was beautiful, as was the view of the lake.

lakewood park cleveland ohio

Although it was gray, dreary, and overcast, it was obvious this lake was enormous and beautiful.

lake erie view of downtown cleveland skyline

The downtown Cleveland skyline was barely visible through the haze, but it was still impressive.

It wasn’t long before the ominous fog and clouds turned into a outright downpour- not what anyone wants on their wedding day, let alone for an outdoor wedding…

… to be continued…