Archive for the ‘Medina activities’ Category
Posted by Jennifer
If you haven’t started making dinner today, STOP RIGHT NOW.
Here’s what you do: Drive over to Dickey’s BBQ Pit, 960 N. Court St. in Medina, and pick up some of the $2 BBQ chicken sandwiches. It’s a Monday-only special during the month of January.
We tried them for lunch today — ohhhhh, were they good.
For $2 you get several thick slices of barbequed chicken breast topped with two thick slices of onion and sliced pickles on a thick, soft, sesame-seed bun. The sauce comes in a container on the side, so you can add as much as you like. This is especially nice if you use the drive-through (as we did) — the sandwich doesn’t get soggy on the way home.
My husband and I thought they were fantastic.
If chicken isn’t your thing, there’s also a pulled-pork sandwich special with two sides and a large drink for $7.99 — almost $3 off the usual price. The sandwich is normally $5.50, and you can add two sides for $3. Drinks are $2.25. The menu is here.
The deals are good all day for dine-in or carry-out. However, if you’re budget-conscious, as we are, you can save a lot of money by taking the sandwiches home and not buying their soft drinks, which are expensive, at $2.25 for a large, plastic cup you can refill during that visit. (If the cup were refillable on subsequent visits, it would be worth doing the first time and saving for future trips.) But, eating in is nice too, because you can help yourself to all three BBQ sauces, plus free, big, fat pickles and soft-serve ice cream.
At lunch today, we pulled out of the Dickey’s drive-through and headed directly across the street to Dairy Queen, where everything is half price on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Feb. 25. We picked up a cheeseburger kids’ meal for our 4-year-old, plus two medium soft drinks for us, for a grand total of $3.93.
With my teen-age daughters declaring themselves “unofficial vegetarians” this weekend, and my husband working a night shift, I guess I will save the kielbasa dinner I’d planned for another day. Instead, I will warm up yesterday’s good pasta and shrimp leftovers — and pick up a couple of those BBQ chicken sandwiches for my teen-age son. Thanks, Dickey’s!
Posted by Jennifer
If your New Year’s resolutions included a new commitment to be healthy and fit — or even if you’re looking to do something fun with your family — you should check out the Medina Community Recreation Center this Sunday, Jan. 13.
The MCRC is holding an open house with free admission — with a canned or non-perishable food item per person — with access to the swimming pool, track basketball courts and fitness room. Screenings, nutrition information and massage therapy also will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You will need to bring a photo ID, plus your own swimsuit, towel and lock for the lockers in the changing rooms.
This is a good deal, especially since admission to the MCRC normally costs $7 per person, or $5 per visit if you buy a multi-visit punch card ($25 for five or $50 for 10 visits).
On the Friday before my kids went back to school, I splurged and took the tribe to the MCRC to swim, play basketball and work out.
Of course, since my husband was at work, I once again had the extreme joy of trying to convince my not-quite-8-year-old son to stay in arm’s length of me. Never mind that he’s tall enough to go down the slide (unaccompanied, of course).
This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that my arm also had to be within reach of my 4-year-old son, who mostly wanted to splash around the ankle-deep water and ride the current around the circular resistance pool.
I really wrestle with the MCRC’s big, bold policy on this. I understand they believe it’s for the children’s safety — but it aggravates me to no end every time I visit. I had knots in my stomach the entire time as I argued with my older son to stay shallow and cajoled my younger one to let me carry him into deeper water. All while four teen lifeguards sat complacently watching about a total of 20 people in the pool.
I don’t understand why my older son couldn’t venture deeper (still below his chest) while I stayed with my little guy in the splash zone. Isn’t that why we have lifeguards?
After awhile we gave up there, got dressed and went to the front desk to get a basketball for the Field House. They were all checked out. Grr. We appreciated that the manager offered us a ball from the lost and found.
Once we got back to the Field House, we found all the balls. They were sitting along the walls, unused, while groups of gangly fifth- and sixth-graders played with one or two balls. They really had to each check out a ball?
We found an unused hoop in the back corner and the boys started dribbling and shooting the ball. My little guy and I ran “races” and mostly watched. After a little while, though, a group of college-age men and I suppose a few of their fathers gathered in the middle of our court and started choosing teams for what was no doubt going to be an aggressive, full-court game.
I watched from beside the court. They clearly knew that I was there with the boys. They clearly knew that the boys were there first.
Not one of them was courteous enough to ask if we were about done, or if we minded moving to another court. They took over and dominated the space.
I don’t begrudge them their game. But I was disappointed in their lack of civility and the presumption that the woman and young boys would make room for them. (Even though that’s what we did, with dirty looks back as we walked away.)
If I needed a redeeming point about the experience, it was that it became a teachable moment with my 13-year-old son. “I hope, if you ever are confronted with this type of situation, you would have the decency to say something to the mom and her kids, or the younger students, or whomever is in your way — and ask them to move, before you simply presume that you can muscle them out,” I told him. “Oh, I will,” he responded. “They were jerks.”
I know some of these things aren’t the fault of the Rec Center, but they were part of the cumulative experience that did not make me want to run and spend nearly $600 for our seven-member family to join.
I’m annoyed that we have to spend more to join because we have more than the allotted three children. I’m annoyed that you have to be eight before you can set foot on the track, even with adult supervision. I’m annoyed with the arm’s length rule in the pool. I’m annoyed that lessons are still expensive and difficult to get into if you are a member. I’m annoyed that it still costs a lot of money to join, when we have a limited budget.
But if you are an adult or a small family with some extra dollars available, the Rec Center is a lovely place to work out. I have enjoyed the fitness center and the track, when I could go alone. For me, those times are few and far between.
Someday, maybe, we’ll join again. But in the meantime, I will take advantage of these free or low-cost admission days.
Posted by Jennifer
Sometimes the generosity of strangers can take your breath away.
And, this Christmas, we were astonished and humbled by the depth of that generosity by a Medina merchant.
I’ve wanted to tell you this story for a couple of weeks now, but the holidays seemed to consume so much time. Still, the story is so good, it is worth revisiting.
During the 28th annual Candlelight Walk on Medina’s Square the weekend before Thanksgiving, we took the opportunity to visit the merchants around the square. Now, we very much appreciate that they are there — tell me another little town like ours that has virtually a zero vacancy rate in its historic “Main Street” area! — but rarely do we take the time to stop inside.
It’s not that we don’t enjoy browsing and, potentially, buying, but having two little guys in tow is not especially conducive to such meandering.
But the Candlelight Walk is a great time to make an exception. It was Friday night, and Mayor Dennis Hanwell was preparing to light the tree in the center of the gazebo.
We wandered into the Posh Peacock, on the south side of the square. If you haven’t been there, it’s an adorable and different kind of shop. It mostly has clothes for girls and women — cute styles, perfect for special occasions — but there are such unexpected things as duct-tape wallets that caught my 7-year-old son’s eye. The shop has shoes and jewelry, too. Its owner describes it as an “ultra-feminine boutique inspired by uniqueness and exclusivity.”
We didn’t buy anything this time, but made mental notes to stop back. And on the way out, we noticed a little box on a table with a sign describing the shop’s “Posh Princess” program.
“Do you know someone who deserves to be a princess?” it read. The sign said the shop likes to bestow gifts on deserving “princesses” — age 0 to 100, who are going through a rough time or are in need — and invites visitors to fill out a little slip of paper with a would-be princess’s name and some details, along with the nominating person’s information.
That day we had learned that the father of a longtime friend of our daughter’s had lost his job. It wasn’t a great job — long hours, low pay — but it was the family’s only source of income, aside from the mother’s disability. This is a family that lives frugally and does its best to keep its collective head above water, but it seems that they are beset by one challenge after another. On top of that, her friend was being bullied at school.
We decided my daughter’s friend deserved to be a princess.
Not knowing exactly what that meant, my daughter filled out the slip and we went on our way.
About a week before Christmas, my daughter got a call from the owner of the Posh Peacock, informing her that her friend had been selected to be made a “princess” — and she needed to know the friend’s sizes. But, it was supposed to be a surprise.
I called the mother of the friend and told her, “I can’t tell you why, but I need to know your daughter’s sizes. Also, will you be home tomorrow?” Intrigued, she played along.
The next day, we arrived at our friends’ house just ahead of the Posh Peacock owner, Brianna Allen.
Stepping inside, Brianna presented our daughter’s friend with a big gift bag, in which she had put jeans, leggings, several funky and sparkly tops, a fluffy bath robe, a jacket and more. Then, she presented gift cards for Giant Eagle to the parents, so they could buy groceries or gasoline, plus two gift cards to Justice for the friend’s younger sister.
Brianna explained that the gift cards were from her husband’s business, A Ki Resoration, and that together they pull a name from the nominees each week and bestow gifts.
All told, there must have been more than $300 worth of gifts. Maybe more.
Our friends were grateful, if a bit embarrassed. But I was so impressed with this couple’s generosity.
Checking out the Posh Peacock website tonight, I see that Brianna has a goal to create a non-profit organization focused on girls and women.
I think she has an excellent start.
Posted by Jennifer
Hey friends… I know this is last-minute, but if you don’t have plans for tonight here’s something fun to do with your family.
I saw on Facebook that someone is organizing a Snowman Flash Mob for tonight at 8 p.m. on Medina’s Square.
The instructions are to arrive at 7:55 p.m. and hang out on the periphery, either across the street or on the surrounding sidewalks. Stay off the central square. Wait for the signal (I don’t know what this signal will be!) and then move to the square and build as many 2-foot snowmen as you can. After 20 or 30 minutes there will be an ending signal, when you are to leave the central area and stand on the perimeter. There may be caroling at that point.
I can’t vouch for the veracity of this plan or if it would work, but what fun if it does!
And, if it doesn’t, take your family to Cool Beans or the Bakery Shoppe for a cup of cocoa, or to Lemonberry for a dish of frozen yogurt.
Either way, it’s a fun story for the family, right?
I wish we could go – I have a previously scheduled choir practice at 7:30, though! I hope some of my kids will check it out for me! If you go, please let me know what happens!
Posted by Jennifer
I stopped by the Buehler’s River Styx store today in Medina and was so excited about a couple of deals I wanted to share them with you.
First, as you enter the store, there are displays of Wheat Thins and Ritz crackers, on sale this week — 2 for $4. Not a bad price, but wait, it gets better: Many of the boxes have coupons on them for 75 cents off one box. Which can be doubled. Making that box of crackers just 50 cents.
They are not close-dated — it’s just a good deal. By comparison, Giant Eagle has these crackers on sale for $2.50 this week.
The Wheat Thins coupon carries the added requirement that you buy a beverage.
OK, that’s not hard.
Buehler’s also has 2-liter bottles of 7-Up, Canada Dry and Sun Drop on sale for 89 cents (including a cranberry Canada Dry in diet and regular sodas, which is perfect for serving at Christmas). And, if you buy four of them, use the hang-tag on the bottles for another $1 off, for a final cost of 64 cents each. (At Giant Eagle these same bottles are $1.50.)
At these prices, don’t forget to pick up an extra couple of boxes for the food pantry.
A word of caution — my father visited the Buehler’s Forest Meadows store today and did not find cracker packages with the coupons (which is what makes the sale so good), so this might be only at the River Styx store. I don’t know if that’s just because those packages weren’t yet put on the shelves, or why it would be different.
This time of year we can go through a lot of Ritz crackers — with cheese or cheese balls, or my dad’s Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly over cream cheese, which makes a great appetizer.
Here’s a recipe that’s a little unusual but really, really good. One year the husband of a co-worker made these for his wife to give away as little gifts, and I couldn’t believe how simple it was.
CHOCOLATE COVERED “RITZ” TREATS
1 box Ritz crackers
1 sm. jar peanut butter
1 pkg. milk chocolate melting pieces
Put generous amount of peanut butter between 2 Ritz crackers. Melt chocolate over low heat (add a little shaved paraffin to help it set up).
Using fork, dip crackers in melted chocolate, covering both sides. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets up and can be removed from paper easily.
Posted by Jennifer
One year ago, when the walk-up Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream store opened here in Medina, I felt a little pity for the owners.
“Too bad they didn’t get the store opened a few months earlier, when it was warmer and they would have had customers,” I remember thinking.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I travel by the Handel’s store, at 1050 S. Court St., at least once a day — and I would be hard-pressed to think of a time when I did not see someone — or a crowd of someones — standing at the counter to buy the premium ice cream.
That includes days when it was freezing. Many days there are so many people standing outside to buy ice cream that its small parking lot is full.
For a stand that has no indoor waiting area, that is really saying something.
The ice cream isn’t cheap, but it definitely is good. I mean, with flavors like Chocoholic Peanut Butter Ripple, Chunky Mint Chocolate Chip and Spouse Like a House, how can you go wrong?
Its popularity is especially impressive considering that the Lemonberry frozen yogurt shop opened up on the square within a few months of Handel’s opening. Both dessert shops offer a quality product that consumers are willing and eager to patronize, and both remain busy a year later.
In celebration of its anniversary and in gratitude to the community, Handel’s is offering its single-scoop dishes and cones for just $1 on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.
I offer two pieces of advice if you’re thinking of going:
1) Be prepared to wait; and
2) Bring your warm coat, hat and mittens.
And no, I maintain, it is not incongruous to wear winter apparel in order to eat ice cream!
Posted by Jennifer
Were you among the 12,000 to 15,000 people who visited the square on Saturday for the International Fest?
Organizers say the numbers were down this year, but I wouldn’t have guessed that. It seemed like everywhere we turned, throughout the day, we ran into friends and neighbors there to enjoy the food, music, vendors and general fun of the event.
Since my father was selling his jams and jellies as usual for the farmers market, my son Ryan came along to help man the table. They arrived at 8 a.m. to set up, and it was going to be a long, hot day, since the festival lasted until at 7 p.m.
An hour into the market, we swung by the park, en route to a soccer game, to drop off a table to replace one that had collapsed under the weight of his jelly jars (no worries – no damage to the jelly!). Already things at the park were humming with lots of people, cars slowing down to check out what was going on, and the feel of something special permeating the air.
That afternoon, my husband brought our daughters to work with their grandpa, and picked up our son for his Boy Scout meeting. There was our friend Tom Tulisiak, president of Medina Hospital, dancing a polka with his daughter, Sam, as the band played along Broadway. So much fun!
That evening, we returned to get dinner from the variety of food vendors. By then, the temperatures had cooled and it was a pleasant evening to visit with friends and neighbors, while Latin jazz music played nearby.
I was tempted by the chicken paprikash, pierogis and cabbage and noodles from one stand. But for $8, I decided on a delicious rock shrimp peauxboy (po’boy) from the bright yellow Zydeco truck. The hoagie was stuffed with freshly battered and fried shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes and a mayonnaise-based sauce. It was hot and absolutely delicious.
My husband opted for the Reuben egg roll and corned-beef slider from Medina’s own Sully’s. One of those things came with Sully’s homemade potato chips — which are worth getting just for themselves.
The little boys were turning up their noses at the ethnic food — they favored the $2 cotton candy — but eventually we convinced them to split a couple of meatballs from Bruno’s (I think that’s the name!). They were big and tender and so much better than what I have made!
My 16-year-old got a chicken pita stuffed with vegetables and a cucumber yogurt sauce for $6.50. I don’t remember what the others chose. We all split homemade ice cream from another truck parked along Washington Street. My husband opted for the vanilla Reese’s cup and bought a $3 dish of coconut cream for me. It was soft and, except for the coconut flavor, tasted exactly like the hand-cranked vanilla we made when we were kids.
We thoroughly enjoyed the day and only wished it lasted maybe an hour longer. By 7 p.m., soccer was over for the day, the heat of the day had mellowed and it was still light enough to linger in Uptown Park. We almost didn’t want to leave. But, I’m sure the vendors and musicians were tired by then and ready to call it a day.
Note to Main Street Medina organizers: What if the “International Fest” part of the day opened at 11 or 12 (instead of at 9, when the Farmers Market starts) to catch the after-soccer and lunch crowd, and lasted until 8?
That said, although we had just arrived about 5:45 p.m. to spend some time, the vendors and everyone else had been there all day and I’m sure were exhausted by the heat and the pressure of being “on” so long.
My dad closed up shop a bit early, having sold out of most of his jelly, and he declared it a day for record sales. He was nearly hoarse from talking to so many people all day! He even had a chef express interest in possibly using his jelly in his restaurant — so Dad was pleased and intrigued by the business opportunities of such a collaboration.
All in all, it was another one of those great events that makes you proud you live in Medina.
Posted by Jennifer
Rec soccer starts tomorrow in Medina, but you’ll want to carve out time to stop by the 4th annual Medina International Fest from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Square.
I know, the words “Medina” and “international” might not seem to go together. After all, quaint little Medina seems like the epitome of old-fashioned Americana: apple pie, baseball, that sort of thing.
But you might be surprised. Main Street Medina organizers have put together a nice little event showcasing a host of cultures — with the food, entertainment, sights and sounds that go along with them.
The weekly Farmers Market will take place as well, but it gets kicked up a notch with the addition of dozens of vendors selling handmade crafts, fine art, fair trade goods, clothing, jewelry and more. Last year my daughter found a funky patchwork shoulder bag she carried for high school.
What I like even more is the variety of ethnic foods available from area restaurants and regional food trucks, which are all the rage in Cleveland and other bigger cities. Zydeco Bistro had some delicious things last year – I think that’s where I got the ratatouille — but there also will be Greek, Italian, Hungarian, Irish, Lebanese and Middle Eastern fare. No mass-produced goods or food is permitted.
Walk around while you eat or take in a show from one of the bands that will be performing. Last year I marveled at the talents of Irish dancers but this year I’m curious about the belly dancers scheduled to perform at 4:30 p.m. A German band, reggae, Latin jazz and a steel-drum band also are on the schedule.
The plethora of cultures might seem a bit foreign to little old Midwestern Medina, but then again, isn’t it that variety that made America in the first place?
Posted by Jennifer
As much as I try to avoid it when I have to travel from the south side of town, where we live, to the stores along North Court Street, I love Medina’s historic square.
We usually travel along Huntington Street (that’s the street that runs behind Regal Cinemas) when we have to go shopping.
But when we are walking in the square, particularly on a sunny Saturday morning during the Farmers Market, it is easy to forget the hustle and bustle of traffic around you as trucks and just about everyone else it seems attempts to navigate the gazillion state routes that meet in our humble downtown.
So we are always looking for an excuse to visit the Square and on Thursday will be just such an occasion.
The Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities is hosting its annual ice cream social.
For a long time, I thought this event was just for clients of the board.
It is not. The event is free and open to all. There will be ice cream, thanks to Smith Dairy, and toppings, thanks to Smuckers, and even games and other family-friendly activities from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Organizers say the event is designed to raise awareness and promote inclusion of those with disabilities. As they say, it is an opportunity for the community to “better understand and accept the unique differences in all of us.”
Amen. And save a scoop or two or three or four or five or six or seven for the Webbs. We’ll leave the dog at home.
Posted by Jennifer
The sun will be shining and the weather perfect for tomorrow’s 6th annual Chalk Art Festival on the square in Medina.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, children — and other amateur artists — can borrow a free bucket of chalk (provided at the square), pick a sidewalk square and color to their heart’s content. If they complete a free registration, they will be eligible for prizes in their age categories. No oil pastels are permitted on the sidewalk.
Many of the local businesses in the Historic District have sponsored professional, college and high school artists to create works of chalk art on easels at their storefronts. These artists will be judged, and winners will receive gift certificates from the sponsors. The entire event is sponsored by FirstMerit Bank.
Meanwhile, Asian Martial Arts will present live demonstrations of various techniques, and FM 91.3 The Summit/KIDJAM Radio will broadcast live. The Medina County Public Library Bookmobile will be parked adjacent to the Square during the event.
This is one more great (and free!) event that typically draws about 5,000 visitors to downtown Medina. It’s such fun to see the kids on their hands and knees, adding color and life to the square. You can bet local shops — including house favorite Lemonberry frozen yogurt — will be hopping as families discover and enjoy the beauty and charm of our little town.
It’s stuff like this that makes us proud to be Medina residents! Thank you to Main Street Medina and all the businesses and individuals who make these events possible!