Well, to be entirely accurate, we didn't hit the actual city of Cincinnati; rather, we stayed in a 'burb called Blue Ash. We might as well have been blind folded and pointed at a spot on the map when we picked it, because I don't know how we did decide to stay here. But it was a great choice nonetheless! Our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn) is super impressive for the price range- the best we've stayed in so far on our journey. It's brand new, modern and chic, and very comfortable (which is the most important part!).
So here's how our time was spent in Cinci:
-Saturday: Since we have a 45' motorcoach, it can be a challenge to take it places. We were hungry, so we decided to find a local mall, which we knew would have plenty of wide open parking. We selected the Tri-City Mall. It was not the most ghetto mall I've ever been to, and actually would've been pretty decent had not about 1/3 of the stores been out of business. I think it is at these points where the recession becomes real to me. ANYWAYS, after (shamefully) settling on the food court, we did some shopping and got the h out of there.
That evening we went to Paramount's King's Island. I am a sucker for amusement parks, and half off admission is pretty enticing. I was most excited to see "The Beast", apparently the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. It wasn't it's superlative that excited me; No, it was actually the fame placed on it by one R.L. Stine (the Goosebumps guy!) who wrote a scary novel about it- I read it in elementary school. :) So I was excited to see the actual rollercoaster. But besides that, King's Island proved to be a major bust, as it started to rain, thunder and lightning shortly after arrived, thus shutting down the park. We ultimately rode 2 (really fun!) rollercoasters, the swings, and went through a abysmal haunted house.
Sunday: Ah, the sabbath, and what a sabbath it was. So after rising at 1pm, we skipped across the street and ate at Cinci's famed Skyline Chili. This place has been around for 60 years, and most Cinci natives that we met insisted we had to go there because it is a Cinci specialty. And yet somehow it was the most disgusting food I've had in as long as I can remember. Sad day.
Then, we took a bike ride (I got a bike, by the way!) to "downtown" Blue Ash, and then on to "downtown" Montgomery, two very picturesque towns. They reminded me a LOT of Newtown, PA. In Montgomery, they had even closed their main street and were holding a little art fair, which is telling of how quaint this area really is. Old buildings, cobblestone sidewalks..sigh...
Monday: Today was our presentation day- meaning we actually had to work! It proved to be a fun, successful day, if we can just forget about the hectic morning we had (which I won't even go in to, since I'd rather not recall it). We ended up in Mariemont, another small suburb of Cinci. I was informed that Mariemont is the first organized community in the U.S., and that it was designed by this Marie lady who intended it to be a walking community; hence all the stores, restaurants, theater, etc are in close proximity to one another.
In Mariemont, we met a lot of nice, interesting people, and affluent, no less. After a long day of presentations, we ate at a little Italian restaurant called Mio's and topped it off with ice cream from Graeder's which is supposedly what puts Mariemont on the map. :) They are known for their chocolate chips in their ice cream. Trent and I enjoyed a scoop of that, and headed on our merry way. I dunno, ice cream just always tastes like ice cream to me.
On the way out of Mariemont, it was really fun to look around and see how old this town appears. Aside from the Tudor-style buildings, it was just so quaint and the road system played a huge part as well in its charm, as it seemed that all the roads intersected at one central point and then carried on. Finally on the way out, I saw the coolest house, which I now know to be the Mariemont Boat House (Picture I stole from someone's Flickr) - it was down in the dip off the road and had an old wooden, moss engulfed shingled roof that sagged a little in the center- it looked very characteristic of old England or the early colonies. Very very cool.
Well, just google any one of these sites and see why I regret bringing my own camera! These are such mature, well-kempt towns, and I'm sorry I couldn't spend more time here.