Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Old Mill Winery

Photos by OHventures

403 S. Broadway St.
Geneva, OH 44041
(440) 466-5560

The Old Mill Winery, as you might have guessed, is a winery that was built in what was once a working mill. It joins the ranks of other old-things-turned-into-wineries, such as the nearby Old Firehouse Winery (an old firehouse turned into a winery, located down the street in Geneva-On-The-Lake), South River Vineyard (an old church turned into a winery, located about 10 minutes away in Harpersfield), and the School House Winery (you guessed it - an old school house turned into a winery, located in Dover).

Located in the City of Geneva (just a few minutes south of the Lake Erie coast), Old Mill Winery is spacious on the inside, and has a large, outdoor deck perfect for summertime drinking (I particularly enjoy the directional signs right outside the patio, which point to various nearby local wineries - pictured below). The interior is dark, with an old fashioned feel to it. Old street signs and other antiques cover the walls, and large exposed wooden planks run across the low ceiling (like an old mill, naturally).

The bartenders explained that they are known for their sangria, as well as their Grindstone White and Grindstone Red wines. I decided to do a tasting of a variety of wines, including both of these. The Grindstone Red tasted much like grape juice and was very sweet and jammy. I decided to take home a bottle, however, to offset some of the usual dry reds that I have on the wine rack, so I have a variety for my guests. They also have a Grindstone Pink (a blush wine that is typically used in their sangria coolers), and a surprisingly oaky and peppery Cabernet.

There are some food options that pair perfectly with their wine, and is reason alone to visit the establishment. For an appetizer, I tried the Old Mill Dip (a roasted red pepper, cheese,  and sausage dip), which was out of this world. Other house favorites include the St. Louis Style Ribs, the Original and Loaded Wine Burger, and the Niagara Pasta Alfredo with your choice of meat.

Visiting Old Mill Winery for some wine or food is, to me, is one of the must-do things when visiting Geneva. It brings out the charm and character of the lakeside city and will be a regular stop for me whenever I am in town.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bodhi Tree Guesthouse & Studio

Photos by OHventures

8950 Lavelle Road
Athens, OH 45701
(740) 707-2050

The Bodhi Tree Guesthouse & Studio in Athens is approaching its one year anniversary of being in business, and is quickly becoming a premier Ohio destination for rest and relaxation. This Buddhist-inspired getaway can be found off the beaten path, hidden among the trees and on four acres of the Appalachian hillsides of Southeast Ohio. Travelers can choose to stay overnight in one of four beautifully furnished guest rooms, each with different sized beds and amenities.

In addition to being a cozy wooded bed and breakfast, Bodhi Tree also offers meditative and therapeutic services, such as Thai massages, private yoga classes, and a refreshing and revitalizing flotation tank (an extremely unique and rare experience in the area).

Booking a room (the one with the King Bed, naturally) earlier this summer allowed for me to retreat from the busyness of life, clear my mind, and treat both my body and soul. I opted for a Thai massage coupled with a 60-minute float, which began shortly after I checked myself in to the guesthouse via an access code given to me prior to my arrival.

I was anxious to try the float tank, so I made sure that it was first on my schedule during my visit to Bodhi Tree Guesthouse. The tank itself is located in one of the back rooms of the first floor. It is a giant white pod filled with a high-density saltwater solution, and illuminated with purple lighting. The tank is a sound-proof and light-proof chamber that allows for ultimate solitude and relaxation. There are 90-minute floats and couple floats available as well.

Entering the tank for the first time was a surreal sensation. It took a bit of time to get acclimated to the fact you are completely suspended, with just your face peeking above the water as you lay on your back. But once you trust the fact that you will indeed stay afloat, it becomes an incredibly peaceful experience, complete with light soothing music in the background.

After a quick shower to rinse off the saltwater, it was time for my Thai massage. One of the owners of the Bodhi Tree, Liz Chamberlain, performed this deep pressure massage that is done on mats rather than on a table. Thai massages help to strengthen you with full body stretches that adjust your joints and massage your muscle tissue. It was energizing and much needed!

The rest of the day allowed for me to explore a bit of downtown Athens, which is just 5-10 minutes away! I returned in time to watch the sunset out on the gorgeous back deck, and read a book in the candlelit living room. There are no televisions at Bodhi Tree Guesthouse, so I was accompanied by just the sound of crickets!

One final element of my stay was the complimentary breakfast offered the following morning. It was a hearty vegetarian spread featuring ingredients grown on the premises and sourced from area farms. This included yogurt from Snowville Creamery, and a roasted tomato & gruyere quiche cooked with local eggs. It was a tasty and perfect way to end the stay.

Thanks to the owners Liz and Russell Chamberlain, the Bodhi Tree Guesthouse & Studio is an excellent rendezvous for locals and out-of-towners that will leave you recharged and inspired!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Countdown To The Wellness Walk & Run

In just under a month, the Akron Wellness Walk & Run is taking place in the City of Stow in Summit County! The event takes place on September 5, 2015 with a goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle for you and the whole family!

5K runs are a dime a dozen these days, so here is a list of "Ten Reasons to Register for the Wellness Walk & Run"!

1. If you are not a runner, there is a special "Walking Division" so you don't have to worry about being surrounded by tons of competitive types (or vice versa).

2. Whether you walk or run, the course is very scenic. It is a multi-terrain course taking place on trails and the roadway!

3. You will get a cool race t-shirt like the charcoal gray one pictured above!

4. The event is a benefit for the Muffins for Mammograms program, which helps provide underinsured and uninsured women with a free breast exam!

5. Because of the benefiting organization, every participant gets a giant blueberry or double chocolate muffin at the finish line!

6. You'll also get to chow down on Subway subs, popcorn from Metropolis popcorn, and water & bananas courtesy of Giant Eagle.

7. Great prizes will be raffled off to all of those who register! There will be free Lifestyles gym memberships and TITLE Boxing Club memberships, among other items up for grabs.

8. There is a total of 80 medals to be awarded to men and women who finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their age group (walkers included)! 

9. The finish line will provide tons of fun and interactive elements, including a warm-up and cool-down session, short massages from a licensed massage therapist, a live DJ, photo booth, bike safety demonstration, cornhole, and more.

Farewell to Nosker House

Photo by The Ohio State University

It is a sad time for me and many of my fellow Ohio State Buckeyes. My first ever home away from home - my Ohio State University dorm building, Nosker, has been demolished. 

I lived here in 2003-2005 and met some of my greatest college friends. We played countless games of Mario Kart, worked the front desk, participated in Comm-Tech scholars, raced the slowest-ever-elevator up the stairs to the 4th floor, consumed disgustingly unhealthy amounts of Easy Mac, Burritos Noches, and Code Red, crammed as many people possible in one dorm room for TV or movie watching parties, and, oh yeah, maybe studied a time or two. 

Photo Courtesy of @OSUNorthCampus

Having strong connections to places and locations is a sign of a true adventurer. I went back to where my dorm was stood in the University District of Columbus, and it was a very surreal feeling to see nothing but a pile of bricks and rubble piled beneath a giant crane. It is strange that I can never physically return to the dorm that helped form who I am today.

Photo by OHventures

It's a sad day but I know Nosker lives on in many people's memories! How firm thy friendship...!

A photo of some of the closest friends I made from Nosker House (Jared, Austin, Brandon, Ryan, Charlie, Matt, Katie, Jess, and Me) at a wedding in 2010

Some history of Nosker House thanks to www.osu.edu:
On April 6, 1962, the Board of Trustees dedicated a group of dorms on North Campus, including the four to be demolished. These buildings were going to alleviate the housing crisis the University found itself in during post-war enrollment boom of the ’50s and ’60s. What is special about these buildings is that they were named in honor of U.S. war veterans who were all Ohio State students or alumni and who had died during one of the major conflicts, from the First World War through the Korean War. The only two buildings on North Campus not named for a veteran are Drackett Tower and North Commons (Taylor, of Taylor Tower fame, was a veteran, but he survived and worked at Ohio State for many years after he left the service). The four dorms to be demolished are named for the following individuals: 
William C. “Bill” Nosker played three years on the varsity football team as a guard (1938-1940), and served as class president during his sophomore year (1940). He graduated in 1942 with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture. In December 1943, he was deployed overseas and flew more than 30 missions before he died after a night-time takeoff on August 15, 1944, in Italy. He was awarded the Bronze Star for a mission over Romania, as well as an Air Medal, issued to those who distinguish themselves during an aerial fight. Nosker’s Air Medal had three oak leaf clusters, signifying that he had received this decoration three times.
Photo by J. Zangmeister