Recently I was told I could travel anywhere I wanted in the whole world. I mean, I’ve known I could do that for awhile. And, you can too. At the end of the day, we can all get a plane ticket and fly wherever we want. Most people think of an exotic destination in Asia or an extremely romantic city in Europe once they start negotiating this concept of wanderlusting freedom in their mind. Not me. While I may have some “basic” tendencies, I’m definitely not a typical person. I usually do things the opposite way with good reasoning.
Why? “Why did I choose to go to Bay Village, Ohio?” 7.06 square miles with a population of approximately 16,000. Simple answer. Because Bay Village, Ohio is where my great-grandparents raised my grandparents. Its where my grandparents met and went on their first date. Its where they fell in love. And, to me, those monumental snaps of life far exceed any delicious European meal or any historical statue on any continent in the world. Without my great-grandparents and grandparents falling in love, there would be no me. Without them, I wouldn’t have what I have, and you and I wouldn’t even know each other. We would be non-existent.
Obviously, I want to travel the world and experience other cultures, but right now, my mind is focused on learning the parts of my family’s deep history that I’m not necessarily familiar with. It also allows me to feel connected to my loved ones who are watching over me. Anyways, I hope this is a good enough answer to my countless text messages asking me why I flew across the country to visit Ohio, of all places. Haha!
Bay Village, Ohio
First stop. Obviously. There aren’t too many places to eat or things to do in Bay Village. Its an affluent suburb of Cleveland. But, I’ll tell ya, its the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. Love at first sight. The luscious trees were turning orange, red, and yellow, and the air was crisp and breezy. There were specific stops I insisted on making here, ones that I had heard my grandparents talk about. The Bay Diner, Bay Lanes Bowling (where my grandparents went on their first date–so cute), and Lake Erie.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a United States National Park between Akron and Cleveland. Native Americans called this winding water “Kahyonhá:ke,” which means “on the river” or “at the river” in Mohawk. The park offers absolutely stunning hikes and waterfalls throughout miles of gorgeous trees. Unlike our steep hikes in California, these hikes and trails are much more flat! The Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal, which runs through Boston Village, also known as Helltown because apparently its haunted (its not). Anyways, this extremely cute little town was known as a mill town and seems absolutely charming.
I wasn’t looking forward to heading into the city, as I’m one of those gals who appreciates a small town. I can get the big city vibe in LA if I’m craving it. BUT, my grandparents had boxes of photos of Public Square, so I knew they really enjoyed this part of Cleveland and I wanted to see why they loved it so much. We checked out the Terminal Tower, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ate at the Fat Cats, and shopped some cute boutiques, which are really hard to find in Ohio.
Obviously, I found a bakery and got a gluten free cupcake in Tremont, which seems to be the hip part of Cleveland. Shout out to A Cookie and a Cupcake!
All in all, Bay Village stole my heart and I’m already trying to plan another trip to visit. I never thought I would find a more charming town than Los Olivos, but I have.
I would live there. And, I don’t understand why my great-grandparents and grandparents ever wanted to leave.
Learn more about visiting Ohio here!
“If you’re ever feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.” — Everwood