Caroline Merk, Guide
I like to consider myself a citizen of the world. That lofty notion stems from always having felt at home wherever I found myself. My early childhood was spent in NYC, then my family moved to Brussels, Belgium. During that time, we did a lot of traveling. It ignited my wanderlust and taught me the value of knowing, or at least trying, other languages. I speak Polish and French. We came to Cleveland for our dad’s work at NASA. Yes, Cleveland has a very important research center, NASA Glenn, critical in the development of the U.S. space program!
I went to Cleveland State University for 2 years, then took a gap year in France, finding a job as an au pair and enrolling myself at Alliance Française. Upon return, I transferred to Ohio State, earning a BA in Journalism (specializing in PR), and a minor in French. Right after college I moved back to NYC to pursue my passion for travel as a Pan American World Airways flight attendant. I traversed the globe for 10 glorious years!
After I married my Cleveland-bred husband, Michael, his career took us to Dallas, Texas and to Richmond, Virginia. A job opportunity brought us back to Cleveland. Since then, we have been living in a lovely little lakefront suburb called Bay Village. I love being close to water and having a beach and park right in our community. More importantly, it has been a wonderful place to raise our daughter, Gigi, whom we adopted as a toddler from China. She is now a senior in high school, has gained renown as a soccer goalie, and is ready to fly away. She was recruited by Rochester Institute of Technology, where she plans to major in game design, minor in Mandarin, and continue to play soccer.
As for our home in Bay Village, it only takes us 20 minutes to drive downtown. I love this city! It’s so easy to get everywhere. We really take advantage of the high quality arts: Cleveland Orchestra concerts, Playhouse Square, the Cleveland International Film Festival, exhibits at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Akron Art Museum, not to mention the myriad galleries throughout the city. My husband is a sports fan – you name it, we’ve got it! Don’t even get me started on dining…this IS a foodie town! It has been a huge pleasure and privilege to share my enthusiasm for Cleveland and my knowledge of the city with our Executive Arrangements’ clients for over 25 years.