cleveland loves toronto

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I would like my cousin Melanie to get engaged every year if it means I get to have as fun a weekend again as I did this past weekend.

I had such a good weekend with my family in fact that I'm positive that this blog recap is going to do it little to no justice.

A blog post just can't adequately describe the fun, the laughter, the drinks, the food or the love that was had.

But let's try shall we?

Myself, my Sissy, my Mom, Yiayia Lambo, Thea Eros, Uncle Nick, Thea Beth, Uncle Rog and our priest Father Nick all met at McKinley Air (right next to CAK) to board a private place to Toronto courtesy of the fabulous Kaplanis family for a fun filled engagement celebration for Melanie and Bob.

My Thea Eros and I posing with our bubbles on the plane, natch. While one would think complimentary bubbles would be the best part of our flight for me I'm going to go with not having to go through any security as the #1 perk hands down.

A shot of our plane and car service picking us up in Toronto. Baller.

Upon our arrival in Canada we were greeted by our hosts Marcia and Aris, said our hellos and took the car to our hotel, the Park Hyatt, in the Bloor-Yorkville area of Toronto. We got situated in our hotel, I did a bit of shopping with my Sissy, napped and then got ready for a night out on the town.

The whole Ohio gang plus, our hosts Marcia/Aris, the couple we were celebrating Melanie/Bob and my other cousin Scott and his fabulous girlfriend Davida got comfy at
Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur - aka the most fabulous restaurant in all of Toronto.

Seriously, Opus is AMAZING.
Some of the best food, drinks and service I've ever experienced.

I loved it
my first time and loved it even more the second time.

It doesn't hurt that my Uncle Aris is very good friends with the owner of Opus, Tony, and we drank magnums of '90
Dom Perignon and rare CARM Douro Reserva and endless bottles of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (BOTTLE SHOCK!).

And that's just the drinks... the foie gras, the oysters, the lamb, the lobster can't be forgotten - it's a foodies dream and if you're ever in Toronto trust me and go to Opus.

Please pardon the fuzzy nature of this photo, but based on the hats my sissy and i REALLY do love Opus.

The newly engaged couple and the reason for all this celebration my cousin Melanie and soon to be cousin Bob!

Post Opus the "youngsters" poured our selves out onto the street and headed to the Bedford Academy where I found out that if you order a Hoegaarden you don't automatically get it in a pint glass you get it in a GIANT Hoegaarden glass that's like 3 pint glasses. Good think we had liquid cocaine shots as chasers.

And then it was morning...

The aforementioned giant Hoegaarden and liquid cocaine shot.

Saturday myself, Sissy, my Mom, Thea Eros and Uncle Nick found a place for brunch solely based on Yelp and Foursquare recommendations. We ended up at
Auntie and Uncles where we waited longer than we wanted to to get seated but the fabulous food quickly wiped our memory of the wait.

We walked around Greektown Toronto next (natch) and then headed back to the Bloor-Yorkville area where we found a rooftop patio to drink on called Remy's a block from our hotel.

But soon it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready because it was the official engagement party time!

As we walked over to the Hazelton Hotel, where the party was being held in a private room of ONE Restaurant, we passed cars parked in valet that cost more than my 5 year salary totaled. We're talking SWANKY.

Obviously I fit right in.

Well, maybe I would have fit in more if Muffin was walking next to me, but that's beside the point.

The room was gorgeous, the cocktails were flowing as much as the food and OMG, the food. Lobster tacos, lamp chops, flatbread, frites, shrimp and greek pastries galore.

MOH Stephanie, my Yiayia Lambo, me, Melanie and my Mom chillin' at ONE.

A wonderful shot of my Yiayia Lambo and my sissy.

The Sissy photo shoot continues with her and our cousin Scott looking oh so dapper.

It was around this time that the wheels began to come off and the Greeks began to come out.

After a brief Greek dance lesson with our non-Greek friends we may or may not have broken some plates....


Sissy, Melanie, Thea Eros and Uncle Aris dominating the dance floor.

Aris armed with an Ouzo touting holster and shot glass "ammunition" was like a shot fairy posing with one of Bob's sisters Jill.

We had so much fun at ONE that saying we had so much fun isn't nearly enough, but we danced our butts off, enjoyed each others company and even had a Mark Wahlberg sighting.

Yes, that Mark Wahlberg.

Mark was staying at the Hazelton Hotel and was kind enough to chat it up and pose for a picture with Melanie who thanks to the party photographer was able to make this image her FB profile pic the very next day.

Post picture taking we may or may not have had the party DJ play Good Vibrations... too bad Mark didn't stick around for the dance party.

By 2am we headed back to the hotel (with my Yiayia in tow!) and slept like babies.

Sunday morning we headed to Marcia and Aris's house for brunch, because we clearly hadn't been eating and drinking enough, before heading to the airport for our trip back to the states.

Our trip home we had to stop in Erie, PA to go through customs before heading back to Canton and while we were waiting this happened....

That would be my sissy and the plane's co-pilot getting comfortable on the wing. Totally normal...

Once we got situated in Canton there was no rest for the wicked because there was another 20+ person celebration starting at Macaroni Grille because my baby cousin Jenna graduated high school!

My little Jenna is all grown up! TEAR!

After dinner me, sissy and CK headed to Panini's in belden village for amazing people watching on the patio.

The patio party continued on Monday while we headed to my old stomping grounds of Don Pablo's for sangria and a late lunch before taking in a viewing of Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids was meh, in my humble opinion.

Phew. End Scene.

Now that's what I call a Memorial Day weekend to remember.

I can't thank the Kaplanis family enough for all the hospitality in Toronto - let the countdown to the wedding in Naples begin!


  1. I hope you introduced yourself to Marky Mark too!

  2. allison, i totally didn't get a chance to. missed him by *that much*.

  3. I have heard Toronto is a great city. I will have to add it to my list of places to visit. The Mark Wahlberg siting is just too cool. I think a lot of movies are filmed in Toronto so I wonder if he was there for business or pleasure.

  4. Sounds like a fabulous weekend! Glad you had so much fun!

  5. Ummmm, I'm pretty sure if I was flown on a private jet, put up at a Park Hyatt, drank Dom and fraternized with celebrities, it really wouldn't matter where I was. Just saying that I think your experience has way more to do with your AWESOME WEEKEND than the locale. =)

  6. All I can think is "How ya doin', goat? Say hello to your mudda for me".

  7. One Restaurant is the greatest place in the history of Canada.

    i'm prepared to make that statement.

  8. Dude that is some PIMP travel! And Mark Wahlberg ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

  9. what an amazing trip! omg, i am so jealous! that plane ride was probably a blast!

    omg you didnt laugh your ass off at bridesmaids? maybe its cus they have a bar inside my theater? Nah, it was still funny!

    btw don pablos? i could eat 50 of their tortillas and never have enough!!!

  10. Wow! Your family must be L-O-A-D-E-D!


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