Where I'm From
I was born in 1977 in Oberlin, Ohio and grew up in rural Wellington, Ohio about 45 minutes southwest of Cleveland. Now I live around the corner from Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted, Ohio, a suburb on Cleveland's West Side. I've lived here all my life through many warm wonderful summers and cold cloudy Cleveland winters.
 What I Do
Information technology is what I knew I wanted to work in since I was in second grade, and currently I work as an applications developer at Akron Children's Hospital.
Photography, history, geography, and cartography are HUGE interests of mine, and I hope to put my talents to good use and help out Wikitravel. Feel free to explore my photos on Picasa!
 Places I've Been
These are places I've actually done more than just pass through or fly over...in my own geographic order...
- Northern Ohio is obviously a place I am familiar with. It's a weird talent, but I can draw a very detailed map of the area from memory, and almost to scale - and yes, I do have fun when I do it! :-) I start to get foggy in below US 30 or west of US 250 though...
- Some noteworthy places I like include:
- Cleveland, which has something for everyone. Cleveland is an extremely livable city with plenty of urban and natural wonders to explore. I dare people from many of the newer large cities in America to compare the quality and quantity of their parks and cultural institutions with those of my Cleveland before repeating any of those jokes they've heard! :0)
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a unique national park between Cleveland and Akron. The park's natural beauty and natural history form what would be the pendant of Cleveland's Emerald Necklace, and also showcases critical pieces of American history that helped the United States become what it is today. (And I mean in both good and bad ways!)
- Mohican State Park
- Sandusky/Port Clinton area, especially anywhere along Lake Erie. This of course includes the Amazement Park, Cedar Point!
- Put-in-Bay, out in the Lake Erie Islands
- Hocking Hills State Park in Southeast Ohio, which might as well be a national park, and hopefully already has its own page on this site.
- The Upper Peninsula, including Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
- Chicago--The deep dish is GREAT! My favorite place for a cocktail is now the 96th Floor of John Hancock Center. :-)
- Niagara Falls, which does include the Canadian side, although the last time I actually set foot on foreign soil was when I was only 6.
- New York City, which I would visit any chance I can get, even if it's just for the pizza! :-)
- Wilmington (North Carolina), former home to the Atlantic Coast Line headquarters and some of the most intriguing Civil War monuments I've ever seen, since they tell more of the Confederate side of the story.
- Brunswick County Islands
- Ocala, especially including areas in and around the Ocala National Forest, which is more remote than any area I've ever seen in Ohio.
- Tampa, probably my favorite big city in Florida.
- Daytona Beach
- St. Augustine, which is my favorite place in the entire Southeast. Tons of history, beautiful city, and beautiful beaches.
- Miami, including Everglades National Park
- Key West - All I can say is that Henry Flagler staked his money on both of my top picks in the Sunshine State, so he had to be a pretty smart guy!
- Newport, but only because I walked across the Ohio River from Cincinnati on the Purple People Bridge, which is just such a way cool name!
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Oklahoma City, probably the friendliest and cleanest city I've ever visited--where the people all sound like they're from West Virginia though the terrain is very eerily flat... :-/
- San Francisco, now my second home :0)
- Los Angeles
- The Sierra Nevada, the most amazing mountains I've seen in my life!
- Yosemite National Park, which is a must-see destination for anyone who hasn't already been there. If you have been there before, you should probably go back! :-) haha!
- Mojave Desert
- Pacific Coast Highway, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I want to go back and do the Redwoods Highway to the north--and beyond to Puget Sound.
 Places I Want to See
I still have lots of West Coast road-tripping to do! I still want to see Olympic National Park, Seattle, and Redmond (but of course!). If I got to drive out all the way from Ohio, it would be cool to see Yellowstone, and maybe hike the Grand Canyon. If that happens, I'm gonna need another hard drive for all the pictures!
Other places I'd like to go:
- Washington, D.C.
- New Orleans
- Germany - Ich spreche ein bischen Deutsch!
- Italy - Romans & the Renaissance...that's amore!
Email me at LeeHawkins -at- CreateStuff -dot- net.