Thursday, July 31, 2014

To-Do In Toledo

Photos by OHventures

It's not often that I make it to the Northwest portion of our great state of Ohio. This is due to the fact that I have a fulltime job that divides my time between Northeast and Central Ohio. But, any true OHventurer will find time out of his or her busy work schedule to take road trips from time to time! This past weekend, I was invited to attend the wedding of my dear friends Richard and Christina, whom I met while living in Columbus. Christina is from Northwest Ohio, so that ended up being the setting for their beautiful nuptials. 

In perfect OHventures fashion, I took full advantage of the time I spent during my rare visit to the area. 

The ceremony itself took place at the Historic Church of Saint Patrick in Toledo, which was absolutely stunning! I am not Catholic, but I can appreciate a good Catholic church! This one has been around since the city's beginnings, the first version of the church having been built in 1862! The second (and current) version of the church was completed in 1901. The Gothic architechture is romantic and beautiful - ideal for my pals to tie the knot!

From there, we traveled to Perrysburg where the ceremony was to take place. What was nice was that this part of the festivities was taking place at our hotel's ballroom, which was the Hilton Garden Inn. The Hilton was part of the Town Center at Levis Commons, a collection of shops and restaurants that is a must-see if you are ever in the area! 

What made my plan to have an adventurous weekend that much easier was that my friends had specially-made sugar cookies as party favors (pictured above) that were decorated to look like a piece of looseleaf paper with "Toledo To Do List" written on it!

The cookie's "To-Do" List consisted of 5 items:
  1. Toledo Zoo: Ohio is rich with zoos, and a great one can be found in Toledo! The address of the zoo - 2 Hippo Way - is already an indication of it being a cool place to go. If you can't make it to the zoo itself, you are in luck, because they offer live web cams for their hippos, seals, polar bears, and elephants (my favorite)!
  2. Mud Hens GameDuring the baseball season, a great way to spend time in Toledo is to attend a Mud Hens baseball game. The Mud Hens are a minor league triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. They are a beloved Toledo team, and people of lal ages can enjoy spending an evening at a game. The stadium has become a part of the downtown scene since being built in 2002.
  3. Toledo Art MuseumConsidered one of the best art museums in the nation, the Toledo Museum of Art is where to go if you want to know the history of how "The Glass City" moniker came to be. The Glass Pavilion at the museum is breathtaking, as is the rest of the museum. 
  4. Marco's Pizza: While there are hundreds of Marco's Pizza locations across the country, the family of the bride has a special connection to the company, which is headquartered in Toledo. It is only fitting that they served delicious Marco's Pizza to the wedding guests at the end of the night (pictured below).
  5. The Wedding: This goes without saying! My friends' special day was one of the best things I've ever done in Toledo, hands down! It's just too bad not everyone can experience the magic of all of us friends dancing and celebrating!

The day after the wedding, I met up with an old friend at Blue Pacific Grill, a really unique stir fry restaurant located at the Levis Commons. I would highly suggest this place for anyone looking for a cool place to eat in Perrysburg. You should also check out Fort Meigs, a battlefield fortification along the Maunee River during the war of 1812.

With the groom, my longtime friend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kayak The Bay at PIB

Photos by OHventures

Kayak The Bay Ltd.
760 Bayview Avenue
Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
(419) 967-0796

Put-In-Bay Jet Ski & Boat Rental
South Bass Island State Park
1523 Catawba Road
Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
(419) 285-BOAT

While prevelant in the lively town of Put-In-Bay, wineries and bars are not the only atractions when visiting the island. In fact, there are many options for those seeking extreme thrills or an active lifestyle. Being that you are surrounded by miles and miles of seemingly endless waves while on South Bass Island, water activities are common! More specifically, kayaking the bay of PIB is one of the most fun things you can do on your visit, and there are a few options at your fingertips.

The bay at South Bass Island State Park

If you are not lucky enough to own your own kayak, you can rent one of these colorful vessels on either end of the island: Kayak The Bay Ltd. (by Oak Point State Park west of the Boardwalk), or Put-In-Bay Jet Ski & Boat Rental (found within South Bass Island State Park on the western portion of the island). Both are fantastic options, although the Put-In-Bay Jet Ski & Boat Rental is the cheaper option ($19/hour for single kayak, $30/hour for double kayak) compared to Kayak The Bay  ($20 for single kayak, $40 for double kayak, with $2 off coupon HERE).

Despite the higher prices, Kayak The Bay Ltd. offers guided tours (as long as you call in advance), and gives you a choice of :"sit inside" and "sit on top of"" kayak styles (while the other location offers the sit inside kayak style only). The location of Kayak The Bay - IN the harbor - also makes for a nice perk, as you can paddle by places like Gibraltor Island and Rattlesnake Island.

Our group in our life jackets ready to kayak the bay!

While visiting Put-In-Bay with my 7 college friends, we decided to go with the cheaper fare and rent from Put-In-Bay Jet Ski & Rental. Two people in my party took single kayaks while the remaining 6 of us paired up for double kayaks. My partner in crime for the day was my good pal Anna (who came all the way from Colorado for some OHventures). We all decided to only take the kayaks for one hour, so that our prices were not too high (we are all young professionals with limited incomes). Also, we were advised that we had to stay within sight of the launching docks, so we couldn't go too far.

One hour was long enough, because kayaking the bay was QUITE a workout! It required immense upper body strength, but also required a lot of communication with my boat-mate so that we paddled in sync and thus moved swiftly. A huge mistake we made was forgetting water to keep us hydrated. It was a hot, sunny day in Ohio, and we were expending a great deal of energy. This oversight hindered our ability to paddle too much. So, take it from us, and do NOT forget water!

With friend and fellow kayaker Joe!

Despite this mistake, we still enjoyed our kayak trip quite a bit. It was a great bonding experience and proved to be fantastic exercise. The view from the middle of the bay was also fantastic. Rowing approximately 20 minutes east (around gorgeous rock formations) allowed us to see the famous Benson Ford Shiphouse (as seen on HGTV's Most Unusual Homes). The only downfall of our kayaking excursion was seeing dead fish floating by, and a water snake swim by! Other than that, we loved our trip!

Be sure to take some time out of your busy wine and beer schedule and kayak while at Put-In-Bay. It's a MUST DO item on your Buckeye Bucket List.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Birthday Bash Dash - 5K Family Fun!

Akron General is celebrating its 100th Birthday this year! If you want to add more years to your life (and maybe reach that century milestone), be sure to lead an active lifestyle.

Get active with the Akron General Birthday Bash Dash on August 30 at 9AM in Stow, Summit County.

This 5K is all about Family Fun!

Walk children in strollers, run with children in racing strollers, walk alongside your grandparents, carry baby in a sarong, take your dog on a leash, or bring out your competitive spirit and race for a medal or trophy.

By being a participant in the Akron General Birthday Bash Dash, you help support Muffins For Mammograms, a 20-year-plus program which helps uninsured women have access to free breast exams.

You will get a muffin at the finish line, and part of your registration fee goes to help the program. There will also be more muffins for sale at the finish line to take home and enjoy later. In addition, you will receive a birthday hat you can wear while running and an official race t-shirt.

The course will start at Stow City Hall (3760 Darrow Road, Stow). It will begin on the Akron General Wellness Trails and then circle through the local residential streets, looping back to the Wellness Trails and the finish line by City Hall.

Check out a map of the course by clicking HERE.


Use promo code R2RY for $5 off!!

Here is what the medals and trophies will look like that we are awarding to winners in each age group! Will you get the bronze, silver, or gold?!?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spartan Race Ohio Giveaway!

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. These events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

These events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone!

Having experienced many different racing events, Spartan Race wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible’, as these events have a challenge for everyone’s needs.

Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race.

Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.

The Spartan Sprint, Super, and Beast are coming to Ohio for the first time ever on October 4 - taking place at The Wilds in Cumberland, Guernsey County!
  • The Spartan Sprint is comprised of 15+ obstacles over 3+ miles and is a great way to get off the couch and onto the course! 
  • The Spartan Super will test your physical strength and mental resolve. Tackle 20+ obstacles over 8+ miles, and show that you're Spartan tough! 
  • The Spartan Beast is a true test of will. Tackle 25+ obstacles over 12+ miles, and prove you're the ultimate Spartan! 

And YOU can be the proud winner of a FREE entry to the Spartan Race Ohio courtesy of OHventures and the Reebok Spartan Race! To qualify, simply follow OHventures on Twitter and mention @OHventures in a tweet with the words "I want to #SpartanUp in Ohio" by 12:00 Noon on August 4, 2014. A winner will be chosen at random that evening.  

Get ready to #SPARTANUP in 2014! AROO!