Courtney

Courtney

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cincinnati AND Two or Three Grand-Tot Pics (Posted at the Bottom)

Good Friday afternoon!

Mike and I recently went to Cincinnati, Ohio for a little getaway, so I thought while I shared the pics, I would also share how I prefer to travel...

Which will give you a whole new insight on the crazy that IS the Enchanting Belinda.

Please keep in mind, I know this is not how 99.99 percent of the population plans a vacation, but until something better comes along, this is how Mike and I roll...

Literally.

Road trip, Baby!

1. Picking the destination - At the age of 55 (almost 56), I want you to know I am "state poor."

You heard me correctly. Out of 50 of these here United States, I have only visited 14. That is a very small number compared to my age, which is a number quite large, I think.

Since I want to add as many states to my list as possible over the next decade or so, I was very interested when my friend, Cam, told me about a trip she and her husband had taken to Kentucky AND Ohio.

A twofer!

My heart soared, and I listened intently as she told me of her trip.

They first went to The Creation Museum in Kentucky, and thoroughly enjoyed their time there, before heading only a short drive away to Cincinnati, Ohio (of WKRP fame).

What?

Wait!

Kentucky and Ohio are that close?

Well, I never!

I talked to Mikie, and told him of my dream of seeing TWO new states in a four-day period, and he was agreeable.

And the planning began in earnest.

2. Picking the hotel - While we were going to be in Kentucky for the majority of the first day, I wanted to stay put in one hotel. Thus, downtown Cincinnati became the hotel location of choice.

When experiencing a new city in a new-to-me state, I like to try something different if at all possible. Thankfully, Cincinnati had several good hotels to consider...

Millennium Cincinnati...

The Cincinnatian Hotel...

Cincinnati Netherland Plaza...

21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati (not a typo).

And that was just a sampling of the diversity of hotels in the area.

Mike and I settled upon Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, and I am so glad we did. Beautiful building, beautiful lobby, beautiful view and beautiful restaurants.

Did I mention it was beautiful?

And very centrally located.

A good choice indeed.

3. Choosing the activities - I usually choose two to four activities per day. I try to have at least one museum, a hike or walk, a River Walk if the city has that option, eating at a Diners, Drive-thrus and Dives restaurant and a theater visit of some kind. The following was our itinerary for Cincinnati:

Friday

Lunch at Arnold's in Nashville (a DDD restaurant).
The Creation Museum in Kentucky. It is everything you have heard and more. Make plans to go.
I bought tickets to The Cincinnati Playhouse for the live production of Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End. It was a one-hour show in a local theater, and it was lovely!

Saturday

The Observatory atop our hotel.
The River Walk along the Ohio River.
The Bridge Walk from Ohio into Kentucky.
A city mural hunt.
Explore our hotel.

Sunday

The Cincinnati Zoo.
Looking at horse farms in Lexington, Kentucky on our way home. Gorgeous!

4. Choosing the restaurants - This one is pretty easy. We do not want to eat at chain restaurants when we are in a different state. We have been known to use the computer, concierge and/or the stranger on the street to make a list of restaurants we want to try. We also want to eat foods known from that area of the country.

In Cincinnati, it was very obvious.

Skyline Chili - The chili is pretty good, although it is made with some nutmeg and cinnamon. (You don't taste the nutmeg and cinnamon as much as smell it.) The chili is also traditionally served over spaghetti noodles or a hot dog. Mikie went full-Cincinnatian and ate it over spaghetti noodles. I ate it plain.

While I don't know if I would order it again, it was good chili, and I cleaned my bowl.

Graeter's Ice Cream - This is a local place known for it's unique ice cream flavors AND the creaminess of the ice cream. I tried the flavor they are "known for" (black raspberry dark chocolate chip), and while I was expecting some tartness because of the raspberry, it was the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream I have ever eaten. I loved it!


Since Cincinnati Netherland Plaza was the tallest building in town, it also had an observation deck. It only costs $4 per person for some magnificent views, but as hotel guests, we didn't have to pay a penny!




It looks like the Mississippi River because of the muddy appearance, but it is the Ohio River. Mike and I do not know what the River looks like on a normal weekend because we were there during a VERY rainy weekend. I'm going to imagine it is darkish blue.

Feel free to join me in this assumption.


The hotel had these mosaics of the city on one floor...


And a Hall of Mirrors on another floor. The Hall was being prepared for a weekend wedding, but it was open to hotel guests the night before.


When Mikie and I renew our vows, I want to do it here!

Don't worry.

Mikie and I aren't renewing our vows...

But RT and Judith would make a precious ring bearer and flower girl.

Hmmm...


This is a Cincinnati bumble bee on a Cincinnati flower.


The parks along the River Walk were amazing.


Including two splash pads, there were at least eight or nine different areas for kids to play and a lot of families were enjoying a sunny day in Ohio.


The River Walk was very well thought out.


This bridge was the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge.




Mikie walked all the way from Ohio into Kentucky.






My friend, Cam, had told me about the murals all around the city, and she wasn't wrong. Mike and I spent about an hour driving around trying to find as many as we could.






At last count, we found 11, but I only took pics of nine.

It appears I am a "mural snob," and two of the murals didn't meet my high expectations.

Our whole purpose of visiting the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens was to see Fiona, the new baby hippo.

Sadly, that didn't happen, but being the zoo enthusiast that I am, I enjoyed myself greatly anyway!










Here is Mama Hippo, but as I mentioned above, Fiona did not make an appearance.

Heavy sigh.






We watched this gorilla get in a slap fight with another gorilla, and then it hid behind a bush.

Major excitement in zoo circles, I tell you.

Major!





After leaving the Zoo, we ate a quick bite before heading toward home.

We drove around for an hour and looked at the horse farms in Lexington, and I decided then and there, I wanted a horse...

And a mansion...

With a fountain...

And a statute...

Of a horse...

In the front yard.


Mikie said, "No."

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I'll be back with pics of our holiday weekend one day next week!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. As promised...







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