I am an Ohio Ambassador!

A few weeks ago, I saw someone on Twitter post something about becoming an Ohio Ambassador. I immediately messaged them, asking them what the heck an Ohio Ambassador was, and how could I become one?

Well my card and membership package came in the mail today (see picture below)! Ladies and gentlemen, I am now an OFFICIAL Ohio Ambassador! But I’m sure you have the same questions as I did: What does that mean? And how do you become one?

According to the website, there are 4 ways you can participate in the Ohio Ambassador Program:

  1. Ohio Ambassador – Any Ohioan that meets the eligibility criteria and lives in our state.
  2. Ohio Ambassador at Large – Anybody not living in our state that has had a positive Ohio experience and wants to Share the Ohio Story with others.
  3. Ohio Executive Ambassador – Senior Managers of Ohio companies or organizations that are willing to Share the Ohio Story with peers interested in locating or expanding their business in Ohio.
  4. Ohio Commodore – Ambassadors that earn a Governor’s designation for outstanding service to the state.

I’m assuming that I’m #1. If you want to participate, you can register here.

ohio ambassador kitAccording to my membership card, I now have a “license to encourage all Ohioans to more fully understand the benefits of living and working in Ohio, and to share the Ohio story with others.”

I think I do a great job of doing the latter – sharing the Ohio story with others. I’ve encouraged my out of state family and friends to come visit (and many have) and tried my hardest to show them all of what the area I live in has to offer. And I’ve heard the feedback from my family and friends, most often in the effect of “Oh wow, I had no idea Cleveland had so many great [insert favorite thing here … e.g. parks, green areas, restaurants, people, beaches, etc.]” It’s great that everyone leaves with a much better (and different) view of Ohio, but what gives them this bad impression in the first place – why do they have anything but a positive view from the start?

As for the first part – I am still learning the benefits of living and working in Ohio. This summer it was easy to see some of these benefits – and there were so many fun things to do. From visiting wineries, to trying out new restaurants, to checking out farmers markets, to going to different beaches, I definitely was able to enjoy many of the benefits. It seemed like every weekend I was trying something new, visiting some new area of the state and becoming more and more in love with Ohio.

the streetBut… what happens once winter rolls around? I can’t forget the feeling of what it’s like when there are 2+ feet of snow on the ground (see photo from MARCH on the right) and it’s cold and slushy outside. It seems nearly impossible to see the benefit of living in a place like this during winter – which as we all know can make up nearly 6 months of the year.

So, in honor of being an Ohio Ambassador, I’m vowing to do something this winter. I will not, as I’m accustomed to, simply sit on my couch in a blanket all winter long. I’ll go out, visit new restaurants (patios will be probably closed unfortunately) that specialize in comfort food, maybe make another trek to western Ohio wineries to see what their fall offerings are, visit the Metroparks when the leaves are turning colors, and find out what other fun activities there are going on when the days are dark. Instead of dreaming that I live in a tropical climate (or dreaming about my next tropical vacation), I’ll find new and fun things to do, right in my backyard.

So what about you? Have you become an Ohio Ambassador yet? What does being an Ohio Ambassador mean to you?

Another weekend of summertime fun in the Cleve

Who says there’s nothing to do in Cleveland? Certainly not me! My two friends from out of town came into Cleveland this weekend for their first visit to Ohio ever – and we made sure it was a fun filled weekend.

There’s so much going on during the summers in Northeast Ohio. From the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival (last weekend), to the fun festivities going on downtown all the time, there’s never even a remote opportunity to be bored.

So what did I do to show the lovely ladies from Boston and DC around Northeast Ohio? Here’s my weekend recap – and possible ideas of what you can do when showing people around town.

Friday night part one:

Girls get in around 8:30 Friday night. After getting ready and showing them my digs, we were ready to go out! First spot: East Fourth.  We were hoping to get to Greenhouse Tavern, but since we got off to a later than planned start and there was a slight wait there, we ended up crossing the street for quick drinks and appetizers at Zocalo. Bummed we didn’t make it to the Greenhouse Tavern – I’ve heard so many great things about it!

Friday night part two:

A quick driving tour of part of the eastside – including Case and Little Italy. Head to Coventry to meet up with friends and show the fun area. Slightly disappointing crowds at Panini’s and later in the night at McNulty’s.


Checked out Luckys in Tremont for brunch. Great choice! Food was awesome – I got the Shipwreck (egg, bacon, cheese, potato and veggies), while my friends dined on their lemon pancakes and the breakfast burrito. Their como toast was AWESOME. AND by the way, Guy Fieri just visited and they’re going to be featured on an upcoming episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. How cool!

Headed over to one of my favorite spots in Tremont, the Banyon Tree. The girls were impressed and tried on some cute outfits. Had planned to walk around the area and show them some other cute shops and galleries (Paul Duda is one of my faves) but the awfully rainy weather made it impossible to do anything outside.

Plans for the Vintage Wine Festival were cancelled –nobody wanted to be outside in the rain, even if there was wine involved!

Passed Westside Market on our drive back and decided that instead of the wine festival, we’d find fresh groceries and make dinner. Bought some fresh flank steak, corn, tomato, red onions, cilantro, avocado and parmesan pepper bread for dinner. Also got some dried fruit because I love it.

Stopped by Great Lakes Brewing Company for a FREE brew tour! Offered pretty much every hour, on the hour, they’re a great way to showcase a local claim to fame – our yummy beer.

westsidemarketdinnerAfter the Brew Tour, the sun had started to clear up so we decided to go on a driving tour of downtown. Passed through Ohio City and drove around to show off my office, Voinovich Park and CSU. Then drove to Edgewater Park to show them the best view of downtown Cleveland (and a great sunset at the time).

Once we got back home, we prepared a feast from our freshly bought meat and produce from the market. Yum!


gyromeltHeaded to Melt for brunch to feast on grilled cheese sandwiches. The boy and I got the monthly special (the Gyro .. seen at right) while the girls chose the Kindergarten (plain grilled cheese) from the menu (disappointing, I know) with some add-ons.

Weather much nicer (90s, sunny and windy), we headed to Edgewater to soak up the sun. Originally intended to head to Huntington Beach, but no time before the flights back east.

So, how did I do? What did I miss? What else would you recommend doing to showcase the Cleve?

Just for fun

My Internet has been SUPER slow today. Pages are not loading, 404 errors are popping up all over and I’ve had to go to this site to make sure it’s not just me about 6,000 times today.

So, in honor of the slow interwebs and the name of this blog, I’m posting one of my favorite videos from the Onion, which is one possible explanation for my Web problems. Bonus: if you watch it, you’ll probably figure out where the name of this blog comes from.