Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes - Akron

Torchbearers is a group of young leaders in Akron who are passionate about building awareness for and bringing an end to sexual violence and rape.

The Torchbearers aim to raise $1,500 in donations for the Rape Crisis Center of Medina & Summit Counties through the 10th Annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event.

With your help and your generous donations, members of Torchbearers - MEN included - will throw on a pair of women's heels and walk a mile through downtown Akron on Friday, April 24.

(If you recall, I participated in a similar event in Canton in October, which you can read about and see all the funny pics here.)

Doing this allows the men of Torchbearers to literally and figuratively consider what it is like in women's shoes.

For the women, it shows them that there are men in the community that support them and don't agree with gender based violence.

Donating online is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.

Please consider donating to our team by visiting our site. Or, if you are man enough, you can join our team! Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!

- Michael Evans, Team Captain

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pav's Creamery Grand Opening

Photos by OHventures

Pav's Creamery
3875 Massillon Road
Green, OH 44685

Since 1969, Pav's Creamery has been serving out delicious signature ice creams, yogurt, sorbet, gelato, and "kustard" in the Portage Lakes area near Akron in Summit County. This old fashioned ice cream stand is not your typical dessert shop - it has been voted as “Best Ice Cream” in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by various publications such as Akron Beacon Journal’s “Beacon’s Best” and the Akron Canton “Hot List” awards.

Now, after over 45 years in the business, Pav's Creamery is opening its second location in the nearby city of Green, Ohio, as part of the new Heritage Crossing Plaza. This state-of-the-art facility will feature all of the classic favorites from the original Pav's, along with exciting new food offerings, a 2,000 square foot patio, an outdoor fire pit, and both indoor and outdoor seating.

The new location is set for a soft opening on April 1, 2015. But, OHventures was invited to a sneak peek pre-party on March 27. The interior had an upscale and even fancy feel to it, with a sophisticated pink and gray color scheme. The shop was buzzing with hungry locals eager to taste the new food items that were being cooked up for the VIP guests.

Like an assembly line, food and drinks were flowing out for us to sample, and we didn't miss a beat. A welcome surprise was that the new Pav's Creamery will be featuring mouth-watering flatbreads that are creative and exciting.

The Vegetarian Flatbread

I tried the vegetarian flatbread with grilled veggies & mozzarella; the margarita flatbread with tomato, basil and olive oil; the chorizo and poblano flatbread with queso, Monterey Jack cheese, chorizo, and cilatro; and the BBQ chicken flatbread with red onion, roasted red pepper, provolone and tomato sauce. Yes, I tried ALL of those - I couldn't turn any of them down because they were the best looking (and best tasting) pizzas I had seen in a long time.

In addition to multiple other flatbread creations, the menu will also feature Pav's homemade waffles, including a Sriracha fried chicken and waffles creation complete with Ohio maple butter!

Devouring the Brownie Fudge Sundae

Of course, there is no shortage of delectable desserts at Pav's. Guests can look forward to the absolutely amazing baklava sundae, and the perfectly executed brownie fudge sundae!

Hard Root Beer Float!

But what will truly be the main thing that keeps me coming back to Pav's is that it has a full fledged liquor license, ready to whip up some alcoholic versions of your favorite ice cream shakes! Some of the clever concoctions with which you can choose to imbibe at Pav's are: the Hard Root Beer Float, and the Bananas Foster Shake.

Pav's is always on the cutting edge of cool when it comes to ice cream in Northeast Ohio. Its ice creams can be featured at the wildly popular Gervasi Vineyards and Italian Bistro, and Pav's has even teamed up with the acclaimed Hoppin' Frog Brewery to create a Christmas Beer Ice Cream. Add to that the fact that you can order Nutella ice cream (I don't think there is anything more popular than Nutella on the market right now), glazed donuts dipped in chocolate, and did I mention a liquor license?

This, my friends, is the ice cream shop of my dreams!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ohio-fy Your Life

Photos by OHventures

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being so devoted that you'd get an Ohio tattoo (I am considering it), how hardcore of an Ohio fan are you? We aren't talking Ohio State football (although we are big-time Buckeyes fans), or Ohio University (although Athens is one of the coolest college towns around), but we are talking the entire state of Ohio.

If you are a tried and true lover of this great state, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, from Ashtabula to Cincinnati, then here are some products that you can get to Ohio-fy Your Life. And, yes, all of these are in my house!

1. Ohio Thread Art: Pictured at the beginning of this post, this thread art in the shape of Ohio is hanging proudly in my bedroom. Made by a friend at Threaded State (based in Cincinnati), you too can get a customized piece of Ohio thread art. Choose your color, your design, and whether or not you want to highlight a special city! You can also learn to make your own.

2. Milk Chocolate Ohio: Okay, so this was in my house, before I devoured it. Just in time for Easter (or whatever the closest holiday is at the time you are reading this), I purchased this tasty milk chocolate shaped like Ohio from Hartville Chocolate Factory in Stark County. You can also get loads of other goodies, such as chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate dipped Oreos, which are not shaped like Ohio, but taste pretty awesome nonetheless.

3. Ohio BibFolio: If you are a runner, and you live in Ohio (or do a lot of races in Ohio), then this handy dandy contraption is for you. It's called a "BibFolio," and it holds all of your race number bibs inside! Since I have dozens and dozens of bibs from races, this was a no-brainer. You can get a ton of different designs, but how can you pass up the RUN OHIO design?!

4. Ohio Ink Art: This Ohio ink art was special made for OHventures by our pal Matt of MATTHEWDYEstudio in Canton. Browse his site to see what artwork he has on sale. Odds are, there are some Ohio pieces available - or, if not, he would be willing to whip one up for you! Tell him I sent ya.

5. Ohio Cutting Board: I am quite the chef these days (don't believe me, then stop over for some award winning chili or my specialty shrimp & cheesy grits). So, a trusty bamboo cutting board in the shape of Ohio is a dream for me. Pictured, you can see I had a little fun and added some cut carrots on my three "homes" of Columbus, Akron/Canton, and Youngstown (Hubbard). This find was thanks to the Totally Bamboo brand sold at Bed Bath & Beyond.

6. Ohio Pocket T-Shirt: This is one of my favorite Ohio-themed items I own (can't you tell by the goofy face I am making while modeling it in the picture above?). The reason I love it so much is because of the story it tells. This shirt is from a new grassroots company in Akron called Neighbors Apparel. All shirts and accessories are made by refugee women living in Akron. Plus, a portion of the profits goes towards giving these refugee women a living wage, and some is donated to help Urban Vision, an inner-city mission in Akron. Become a neighbor today by getting one of these shirts!

7. Rubber City Golf Balls: And while we are in Akron, we may as well put a plug in for Rubber City Clothing, which sells, among other things, these golf balls donning - what else? - the shape of the state of Ohio! It's on my bucket list to hit the links and become a better golfer, so perhaps these balls will be good luck? If not, there's always other great Ohio-themed clothing and items at Rubber City Clothing as well!

8. #OHIO T-Shirt: Ah, yes. I couldn't ever pass up a shirt such as this. It incorporates a hashtag AND Ohio's historical year of settlement? The irony! The cheekiness! The Ohio-ness! I can't even. I got this gem at the Ohio-themed boutique in downtown Columbus called State & Third (found at the Shops on Capital Square). The vendor of the shirt is Lamp Apparel.

Stay tuned for more ways to Ohio-fy Your Life! Have items to add to our Ohio collection, send us an email to let us know!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Make It To Marietta

Photo by D. Rose for OHventures

Whenever I think of Southeast Ohio, Marietta is the first city that pops into my head. It is the county seat of Washington County and is located right at the confluence of the Ohio River and Muskingum River. Its neighbor to the east and south is West Virginia, with a population of just over 14,000 Ohioans.

Marietta is in the heart of Appalachian Ohio, with rolling hills full of lush green forest and twisting roads (such as Interstate 77, which runs right through it). It has a rich history, as it served as a station on the Underground Railroad, and was a site of Hopewell Native American mounds.

The city continues to make history with truly one-of-a-kind spots perfect for a casual and low-key Ohio day trip that is still unique and memorable! Below is a list of 8 Things To Do on a Day Trip to Marietta!

1. Marietta Brewing Company (167 Front Street): When traveling to Marietta for work, I asked locals where the best place would be to grab some lunch. I was given a hearty response of "The Marietta Brewing Company." I made my way through the old quaint roadways of this river town to the brewpub, which was easy to spot with the copper plated brew kettles lining the storefront. I had an amazing loaded mac and grilled cheese sandwich, and drooled over the beer selections (some with fun southern-Ohio themed names like Mount Builder's Brown Ale, Front Street Pale Ale, and Marietta Barleywine). 

2. Ohio Riverfront Park: Located right alongside the shores of the Ohio River, where the 3rd Street bridge crosses into West Virginia, the Ohio Riverfront Park is perfect for picnics and outdoor recreation. Great for birding!

3. East Muskingum Park (302 Front Street): A city owned park featuring a gazebo, performance pavilion, and the "Start Westward" monument, a statue dedicated to pioneers who journeyed to Marietta in 1788 and established it as the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory. See, I told you there was a lot of history in Marietta! There is also a portion of The River Trail (see below)

4. Marietta River Trail: The Marietta River Trail runs along the Muskingum River for 3.4 miles through the city and is located just across the Ohio River from West Virginia. So, you can imagine how great the scenery is here! The trail is asphalt and is perfect for running, biking or strolling. There is a trail entrance at East Muskingum Park, and also at Indian Acres Park. A cool feature is that part of the trail is an old railroad trestle that was converted for pedestrian use!

5. Valley Gem Sternwheeler
: Marietta is the site of the annual Ohio River Sternwheel Festival the weekend after Labor Day (2015 will be the 40th anniversary of the event). Seasonally, you can hitch a ride on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler (pictured on the river in the photo above), which is docked at the Washington Street landing. A ride on this awesome paddle-wheel boat will give you a glimpse of what river life is like. You can take a narrated sightseeing tour for just $14 on most days from 12-1:30 PM, or take part in a number of dinner cruises (including a murder mystery dinner). There are also special day-long or multi-day-long trips planned to Pittsburgh (PA), Zanesville (OH), Wheeling (WV), and Blennerhasset Island.

Photo by D. Rose for OHventures

6. Marietta Adventure Company (219-B Second Street)A full-service bike and kayak shop with specialized bikes plus Perception, Dagger, and Wilderness Systems kayaks. They also offer bicycle service and kayak rentals & shuttle service, meaning they can get you out there for anything from multi-day river and trail adventures to a fun afternoon with the family. They will haul you up stream and pick you up at the finish! Rock climbing gear also available!

7. Marietta Soda Fountain Museum 
(109 Maple Street): Even though most people in Ohio refer to it as "pop" rather than "soda," the Marietta Soda Museum is dedicated 100% to the fizzy bubbly drink. Most prominently featured is Coca Cola - everything from old advertisements to old vending machines, vintage posters, and other collectibles. Definitely a sight to see.

8. Levee House (127 Ohio Street): If you haven't caught on, it's all about the river in Marietta. So what better place to get dinner than at the fine dining establishment Levee House that overlooks the Ohio River?