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Archived Smirk

Sometimes you just have to splurge. Yes, because I am in training for Golden Gloves I'm supposed to cut back on my eating and drinking… which I really have done for the last month. However, this week was a complete bust on the old diet and self-imposed prohibition front.

We begin on Wednesday with me, Avery in an airplane on his way to a business trip in Cleveland. Now, let me tell you… as much as people insult Cleveland, I have to say that I tend to enjoy the city. Sure, it's been years since the Cuyahoga River lit itself on fire… and Lake Erie can finally support complex multi-celled life forms like algae and plankton. That, and I really like my co-workers that work out there… so when I was told that I had to go to Cleveland, I wasn't that put off. Still, being in an airplane at 6:30am somewhere over Lake Tahoe wasn't my favorite way to start a business trip.

Luck was with me… the flights were on time, and I had the whole three-seat row all to myself on both of my flight segments, so I was able to get another few hours of sleep before landing in Cleveland. 10 minutes later, my co-workers on a different flight out of Oakland arrived and we grabbed the rental car and headed out to the hotel.

The Hotel: Holiday Inn. A step above a motel six, but they had a hotel bar, so I can't complain. Fast forward a half hour. We're at the pre-dinner drink. The drinks: Great Lakes Elliot Ness Alt and a Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. An hour later, I'm in my room ironing my shirt and then we're off to a steak dinner at a local restaurant.

The Dinner: Split Pea soup, a rare 14oz NY Strip Steak, a Great Lakes Fitzgerald Porter or two and a La Gloria Cubana Corona Grande for dessert. It's so nice to be able to enjoy a nice cigar after a decadent meal.

Midnight. Sleep.

6am, Thursday: Wake up. Head down for breakfast. Eat. Go to the meetings. Kick ass.

5pm: Head back to the hotel, change for a night out on the town.

The first stop of the night was at one of my favorite bars in Cleveland: The Winking Lizard. The Winking Lizards are a great chain of bars. 150 beers in the bottle, and another dozen on tap. Add killer chicken wings and the best jalapeno poppers in the country and it's a great place to start off a night of drinking and debauchery.

Stop number two: Great Lakes Brewing Company for dinner. Sausage, pierogies and many pints of fine Great Lakes beers. Seven of us descended on the basement dining room for two hours of food and conversation.

Final stop: The Harbor Inn. The Harbor Inn is this little dive bar in the Flats section of Cleveland that has a couple hundred beers in the bottle. I had an Erdinger Pikantus, a hard to find dark wheat bock (read: strong&#41 beer… the rest of the team also indulged in the rarities found at the Inn (except one guy who kept on drinking Coors Light&#41.

Thursday, Midnight: Go to the airport and fall asleep.

Trip summary: Definitely worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable.

Posted in Smirks.

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