At this time tomorrow morning I’ll be on a plane from Detroit to Cleveland, the second and last connection to take me back to my homeland: Ohio. This is my first trip back home since I move to Amsterdam one year ago.
Oh you’re from the US. Where from exactly?
Do you know where that is?
Isn’t it…in the middle?
Wow. I can’t tell you how many times I have had this exact conversation. Considering that Europeans (if not the world) believe that they are better at geography than Americans (which is still mostly true), I do feel quite giddy when the moment arises that I can teach THEM something about geography. Observe the map of the USA, according to Ohio people:
You will notice that according to Ohioans, the middle is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So when you (yes, you fancy schmancy European you!) say Like, isn’t it in the middle? that can be taken as an insult. Ohio is the best.
I like to believe that what Ohio lacks in A) things to do B) places to see C) culture and D) beautiful beaches (although I think you can technically swim in Lake Erie…and we do go to Baylor Beach every now and again…though more of a hole with water than a real beach) it makes up for in spirit.
So what is the spirit of Ohio?
That’s a tough question I suppose. It depends on where you are going. Of course there are many cities in the state, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown, and Dover. Oh…you haven’t heard of the last one? Does this ring a bell:
Although the heart of Amish country is about 20 minutes away from Dover, it is quite common to share the roads, restaurants, and Walmart with our Amish neighbors. Maybe you remember this oldie but goodie?
Actually…yeah. That about sums up the Amish. They also make delicious cheeses, which I will not be eating this trip (the whole vegan thing). If you look closely, there are many wonderful things from Dover, Ohio…which I can’t wait to visit.
1) Dee’s restaurant. – If a restaurant is open at 6 a.m., you know that’s the real deal in diner world. Expect to see tons of old friends drinking copious amounts of watery coffee for hours on end (free refills!). Also, as soon as you walk in the door…everyone stares at you. But don’t worry, you don’t have something hanging from your nose, they are just trying to remember who you are. Small town = everyone knows everyone. Did I mention they have a vegetarian omelet I’ll take mine minus the egg, add in hashbrowns please!
2) Breadhead bakery- They really do make the best bread ever. It’s called hippy bread. You should check it out.
3) Eiler’s candy shop– “We don’t have a mail order business, but we will ship it to people from the area who have moved away.” Can you get anymore awesome than that? They also have old fashioned root beer, phosphates, and ice cream sodas. Fun Fact: George Bush came and tried some candy during his 2004 Election campaign.
The true spirit of Ohio, in particular Tuscarawas Country, can best be captured in the people.
I wonder if they know where Amsterdam is? Either way…I’m excited to tell them all about it. Hopefully I can convince them that there is more to it than tulips and wooden shoes.
Sorry for the short post! Have to go pack…more super exciting Ohio stuff coming up soon!
Carpe Diem! Peace and LOVE!