Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Season of Festivals and Pool Time is Upon Us!

What a great weekend!  We finally had some amazing weekend weather - 70s and sunny!!  I am so happy that I finally had a weekend where I could enjoy some sun instead of rainy, chilly weather.  Warm weather also means the festivals are starting and the pools are opening!  I was able to enjoy the 2013 Cleveland Asian Festival and some pool time with my old teammate and friend, Erika.

The Cleveland Asian Festival is something I have been trying to get to for the past two years, but I know for sure the weather last year was not cooperating with me.  The main reason I go to ethnic festivals is for the food :) and to learn about other cultures.  It helps me get a taste of the countries I still want to visit - haha.  I love Asian food and the Cleveland Asian Festival definitely delivered in that area.  I went with my mom and two sisters to the festival and we beelined straight for the food and ordered from many different stands!  I can't believe we had so much food, but it was totally worth it - I have pictures for evidence!  Check out everything we ate:

 Indian Curry, Sushi, and two samosas (one with chicken and another with sweet pea - everything was delicious!  The curry was a little spicy :)  the sweet pea samosa was a little sweet, which was a nice surprise!
  
 Chutney Roll from the Asian Fusion Stand.  This was my absolute favorite item we ordered.  It was spicy and very flavorful with a nice blend of spices

 A steam bun with pulled chicken - could definitely taste some cinnamon in there!

 Steamed pork dumplings - very light - which was great!

 Desserts from Koko Bakery - Strawberry mousse, cheesecake, rich chocolate brownie, key lime cake, and a custard mini pie with fruit - I only had a nibble of each :)

 Lychee Bubble Tea - I am not a fan of lychee, but I did like the bubbles I was able to get through the straw ;)

My mom enjoying a bite of a red bean stuffed sesame bun - another dessert - not super sweet, but a very nice flavor

After we sampled food from the different stands, we walked around the outdoor exhibitors to see what authentic Asian items were being sold: umbrellas, clothing, accessories, etc.  The items were all very beautiful.  There were also stands from companies around the Greater Cleveland area, including Vitamix!  A local company selling local organic honey was set-up at the festival...but I didn't have any money :(  And they were selling baby honey bears!
Look at those little baby bears!! So cute - I just want to eat one!

 My sister, Ashley, enjoying some healthy ice cream!  The Vitamix guy was making and handing out samples of ice cream - made with fruit and spinach - very creamy and delicious!

Not too sure what this was for, but we had to get a picture with it!

There were also performers at the Asian Festival, including children dance groups, martial arts, musicians, and a dragon!  
He was dancing to the drum and spitting tennis balls into the audience.

A big part of the festival was making a point to celebrate the Year of the Snake - which is my year!  I learned that a snake does not settle for mediocrity ;)  The snake is also a great and positive sign!! :)  For those that don't know, the snake is part of the Chinese Zodiac - a 12-year cycle used for dating the years - with 12 animals.  I don't really believe in Zodiac - I just think it is fun!  And of course I had to get my picture will all of the snakes on display!

 Python reticulatus by: Steven Gutierrez Sponsor: SCSDC

 Naga; Sagacity Snake by Beth Gregerson Sponsor: ASI

 Unexpected Stitch by: Sean Kelly Sponsor: Melt Bar & Grilled

 Rocky B. Boa by: Lisa Ruschman Sponsor: Strauss Electric

Cloisonnake by: Carol Tomasik Sponsor: Asia Plaza

I really enjoyed the Cleveland Asian Festival and cannot wait for it next year!  The rest of Saturday I took it easy.  On Sunday, I went to church, soaked up some sun with Erika, then met Shannon for some retail therapy and a Whole Foods trip.  I cannot wait to share my finds :)  I also bake some protein bars that I will be sharing tomorrow - they are delicious!  I unfortunately witnessed the Penguins loss - which is why this post is coming so late.  Hope we rally on Wednesday!  But, I need to sleep...I'm visiting my 38 kids tomorrow morning - from student teaching..haha.

Good night!

What kind of festivals are near you?

Have you ever made your own protein bars?  What kind?

How did you spend your weekend?

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