Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Schiller Park

Photos by OHventures

Schiller Park
1069 Jaeger St
Columbus, OH 43206

I am a park fiend. Meaning, if I can find the right park, I can truly spend an entire day there and be completely content. Schiller Park is that perfect park. There is a bit of everything at there and it is in the perfect location. It is in the heart of German Village, which is truly one of the most quaint and down to earth neighborhoods in downtown Columbus.

The park (which in my opinion is rivaled only by Whetstone Park of Roses and Goodale Park) has a great pond with a bridge where it is common to see people feeding ducks, playing with motorized boats, or having a romantic walk with a loved one (or just a nice chat with a friend). There are also a lot of floral arrangements and unique landscaping peppered throughout the park, and lots of need statues, including a huge one of Mr. Schiller himself. You can't miss it.

The most unique thing about Schiller Park is that in the summer months, they have theatre productions in an amphitheatre in one corner of the park. Pack a picnic or some wine and some blankets and enjoy the show! It is free and kid-friendly, and sure as hell beats watching TV in the summer!!

Meet An Elephant!

Ohio has a large number of top-notch, nationally acclaimed zoos. In fact, according to a 2007 article by The Columbus Dispatch (as well as a TON of other articles and lists I found online), Ohio is home to FIVE of the nation's BEST zoos, with Columbus Zoo & Aquarium consistently ranking as Numero Uno! The other zoos on the list are the Akron Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, The Toledo Zoo, and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Ohio and California are the only states with at least three zoos that draw more than 1 million people a year.

Zoos can sound lame for an adult, especially for one without kids. However...if you have a few extra bucks laying around, you can make your zoo experience above and beyond anything you experienced as a kid: you can get VIP treatment and get to have a special encounter with a number of wild exotic animals, including: ELEPHANTS!

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Quick Rock Climbing Tips

Lists are fun, and so are here's a list of tips for how to take on rock climbing! Follow these guidelines and soon enough, you might be as good as Spider-Man...

1. Use Your Legs!: I mentioned in my Solid As A Rock post earlier this month that one of the biggest mistakes made by most beginner rock climbers is using their arms way more than their legs. You want to be sure to use your lower body muscles in your legs to PUSH yourself up the wall just as much as you would your upper body muscles in your arms to PULL yourself up. Imagine it as a ladder. When you climb a ladder, you tend to use your legs even more than your arms! Same concept applies here.

2. Don't Look Down!: It's natural to be afraid of heights, but this isn't a rollercoaster and it's definitely not skydiving! While you may get a little shaky and afraid, remember that you are strapped in tight with a rope, and you have a belayer down below who knows his stuff. Of course you will have to look down to get your foot placement right, but make sure that's all the further you look! If you look past your feet and stare down at the ground below, you may start to freak out! When you make it to the top, however, soak in the view of what you've accomplished!

Where To Rock Climb in Ohio

If you think you're up for the challenge that is indoor rock climbing, there are a number of places in Ohio you can go to do it. I do not officially endorse any of the following locations, so be sure to read up on each one and do your homework. Take into consideration the price, testimonies and reputation of each rock climbing location. In my personal experiences indoor rock climbing, I went at a brand new facility on my college campus in which I personally knew and trusted the climbing instructors.

A lot of people ask about the equipment you might need to rock climb. Most of the time, indoor rock climbing facilities will provide the proper shoes as well as the harness (and sometimes a helmet...but that is usually not needed or utilized). All you need to bring in most cases is yourself, your wallet, and your energy! Some places require training courses or fees separate from the climbing fee. Ask questions or check out their sites to find out. A number of these are also on college campuses, which could require a student ID. Inquire via their site to be sure. OSU, for instance, requires that you are accompanied by a member of their facility.

And if you haven't yet, read about what it takes to go rock climbing, check out the pics, then pick out a place near you to ROCK OUT! ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rock Climbing Photo Blog

Who: You and a Belaying Partner (pictured are OHventurers of the Week @RyanHumbert & Lyndsey Craig, contributor @Steve Shoffer, Creator @MichaelJonEvans, Jenelle Lyle, and Alex Bearryman)
What: Rock Climbing
Where: Indoor or Outdoor Rock Climbing Walls
When: Year 'Round
Why: Sense of accomplishment, Adrenaline Rush, Exercise
How: Leg strength, arm strength, mind strength

Goodale Park

Photos by OHventures

Goodale Park
120 West Goodale Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Oh, Goodale Park, why are you so good to me? This is my favorite park in all of Columbus...plain and simple.

I admit, that this probably has a lot to do with Goodale Park being so close to where I live...but ACTUALLY I probably chose to live where I do because of how close it is to Goodale Park!

I first came to Goodale Park for the infamous "Community Festival" or "ComFest" held every summer. This is an event that is not for the faint of heart...but for someone like me, ComFest's free-spiritedness, jam bands, patchouli, booze, food vendors, and body paint made me warm and fuzzy on the inside. ComFest this year is June 24-26, 2011.

But ComFest is just one weekend a year (at the end of June) and does not represent Goodale Park as a whole. Goodale Park is sandwiched between the Short North, Victorian Village, Harrison West, and Park Street bars. I usually walk through going from one neighborhood to the next, or when coming to/from Park Street bars.

Goodale Park is perfect for running...which you can witness on any given sunny day. The park has a perimeter of approximately 1 mile, so you can easily keep track of how far you've run. There's also a kickball/softball diamond, tennis courts and playgrounds.

Guide to Canton

Photo by OHventures

Whether your into politics and history, sports and football, or arts and music, Canton is the city for you. Visiting Canton is full of fun and it's easily accessible, too. Located right off of Interstate 76, Canton is the county seat of Stark County in Northeast Ohio and is the 8th largest city in the state (with a population of approximately 73,000 residents). It is part of the NE Ohio trifecta of Akron-Canton-Cleveland.

I have done a great deal of work in the Canton area and have consequently spent a lot of time here and learned some of the best spots to go. I'd like to think this post can serve as a great starting point for anyone planning to spend a day in the area!

1. Monument Park (700 - 1150 Park Rd NW): This park is ideal for getting your exercise on! Whether it’s starting out with a morning run along the 1.5 mile running track, buffing up at the chin-up bars, or doing it “Rocky” style up the huge staircase at the adjacent McKinley Monument (see below), this place has got it for you. It’s also extremely picturesque, with a beautiful stream, duck pond (used for ice skating in winter months), and breathtaking gardens. Picnic tables and grills are also on site, so pack some hamburgers and hot dogs and kick back!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marcella's Ristorante

Marcella's Ristorante
615 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 223-2100

When you can get a meatball as big as your fist that can practically serve as a whole meal on its own, you know you're in good hands.

Marcella's Ristorante offers said meatball (pictured above) either as an appetizer or as a whole meal on top of pasta. It's the most tender and flavorful veal meatball I have ever had. It's what the restaurant is known for. I highly recommend it!

I have also had the calamari appetizer and the chicken parmesean (perfectly seasoned), which are also both right up there with the glowing recommendation I had for the meatball. I can not speak for the rest of the menu, as I have only been a couple of times, but everything that is listed at least LOOKS like it'd be amazing. The bread the comes with the meal, calamari, and olive sampler are also incredible.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Solid As A Rock

You’ve got to have grit, strength and determination to make it in rock climbing. It’s not an activity to pursue if you are looking for a cake walk. Ladies with freshly manicured fingernails can say goodbye to those lacquered beauts and guys who have been playing in fantasy sports brackets more than they have been playing actual sports will have a tough time making it far. Indoor rock climbing may look pretty, with the rainbow of every-colored nubs sprinkled across the walls, but let it be known that it’s not to be taken lightly.

Have I scared you away yet? Not so fast!

While it is true that rock climbing is a very physical and challenging activity, there are a number of ways that indoor rock climbing facilities make it appealing to even the most skeptical of beginners. Everyone has to start somewhere, after all. Most of the time, the colored “rocks” I referred to earlier that are scattered on the climbing walls are that way because every different color represents a different “path” getting up the wall (this is not tried and true, but is very common). Like skiing, rock climbing has different levels of difficulty. Just like a skier wouldn’t dare hit up black diamond mogul hills on his or her first time on the slopes, a rock climber would never attempt to scale the most difficult path on the climbing wall on their first visit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brutus Buckeye: An Ohio Icon

Whether or not you ever attended The Ohio State University, if you live in Ohio, you most definitely are familiar with the splendor and captivity of The Buckeyes. Despite recent setbacks (including the resignation of Head Coach Jim Tressel and the departure of quarterback star Terrelle Pryor), the OSU Football Team still holds the hearts and spirits of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans. That in part is due to one steadfast icon who will NEVER fade away, no matter who the coaches and players are. I’m talking about the college’s infamous mascot, Brutus Buckeye! This anthropomorphic nut has been a symbol of joy in OSU athletics (and academics) since 1965! I first “met” Brutus in 2004 in the stands at a football game with my pal Kelly. We hurried at the chance to snap our picture with the beloved Buckeye. Most recently, I took a picture with Brutus at an event which had every mascot from every one of the state colleges (pictured below).

It’s always fun running into Brutus! He puts a smile on the face of every Ohioan, young and old. Because of his travels throughout the state, as well as his fine representation of Ohio when traveling across the country at football games, he is a true honorary OHventurer.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Here In Youngstown

I grew up very close to Youngstown. In fact, while my small hometown of Hubbard lies in a different county, it still qualifies as being in the Youngstown Metropolitan Area. Even though I grew up very close to Youngstown, I can't say that I am an expert on the area. That in part is due to my moving to Columbus at the young age of 18. But I certainly have grown to appreciate my roots and have had the chance to explore the city a bit more as an adult when making trips back home.

Youngstown is located in Northeast Ohio on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border and is the county seat of Mahoning County. It's an hour and a half to Cleveland and an hour and a half from Pittsburgh. Youngstown is known as The Steel Valley and has become infamous as the capital city of The Rust Belt. Many people across the planet became familiar with the plight that struck the city due to singer Bruce Springsteen's song "Youngstown" which describes the economic woes that resulted when the steel industry collapsed in the area.

The booming steel industry occurred during the 1920s through the 1960s, while the decline took place in the 1970s. Youngstown undeniably took a lot of hits, but over the past couple of decades is back on the rise again! In fact, it was recently listed as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 10 Cities to Start a Business!

So, this city rich in industrial history back on the rise is definitely worth a day trip. Below, read the Top 9 Things To Do When Visiting Youngstown.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tips For Beginner Runners

So you're ready to take on the challenge of running, are you? Before doing so, take some advice from me, a beginner runner just like you! I am no expert in the area of running by any means, so let my old post describing my love/hate relationship with running serve as my disclaimer.

I present to you my tips to make running easier, safer, and more fun! Let this be the first step to running in a 5K, as presented on the Buckeye Bucket List!

1. Stretch: The most important thing anyone can do is stretch. And I don’t mean just before you run. I mean, all the time. Stretch in the morning when you wake up, stretch on the couch during commercial breaks, stretch on your lunch break, and of course, stretch before and after a workout of any kind. It will greatly improve your flexibility, loosen up your muscles, and you’ll be surprised how great it feels! Be gentle though. Over-aggressive stretching can cause injury. Click here for 8 pre-running stretches from Watch Mojo!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ready To Run

The first Wednesday of June is "National Running Day," which promotes the importance of running for a myriad of reasons, and declares it "a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun."

On the Buckeye Bucket List, "Running a 5K" is listed. I am currently preparing to run a 5K and I am bound and determined to scratch it off of my list. thing stands in my way: I have a love/hate relationship with running.

I love it because it can give a sense of accomplishment, provide great exercise that is essential for my health and wellbeing, and get me outdoors to experience the fresh air and open road (unless of course I do it on a treadmill or indoor track of course).

I hate it because of how much it can take to get me to this point. I know the challenge of running is what makes it more fun, but I am being honest in my assessment that I have never been the biggest fan of long distance running.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

John Glenn: An Ohio Legend

I had the great honor and privilege of meeting the esteemed John Glenn today. Turning 90 years old this year, Glenn has most certainly had an amazing career and life. He is an American hero, as in 1962 he became the very first American to orbit the Earth (and the third American in space). He also became the oldest person to ever fly in space in 1998 at the age of 77. He represented Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974-1999 and served in the United States Navy and Marines from 1941-1965. In 1998, he helped found the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, of which I strive to attend one day. He has been married to the wonderful Annie Glenn since 1943, and I had the privilege of meeting her today as well.

From his birth in Cambridge, Ohio to his journeys in Outer Space to his time in Washington, DC and his continued service in Columbus at OSU, John Glenn is a true OHventurer in every form of the word. I am so humbled to have been in his presence!

Chillicothe Travel Guide

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

OHventures takes you to every corner of the state - and that includes the often overlooked yet charming Southern Ohio city of Chillicothe. If you're from Northern Ohio, you're bound to find locals here with thick Southern Ohio accents living the good ol' country life. From Columbus, Chillicothe is an hour directly south on US Route 23 (if you reach Jacksonville, Florida, you've gone too far). US Route 50 runs East to West along the south end of the city. It lies within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Scioto River runs North to South through Chillicothe.

Because I am definitely a city boy who grew up in the suburbs, I had to consult the wisdom of my friend Erin Honnold, born and bred in Southern Ohio. She used to walk to floodwall along the Scioto River with her mom when she was a kid. She takes great pride in being raised in the Chillicothe area, as it was Ohio's first AND third state capital (1803-1810 and 1812-1816). She said it was moved to Zanesville for a bit, "before they realized Chillicothe was much cooler," and finally to Columbus when they realized Chillicothe was too far from Northern Ohio.

Below, Erin and I give you the Top 9 Things to Do When Visiting Chillicothe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Holy Toledo!

Photo by OHventures

Toledo is located in Lucas County, not far from Indiana, and is close to the border of that "Ugly State Up North" (that of which will not be named on this site). The Maumee River flows right through it and into the Maumee Bay, which is a part of Lake Erie. It is the fourth largest city in Ohio with a population of 651,409 (no I didn't count, Wikipedia told me!). Toledo is known as "The Glass City" which is due to the enormous amount of glass that was made here (duh) back in the hey-day. Because of this, the city has a rich history of both industry and art.

I have only traveled to Toledo on a few occasions in my lifetime so I have consulted my great college buddy Steve Shoffer, who will be the voice of reason for a great deal of this lovely post. Steve lives in the Village of Ottawa Hills, just minutes down the road from the University of Toledo. He said that while things may be spread out across the city, nothing is more than a 10-20 minute drive. This is what makes Toledo so great.

Steve and I have compiled a Quick-List of The Top 9 Places To Check Out When Visiting Toledo and we have it listed below. Be on the lookout for more posts dedicated to Toledo and focused on how to plan the perfect trip to The Glass City!