Things I Want To Do
Winter 2012 - 2013
Midwest winters are terrible. Gotta find something to do.
The winters in Columbus, Ohio are terrible. Yeah, I get it, they aren't as bad as winters in Minneapolis or Buffalo. But I don't live there so I don't care. So as the white death and diminishing light creeps upon us, I need some inspiration for things to get me through the winter.
As I see it Winter has three blocks of miserableness.
Block 1: Thanksgiving to Christmas/Winter Solstice
This is the easiest portion of the winter but also the darkest. Winter is still fun, its enjoyable, its fresh, crisp, holidays are soon to be here. But don't let winter fool you. It's cold, dark and college football has ended. This year I don't even have the Buckeyes to look forward to in a bowl game. The bright side is that days get longer starting starting on December 22nd.
Block 2: Christmas/Winter Solstice to Super Bowl
The throes of winter are upon us with no end in sight. No more holidays, just cold days stuck inside. January by and large is a boring month. College football is gone, but the pro game steps up with playoff matchups. Although my beloved Browns will be evaluating who to take with their annual top 5 draft pick. The bright side? Skiing and perhaps a trip out west to hit the slopes.
Block 3: Super Bowl to Ides of March
This is where winter really takes it toll. I have to hope a groundhog provides some level of inspiration that winter is almost over. February is just cold and the hope of March 1st bringing some level of spring always ends with disappointment. The victory here is when the warm of spring and the first sign of green emerges. Usually it disappears under snow before you fully get a chance to appreciate it but not before my internal body temperature reacts to 50 degrees and begs to wear shorts.
So, in order to combat the downside of winter I will embark on a series of journeys as mini victories over Mother Nature. Feel free to provide suggestions in the comments. And if you'd like to join, hit me up.
Pro Football Hall of Fame
One of Ohio's greatest traditions is football and yet shockingly I've never been there even though I grew up 1 hour away. Looking forward to this trip and seeing Browns legends from the past.
Air Force Museum
It's awesome. Ohio is the birthplace of flight and I don't care that North Carolina tries to steal that claim by putting it on their license plate. If your state is known for a 20 second flight by people who didn't even live there then I guess I feel bad for you. Rant aside, the Air Force Museum houses an unmatched level of America air power from the past and present. The Museum is a jewel that Ohioans are lucky to have in their backyard.
Maple Syrup Festival
Hosted at Malabar Farm the first two weekends of March, the Maple Syrup Festival is a great blast from the past. My personal favorite is the tour of the maple syrup shack where as a child you were treated to a free sample of sugar and syrup. Located just outside of Mansfield, Malabar Farm is the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield.
The first recommendation - Swenson's. I hear from a colleague I have to try the jalapeno poppers. Originally out of Akron, this restaurant is a drive-in, which is awesome, and looks like a grown up dairy stand, which is also awesome. Can't lie, I'm looking forward to this.
West Side Market
I've never been to the West Side Market but have been fortunate enough to eat some hot dogs from one of the vendors. I've also seen my personal food hero, Anthony Bourdain, visit the market for selected meats. Anything that takes me back to a previous time is worth a trip so I'm looking forward visiting Cleveland for this one.
Located in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, The Mahoning Valley Restaurant specializes in great Italian food including a spectacular Italian Wedding Soup. The food, environment, and location are as unique as the city they reside, Youngstown has seen its better days, but the MVR has been a staple throughout them all.
Frank Lloyd Wright House