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Published: 5/13/2006

R&R: 8 high-profile figures tell what they like to do, where they like to go when they want to get away and unwind

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is a self-described  homebody,  preferring to spend his off time relaxing in the Toledo area.
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is a self-described homebody, preferring to spend his off time relaxing in the Toledo area.
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Lloyd Mahaffey Lloyd Mahaffey
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Robert Helmer Robert Helmer
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Bob Bell, president and CEO of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, exits Engine 17 at the city fire station at Central Avenue and Albion Street.
Bob Bell, president and CEO of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, exits Engine 17 at the city fire station at Central Avenue and Albion Street.
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Greg Dempsey Greg Dempsey
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Debra Monagan Debra Monagan
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Larry Parrish Larry Parrish
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Berbard McCann Berbard McCann
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Mayor Finkbeiner says exercise has become a way of life.

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is a self-described homebody, preferring to spend his off time relaxing in the Toledo area.

Mr. Finkbeiner, who was known for his fiery intensity during his first stint as mayor from 1994 to 2001, experienced heart problems during his time away from city government. He returned to Toledo s top job in January and has admitted that he needs to dial back his stress level.

He appears to be doing just that with a combination of family time and exercise and by cheering on his favorite teams.

Mr. Finkbeiner spends his weekends playing sports in the backyard with his grandchildren, goes for runs around the perimeter of the Toledo Country Club near his home, and takes in games involving the Toledo Mud Hens and the University of Toledo Rockets. He s also known to head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for University of Michigan events or to Cleveland to catch Indians games.

Mr. Finkbeiner said he enjoyed exercise before his heart problems, but now it has become a way of life and gives him the opportunity to be outdoors.

I was an exercise enthusiast prior to my heart surgery, and ever since then, it s fair to say I m an exercise fanatic, he said, adding that he enjoys jogging and biking at Toledo s Metroparks. He also plays tennis at Ottawa Park and runs on the track at the Medical University of Ohio.

I ll be over there every other day, he said.

For relaxation that is more, well, relaxed, Mr. Finkbeiner enjoys sitting on his back porch reading newspapers or walking around his South Toledo neighborhood.

Part of relaxation to me is outdoors and nature, he said. You re caught up in the natural beauty of things.

Not to say he can put the office behind him. He s often bringing paperwork home to read while he enjoys that sunshine on his porch. In fact, that s how he often ends his weekends.

Sunday night, it s doing the homework for Monday morning, he said.

And when he does feel like getting away, he visits his brother s cottage in Harbor Springs, Mich., on Lake Michigan. He and his family usually make the trip twice a summer.

We ll go up for four or five days at a time, he said. It s beautiful fresh air [and] beautiful, clear water.

He and his wife, Amy, also enjoy going to the movies and eating at Toledo-area restaurants.

You don t have to cook at home. There aren t dishes to be washed, he said with a laugh. It s nice just to take it easy on the weekend.

Meghan Gilbert

Ohio region director of the United Auto Workers

I like to go to the Toledo Zoo, whether it is to enjoy the Lights Before Christmas, Music Under the Stars, or to just enjoy watching the animals. It is especially enjoyable when our grandchildren can join us there.

Also, there is no place I would rather be on a crisp autumn afternoon or evening than at a Toledo Rockets football game. The University of Toledo not only has a top team, but the facilities are comfortable, easily accessible, and a short trip from anywhere in northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan.

Another favorite pastime is the Toledo Symphony Pops Series. I have never been to a concert there that didn t leave me feeling better. The talent of the orchestra is the best, and the caliber of guest performers is unmatched.

A favorite place for a weekend getaway is Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. It is an hour drive, has an indoor pool, a great golf course, and excellent food. It also is a unionized facility which is a bonus.

President of Lourdes College in Sylvania

What I like the most about living in the Toledo area are the many activities and places to visit. Our family likes to spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer. We have two young daughters and, of course, one of our favorite places to visit is the Toledo Zoo. Clare and Abigail love to watch the polar bears swimming underwater at the Arctic Encounter.

The Metroparks are beautiful any time of the year, but our favorite family hike is the Blue Trail along the river at Wildwood Metropark. The girls also like to chase the ducks at Olander Park in Sylvania. It also wouldn t be summer without watching the [International] League champions, the Mud Hens, play at Fifth Third Field downtown.

On Saturday mornings, we enjoy the Toledo Symphony Family Concert Series at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. We also spend a lot of time at the museum itself viewing the exhibits; it s a fun way to get out of the heat. We all love to read as well, and there s always something new to find at the library. And whether it s a family outing or just my wife, Linda, and I, there are many wonderful dining choices in Toledo. Two of our favorites are Carson s Steak House and Mancy s Italian.

President and chief executive of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra

My favorite local getaway is a place where I can see the city and life from a different perspective, where I can move away from my usual routine, and where few Toledoans ever venture the inside of a local fire station.

Since 1995, when I was part of a citizens group formed by the Corporation for Effective Government to study city fire and rescue operations, I ve had the opportunity to visit stations, particularly No. 7 at Bancroft Street and Franklin Avenue and No. 17 at Central Avenue and Albion Street. My visits, usually overnight, transport me to another dimension.

These stations are among the busiest in the city, and give me a compelling view of life in its most real instances.

As firefighters tackle problems from simple to serious, it affirms for me a basic goodness and compassion in human nature.

Head football coach at Central Catholic

I love going down to Fifth Third Field and catching a Mud Hen game. It s good because my wife likes going too.

I like to go golfing at the area courses, hitting as many different ones as possible. Stone Ridge in Bowling Green and The Legacy up in Michigan are my favorites.

I go to Greektown [in Detroit] occasionally, and my wife and I like going to dinner at Mancy s and then catching a movie, usually at the theaters in Maumee. That s about it. I guess I m a boring person.
















President and co-owner of Communica Inc.

My favorite spot in the world is located just east of Toledo.

Catawba Island holds many great memories for me. As a child, I grew up on Lake Erie, catching my first fish as a toddler, from the back of my grandfather s motorboat. Summers spent with cousins at the lake and now summer weekends spent with my husband, parents, siblings, and their families, my children, and grandchildren are a true delight.

The lake is beautiful. I ve watched hundreds of red-orange sunsets that rival those of other more exotic locations, but none have felt so comfortable.

The Catawba Island Club is close by with a terrific golf course and a wonderful club atmosphere. Put-in-Bay is a mere ferry ride away, and Cedar Point is a short drive when the kids get waterlogged and need some more formal diversion.

At night, we cook out, build a campfire at the water s edge, and lay back and watch thousands of stars overhead.

The best part it s just an hour away but it s really another world. It s pure escapism for me.

Manager of the Toledo Mud Hens

When it warms up a little bit, I love to play golf. I ll play any good course; predominantly, we ve played at The Legacy. But during the season you spend most of your time at the ballpark.

I also do a lot of hunting, especially in the winter months. I ll do some fishing, but mostly hunting. [Mud Hens pitching coach] Jeff Jones lives in this area, so we ll go to Frontier, Mich., and hunt in that area. Then we go to a restaurant that is called Spokes in Pioneer, Ohio.

I also have a friend that I met through the National Wild Turkey Federation, and we ll go turkey hunting around Defiance.








Mayor of Put-in-Bay

Our getaway is having all the tourists leave in October and having the island to ourselves in the wintertime. It s like going to a different island here then because we have ice-fishing, air-boating, and snowmobiling.

In the summer, we re busy, and then we don t do anything more than just take a day to go somewhere like Cedar Point, Kelleys Island, or Pelee Island. In the off-season in October when the summer is over we might rent a 40-foot sailboat for a week and sail around the islands. We ll hit Kelleys, Pelee, and maybe go on over to Leamington, Ont. That s fun.

In the wintertime, we mostly go to Cleveland for a show, tour down through Amish country, or go up into Michigan to ski at Boyne Mountain. But my favorite getaway would probably be sailing around the islands.



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