Ohio – Boozy Buckeye

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we travel to Ohio, the Buckeye State, to see what trouble we can get into. Given the state gave out the first ever traffic ticket, though, we better tread carefully. Let’s do it:

Motto: “With God, all things are possible” – All things are always possible…

Food: For those with a sweet tooth, Ohio has a number of options. Most notably, Buckeyes (balls of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate) are popular throughout the state. With a portion of the peanut butter exposed, they resemble the nuts from buckeye trees, the State Tree of Ohio. Life Savers Candy and Chewing Gum were also invented there.

Drink: Gem Beverages has operated in Ohio since 1923. Their most popular brand is Ski, a citrus soda, which comes in regular, diet, cherry and tropical flavours. This category seems like a good place to also mention that the pop-top (pull-tab) drink can was invented in 1959, by Ohioan Ermal Fraze, as he looked for a better way to open beers.

Buckeyes

Site to See: Cedar Point amusement park, in Sandusky, is the second oldest amusement park in the U.S. The park has been called ‘America’s Roller Coaster’ and contains 71 rides. It is the most visited seasonal theme park in the country. Cedar Point was awarded ‘Best Amusement Park in the World’ 16 years in a row (1997-2013) by Amusement Today.

Street: Euclid Avenue in Cleveland gained attention in the late 1800s and early 1900s for the wealthy families living along the route. With residents like John Rockefeller, the area became known as Millionaires’ Row and the beauty of the street earned it another nickname: The Showplace of America. There’s also a really neat three-way bridge in Zanesville, called the Y-Bridge.

TV Show: A number of good sitcoms are set in Ohio, including The Drew Carey Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Family Ties. Hit musical dramedy Glee also took place in the state. Of them all, The Drew Carey Show was probably my favourite, thanks to characters like Lewis and Oswald. Also, John Lithgow did an amazing job on 3rd Rock, while we can thank Family Ties for Michael J. Fox.

Movie: Did you know one of the greatest characters of the horror genre haunts Ohio… even its resident’s dreams? The A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which sees Freddy Krueger stalk his victims in their sleep, was created by Wes Craven, who was born in Cleveland. There are nine Elm Street films, along with a TV series, novels, comic books and other media.

Freddy Krueger

Book/Author: As someone who grew up on this author’s work, I had to pick R.L. Stine for this category. His Goosebumps series introduced millions of kids to the concept of reading for fun, while his Fear Street series kept those kids, now as teenagers, interested in picking up a book. Stine’s countless novels have sold hundreds of millions of copies.

Fictional Character: The Hulk (real name Bruce Banner) is from Dayton. If I’m being honest, I was never really a fan of the character until Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers movies. The scene where he obliterates Loki by rag dolling him around is one of the best in any Marvel movie. Hulk SMASH, am I right!?

Fictional City: Coolsville is the hometown of Scooby-Doo and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang. Sure, a lot of weird happenings occur in the town, but as long as the Mystery Machine is nearby, you know the case is about to be solved by some meddling kids and their dog. Interestingly, there is a real town in Ohio, named Coolville, after founder Simeon W. Cooley.

Actor/Actress: Paul Newman, star of movies such as The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, The Sting, and a Sip Advisor personal favourite Slap Shot, was born in Shaker Heights. Newman was nominated a number of times for the Best Actor Oscar, finally winning one for The Color of Money. His Newman’s Own food company donates all after-tax profits to charity.

Paul Newman

Song: Ohio by The Black Keys is an ode to the state, with the group being formed in Akron. It was a bonus track on their album Brothers and contains lyrics such as “Get me home; Before, before I lose my mind. I need some space to let my; My tape rewind.” It should also be noted, Ohio has a State Rock Song, Hang On, Sloopy by The McCoys.

Band/Musician: Dave Grohl, frontman of the Foo Fighters and drummer for Nirvana before that, was born in Warren. While many famous people have a street named after them in their hometown, Grohl has an alley. Visitors to the landmark can find paintings and a sculpture of Grohl, as well as the world’s largest drumsticks. Grohl is said to visit the site on occasion.

People: Ohio is a capital of aviation. The Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) were from Dayton, before moving to North Carolina and making the first successful motor-operated airplane flight. Also, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth, were born in Wapakoneta and Cambridge, respectively.

Animal: Smoky the Dog was a war dog, accompanying Corporal William A. Wynne, during World War II. Smoky’s efforts, running wires to help build an air base, saved about 250 soldiers from being exposed. After the war, Wynne and Smoky returned to Cleveland, where the dog became a national sensation, with her popularity reviving the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

Smoky the Dog

Invention: High school friends from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, co-created comic book superhero Superman, with the character debuting in the first issue of Action Comics, in 1938. The rights to the character were sold for a mere $130, which was standard business in the industry at that time. While they were paid well by DC Comics afterwards, the duo regretted selling the copyright.

Crime: Ohio has had two sets of serial killer brothers terrorize the state. First, Anthony and Nathaniel Cook were incarcerated for raping and murdering at least nine white victims in Toledo, in racially-motivated crimes. Next, Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon both received life sentences after committing 10 murders around the state, with robbery being their motive.

Law: It is illegal to get a fish drunk… but they make the best drinking buddies!

Sports Team: Ohio has many sports options spread across the state. Cleveland has three teams in the Indians (MLB), Browns (NFL) and Cavaliers (NBA), while Cincinnati has the Reds (MLB) and Bengals (NFL). Finally, there’s the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and the Ohio State University Buckeyes football program, which also plays out of Columbus.

Superman

Athlete: Ohio has a trio of GOATs (greatest of all-time). This includes golfer Jack Nicklaus, who won 117 tournaments, including a record 18 majors; MLB all-time hits leader Pete Rose, winner of three World Series; and basketball superstar LeBron James, with three NBA championships, each of which he was the Finals MVP for. Rose and James played most of their careers in their home state.

Famous Home: A Christmas Story House can be found in Cleveland. In 2004, entrepreneur Brian Jones purchased the home on eBay for $150,000 and restored it to how it looks in the film. Jones also bought the house across the street, turning it into a museum, featuring props from the movie, such as the family’s car and a Red Ryder BB gun. You can even book an overnight stay in the home.

Urban Legend: What was once known as Boston Township, is now dubbed Helltown, an area of Ohio rife with stories of paranormal activity, Satan worshippers, the supposed “end of the world” road and the mutant ‘Peninsula Python’. The legends resulted from Boston becoming a ghost town in the mid 1970’s, as government began creating the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Museum: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame can be found in Cleveland and Canton, respectively. How did they end up in Ohio? Well, Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed was the first to use the term rock and roll, while in 1920, Canton hosted a meeting between four Ohio-based football teams, founding what today is the NFL.

Pete Rose

Firsts: Ohio has a lot of interesting firsts, including the original professional fire department and ambulance service, as well as the first police force to use a vehicle. The state also had the first concrete street and is where the first automobile was created. Cleveland was the first city lit by electricity and later had the first traffic signal system. Lastly, the first pro baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Company: Fast food restaurant Wendy’s was founded by Dave Thomas, in Columbus, in 1969. The chain, named after one of Thomas’ daughters, is now headquartered in Dublin, with their office located on Dave Thomas Boulevard. The restaurant is the third largest hamburger fast food chain in the world. Ohioans claim to have invented dipping fries into Frosty milkshakes.

Events: The Kent State Shootings, where National Guard members opened fire on unarmed student protestors, shocked the country. Four people were killed and nine wounded during the anti-Vietnam War rally. Criminal cases resulted in no convictions, while civil cases eventually resulted in a $675,000 settlement paid by the state to plaintiffs.

Miscellaneous: Ohio is known as “The Mother of Presidents”, given seven Commander-in-Chiefs have come from the state. This includes Ulysses S. Grant (18th President), Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President), James A. Garfield (20th President), Benjamin Harrison (23rd President), William McKinley (25th President), William H. Taft (27th President), and Warren G. Harding (29th President).

Boozy Buckeye

Boozy Buckeye

  • 1 oz Irish Cream or Bourbon
  • Top with Hot Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp of Melted Peanut Butter
  • Garnish with Whipped Cream

This cocktail is meant to best replicate the Buckeyes dessert treats in liquid form. As for the debate between whether to use Irish Cream or Bourbon, I said to hell with it and used Peanut Butter Whiskey for even more of a peanut butter punch. A recipe variation I found uses two ounces of Coconut Rum and an ounce of Kahlua, instead. The beverage might be best enjoyed while tailgating before Ohio State Buckeyes football games.

North Carolina – The New Cherry Bounce

Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we explore North Carolina. Nicknamed the Tar Heel State, it sounds like we might get a little dirty, so let’s tread carefully. Oh hell, a careful pace has never been my way… let’s jump right in:

Motto: “To be, rather than to seem” – That slogan is a real thinker…

Food: In North Carolina, it’s all about barbecue, with the subject extending into all realms of the state, even its politics. This is because there are two competing styles, Lexington and Eastern, with proponents of each wanting their favourite to be the official state method. Pig Pickin’ barbecues, using whole pigs, are a North Carolina tradition.

Drink: I’ve always preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola, and I have Caleb Bradham of North Carolina to thank for the beverage. In 1893, the drugstore clerk created Brad’s Drink, renaming it Pepsi-Cola in 1898. Today, Pepsi is its own food and beverage conglomerate, while Bradham was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1923, returning to the pharmacy world.

Pepsi

Site to See: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the country. Found on North Carolina’s border with Tennessee, hiking and camping seem to be major attractions of the area. Other North Carolina destinations include Grandfather Mountain and its Mile-High Swinging Bridge and Chimney Rock State Park.

Street: The Blue Ridge Parkway, nicknamed ‘America’s favorite drive’, provides a scenic 469-mile route, connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia. Highlights of the North Carolina portion, include Daniel Boone’s Trace, Looking Glass Rock, the Devil’s Courthouse mountaintop and many other places of interest.

TV Show: The Andy Griffith Show ran for eight seasons and 249 episodes, followed by spinoff series Mayberry R.F.D. airing for an additional three seasons and 78 episodes. The made-for-TV movie Return to Mayberry served as a series finale, giving fans a chance to say goodbye to classic characters such as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Deputy Barney Fife and others.

Movie: The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen and Dakota Johnson, tells the story of a man with Down syndrome, who aspires to be a professional wrestler. He escapes from his assisted living facility, helped along on his journey by his social worker and a stranger he meets along the way. The movie was a sleeper hit and received mostly positive reviews.

Mayberry

Book/Author: William Sidney Porter, better known by his pen name O. Henry, was born in Greensboro. Porter was a short story writing machine, writing one each week for over a year during his most productive period. His most famous story is The Gift of the Magi, which has been adapted countless times. The O. Henry Award is given annually to the nation’s best short stories.

Fictional Character: Max Cady, villain of the movie Cape Fear, is one scary dude. Played by Robert Mitchum in the original and Robert De Niro in the remake, Cady will stop at nothing to get revenge on the lawyer who caused him to spend 14 years in prison for rape. For something lighter, there’s also Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr. from Talladega Nights.

Fictional City: Mayberry, from The Andy Griffiths Show universe, is based on Mount Airy, the hometown of series star, Andy Griffiths. The innocent little town, where everyone knows each other, can make one pine for simpler times. Mayberry Days is an annual festival celebrated in Mount Airy and the town’s Andy Griffith Museum has a number of pieces from the classic show.

Actor/Actress: Zach Galifianakis, best known for his role as Alan, in The Hangover trilogy, was born in Wilkesboro. Galifianakis’ other credits, include voice work in the films Puss in Boots and The Lego Batman Movie, while his Between Two Ferns talk show won back-to-back Emmy Awards for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program.

Song: Carolina In My Mind by James Taylor, was written while the singer was out of the country recording an album. The song is about his homesickness for North Carolina, where Taylor was raised. Taylor typically plays the track at his concerts and it has become an unofficial state song. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill uses the song extensively.

Band/Musician: This is a tough category to narrow down, with jazz legends Nina Simone, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk competing with country/bluegrass legends Earl Scruggs, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis. Put them all together in a six-person steel cage match and I’m still not sure who emerges victorious, but the music will at least be good.

People: World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, was born in Pinehurst. McMahon is credited with revolutionizing professional wrestling, when he turned his company (then the World Wrestling Federation) into a national phenomenon. His menagerie of flashy characters, combined with high production values forever changed the industry.

Animal: Ham the Chimp, the first hominid sent into space, lived his final years at the North Carolina Zoo. Ham got his name from the acronym for the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, in New Mexico, which trained him for his 1961 mission. After dying, Ham’s remains were returned to New Mexico and buried at the International Space Hall of Fame.

Vince McMahon

Invention: North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP) can be credited with many great innovations. Among them, the Universal Product Code (barcode) found on merchandise in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australasia; Astroturf; cell phone technology advancements; LED lighting; and a potential HIV cure. RTP is the largest research park in the country.

Crime: Henry Louis Wallace (aka the Charlotte Strangler/Taco Bell Strangler) murdered 10 women in Charlotte, along with another victim in South Carolina. Most of his North Carolina victims were either friends or co-workers of his girlfriend or worked with him at Taco Bell. Wallace even attended a few of the funerals. He was sentenced to death and remains on death row.

Law: When a single man and single woman check into a hotel room together as a married couple, this makes them legally wed. Talk about an easy way to avoid expensive nuptials and all the drama that comes with it.

Sports Team: North Carolina has three professional teams, with the Panthers (NFL) and Hurricanes (NHL), as well as the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. Also, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke University Blue Devils rivalry is a among the best in college basketball, while the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be found in Charlotte, where the racing series first ran in 1949.

nascar

Athlete: North Carolina was selected as site of the NASCAR Hall of Fame due to its long and storied history in racing. That includes being the home state of driver Richard Petty, who holds the record for NASCAR wins with 200. This earned him the nickname The King. Dale Earnhardt Sr. and son Dale Earnhardt Jr., are also natives of North Carolina.

Famous Home: The Biltmore Estate, a 255-room mansion, in Asheville, is the largest home in the country. On the grounds, visitors can also find beautiful gardens, shopping and dining options and even a winery. Asheville is also known for its many craft breweries, with the area having the most breweries per capita in the U.S.

Urban Legend: Roanoke Colony was the first American settlement established by England. It is also known as the Lost Colony because when its governor, John White, left for England and returned nearly three years later, everyone was gone. The only trace of them was the word “croatoan” carved into a tree. Were they massacred by Native American tribes? Did they join those same groups? The debate rages on.

Museum: The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, found in Hatteras Village, documents the long history of shipwrecks to take place along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. More than 600 vessels have been lost in the area, including Blackbeard’s infamous pirate ship Queen Anne’s Revenge. Also on display is a German Enigma machine from a sunken submarine.

Roanoke

Firsts: As a fan of the game, it bears mentioning the first mini golf course was opened in Pinehurst, in 1916, by James Barber. When he completed his course, set amongst gardens and fountains, the story goes Barber looked at his creation and said, “This’ll do.” The course was named Thistle Dhu, as a result. Putt-Putt golf was also established in North Carolina.

Company: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was founded in 1937, in Winston-Salem, where it is headquartered today. The business was launched by Vernon Rudolph, after purchasing a recipe from a New Orleans chef. Annually, the Krispy Kreme Challenge sees competitors run five miles, eat a dozen doughnuts, then return, all in under an hour. The event benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Events: North Carolina license plates read “First In Flight”, because the Wright Brothers – Orville and Wilbur – completed the first motor-operated airplane flight in the state, in 1903. To commemorate their achievement, the Wright Brothers National Memorial was erected in Kill Devil Hills. There’s also a replica of the brother’s hangar at the site.

Miscellaneous: Christmas Town USA takes place each year in the small town of McAdenville (population 651, as of the 2010 census). Starting in 1956, the entire suburb is decorated with Christmas lights, drawing an estimated 600,000 vehicles to visit annually. The attraction is ranked as one of the country’s best holiday light displays.

The New Cherry Bounce

The New Cherry Bounce

  • 1.5 oz Cherry Whiskey
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with a Cherry

The Cherry Bounce – created at the legendary Isaac Hunter’s Tavern in Raleigh and a favourite beverage of George Washington – is a consensus choice for a North Carolina cocktail, but it basically just takes cherries, sugar and a base alcohol and let’s them blend together for a period of time. Therefore, I went with this serve-when-needed variation, subbing whiskey for vodka.

Flavour Revolution – Jalapeno

High Flyers

Jalapenos may not get into many mouths, as there are those who try to avoid spicy food at all costs, but they have ventured into space. Taken aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1982 by astronaut William B. Lenoir, jalapenos are certainly not the craziest item to leave the earth’s atmosphere. Here are some of those items:

Ashes to Ashes

There are a number of folks out there that would probably like for their remains to be floated into space for eternity. For astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, that exact wish was granted aboard the New Horizons mission in July 2015. What makes Mr. Tombaugh so special? Well, he discovered the planet Pluto and this journey was the closest man or machine had ever been to the celestial object. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry also had his ashes shot into space in 1997, joining portions of scientist Krafft Ehricke.

laundry ashes

If You Build It…

While LEGO has marketed entire lines of space-themed sets, the company can also claim to have had some of their characters enter the vast universe outside of earth’s borders. These little yellow men weren’t just any person, though. Miniatures of philosopher and astronomer Galileo, as well as Roman gods Jupiter and Juno were created for to join the few humans who can say they’ve enjoyed interstellar travel. Other toys to reach space include a Buzz Lightyear action figure… to infinity and beyond, indeed!

Special Sounds

A number of recordings have been sent into space during humans exploration of it. This includes The Beatles song Across the Universe (with a special message from Paul McCartney: “Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul.”); Louis Armstrong performing his Melancholy Blues; a recording of a mother kissing her child; a sheepherder… well, herding sheep; a blacksmith at work (is this still a thing!?); the brainwaves of Ann Druyan; Morse Code; laughter; a heartbeat; a hyena; the sawing of wood; and a steam train; among many others.

The Force

Many youngsters have become enamoured with space thanks to the Star Wars franchise of movies, so it’s fitting that a lightsaber prop from 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, would make its way out of earth’s atmosphere aboard the Discovery shuttle in 2007. On the flip side of that, is the fact that a poster from the 1984 “classic” Top Secret!, starring Val Kilmer, has also enjoyed a trip through the galaxies. Why this movie was selected amidst all the potential sci-fi classics is a question aliens couldn’t even probe.

owning a lightsaber

Sport Spectacle

Sports play a great role in human existence, so why not bring some of those items up into space. First, there’s the infamous golf shots that have taken place on the moon, including a 200-yard zero gravity bomb, hit by astronaut Alan Shepard. After that, things get a little weirder. In 2008, astronaut and New York Yankees enthusiast Garret Reisman decided to bring some dirt from the Yankee Stadium pitcher’s mound aboard his journey. Lastly, a set of NASCAR green flags were taken into orbit, but the shuttle did more than just loop a track repeatedly.

Reading Material

In 1967, a member of the Apollo 12 backup crew decided to bring a time killing slice of Americana with him. That ended up being a copy of Playboy magazine, which I’m sure was only aboard the spaceship for the articles! Many years later, 100,000 Craigslist advertisements were launched into space. At least the early days of flight have also been paid homage to during space missions: a piece of the Wright brothers first plane to leave the ground was taken into space, as was the watch and scarf worn by Amelia Earhart.

Flavour Revolution:  Pepino Diablo

  • Muddle Cucumbers
  • 2 oz Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Agave Nectar
  • Garnish with a Cucumber Slice

Considering everything that we’ve sent into space, any life that does exist out there must certainly have formed some interesting opinions about us. Chief among those, must be how easily an invasion of earth would be to undertake. After all, just distract us with toys, music, sports, and Playboy magazines and it’s practically mission accomplished!