Yes, I'm From Ohio. No, I Am Not A Wild Animal

Yes, I'm From Ohio. No, I Am Not A Wild Animal

Yes, I'm A Long Way Away From Home.
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Yes, I am from Ohio. No, I'm not a wild animal.


Shocking right?!?!

One of the most interesting things about moving 800 some miles away from Ohio is the fact that everyone acts like I'm an endangered wild animal. Given, my tag plate is the first give away. People say all the time, "Your tag is Ohio, you are a long way from home."

Thank you for noticing that there is a great distance between Kansas and Ohio. It doesn't matter if I'm going through a drive-through or getting out of the car to go shopping--they always notice it.

One of my other giveaways is that my driver's license is an Ohio ID and my phone number area code is 614, way far off from the local 785. My favorite is when people get annoyed when they have to press backspace on the area code they had entered and assumed it was. Like, I'm sorry, I'm not from here.

People have told me I talk weird. Kansas is considered both a Great Plains state and a Midwestern state. I do not know how I talk weird, but hey, thanks. To me, everyone sounds the same here.

Another favorite question of mine, "Why are you wearing Ohio University attire? Do you go to school there? Do you drive or fly when you come back? Why don't you go to K State?"

Usually, they come in a string exactly like that. So the answer is recited back, "I'm from Ohio. I went to school there and now I go online. KState isn't that great and they wouldn't transfer me."

Once it's established that I'm from Ohio, the fun questions begin. (Note: sarcasm)

"What's the weather like?"

"Why is it called the Buckeye State?"

"Exactly how far away is it?"

"Do you have tornados?"

"Do you have hurricanes?"

"Does it touch an ocean?" (My favorite thing ever asked.)

"Why do you hate Michigan?"

"Does it snow a lot?"

"How big is it compared to Kansas?"

"Is it flat or rolling?"

"Are your summers hot?"

"Are the winters long and cold?"

"What do you do for fun?" (Second favorite because there is NOTHING to do in Kansas)

"What kind of food do you eat?"

"Do they farm there?" (All time dumbest question)

"How are you so tan?" (I laid by the pool because there is NOTHING to do here)

"Why did you move here?" (Love. Sadly. Love.)

I'm not sure why people are so fascinated with me being from Ohio? I mean that's the question I want to be answered.

Cover Image Credit: Miguel Vieira Via Flickr

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Maine: The Way Life Should Be

This "wicked good" state is a hidden gem in the United States.
Anna
Anna
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When I moved to Maine four years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about it. This rather small state on the East Coast is not particularly well known in Europe or even some parts of the United States as I came to find out later.

But in those four years, I came to love this state despite those long horrible winters that sometimes made me question my choice of moving there. Now that I moved back to Europe, I will tell anyone, whether they like it or not, about this wicked good state and how awesome it is there.

For anyone out there thinking of going there to visit or for anyone who is adventurous enough to move there, here are some reasons why Maine is not only Vacationland but also one of the best states to live in the United States.

Nature:

There is absolutely nothing more breathtaking than the nature of Maine. Throughout all four seasons, nature is something that people from all over come to admire. Whether it's the Indian Summer with incredible views of foliage as far as the eye can see, or the winter wonderland that Maine turns into as soon as the first snow hits the ground. During the summer months, the millions of hiking trails throughout the state will invite anyone to go on a little adventure and to go off the grid to recharge your batteries.

Camp:

During the summer months, most Mainers go out to camp. Camp in Maine can mean anything from a small shack with an outhouse to a nice comfortable house with all the bells and whistles. Maine has a ton of lakes and most families own some property that is on the water. The days during the summer are spent playing lawn games, going out on the water with a jet-ski, swimming and just eating tons of good food. The quality time that you spend out there makes you really appreciate the simpler things in life and will help you get through those long and cold winters.

The food scene:

Maine offers something for anyone. If you are into vegan, and healthy foods there are tons of alternative restaurants or little shops everywhere that will give you exactly that. Many of these places are locally owned and the food is sourced from surrounding farms and cooked fresh. However, if you are looking for some comfort food you will also not be disappointing. Tons of restaurant will offer you that burger with fries or some incredible mac n cheese which you might be graving. Also, you can pretty much find any ethnic cuisine that your heart desires. And because life is only truly complete with dessert Maine has incredible options. Whoopie Pies, for example, is something anyone going to this state needs to try.

The sense of community:

The people of Maine are among some of the most friendly people I have ever met. When I moved there I didn't really know a soul. By the end of my four years, it was hard to say goodbye. These relationships have really impacted me and my life would be very different if it weren't for these incredible individuals. Mainers have this wonderful talent of making anyone feel welcome and part of the community fairly quickly. Also, the support they show for people in need is heartwarming. Whether it's fundraisers or volunteering within the community, if there is something that can be done to help Mainers are always willing to do that.

The quality of life:

If you are looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle, Maine is definitely for you. There are tons of outdoor activities throughout the year, festivals in the summer, football games and apple picking in the fall, and holidays throughout the year that will keep you busy. You have the option of living in a city like Portland which will give you the feel of a big city or you can literally live in the middle of nowhere with your closest neighbor being some deer and moose. Whichever one you prefer Maine has something to offer for anyone!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash
Anna
Anna

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Top 5 Most Haunted Places In America

Haunted places are all over if you know where to look. America is no different.
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I don't think there are any countries that don't have at least one ghost story. Haunted places are all over if you know where to look. America is no different. It's a land built on blood and tears which would make it no surprise if some spirits still linger on its soil.

1. The Cecil Hotel, California

If you're ever in Los Angeles and looking for a place to spend the night I would steer clear of 'A Stay On Main.' That's the name that was creatively given to the hotel in 2011 to help mend its gruesome image. In the late 20's the hotel opened its doors as a ritzy establishment furnished with only the finest things. That lap of luxury didn't last long with the Great Depression leaving the Hotel in one of the worst areas of town. It was nicknamed' Skid Row' because of the mass amounts of transients that stayed in the area. The misfortune didn't end there however. A string of over 10 suicides happened at the hotel over the years, including the mysterious death of Elisa Lam who was found in the hotels' water tank. Her death was ruled a suicide, but that wasn't without speculation. She was seen on hotel security cameras acting frantic inside of an elevator hours before she died. She wasn't found in that water tank until over a week later. A maintenance man had been sent to check the tank after multiple guests complained of foul-smelling water and bad water pressure. Another famous victim was spotted at the hotel before her untimely death; her name was Elizabeth Short; better known as The Black Dahlia. To further add to the deathly aura of the hotel, it also housed notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez. It's no wonder the hotel has been trying so desperately to stay afloat. I certainly won't be staying at The Cecil if I'm ever in LA.

2. Waverly Hill Sanitorium, Kentucky

In the early 1900's Jefferson County was struck by an outbreak of tuberculosis. The number of patients that needed treatment made the demand for a hospital urgent. That's why Waverly Hills was built. It originally housed around 50 patients, but as demand for treatment grew the hospital had to expand. In 1926 a new hospital opened on the grounds of Waverly Hills. This massive structure could house over 400 patients at one time. The hospital thrived until 1961 when new drugs were developed to better help combat tuberculosis. This new medical breakthrough made the need for tuberculosis hospitals unnecessary and they closed their doors that same year. The next year they reopened with a new goal in mind, rehabilitating the elderly. The woodland geriatric center was open until 1982 when they were shut down for cases of patient abuse. The walls of Waverly Hills saw plenty of horror stories in the years it was open, to say the least, but they didn't end when the facility closed its doors for medical treatment. If you went to visit Waverly Hills today you would find that it hasn't changed much over the years. The current owners have spent years restoring the place to its former “glory.” They hold ghost tours and events at the site and spend the profits on the restoration project. One of my favorite shows Supernatural even shot an episode at the site! It's a huge building with a lot of history so it's no wonder why they spirits inside have a lot to tell.

3. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Nestled in the hills of Estes Park Colorado sits one of the most infamous hotels in existence. The Stanley hotel was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley after he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. He decided to spend the rest of his days in the scenic atmosphere of the mountains. The air up in the mountains ended up doing wonders on his disease because he lived to the ripe old age of 91. During his life in the mountains he not only built a luxury hotel but also the first town bank, and sewer company, water company, and power company. The early years of the Stanley were fruitful and happy, but that doesn't change that sinister reputation the hotel has received. In the 70's a much younger Stephen King stayed the night in room 217 and left with an experience that birthed one of the greatest horror novels in American literature. 'The Shining' was a novel that gained massive popularity. When word got out about that site being the inspiration for the film people quickly flocked to see the place for themselves. The equally popular Stanley Kubrick film the novel is based on wasn't film there however. The sightings have been seen all over the hotel, but the hotbed for activity lies in and around room 217. Take a word of advice and book a different room if you stay there unless you don't plan on getting much sleep.

4. The Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Have you ever heard of the jersey devil? If not then you are in for quite the story. Legend states that in the early 1700's in a poor town near the pine barrens a woman named Deborah Leeds had given birth to 12 children. Out of frustration cursed her new spawn saying that “The devil can have him.” The child was born looking like an ordinary baby but quickly turned into a frightening monster. He grew over 20 feet long, dawned hooves, a goat-like head, long black wings, and a forked tail. He then began to destroy the Leeds home before flying out the chimney into the night. That's how the jersey devil was born. People have claimed to see the creature many times over the years from as early as the 1700's to recently. In 1909 a newspaper got over 100 calls stating they had seen the creature. That week he terrorized the town and supposedly knocked over a trolley car in the process. A 10,000 dollar reward was put out for anyone who could find and capture the creature, but no one managed to do so. After a while, the sightings died down, but people still claim he's around the pine barrens occasionally killing livestock, and in some cases small children. Today people use the tale of the jersey devil to terrorize kids and have a good camp story, but with all the sightings over the years who's to say if he really isn't out there?

5. The Winchester Mystery House, California

If you've ever heard the phrase 'the gun that won the west' they're referring the Winchester Rifle. The Winchester Repeating Rifle was the best gun the use in combat at the time, so sales skyrocketed making the Winchesters a fortune. That wonderful fortune didn't come without a price though. Sarah and William Winchester conceived a child in 1866, but the joy didn't last long. The infant contract a disease called 'marasmus' and died in July of that year. Sarah was stricken with grief and withdrew herself from society. She was so heartbroken that her and Oliver never had another child. The tragedy of Sarah life didn't end there, with Oliver dying of Tuberculosis in 1881. She had inherited more wealth than most people could dream of, but that didn't end her suffering. A friend told her to consult a medium to see if she could contact her husband. At the time Spiritualism was a huge movement and people claiming to be able to speak to the dead were around every corner. It wasn't hard for her to find someone to help her on her endeavors. The medium she found was able to accurately describe Williams appearance and went on to tell her that the reason for her misfortune was because of the blood her fortune was built on. The Winchester rifle had killed countless people and now her family was cursed by those spirits. The medium said she to would die if she didn't sell her house in New Haven and move toward the setting sun. She would know the spot when she found it, and she would build a house for her and the spirits. She was also told if she ever stopped building the house that she would die. Soon after her consultation she moved to California where she saw a 162 acre plot of land owned by a man named Dr.Cadwell. Sarah knew this was the place she was meant to go and convinced Dr.Cadwell to sell it to her. This is where she used her fortune to hire the best contractors in the city. She kept her promise and constructed a house that was under continuous construction until the time of her death. The Winchester Mystery House got its name because of the amount of architectural chaos that's contained within it's walls. Sarah had the workers build doors to nowhere, staircases that lead to nothing, and secret passages. Some say this was all because of poor designing, while others believe it was Sarahs' way of trying to confuse the spirits. She would regularly hold seances in the house in an attempt to talk to her former husband. She lived in the house until September of 1922 when she held her last seance before retiring to her room and dying in her sleep. Now the house is a historical landmark and regularly hosts ghost tours for guests. I wouldn't wander off from the tour though, it would be quite easy to get lost in a house like that.




Cover Image Credit: Paraholics

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