Adventure Is Out There, And It's Waiting For You At Squire's Castle

Adventure Is Out There, And It's Waiting For You At Squire's Castle

Enjoy some pictures and history of the incredible Squire's Castle and beautiful Cleveland Metroparks.

With jobs and school, it's easy to get a little burnt out and bored. One of my favorite ways to recharge is to go on new adventures with the people I love and this trip was no exception.

On your average summer Tuesday, a few family members and I decided to try to find an old castle that we had seen on Facebook. With it being only an hour away, we got some awesome breakfast and away we went to Squire's Castle in Willoughby Hill, OH.

Squire's Castle was built by oil pioneer and Standard Oil executive, Feargus B. Squire, in the 1890s. Squire started as an office boy but ended up building his own refinery. All of his success led him to eventually become co-manager of Standard Oil alongside Frank Rockefeller by 1885.

Squire had plans to build a mansion on the property that this castle sits on, but he never got around to it. What you see here was supposed to be the gatekeeper's house of the property, but Squire used it as a summer retreat for he and his family for several years.

The castle had several bedrooms, living areas, a large kitchen, and even a breakfast porch! (Sign me up.) All of the rooms had white plaster walls complete with elegant woodwork. Leaded glass windows looked out over the property.

One of the most gorgeous rooms was his hunting room, where he kept many of his "trophies" from his kills, but now all that is left is a fireplace and bricks. In fact, the castle had an upper level, but it is no longer there (and neither is the roof).

We discovered after getting there that the castle wasn't the only thing to see, as the area is now owned by Cleveland Metroparks and there are beautiful trails all over the place nearby.

We walked along dirt trails for a few hours, but you could easily walk around the area all day. There are at least a dozen trails, and many overlook a beautiful stream.

Eventually, we stumbled upon a wonderful nature center, where we saw a variety of beautiful birds, a lot of fish in the pond out front, and some turtles (that were superb subjects for photos that posed for us so nicely).

Oh, and an owl that gave us the stink eye the entire time we told him how cute he was...

If you're ever looking for a nice place to go relax, hike, see loads of wildlife, and visit a really cool castle, I highly recommend visiting Squire's Castle and the surrounding park area. The trails we hiked were mostly flat, though there were some tougher uphill ones if that's your thing. It was quiet, peaceful, and clean with wildlife and a sense of magic around every corner. It still doesn't beat the beauty at Cooper's Rock, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Cover Image Credit: Emmy Rinehart

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19 Things To Do On Your 19th Birthday

You only turn 19 years old once, so spend the day doing these awesome things!

Nineteen isn't a fantastic birthday. It is not your 18th birthday where you can start saying, "I'm legal," it's not your 16th birthday when you can have a Sweet 16 birthday party and it is not your 21st birthday where you can finally drink legally.

So here are 19 things that you can do to celebrate your 19th birthday and make the most of it.

1. Sleep in.

Unless you need to wake up early for something, don't set your alarm. Catch up on your sleep and relax for the morning. Enjoy waking up and not having a place to be.

2. Make yourself a nice breakfast.

You only turn 19 once, so make sure it is a good breakfast to start your day off right. Make yourself some eggs, toast, bacon and a nice cup of coffee.

3. Go get a manicure.

It is your birthday; make sure you treat yourself right! You deserve to be pampered on your birthday!

4. Go to the beach.

There is nothing better than getting some sun on your birthday! Enjoy the warm weather and the heat. Swim in the water and soak up some sun.

5. Go to an amusement park.

For those of you who like the thrill of roller coasters, an amusement park is the way to go. Ride roller coasters and eat some fried dough with your friends.

6. Have a party.

This is the most common way to celebrate your birthday. Invite friends to come over and make food. Spend your birthday surrounded by friends and family.

7. Have a bonfire.

This is what I love to do on my birthday. Surround yourself with your best friends, enjoy some s'mores and sit around the fire.

8. Go on a hike.

For the nature lovers, this is the ideal way to spend your birthday. Grab a friend and go to the Adirondack mountains and spend the day hiking.

9. Buy yourself something nice.

That pair of boots you've been staring at for the last two months or that Michael Kors wallet you've been dreaming of? It's your birthday! Go buy it. You deserve it.

10. Have a movie night.

Invite a couple friends over, make some popcorn and have movie theater candy on hand. Watch a couple movies and eat some snacks with your best friends.

11. Call up an old friend.

I'm sure that old friend has been thinking of you too, so why not give them a call? See if they want to go out and get lunch with you.

12. Buy some lottery tickets.

Who knows? Your birthday could end up being your lucky day. Maybe you'll lose all of your money, but maybe you could win some back too.

13. Go to a concert.

What is better than music on your birthday? Hopefully there will be some good music groups in town during your birthday.

14. Bake a cake.

If you love to bake, then make a birthday cake! Decorate it all specially and put your favorite colors and flavors of frosting on it.

15. Do something on your bucket list.

At one point or another, all of us have made a bucket list. Take it out and find something on your bucket list that you can cross off and complete!

16. Spend your day with family.

Enjoy your day surrounded by your family. They will know exactly what to do for the day and how to make sure your birthday is a good one.

17. Visit your favorite place.

Whether you love going to the zoo and seeing the animals, or there is a nearby city that you love going to, spend the day there.

18. Get a haircut.

It is a new year and a new you! Get a haircut!

19. Do something you love doing.

Whether you love reading or love to run, spend the day doing whatever it is you love. It is your birthday and you should spend the day doing what you love.

Cover Image Credit: Cross Cards

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Why I've Never Not Had A Valentine

It's the day of love. It does not mean it has to be romantic.


If my memory serves me correctly, I have always had a valentine. By that, I don't mean that I have had a boyfriend every single year since I was five.

In Spanish, Valentine's Day is also referred to as "Dia del Amor y la Amistad", which translates to the day of love and friendship. I'm not a big fan of the holiday, because to me someone should show me love every single day, not only one specific day because "everybody else is doing it".

On that note, however, I have always had a valentine. In elementary school, we celebrated the holiday and everyone was each other's valentines. Even that girl (the one who stole your game that you won on Friday because you accumulated enough points to pick it from the prize box) would be your valentine.

In middle school, my grandpa or dad would get me those little chocolate hearts, which are about a dollar at Walmart. I don't recall ever going without one. Then, the next day they'd take me to stock up on candy because of price drops!

In high school, once my friends got their driver's licenses and part-time jobs, we'd finish classes and go to Highway 55 and celebrate Galentine's Day or stock up on cheat day food and go to the park. This year we've all gone our separate ways. We've gone to different schools and maybe communication was just lost, but I'm so thankful for the memories I have with everyone.

This year I'm my own valentine, (which no, it is not shameful) because I learned to love myself enough to celebrate it with myself. Love doesn't always have to be romantic, it does not always mean dinner dates and engagement proposals. Love means calling your mom, your dad, or grandma and wishing them a happy Valentine's Day. It means telling your friends that you're proud of them.

Love means recognizing yeah, it's been a hell of a week, but you got through it. Valentine's Day sometimes means going to your nearest Target, grabbing a bottle of cocktail juice, and putting on a face-mask while catching up on your favorite TV show. Valentine's Day is so generalized to be about romantic love that some people feel alone. You really shouldn't.

If you feel alone, just remember someone loves you for you and maybe it's not your time for romance. If that doesn't help, then I count as your valentine.

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