"midwest is best" road trip

We started the summer by going on a road trip from New Jersey to Chicago. To be honest, I was dreading this trip just because I wasn't sure if Sofia will be able to handle sitting in the car for long periods of time, this amongst other reasons. Much to my surprise, this trip turned out to be very relaxing. We made it a point to take our time, make as much stop as possible and just go at our own pace.

Day 1, Thursday: We decided to stay the night in Cleveland, OH. It took us about 10 hours to get there vs the estimated 7.5 hours. Which wasn't bad. We stayed in Lakewood, Oh which is the more residential part of Cleveland and it was really nice and quiet there.

We found Melt Bar and Grilled there which is famous for their huge melt sandwiches. The episode when Man vs. Food visits is actually going to show tonight at 9pm est on the Travel Channel. Though, I must say I didn't think my food was all that great. I got the "Purple Parma" which is just an eggplant parmesan sandwich. Andrew, on the other hand, seemed to really love the "Big Popper", which is basically jalepeno poppers and cheese, between two big slices of battered bread and deep fried like a Monte Cristo. Needless to say, he didn't eat anything the following day.

Day 2 Cleveland to Chicago

Day 2, Friday: It was hot. We tried to go down to the beach but by the time we reached this point, we were ready to go back to the car and turn up the ac. Which is exactly what we did.

The drive to Chicago wasn't bad. There was a huge storm right when we were by Gary, IN. so we stopped at the service station along with all the other motorists. It rained hard for 20 minutes. We sat by Hardee's while Andrew resisted the urge to buy food there. The electricity went out a couple times and we watched each others reactions and laughed to ourselves about how silly it is to get so scared about losing electricity. The rain calmed down a bit and we continued on.

We finally got to Chicago and talked about how great the skyline is compared to Cleveland's and probably all other cities. It was traffic of course, but I took Lake Shore Drive anyway because it's more scenic. Sarsi calls me from Hawaii and I get a quick update from him, but I had to let him go because, well, I was driving. Then I reminisced about days spent with friends at Grant Park, the one day I worked for Greenpeace and solicited people's billing information in Navy Pier, that one park with a great view, my old work, the places I used to ride my bike to and the quiet little area by the lake I used to do tai chi at. Finally, we exited at Montrose. Saw that the Target finally opened there and talked about how Montrose looks nice until we pass Western.

Finally reached Avers, namesake of this blog. My mom was home watching The Filipino Channel of course, and the house smelled like fried pork chops. Welcome home to us!


  1. Great post along with the corresponding pics. Cleveland gives me the Evanston vibe. Your Avers' downstairs room photo brought back memories. and Lol I totally forgot that you used to do Tai Chi, and I never knew you did it at the lake! I totally thought about Ribfest yesterday and I badly want Rasta Joe's.

    Btw I sent Sofie a lil sumptin. Watch out.

  2. i missed ribfest on lincoln when i was there and i totally thought about you! lol but i will never forget rasta joe's.

  3. i love that first pic with the windmills in the background. so peaceful. i'm glad you had a relaxing trip. i'm sure it was much needed.

    great seeing you again, homegirl. cant wait to see you soon.

  4. I LOVE the last three photos, the soft green and cream are so inspiring. Looks like a warm summer afternoon-but with that comfortable cool breeze. Perhaps I should paint my room green....