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After all the running around for last week’s Partners Bowl-a-Rama (who has stress dreams over bowling? this guy!), I was more than ready for the weekend.
Ready to sleep past 4 each morning, ready to kick back and have fun. With both Yuri’s Night and Market at the Foodbank this weekend, it was easy.
Yuri’s Night Space Party at Great Lakes Science Center was like I had died and gone to heaven. So much sci-fi cosplay, a bit of learning, even more partying, and a couple awesome photo ops!
I knew that if I was going to miss the newest episode of Doctor Who on Saturday night, this was an excellent reason.
Every April, Yuri’s Night celebrations come together to honor Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight and the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle, while also looking ahead to the world’s future space travel efforts.
This year, there were over 354 parties around the world – including the first inter-planetary party with the Curiosity Mars Rover!
Scott and I started our Yuri-bration with some food and drink. When we got to the Science Center, we headed upstairs to the VIP section to avoid the rush (for good reason, this was one popular ticket).
Some sushi, cuban pork sandwichs, and a La Strade arancini later and I was happily fueled for the evening. In addition to a few Cleveland Whiskey tastings, the Angry Orchard Cider and Barefoot Bubbly were free-flowing too.
With drinks in hand, we started our jaunt around the Science Center. We explored the inside of a stomach with an endoscopic camera (good thing I already ate!), we enjoyed all the newly renovated NASA Glenn galleries which reopened on April 6, and we experimented with the 100 hands-on exhibits on the Science Phenomena Floor.
I felt like a kid again – getting to play with everything while learning about physics, weather, and chemistry. Of course, this time around I got to enjoy an adult beverage instead of Sunny D.
The best part of the evening is that everyone else who was there was nerding out just as much as I was — whether that was trying to do the robot to the Tetris theme song, learning about space food during the science demos or rocking out some Comic-Con-worthy costumes (a spot-on Next Generation Riker won the night’s contest).
My only regret was that I haven’t attended a Yuri’s Night party sooner! Lesson learned. After Saturday night, I think the Science Center has new life-long fans (and members) out of Scott and me.
More photos from Yuri’s Night and our visit to the Great Lakes Science Center:
After staying out til 1 on Saturday night, Scott and I were ready for a lower-key party on Sunday. Market at the Foodbank was a perfect balance.
As we walked into the Foodbank, I was blown back by how different the warehouse looked. To the left, a band was playing jazz, blue and green lights cast the sorting lines in a beautiful glow, and crowds were perusing the warehouse aisles tasting the party’s impressive selection of food and wine.
It was fun weaving through the warehouse – I don’t think I ever realized how huge the space is. And restaurants from all over Northeast Ohio filled the whole space – from AMP 150’s pork belly with apply kimchee to a Porkstrami Crostini from Spice.
Scott went back a record five times to Press Wine Bar’s table for a fantastic deviled egg topped with pickled radish and shrimp. And the Asparagua Sformato from Sowfood was a fluffy, colorful, delicious vegetarian option.
Our favorites didn’t come from a restaurant, though. We were all floored by Giant Eagle’s surf-and-turf dish: an espresso-encrusted steak and crabcake topped with a creamy whipped sauce and slaw. It was a classic dish done very skillfully.
As someone in our group noted, the tender steak was more flavorful than another steak dish we had tried at another restaurant’s table – hats off to Giant Eagle. The other favorite – a corn-tortilla taco – came from the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center.
I wasn’t in the mood for much wine, but I enjoyed a glass of Ooh La La Pinot Grigio at Kimberly’s recommendation. It was very refreshing – only slightly sweet with a strong apple and melon flavor and a touch of mineral. With a name like Ooh La La and polka-dotted bottle, it’s an affordable, fun wine – a good bottle to pick up for Girls’ Night.
The food, drinks, and auctions were all to raise money for Harvest for Hunger, the Foodbank’s current food and fundraising campaign.
Market at the Foodbank goes a long way every year to helping Harvest for Hunger reach their goal of 16 million meals. If you’d still like to contribute to Harvest for Hunger and the Foodbank’s mission, there are many opportunities left.
Although they were 2 very different events, Yuri’s Night and Market at the Foodbank gave me just the Cleveland weekend I needed. With the work week now in full effect, I’m looking forward to the next one!