Series of Dates

I’ve been out and about these past few months. During those travels, I met this amazing person and I wanted to get to know more of this individual. I wanted to woo this human being so, I’m seeing this person and we always went out. We had series of dates and now, he is someone dear to my heart.

We’ve been exploring most of the restaurants in Canton, Ohio. It’s been our gastronomic adventure together to try the dishes in every business establishment serving food and drinks.

These are the restaurants we’ve dined in:
1. Table Six Kitchen + Bar

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Table Six Kitchen + Bar

It is a gastropub where they serve traditional, made-from-scratch comfort food which are perfect for sharing. They also offer wide array of drinks from cocktails to spirits, beers and wines. Table Six Kitchen + Bar is an independent restaurant group with four locations and every location has its own unique personality and tradition good of taste.

I ordered fish + chips that is craft beer battered cod with fresh cut fries, house slaw, tarter and Sriracha ketchup for appetizer. For entrée, I chose Teriyaki Salmon which is a pan seared, Teriyaki glazed, Verlasso salmon with Asian sesame stir fry and a meal won’t be a meal without dessert. I got warm molten brownie which is a chocolate lover’s heaven with warm brownie, Amy’s chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream. The whole dining experience in Table Six Kitchen + Bar was 4/5. Foods were delicious, ambience was good and a little crowded but the space was a little bit small and congested.

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Fish + Chips

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Teriyaki Salmon

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Warm Molten Brownie

For menus and more information, check at www.table6canton.com/home or visit them at:
Table Six Kitchen + Bar
6113 Whipple Ave NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone No. 330-305-1666

2. Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant

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Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant

Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant is a premier winery and vineyard located in Canton, Ohio that provides guests with fine dining experience. It offers a memorable destination for wine lovers, diners, families, businesses, and tourists. The restaurant is designed for adults seeking an affordable, fresh and romantic dining experience, for families seeking outdoor beauty, fun and great food, and corporate team for business meetings. Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant has among the best wine varieties in Ohio which are produced by wine experts and hand selected seasonally by local farmers.

We went to Crush House since Gervasi Vineyard has more than one dining options. I started the ball rolling with an appetizer of pork wings which were marinated and glazed with red wine vinegar, blue cheese emulsion, scallions and crumbled blue cheese paired with a glass of zin zin, a zinfandel wine. I got shrimp and sausage linguini with sauteed zucchini and squash with vodka sauce paired with a glass of velluto, a pinot noir wine for my entrée while he ordered crush house steak which was the chef’s entrée feature of the day. To end the night, we both chose chocolate crème brulee with blackberry and raspberry and cream for dessert. Dining experience in Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant was 5/5. Everything was perfect.

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Pork Wings

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Shrimp and Sausage Linguini

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Crush House Steak

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Chocolate Crème Brulee

For more information, visit their site at www.gervasivineyard.com or visit them physically at:
Gervasi Vineyard Restaurant
1700 55th St NE
Canton, OH 44721
Phone No. 330-497-1000

3. Hog Heaven Open Blame BBQ

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Hog Heaven Open Flame BBQ

It is a fun laid back atmosphere restaurant that provides southern BBQ meals  and cold beers. Not only that the Hog Heaven also tries to help the community by fundraising and scholarship through motorcycle runs.

We both ordered full rack barbeque ribs which is a famous St. Louis style ribs, tender and tasty that falls right off the bone, basted with Hog Heaven southern style barbeque sauce. I chose the macaroni and cheese and baked beans as the 2 sides. My gastronomic experience is at 4/5. We’ve dined in the restaurant for 3 times and ordered the same ribs but the food was inconsistent.

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Full Rack BBQ Ribs with mac&cheese and baked beans

For additional information, check their site by clicking here or visit them at:
Hog Heaven
2730 Cleveland Avenue NW
Canton, OH 44709
Phone No. 330-458-0904

4. George’s Lounge

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George’s Lounge

George’s Lounge has been a favored establishment since 1959. It’s the best place to gather with friends and enjoy local grass-fed gourmet burgers, fresh-cut fries, and more. It has the best environment with open and live music with wide selections of drinks from cola products to hard liquors.

It appears that the special person’s hangout place is the George’s Lounge and knows everything in the menu. I got their Gorgeous George burger which has double burger with bacon, sautéed onion and mushroom, egg, kamikaze sauce on egg bun. The whole dining experience was at 4/5. The food may not be as great as other restaurants I’ve been to but the environment is magnificent and the service is amazing.

To contact them, check the website here or travel to:
George’s Lounge
229 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44702
Phone No. 330-452-0029

5. Boathouse BBQ

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Boathouse BBQ of Marietta

It is one of my favorite restaurants in Marietta. When the special person visited me, we went to boathouse BBQ  and ordered grilled pork BBQ ribs. It was the best and I always chose that. It so happened that he loved it too. Dining experience is 3/5. Food is amazing but inconsistent, service is a little slow but ambience is great.

Visit them at Boathouse BBQ of Marietta at 218 Virginia St, Marietta, OH 45750 with phone no. 740-373-3006.

6. The Winking Lizard Tavern and Restaurant

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The Winking Lizard Tavern and Restaurant

We had dinner at this restaurant and we both ordered grilled pork BBQ ribs with mac&cheese and steak fries for my side dishes. Dining experience is at 3/5. I’ve been tasting and ordering BBQ ribs in every restaurants I’ve been to and the Winking Lizard Tavern and Restaurant’s BBQ ribs somehow fails it.

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Pork BBQ ribs with mac&cheese and steak fries

Check them at www.winkinglizard.com or visit them at this address:
The Winking Lizard Tavern and Restaurant
5710 Fulton Drive NW
Canton, OH 44718
Phone No. 330-497-1133

7. Scrambler Marie’s Restaurant

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Scrambler Marie’s Restaurant

We also had breakfast in Scrambler Marie’s Breakfast Bistro. I picked the American breakfast since I have weakness for sunnyside up eggs. It was one of the best breakfast meals I had. Dining experience meter is at 5/5. It was perfect.

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American Breakfast with Sausage, sunnyside up eggs, white toast, strawberry yogurt

For menus, check their website at scramblersrestaurants.com or visit them at:
Scrambler Marie’s Restaurant at Canton-Belden Village Mall
4345 Belden Village Mall
Canton, OH 44718
Phone No. 330-493-4800

I’ll also add the list of restaurants I have dined in. I’ve been to food tasting and I’ve been reviewing them for the last year. Here are the list:

8. Ruby Tuesday

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Ruby Tuesday

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Pork BBQ Ribs with mac&cheese and baked potato with sour cream and butter

9. Applebee’s

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Applebee’s Grill and Bar cr: Applebee’s

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Shrimp and Parmesan Sirloin Steak medium well with mac&cheese and french fries

10. Lori’s Family Restaurant

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Lori’s Family Restaurant cr: Tripadvisor

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American Breakfast with sausage patties, hash puppies, white toast, sunnyside up eggs

11. Outback Steakhouse

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Outback Steakhouse cr: Outback

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Alice Spring’s Chicken with mac&cheese

12. Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant

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Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant

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Mar Y Tierra with cajun rice, shrimps and steak

If you love food like me and my boo, better start exploring the nearest restaurants and see which serves the best meal and dishes. What better to do that with your special someone dear to your heart and have a series of dates. I had my fair share done, now, it’s your turn. Bon appetit! 😉

Back to Blogging

It has been quite a cold and lazy winter for me. I haven’t written or done anything at all and never in my life thought that I can be this non-productive. I felt like I hibernated for a couple of months. But anyway, I am back to blogging which is good. I finally dragged my chair, sat down and wrote a blog post for the year.

To start off, I eventually had some road trips while I was being lazy. I just didn’t have the motivation to write about it. I was all over the southeastern and northeastern part of the state of Ohio. I confessed that I am a traveler and you can’t keep a traveler in one area. Here are the road trips I had gone through during the winter season.

  1. Fort Laurens Museum and Park

I was hyped to do some history tracing so, I have decided to start by exploring some museum and park. Fort Laurens Museum and Park is located in Tuscarawas county near the town of Bolivar. It was an American revolutionary war fort. This fort was built by Gen. Lachlan McIntosh  in 1778 on the west bank of the Tuscarawas River as a staging point for an attack against the British garrison at Detroit. But due to the conditions at the fort were harsh during the winter, they have decided to remove most of the American forces to another fort. Fort Laurens was the only fort built in the state of Ohio during the Revolutionary War and the museum has been added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

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Wooden Cottage

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Stone Cottage

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Information scattered around the museum

The whole museum is equipped with information related to the past and history of the fort. Not only that, it is also a park with cottages where you can have picnics, a hiking and bike trail.

2. Jackson Community Parkimg_5830

Then I went to another park but this time it was in Massillon. I was in Jackson Community Park. The park has a Blue Star Memorial as a tribute to the Armed Forces who have defended the country.

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Blue Star Memorial

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Gazebo

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The Lake

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On the way to the baseball court

The park is amazing. There are a lot of activities for people of all ages. The park has an excellent run and walk path, an accessible playground for the kids, restrooms and water fountains. It has spacious parking lots, gazebos to rest, sport courts such as baseball and soccer, a beautiful lake and a friendly neighborhood.

3. Portage Country Clubimg_5832

I decided to try and go to a country club. I stopped by at Portage Country Club in Akron. Portage Country Club is rich in tradition and has been established in 1894. The club has a lot of facilities for members. Facilities and services such as golf, tennis, swimming and dining experiences even catering.

4. Silver Springs Parkimg_5833Next to my destination was at Silver Springs Park. Silver Springs Park is located in Stow. The City has been providing outdoor recreational activities to visitors.

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Picnic Shelter

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Park Lodge

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Soccer Field near Parking Lot

The park has a spacious lodge parking, a swimming area, picnic shelters and area, and playground. It also has a wide soccer field near the parking area.

5. Hudson Springs Parkimg_5838

I was still in Stow when I got side tracked and drove to Hudson Springs Park. It is a large park with a huge lake for fishing, with walking path and pavilions.img_5840

Hudson Springs Park provides a wide range of activities. The huge lake is inhabited with bass and bluegill fishes. The meadows and woods have wildlife that include geese, ducks, deers, owls, hawks, herons and even foxes. It has 3 picnic pavilions, volleyball, a playground, and a hedge maze for kids.

6. Great Lakes Science Centerimg_5740

It is located at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland. Great Lakes Science Center is a museum and an educational facility for people of all ages. The museum features many exhibits and supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

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View infront of the Science Center, the Cleveland skyline

The facility includes signature and traveling exhibits, meeting space, a cafe, and an IMAX Dome theatre. The Science Center is home to the NASA  Glenn Visitor Center, one of the 11 such visitor centers in the United States. The facility provides science tours to students and guests.

7. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museumimg_5761

Right beside the Great Lakes Science Center is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It is located in the shore of Lake Erie. It has been established to recognise and archive the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have major influence on rock and roll development.

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Different view of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

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Different view of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

It has different levels in the building. Most of the exhibits in every levels feature the roots of rock and roll and its major impact to cities around the world. After my visit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I headed back home since it was getting late and the drive from downtown Cleveland to my place is about 2 hours and a half.

To top it all off, now that I’m back to blogging. It’s time for me to travel the world again. Due to blogging, it has put my life in constant move. Making it a little less stressful is a way for me to survive my stay here alone and from this view taken at work in Marietta.img_5793

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.

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.

IATA Code: CAK – Akron-Canton Regional Airport

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.800px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg

CAK or known as Akron-Canton Airport is a regional airport located in Ohio. It is a regional commercial airport in the city of Green which is southern area of Summit county. The airport is just off interstate 77, which is southeast of Akron and northwest of Canton thus, the name of the airport.

The airport has only two runways and yet it is one of the fastest growing airports in the Midwest. It only serves local or domestic flights bringing passengers to major hubs like O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to get connecting flights to international destinations.

I arrived in CAK at noon from driving almost an hour and a half from Caldwell. CAK has short and long term parking areas. I parked my  car in Long Term Parking ‘B’ lot since it will only charge me of US$48 for a weekly rate. If you want to check their rates, click here. I was trying to park my car and the airport’s shuttle bus was just right behind me to pick me up to bring me to the airport counter gates. It was really convenient because I don’t have to wait for the bus anymore. I got a yellow ticket from the shuttle bus driver and he said to keep it and to give it when I come back for the driver to drop me off where I left the car. That was so cool since a lot of times whenever I leave my vehicle on a big parking area, I always forget where I parked it. Funny but it happened to me almost all the time when I’m in Walmart Marietta ;).

I was then dropped off in Terminal Gate of the airport. I proceeded directly to the airline counter to get my boarding pass since I can’t do it using the kiosk. It was fast and I got my boarding pass in a jiffy.img_4934

I got spare time to wander around the airport’s departure area and got these.

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Stores in CAK Airport while waiting for your flight

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On my way to the boarding gate

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CAK Airport

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Waiting Area

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Arbys and Great Lakes Brewery

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Free Wi-Fi connection while waiting for boarding

I got to see the departure area of the airport and when I got back from my trip, I got the chance to take some photos in the arrival area.

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Welcome sign

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Baggage Pickup Area

CAK maybe considered a small regional airport but thru this airport, I got easy access to go and travel to other famous and big destinations within the country  and outside. The airport is for travelers like me who live closer to it. It only has few services and facilities offered but definitely beneficial to all flyers.

Not So Windy After All

Chicago has been named as the Windy City in the state of Illinois. It might be due to its location which is up north and near Lake Michigan. Aside from being a windy city, this city has served an important part of my life. I came in the United States a year ago and Chicago was my port of entry. It was memorable and this city will always give me happiness in my life. It is considered the door to fulfilling my every dream.

After a year, I have decided to come and see what is within the city since the first time I sat foot in Chicago, I only stayed in the airport at O’Hare International Airport. I traveled from Caldwell, Ohio to Alliance, Ohio since the latter is the only nearest access to the train station. Alliance has an AmTrak station that serves Capitol Limited route. Capitol Limited route runs from Chicago, IL to Washington, D.C passing thru stops in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It was my second time to ride AmTrak and I chose it because it was convenient and comfortable than riding a bus. The trip also took about almost 8 hours as compared to interstate buses that’ll take 12 hours or more. Anyway, I have arrived in Union Station in Chicago at 0800H. The ride was smooth and I got few hours of sleep. I went out the station to see the streets of Chicago. I was expecting it will be amazing since I’ve been to New York City three times so, I envisioned it to be like the Big Apple. I was not mistaken. Skyscrapers were visible with matching bumper to bumper traffic. But I was still astounded because it’s not everyday I got to see a busy street of the U.S since I live in a small town in a southeastern part of Ohio. I did decided to snap a lot of street pictures.20160826_16562220160826_104402
One of the many reasons why I wanted to visit the city again is also to meet a friend whom I’ve known online for over a year. I haven’t met him in person so, we have come up with an idea to finally meet since I got Chicago listed as one of the cities to travel. I met him and his family the next day and I was so glad to finally see them eye to eye. They were hospitable, accommodating and lovely people. They also offered to show me around the city. Since my friend is still taking up his Masters course in Roosevelt University, he invited me to tour around the university campus first and meet some of his cool and awesome music lover friends. I got the opportunity to introduce myself and know some of them.

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Roosevelt University

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View outside Roosevelt University

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A Serbian friend/ student playing the piano

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Roosevelt University students/friends and family: (L to R) Allison, Justine, me, Artem’s family Mark, and Tanya and Artem

After the university tour, we headed out to the street. While walking within the busy street of Chicago, never had I known that the city is also famous for its architectures, theaters, music and more. Thus, giving me ideas to explore more locations within the city.  The first stop was the ever famous Cloud Gate or widely known as The Bean.

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Cloud Gate

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Cloud Gate or The Bean

Cloud Gate or The Bean is a public sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor which has been the centerpiece of AT&T  Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of downtown Chicago, Illinois. It has been nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, it is highly polished with no visible seams. Cloud Gate has gained popularity both domestically and internationally and is one of the most photographed attractions in Chicago.

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Cloud Gate and the reflections

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At the underside is the “omphalos” (Greek for “navel”), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections

Few walks from the Cloud Gate is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or the Pritzker Music Pavilion.

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Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the Great Lawn

This music pavilion is a bandshell in Millennium Park. It was named after Jay Pritzker whose family is known for owning the Hyatt Hotels. It is the centerpiece of the Millennium Park and is the nation’s only remaining free outdoor classical music series.

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The Stage

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People rehearsing and preparing the music pavilion for an evening show

We, then, headed to the Crown Fountain which is just beside the Cloud Gate.

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Crown Fountain

It is interactive work of public art and video sculpture also featured in Millennium Park. The fountain is composed of black granite reflecting pool placed in a pair of black glass towers. Both towers has LED to display digital videos and spouting through a nozzle on each tower’s front face.

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The other brick tower

We visited most of the tourist attractions in Millennium Park and we have decided to grab a bite before heading to our next destination. My friend suggested to try Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.

When we got our tummy filled, we headed back to the streets and visited more tourist spots. Next on the list was the Buckingham Fountain but before we can even get there, we passed thru interesting and attention seeking sculptures such as:

Daphne

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Daphne by Dessa Kirk

Daphne is a sculpture by Dessa Kirk and is found in Congress Triangle Park. It is a Greek mythology figure who was transformed into a plant or tree so the she wouldn’t be captured.

Equestrian Indians The Bowman and The Spearman

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The Bowman by Ivan Mestrovic

If you happen to be wandering in the Congress Plaza, you will see this powerful male figure on horseback providing an idealised portrayal of Indian Americans and we got to see this on our way to the Buckingham Fountain. The artist Ivan Mestrovic who was a Croatian sculptor had built the equestrian Indians to commemorate the tribes that once roamed the Illinois prairies.

Artists and Automobiles

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Enormous Red Lily by Dessa Kirk

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Hedgerow by Lucy Slivinski

In 2006, AllState Insurance Company sponsored the Artists and Automobiles exhibit and provided old car parts that the sculptors used to create the artworks. Only three  works of sculptor artists remained in Grant Park. The enormous red lilies by Dessa Kirk which are made of doors, hoods, trunks and roofs from several Cadillacs. Lucy Slivinski’s Hedgerow is a garden feature composed of entwined mufflers, tailpipes, and headlights.

Flamingo

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Flamingo by Alexander Calder

This work of art is not located near the Buckingham Fountain but I’ll just add it up here since I was roaming the Federal Plaza alone just to see this sculpture. It is the Flamingo created by Alexander Calder. It is composed of steel and is vermilion in color. Calder gave the stabile its color as ‘calder red’ to offset it from the black and steel surroundings of nearby office buildings.

We got to see a lot of  artworks on our way to the fountain and after about 30 mins, we got to Buckingham Fountain.

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Buckingham Fountain

It is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. It is one of the largest fountains in the world and was built in a rococo wedding cake style. Buckingham Fountain also has water and light shows and has visited frequently by tourists and locals alike.

Just a street away is the Chicago Lakefront Trail.20160826_20095020160826_202240img_4873-1

The trail is considered a foreshoreway for walking and cycling along the coast of Lake Michigan. The trail connects various beaches and recreational amenities located along the lakefront and also serves as a route for bicycle commuters. There are also attractions along the path such as the Museum of Science and Industry, Monroe Harbor, Belmont Harbor, Soldier Field, John Shedd Aquarium and more.

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John Shedd Aquarium

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Chicago Lakefront Trail view from the Shedd Aquarium

After seeing the aquarium, my newly met friends and I have decided to separate trails since I have other friends to meet. My batch-mate who works in Chicago has decided Navy Pier as our rendezvous point. It was a decent walk/ exercise from the lakefront trail all the way to Navy Pier. The walk took about almost an hour but it was worth it since I haven’t seen this school friend for almost 10 years after we graduated from our university. We dined in at Margaritaville Restaurant in Navy Pier, reminiscing about our school years and we have also decided to ride the Centennial Wheel which I paid US$15 just to see the Chicago skyline at night.

We spent almost 3 hours just having fun and it was almost 2200H that we called it a night. Since my friend lives near the Navy Pier, she showed me where she was staying and got the clear view of Chicago skyline. It was perfect. She lives in an apartment where I dream of living in the future and I have thought of looking for a possibility of moving there once I’m done serving my contract in Ohio.

The next few days, I had my self-guided tours thru the help of Booking.com travel guides. I have decided to do some shopping in famous Fashion street in Chicago and also tried the Chicago Riverwalk.20160826_09365420160826_09382520160826_10011620160826_10222920160826_10230820160826_10485620160826_105714My whole Chicago trip was a blast. It may be named as a Windy City but it was not windy after all. Chicago welcomed me warmly and I got to meet a lot of really nice people.

Check my YouTube channel and my vlog about Chicago’s Not So Windy After All.