Cleveland Bridge Project

Now that I am an official Ohio Ambassador, you may remember I vowed not to spend the cold winter sitting on my couch and moping- instead  I want to take advantage of all the activities (whatever they may be) Ohio has to offer.

cool signWell, I am starting early. Thus weekend, fall came in with a bang- cold, windy and rainy. Normally this would mean spending my Saturday night gathered under a blanket, watching the latest Netflix and drinking hot cider. But how could I do that when the Cleveland Bridge Project (an expansion of Ingenuity Fest) was taking place? So I bundled up (with my new Target coat and Target boots of course), sucked it up and went out. Add I’m glad I did! We met up with some of B’s law school friends and explored the bottom level (which I never knew existed!) of the Detroit Superior Bridge.

It was awesome! There were bands playing the entire night, cool art exhibits, tons of people, and things to look at for the entire length of the bridge. Not to mention the fact that we could walk the entire length of the bridge (while cars were driving on the level above) was pretty cool.

ingenuitySome of the highlights: The 36 views of a bridge was neat- some people had creatively put together footage of different parts of the city (during fun activities, too, like St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Wade Oval Wednesdays, etc.) and set them to music. To make it interactive, a guy had created a hands on way for people to vote which scene they’d like to see next- either via the exhibit or their iPhone. Another highlight? The standing water exhibits. On roped off portions of the bridge, you could see what looked like deep areas of standing water- a staircase going down into nothing but water and a room that was vacant but for a few feet of water. I tried to take a picture but the poor lighting (it WAS nighttime on the lower level of a bridge) made it difficult to come out.  A final highlight? The “Tell Me a Joke” guy! There was a guy set up in front of a blue screen with a microphone, asking people to tell him jokes. He was recording them and they’re all going to be compiled and made into some YouTube videos, DVDs etc. I am not one for fame, but I couldn’t help but take part. B’s friend Joey and I told the following joke (per B’s suggestion):

tellmeajokeJoey: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
Me:  Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan!

Funny I know. So be on the lookout for my five seconds of fame!
All in all it was a worthwhile trip. I got to explore an area of the city I didn’t even know existed, and I managed to spend most of the night off the couch. Success!

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?