Last Road Trips For 2016

I’m back in the state of Ohio and I got no schedules to fly to other states since winter is here. I have decided to do road trips within the Buckeye state or neighboring states such as West Virginia, Kentucky, and Michigan. Thus, I made up an article about my last road trips for 2016. I know this is way overdue but I’ve been busy recently prepping for new opportunities.

First on my last road trips for this year was in southern Ohio in a city called Portsmouth with side trip in West Portsmouth. It was almost 3 hours drive from Caldwell where I live. The reason why I traveled to Portsmouth was I wanted to meet a friend whom I haven’t seen for months. It was a smooth trip driving through US50 West with a speed limit of 65mph which I am not used to since I77, which is the interstate route I always drive to, has a speed limit of 70mph. Anyway, I got to Portsmouth at 1330H.

Portsmouth is a city and the county seat of Scioto county. It lies in far southern Ohio, just east of the mouth of Scioto River at the Ohio River, and across from Kentucky.

The city has some tourist attractions to boast. A few of the spots I’ve visited were:

1. The Flood Wall Murals

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Flood Wall Murals

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Portsmouth

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Flood Wall Murals and its Story in Portsmouth, Ohio

The flood wall murals clearly visualise the creativity of the locals and the history of the city. It was educational and informative. It is a half-mile long with colorful scenes and is located in Front Street.

2. U.S Grant Bridge

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U.S Grant Bridge

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U.S Grant Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky

This is the bridge that connects Portsmouth, Ohio to South Portsmouth, Kentucky. U.S Grant Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge which replaced the suspension bridge which was demolished back 2001.

3. Carl Perkins Bridge

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Carl Perkins Bridge

It is a cantilever bridge that spans the Ohio river between Ohio and Kentucky too like the U.S Grant bridge. This bridge was the only highway back in 2001 when the U.S Grant bridge was demolished. Carl Perkins bridge still serves as a detour connecting two states. The bridge was named after the late congressman of the 7th District in Kentucky.

4. Shawnee State Park

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Shawnee State Park

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It is a state park in Scioto county in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains near the Ohio river. It is surrounded by the state forest and was once a hunting ground  for the Shawnee Indians. The park can host a wide range of outdoor activities such as golfing, swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating. Visitors can stay overnight in Shawnee State Park Lodge.

5. Holy Redeemer Church

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Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

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It is a catholic church which was built in 1905-06 and founded by the Holy Redeemer congregation and it has been a landmark building in Portsmouth back in 1905. Holy Redeemer Catholic Church is located in 1325 Gallia St. in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Few weeks after Portsmouth, I went further south and traveled to West Virginia to catch a glimpse of the famous New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville. But road trips won’t be good if you don’t have side trips. Thus, I visited some places while I was in West Virginia. For the full story, visit my blog article titled West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful by clicking here.

  1. New River Gorge Bridge
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    New River Gorge Bridge

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    New River Gorge Bridge Overlook

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    View of the bridge from the Visitor Center

    2. Kanawha Falls

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    Kanawha Falls

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    Local fishing in Kanawha River

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    Kanawha Falls

    3. Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

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    Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

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    Hallelujah sculpture by Parley

    4. Supreme Court of Appeals in Charleston, WV

After in West Virginia, a family friend invited me to visit him and his family in northwest Ohio. His daughter has been living in Perrysburg for almost have a decade now. So since I haven’t gone that far, I have decided to come over and drove all the way to Perrysburg. I also have planned of seeing some other cities within that area and even have thought of going to Michigan. The drive from my location to Perrysburg is about 4 hours passing through Columbus.

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I passed through this stunning Toledo Mosque in Perrysburg.               photo cr: Pinterest

Perrysburg is a city in Wood county just along the south side of the Maumee River. It is about 12 miles south of Toledo and less than hour drive to Michigan. I have arrived in the city at exactly 12ooH. I met the family and had lunch with them. I, then, passed out after eating and woke up already at 1600H which was not the plan. I was planning to go to Michigan after taking a quick nap from lunch but the nap ended to be a sleep. So the family just brought me to shop in Maumee.

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The Shops at Fallen Timbers in Maumee

Maumee is a city in Lucas county located along the Maumee river. It is a suburb 10 miles southwest of Toledo. The city is one of the largest business centers in Northwest Ohio. Since it was already dark that time so, the family just took me to the malls.img_5209img_5211

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Christmas in Maumee

Then, the recent trip I had was a location of a popular movie that is shown in television every Christmas for a whole day. A friend and her family invited me to come along with them and go to Christmas Story House in Cleveland.

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Christmas Story House

A Christmas Story House is a museum located in Cleveland in Tremont neighborhood. The house is a 19th century Victorian which was used in the exterior scenes in the 1983 film with the same title. The museum contains some of the props from the movie including Randy’s snow suit, the Higbee’s window toys, and hundreds of behind the scenes photos. The house to the left of the museum features a gift shop with movie memorabilia. The house is open to the public year-round. For more information, check their website here.

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General Admission ticket for US$11

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Gift Shop

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The Famous Leg Lamp in the Living Room

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Flat Board Iron in the Second Floor

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1941 Calendar

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The Old Laundry/ Washing Machine

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Dining Table

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The Museum and Memorabilia

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Fire Truck

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Old Car

As a summary, my last road trips were within Ohio and West Virginia. I was planning of going out to Michigan and Kentucky but it didn’t come to reality in 2016. 2016 has been really good year to me and I’ve been able to travel a lot of places in the United States as well  as Canada. I am just hoping that for 2017, there will be more road trips to come.

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West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful

Ohio and its neighboring states have been separated by a body of water, the Ohio River. The river stretches from northeastern part of Ohio until the southwestern area, leaving gaps between states. For travelers to go out of the Buckeye state, they need to cross the river. Once on the other side of the river, other states such as Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are within reach.

I always crossed the river like 5-6 times in a month since West Virginia offers way better in shopping selections and I’m close to its border, too. Just recently, I ventured to going further south and visited the capital of West Virginia which is Charleston. But since I was already in West Virginia that time, I have decided on having side trips.

First on my list was to visit the New River Gorge Bridge.

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New River Gorge Bridge

The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge built over the new river gorge near Fayetteville in the Appalachian mountains. It is one of the highest vehicular bridges in the world and is currently the third highest in the United States. They have a visitor center and a view deck to appreciate the sight of the bridge. They also offer wild attractions and activities such as base jumping, white water rafting, picnic, hiking trails, and more.

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View of the bridge from the Visitor Center

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Picture Gallery inside the Visitor Center

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Photos inside the Visitor enter

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Trail to Bridge Overlook

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Walkway going to Bridge Overlook

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New River Gorge Bridge Overlook

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Sight at the viewdeck

After the New River Gorge Bridge, I was driving and passed through this amazing site, the Kanawha Falls.

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Kanawha Falls

You won’t miss it if you are driving on your way to the New River Gorge Bridge or heading back to the city of Charleston. It can be viewed on the road  alongside US60 and you will be drawn to it once you see it. I made sure to make a stop and snap some photos. Kanawha Falls is located in the east bank of the Kanawha river which is southwest of Gauley Bridge in Glen Ferris, WV and visitors are allowed to fish.

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Local fishing in Kanawha River

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Kanawha Falls

Once I got a decent picture of Kanawha Falls, I headed back to my car and drove back to the capital of West Virginia, Charleston. In Charleston, there are a plenty of places to see. I only visited two since I was in a hurry. The first attraction I visited was the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences.

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Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV is a facility dedicated to promoting arts,  performing visual arts and sciences. Thus, making the center one of the few of its kind in the country. It is currently the home to the Avampato Discovery Museum and the West Virginia Symphony. It has been tagged as the most ambitious economic, cultural and educational undertaking in the state.

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Other side of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

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Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences with the Hallelujah sculpture

In front of the Clay Center are very distinguished and eye-catching images. First one is they called it Hallelujah.

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Hallelujah sculpture by Albert Parley

Hallelujah is a magnificent sculpture designed by Albert Paley. It is made up of corten steel, bronze and stainless steel. This sculpture was donated by the McGee Foundation.

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Hallelujah sculpture giving spice to the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

Next just in front of the Hallelujah is the Festival delle Arti.

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Festival delle Arti by Harry Marinsky

Festival delle Arti is a bronze magnificent sculpture made by artist, Harry Marinsky. Festival delle Arti, in English as the Festival of the Performing Arts is a work of passion. There are six bronze figures dressed in performing arts costumes parade around a central bronze tree. Each figure represents excitement about performing arts and the sculpture as a whole is intended for children to explore first hand.

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Bronze figures of the Festival delle Arti

After sightseeing in the Clay Center and its magnificent sculptures, I went to grab some food but I noticed a sparkling dome made up of gold. So, I find my way to get there after I was done eating. I found out that the dome was actually the Supreme Court of Appeals and right next to it was West Virginia State Museum. But it was already 1700H and I still have to drive for 2 hours back home, so, I just decided to just take a peek and left.

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Supreme Court of Appeal

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Gold dome roof of the Supreme Court of Appeals in Charleston, WV

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West Virginia State Museum

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West Virginia State Museum Building

To sum it up, there are a lot of beautiful places in West Virginia but it needs time for an individual to see them all. The state offers a different kind of experiences, truly, West Virginia, wild and wonderful.

Meeting People Through One Common Interest

Gotta catch ’em all! Yes, you got it right. I am talking about a hit mobile game. Through the game, Pokémon Go, I am meeting a lot of people and I’ve been traveling quite a distance. I used to travel for one common purpose and that is to explore what the destination has to offer. But recently, I got a new reason to travel. That reason is to meeting people through one common interest, to get stronger in the game, Pokémon Go.

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photo cr: Pokémon Go

I started to get hooked in the game when it was launched and made available to all mobile users. I downloaded it last July 7th when I was still in Los Angeles, CA. My cousin’s son who is also a Pokémon follower told me about the game being online. We downloaded the game and went out to the streets to find and catch the Pokémons. Sad to say since it was just recently launched, the server kept on crashing that we have to close and re-open the app for quite a lot of times. Even though it closes several times, we got to catch some Pokémons. We were overwhelmed of the game and almost got into an accident. So, it is better to follow what the game says when you run it. That is to always look on your surroundings.img_4692A couple days after it was launched in L.A, we got to Long Beach to try to catch some water pokémons but to our surprise, we only caught Pidgeys and mostly flying Pokémons. We also went to Manhattan Beach but still failed to catch rare monsters. Even though we didn’t get what we were expecting, I still got the added benefit of playing the game. I got to see Queen Mary in Long Beach and enjoyed watching people playing beach volleyball in Manhattan Beach. Yet, I haven’t met people since the game was just released. I went back to Cleveland and drove all the way to Caldwell, my hometown. To this moment, I am still playing the game and through this game, I get acquainted to some of my neighbors who are also playing the game. I’ve talked to players online and met another trainer in Fairlawn after telling me that the cemetery is a Pokéstop heaven.

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Fairlawn’s Pokéstop Heaven

I have visited the mall in Zanesville due to a Pikachu sighting and I did capture one.

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The Most Famous Pokémon character, Pikachu

I also have gone to Athens that along the riverside in the OU school campus, you can capture most water pokémons and I did capture goldeens, squirtle and more. I’ve traveled to Marietta to see what monsters they have and got to explore the city.

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The streets of Marietta

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Marietta Park

I even went to Vienna/ Parkersburg in WV just to catch ’em all and I did wander in Julia-Ann Square Historical District.

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Julia-Ann Square Historical District

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Old Homes

img_4688I’ve gone far to St Marys, WV due to sightings of rare pokémons and checked the Middle Island.

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St. Marys, WV

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Middle Island in St. Marys, WV

img_4622All those places I have gone to, I met a lot of pokémon players. They were battling the gym, capturing some wild monsters but even though we were just looking on our mobile, we still got time to say hello and give information and advices on how to get stronger. I don’t socialise to people most of the time but through this game, I got to talk and meet these cool people.

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My current Pokémons

There maybe a lot of negative rumors about the game but it totally depends on how the person look at it. I find it advantageous for my case since I travel a lot and I got to do my daily walking or jogging exercise because of the game for me to hatch my poké eggs. I got to see the benefits of the game and I hope others will find it too. Yes, it is addictive but a gamer needs also to have self control.

PS: Poké trainers I met don’t want their faces showed for personal and safety reasons.

Fort Boreman Trail Park in Parkersburg and German Village in Columbus

I’m back from winter break and I’ll be telling you what has happened to me these past few months. I’ve been traveling again to new places such as West Virginia and the capital city of Ohio, Columbus. I also had my fair share of my first winter experience. For now, I am sharing both my WV and Columbus trip.

In a big country, interstate travel can’t be prevented from happening. Getting to other state, a traveler needs to ride the interstate road to get there and usually speed limit ranges from 65 to 70 mph. So, for a first time traveler like me who never had tried driving that fast just makes my heart flutter and my muscle  stiff. But if you plan to be a well toured individual, you just need to swallow those fears.

FORT BOREMAN TRAIL PARK IN PARKERSBURG, WV

Mid-December last year,  I got the guts to do my first interstate travel to get to Fort Boreman Trail Park in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Since driving to West Virginia is closest compared to other places within Ohio. The drive was smooth using I-77 south until I got to Marietta which is the border going to West Virginia passing thru Williamstown-Marietta Bridge.341792-M

After 30 mins, I have arrived to my destination. The view was spectacular upon seeing it. The park is located just two miles from downtown Parkersburg, the park features a reconstructed Union Civil War fortification, trenches, interpretive signage, picnic shelters, nature trail and scenic views of Parkersburg and the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers. On top, the park is overlooking the Belpre Bridge.img_2859




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My trip to Fort Boreman Trail Park in Parkersburg was educational and historical. It was also a great place to escape the stressful job, boring home confinement and single living. The park was indeed a fresh breath of relief from negative vibes, new sight to be amazed, and just purely relaxing. That is Fort Boreman Trail Park.

GERMAN VILLAGE IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

Couple of weeks from my West Virginia trip, I headed to the capital of the Buckeye state which is Columbus. It was a good day to stroll around and since I’ve been in the countryside for quite some time. It was perfect to see the city view. I’ve been curious enough on how Americans who live in a busy city spend their day. Thus, I was surfing the net and I saw one tourist attraction in Columbus and that is the German village. It is in the south part of Columbus. So, my itinerary for that day is the German Village in Columbus.

The drive from Caldwell to Columbus took almost 2 hours. Using interstate 70 and US highways passing thru different counties and cities such as Zanesville and Reynoldsburg as far as I can remember when I was driving. I saw large fields, countryside, small towns and when I got to the capital, I can view civilisations and skyscrapers. The traffic was bearable but the people driving their cars were ridiculously dangerous. I was blown away on how they just passed cars from different lanes either right or left lanes. I was a bit scared since it was my first time driving on a big city with 4-5 lanes. People were just overtaking and they looked at me when they passed by. But it was fine, I’d rather be driving slowly and safely than get into an accident.

I got to the German village at about 1400H. I parked my car at a random street and I walked thru different streets to see what the German village looks like. I got to see these.

  
  
 The whole trip in German Village was nerve-racking especially if you are new to driving but tourist attraction-wise, sorry to say but I was not satisfied. Before I went, my expectation was really high that the village will really look more German-ish but it was just too simple and bland. I could have seen more of Germany in other parts of the US. When I was in VietNam specifically in Ho Chi Minh City, the whole street was really French-inspired from buildings to almost everything. That might be one of the reasons I wasn’t pleased since I have seen a lot more interesting in other places that my standards were up a little notch to my liking. Thus, I have decided to search for more sights and sceneries to explore. So, the Lone traveler will continue to travel and wander, you, as well.

Out-of-State Travel

Traveling interstate for me is difficult for many reasons:
1st, I just got into driving recently and I’m not that confident to drive to other state;
2nd, Routes and unfamiliar roads make me more nervous;
and lastly, Different type of drivers gather in one road and I’m one of the reckless category.

So, I ended up getting into a bus for my trip from Cambridge, OH to Washington DC. I’ve searched thru the net on what buses have routes going to the capital of the country. I found the Greyhound Line, Inc and purchased a round trip ticket. The ticket costs about $166 but if I have purchased it more earlier, it would have cost lesser. Check their site, here. Continue reading