Last weekend, PJ and I, as well as our friends M&L, went to Cleveland for the Conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association. I’ve already written about the first half of the weekend.

After going to the Cleveland Museum of Art, PJ and I met up with M&L and a friend of theirs from graduate school for lunch at Flannery’s Pub, where I had the corned beef sandwich, which was so tasty and succulent. I’m constantly on the lookout for a good corned beef sandwich here in Athens but haven’t found one to suit my taste yet. Often, they can end up too greasy, or the corned beef doesn’t have much of a taste. This sandwich was perfect. (Excuse me while I pause for a moment and reminisce.)

Next, we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is the second time we had been to the Hall of Fame. Consequently, we didn’t want to linger quite as much over some of the first exhibits as M&L did, so we went on ahead of them. In many ways, I find this museum overwhelming. There’s just too much to see and take in. So I spend most of my time search out Tina Turner memorabilia. I have to say that she’s not nearly as well represented in the Hall of Fame as she should be. Hopefully this error will be remedied by inducting her as an individual and not just as part of Ike and Tina Turner, which is how she is currently recognized.

The special exhibit this time was on The Doors. I have to admit that I don’t know much about them. We saw Jim Morrison’s grave while we were in Paris this summer. As part of the exhibit you can watch a video of a Door’s concert. I sat there for a while to see if I could get a little of The Doors experience. I eventually came to the conclusion that one really needs to be high on something to get the full effect. Their music seems to entice one towards drugs, which would undoubtedly augment the experience. Not being high, I couldn’t quite get into them while watching the video, but I was almost tempted to buy a CD of their music in the gift shop just to give them another chance. Almost.

When PJ and I got back to our hotel, our room was being cleaned so we had to go down to the bar for a drink. We then took a brief nap and got ready for dinner. Six years ago we had eaten at a place called Mallorca, which, as the name suggests, serves Spanish cuisine. One of our goals on this trip was to pay it another visit. So, we had dinner at Mallorca, which is now officially our favorite restaurant in Ohio. Let me give you the full rundown:

First, we got a pitcher of sangria. PJ thought it was a little too much, but I happily drank two-thirds of it (at least). One of the things that’s so impressive about the restaurant is the service. The waiter (or any other worker who happens to be walking by) constantly refills your glass for you. If you’re drinking lots of water, that’s no big deal. But when a pitcher of sangria is sitting in front of you, it’s a recipe for perfect happiness!

We each started with a bowl of gazpacho, my favorite soup. This version was heavy on the garlic, which made it even more delicious. We realized that we have to start adding more garlic to ours next time we make it. Shortly after we got our soup, we were also served a small dinner salad. We didn’t know we were getting salads, so we were a bit surprised to now have two things to eat at the same time. (I’m not sure what dressing was on the salad, but it was delicious too.) We also had a basket of bread.

I ordered the Paella Valenciana, which was a huge serving of rice, chicken, and seafood, and PJ ordered Veal Scallopini with Fresh Mushrooms in a Marsala Wine Sauce. Our entrees came with rice, fried potatoes, and steamed vegetables. It was certainly a table-full of food. My paella was delicious, and PJ was practically moaning in ecstasy over his veal.

If could possibly have ordered a dessert we would have, but we were much too full. Dinner ends with a digestive. I think we had the Amareto Di Saranno. We need to see if we can find some here in Athens.

As we got back to our hotel, M called to let us know that he and his friend Mike were in the hotel bar and that Liz and some of their other friends were going to join them. We therefore went up to our room to toss our coats on the bed and then went back down to the bar and had a couple of drinks. I’ll admit that I don’t have a clear memory of the rest of that evening.

PJ and M’s panel was on Sunday morning, so I got up, ate breakfast, and then went to their session. All three of the papers were interesting. M’s paper was on a rap group that I wasn’t familiar with, and PJ’s paper was on Walt Whitman and Johnny Cash. (The panel was on capital punishment in 20thC American literature; this was the second of two sessions on the topic.) After the session, we went out to eat lunch at Fat Fish Blues, which was fine. We then got on the road and drove back to Athens.

All in all, it was a fun trip. Hopefully, we’ll make it back to Cleveland again before another six years passes. Maybe next time, we’ll do something we haven’t done before!

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