I guess it’s finally time to face reality as we officially have less than 5 months till I get dragged out of this place! When I made my SLO bucket list a few months ago, it seemed like I had ages before I really needed to put a dent in it, but now time is closing in–time to get back to our Saturday adventures! As sad as I am to leave this wonderful place and all of the great people I’ve met here, it will be fun to embark on a new adventure and chapter in our lives. Plus, it’s only a temporary chapter while Jeff gets his Ph.D., so we can always find our way back here!
But enough of my complaining. I’m sure you are all more interested in this question: where are we actually going?? While we haven’t made an official decision yet, we have narrowed it down to the following 3 places:
Jeff’s been off visiting the schools and cities, and since I couldn’t go, I made sure he had a camera to take lots of pictures that he could share with me so I could get a feel of each place and then share it with you. As we await the final decision, I thought it might be fun to take an in-depth look at each city and what they have to offer in terms of things that are important to me like food, weather, farmer’s markets, restaurants, trails, and well, pretty much anything related to food!
We’ll start with Akron.
Jeff would be attending the University of Akron. The campus is located right downtown and the building he would be working in is gorgeous.
This is the view from his floor–pretty amazing, no? Definitely a big change from the SLO skyline!
While the city center has its positives and negatives, there are plenty of nice suburban neighborhoods surrounding the campus that remind me a bit of where I grew up in the Sacramento area. It’s a far cry from my small town walkable neighborhood, but I could handle it for a short time!
Okay, now for the statistics:
Population: The city of Akron itself has about 200,000 people while neighboring suburban cities where we would most likely live have between 40,000 to 60,000.
Weather: Akron averages about 47 inches of snowfall every year (!) with temperatures in the winter averaging a low of 20 and a high of 35-40. Temperatures in the summer average a low of and a high of 40-50 and a high of 70-80. I better get a warmer coat!
Farmer’s Markets: There seem like there are plenty of Farmer’s Markets both in Akron and in the surrounding areas from June-October, but with the harsh winter weather, I imagine farmer’s markets during the winter are pretty much impossible. I also imagine they have more seasonal vegetables than in SLO where we get strawberries year round it seems!
CSA Programs: It looks like there are 2 CSA programs in the county. The first, run by Crown Point Ecology Center, looks nice but only offers the program from late spring through the fall. The buy-in cost is $300 for a biweekly share of $575 for a weekly share (for the season) and includes veggies and fruits like beans, beets, cucumbers, carrots, sweet corn, and peppers. The second, run by Greenfield Berry Farm, offers produce June-September and includes veggies and fruits like potatoes, okra, and tomatillos. Their website did not list any prices.
Restaurants: I turned to Yelp to see what some of the best restaurants were in the area. Some interesting ones that I would like to check out were:
Ranchero’s Taqueria: I can’t live without good Mexican food, that’s for sure!
Primo’s Deli: I’ll have a big sandwich-sized hole to fill when I leave SLO and my beloved Gus’s behind…
Crave: Looks like fun, American food.
The Lockview: 13 different types of grilled cheese sandwiches? Yes, please!
Hiking/Biking Trails: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is nearby as well as the Akron State Park. Cleveland’s Lake Eerie is only about an hour drive away. The above photos are from the Cuyahoga Valley NP–I think I could spend a few days exploring that!
So, what do you think? Are you ready to leave SLO for Akron? We’ll see!
Stay tuned for next Monday’s continuation: Blacksburg, Virginia!