Sunday, February 1, 2015

30 Before 30

Thirty is fast approaching for me. In just over 2 months, I will be ushered into a whole new level of adulthood with no turning back! 

Getting older is a privilege and I am really looking forward to turning the big 3-0. Most people put together a 30 Before 30 list when they are in their mid-20s. But, I threw one together with only several weeks to go!

Of course, as the curator of OHventures, I have a constant hope that I can spark ideas in my readers and inspire people to create bucket lists that transform life into one big adventure.

Thus, I have decided to share my personal "30 Before 30" list here on the site. Many of the items are things that you'll end up seeing on this site (tubing, running, hiking, biking, traveling, etc.), but some others are pretty random - so bear with me!

30 BEFORE 30

1. Sign Up for Half Marathon & Begin Training – IN PROCESS - I have signed up to run the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon in Canton for the 2nd year in a row. I am shooting for a PR, but that might be pushing it! The goal is to do a full marathon by the time I am 31.

2. Travel to Vegas for One Last Hurrah! – IN PROCESS - I will be traveling to Sin City with my college friends in March. Flight and hotel are booked. It is only fitting for everyone to visit this crazy city one last time before he or she turns 30.

3. Complete Body Beast Workout – IN PROCESS - My goal is to be in the best shape of my life by the time I hit 30. That is quite the statement, but I truly believe that it's possible. Body Beast is a great program that will help sculpt me and take things to the next level!

4. Reach Savings Goals – IN PROCESS - The older I get, the more I look back and wish that I grasped the concept of saving earlier in my life. But, I am sure most people can say the same for themselves. I am on track to reach my savings goal for my 30th birthday, and then start another savings goal moving forward!

5. Have Race Shirts Made Into a Quilt – IN PROCESS - Any runner knows that participating in dozens of races each year results in overflowing dresser drawers filled with commemorative t-shirts! My good pal Rick has taken 20 of my shirts and is turning them into a really awesome t-shirt quilt.

6. Buy a New Bike - NOT DONE - Sold my janky bike when I moved, so I am in dire need of a new one (and NOT a Huffy).

7. Visit a New Ohio City - NOT DONE - I have this harebrained idea to throw a dart at a map of Ohio and visit whatever city the dart lands on. We shall see how this goes...

8. Acquire Passport - NOT DONE - This one is pretty self explanatory. I am hoping that at some point in the next decade of my life, I will broaden my travels to international levels. Thus, I want a passport so that I can actually make that happen!

9. Revamp the Buckeye Bucket List - IN PROCESS - This one is for YOU, the reader of this fine blog. I have really been slacking with updating the Buckeye Bucket List. You will thank me later.

10. Take a Cooking Class @ Gervasi - NOT DONE - As a huge fan of cooking, and a huge fan of the Gervasi winery, this is definitely something I need to do. Time to stop cooking mac & cheese, and start cooking some gourmet meals in my 30s.

11. Tubing @ Brandywine - IN PROCESS - Every time I have gone to Brandywine, I have only ever skiied. Now it's time to try something new - tubing! Scheduled for February 19.

12. Polar Bear Jump @ Portage Lakes - IN PROCESS - As much as I don't want to do this, it's for a good cause and for a good story to tell if nothing else. Scheduled for February 21.

13. “Tackle the Tower” Stair Climb in Cleveland – IN PROCESS - Scheduled for February 7.

14. Complete Obstacle Course @ Mohican Adventures - NOT DONE - Obstacle courses are my jam. Hoping to schedule this excursion for April 5.

15. Go on a “Super Hike” of the Hoover Trail & Middle Branch Trail - NOT DONE - Hiking needs to have a bigger presence in my life again. The plan is to tackle these trails one spring morning (late March?), possibly with just my dog Slider. Solitude is important every now and again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Discover Polar Plunges Across Ohio!

Photo by OHventures

A polar plunge (also known as a polar bear jump) is for the bravest of brave! In fact, I believe I have been called "brave" more times for doing a polar plunge than for when I went skydiving!

Basically, this event consists of jumping into an extremely cold body of water for a short amount of time and then hopping back out! Many of these events take place to raise money for the Special Olympics or other charities.

Upcoming Polar Plunge events to raise money for the Special Olympics include:
There is also the Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump on February 21 at Portage Lakes State Park in Akron to raise money for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Spartan Race Discounts & News!

Photo by Spartan Race

The Spartan Race left me practically begging for mercy, but the smile on my face in the finish line photo above shows that it was an overall enjoyable and unforgettable experience. The Spartan Race was a challenge in every sense of the word - a challenge I am willing to take on again!

For those who do not know, the Spartan Race is a well-established obstacle race series designed to push your limits, test your strength, and challenge your endurance. There are dedicated followers both nationally and internationally who travel to compete in these epic events year-round.

In 2014, the Spartan Race made its first appearance in Ohio in Cumberland (near Zanesville) in Guernsey County.

On May 30, 2015, the Spartan Race Ohio will return (at the same location in Cumberland)! OHventures will also return to tackle all of the mud, obstacles, and burpees that will make up the grueling course.

Because we love our readers so much, we are providing a 10% OFF DISCOUNT CODE FOR ANY Spartan Race event. Simply enter the following code when registering:

Please FOLLOW @OHventures on Twitter to catch details on our GIVEAWAY for a FREE ENTRY into the OHIO SPARTAN RACE. Tweets will start popping up during the month of February explaining how you can WIN!

There is also a TON of great news coming your way from our friends at Spartan Race.

First, the 2015 Spartan Race Season Pass has been released with lots of great perks! True Spartans don’t have limits. Join now for unlimited racing, special travel discounts and more. A no-brainer for those training for a TRIFECTA in 2015. Perks include: free bag check, 1 year of Global Rescue access, the opportunity to race any heat, including Elite with no extra charge, and discounts on hotels, rental cards, and more.

Second, the 2015 Spartan Race World Championship will take place on October 3 at a NEW location - the legendary Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe. This epic venue hosted the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Now, the world's best athletes will collide on the course to become the Spartan Race World Champion!

Third, the first ever Spartan Cruise is coming! Sand, surf and obstacles await you on this one of a kind Spartan adventure. Join fellow Spartans March 6-9, 2015 when you'll be taken on a cruise liner from the Port of Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for a first of it's kind Spartan Sprint! Can you say, "Best. Vacation. EVER!?" Don't Miss the Boat - Cabins are selling fast.

With all of this great and exciting news, you HAVE to become a Spartan in 2015! What are you waiting for? SPARTAN UP!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Photos by OHventures

529 Grant Street
Akron, OH 44311
(330) 252-BREW

I like dogs. I like beer. I like Ohio. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for me to like Ohio-made beer with a dog theme, right?

Enter Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. They've been concocting tasty beers since 1997. But only recently have they opened their very own Tasting Room, located right on site in the room next to where the stuff is brewed! It's in a nondescript building near downtown Akron and the University of Akron, with an entrance hidden away in an alley (come in groups, to be safe).

Inside, you'll immediately notice the alluring smell of freshly brewed hops as you make your way past the massive stainless steel vats and equipment. Be on the lookout for a beeping forklift driving throughout the warehouse, transporting hops to and fro. 

Turn to the right, and you've arrived at the tasting room - essentially a bar with high tops and every Thirsty Dog Brewing Company beer you can think of.

If you live in Ohio and pay attention to local craft beer even in the slightest, odds are you can name at least a couple of the Thirsty Dog varieties. Not only are the names super catchy and the labels really recognizable, the tastes are superb. In my opinion, they outshine other local favorites, including (dare I say?) Great Lakes (both are great, of course)

Most samples are just $1 a pop, so you can try out the flavors you might not be familiar with so you can find your favorites. Some specialty brews are $3 each (such as the sours, which are SUPER strong and, you guessed it, SUPER sour).
Here are some of my suggestions:
  • Labrador Lager: A classic. A staple. A safe bet. A winner.
  • Ol' Leghumper: Points for the crass name. More points for the chocolatey, toasty flavors.
  • Citra Dog: Hoppy + Citrusy = a perfect combo. Light & summery!
  • 12 Dogs Of Christmas: The best Christmas ale I've had (yes, I said it). And quite a strong one.
  • Barktoberfest: A great seasonal brew that will make you bark at the moon (not really I hope).
  • Raspberry Ale: No mistaking the raspberry-ness in this one! Try mixing w/ Leghumper for a chocolate covered raspberry delight!
  • Whippet Wheat: One of my all-time favorites. Goes down smooth. I can have a few of these.
  • Hoppus Maximus: You can deduce what this one will bring to the table based on the name.
  • Irish Setter Red: Another one of my top picks. Slight caramel undertones. 
  • Pumpkin Ale: I have not had this one personally, but no doubt it is delicious.
  • Cerberus: Named after the dog from hell, probably because it's 10% alc./vol.!
  • Ankle Biter: I love me a good IPA. And I own an "ankle biter" for a dog, so I enjoy this one.
  • Rail Dog: Lagers aren't my favorite, but this one is complex, smokey, strong, and unique.
  • Siberian Night: Bourbon barrel aged. Rich in flavor!
As you can see, there are plenty of tastes for every palate and every kind of beer drinker (if you have a friend who doesn't like beer, give them the raspberry ale or pumpkin ale, trust me). This list doesn;t even include all of your options.

A couple of pro-tips: prepare with a good base of food, since there are no menu options available at Thirsty Dog. Also, wear warm clothing in the winter, since it is a giant warehouse and it can get chilly inside. 

The bar is CASH ONLY (including the t-shirts and merchandise for sale) so, BRING CASH! Lastly, you can check out Aqueduct Brewing located within the same building on the other side (not affiliated with Thirsty Dog). Aqueduct is extremely new to the scene (opened in 2014) and still finding its way. But, I always encourage people to give local breweries a try!