Cleveland, Ohio

Although we have yet to leave the states, our urban hiking extravaganza has already started. We have sold, given away, or stored all of our belongings and we’re currently spending some QT with the fam. Vinnie is in NYC and I’m here in Pittsburgh, PA.

One may think that this is a very unfair arrangement BUT what you don’t know is that not only do I get to hang in the ‘burgh and witness the birth of my first niece, I was able to visit some college besties up in the #3 most underrated city in the United States – Cleveland.

When I found out that Cleveland was so underrated, I had to think – What did I miss?  In the spirit of our trip, I thought I would give you some insight into what a trip to Cleveland is like.

The drive out of Pennsylvania and into Ohio is straight up gorgeous.  Just past the PA border the rolling hills end and you’re confronted with mile after mile of green farmland. It’s warm, slightly humid and you are legally obligated to drive with the windows down and radio blaring. Hello summer in middle America.

(Yes, I took that picture and it is a testament to my amazing ‘photographing out of the sunroof while driving’ abilities.)

I stayed at with my college friend at her new place in the ‘burbs, and holy crap! A huge house.  A minivan. Babies. This was my alternate reality.

The twilight-zone moment hit when the dog started barking, the infant began whimpering and the toddler went running to the curtains to see that the Jehovah’s Witness had come for a visit. Instead of inviting them in to pretend that we were a loving lesbian couple with kids, Emily shooed them away without opening the door.  I have to think that was a lost opportunity for some wholesome girl-on-girl action in front of extremely religious nut jobs.

Anyway, I guess that’s what makes Cleveland so underrated  – it’s an affordable, wholesome  family city.  People settle down, can afford to have children and go to the park and the zoo. They invite their parents to their potluck dinner parties, and have mailboxes in the shape of Cleveland Brown’s football helmets. This is the land of the underdog team and college football pride.

I kind of forgot that this quiet, affordable home life still life exists, but I’m not surprised that it still scares the shit out of me. What would I do without a local bar?

So here’s my advice if you’re heading to Cleveland.

  1. Be prepared for the shock of children. Your college friends in Ohio have them and they get big fast! Give lots of hugs, kisses and cuddles because they’re cute and they’re not yours.
  2. Ohio State – even if you didn’t go to school there, buy the shirt and you’ll fit in.
  3. Never, ever, EVER tell a Clevelander that the “Browns aren’t even in the same game as the Steelers.” You will be knifed.
  4. Two syllables to avoid – LeBron

If you’re interested in more Cleveland love, check out this article.

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