Monday, June 3, 2013

Cincinnati Trip Report - May 26 - June 2, 2013

The friend I was going to visit in Ohio, I met when I was twenty-one (1986) on a Caribbean cruise, my first adventure on a ship on the ocean.  She was in the Army and on her honeymoon and I spent some time on the cruise with them.  Her and I wrote letters for years and were always in touch.  We have exchanged visits a few times as well.  We have remained good friends all this time, now twenty-seven years later.  When we talk or see each other, time stands still and we're as close as we've always been.  I consider her a true friend and am happy she is a part of my life.

This isn't like my usual vacations, no sight-seeing adventures and no restaurant planning was done.  My friend lives on a farm (corn & soybeans) so this was going to be a different type of week away for me.  Not that I minded that, it would just be contrary to my usual "Modus Operandi".  I have visited her before in Cincinnati (also in the outskirts/country) with my son.  I think what we both remember and loved most was the fireflies at night!!  They were really magical to see in the country on a dark summer night...We would take her dogs for a walk late at night because the days were oppressively humid and unbearable (July).

Anyway, my friend said they had been having unusually cold weather and hoped it warmed up by the time I arrived...

Sunday, May 26th:

Other than the 4:30 am alarm bell, my flight day was uneventful.  It was three and a half hours to Chicago.  A two and a half hour layover there and then a forty minute flight to Cincinnati on a very small plane!  One side of the plane had two seats to an aisle and the other had just one seat before the aisle.  I arrived about 6:50 pm local time (3 hours ahead).

My friend and her husband (who I will now call Betty & Eddie which is what they call each other for a reason I do not know other than it's their nicknames for one another) were about twenty minutes late picking me up but made it and we were on our way to the farm, which was just over an hour drive away.  (Betty said she wanted me to describe them as "Eddie & Betty" as it sounded better)...their house below sits on 105 acres.

Below is a pond on their property and the picture after that is their gorgeous pool.

We sat around and chatted and had some "Hillbilly Appetizers" as "Betty" termed it, served on paper plates and everything,which are below:

Then they decided to take me out on a "Gator Ride" on the woodsy part of the property in the dark...The gator is below:

All three of us and their two dogs climbed in this thing and off we went on a night cruise in the deep woods.  It was all great and fine but the pollen was blowing everywhere!  About half way through the ride my throat felt tight and my eyes were swollen.  By the time we got back, I had to run to the shower, use Visine and take Benadryl because I was having an extreme allergic reaction!  "Eddie" said the "gator" was covered in white pollen when we got back...lots of the woods haven't been trimmed in awhile...they said it's easier for burying Canadians that way.  :)

That pretty much capped off the evening to a long day and I went off to sleep.

Monday, May 27th:

Today Betty took me to lunch at Moyer Winery in Manchester, Ohio.  It was a lovely setting overlooking the Ohio river.  The Ohio river is actually in Kentucky.

We both had their house soup which was bean, bacon & cheese (below):

It was very good, though it wasn't served hot enough.  If it had been it would have been excellent.  I also had the "Derby Hot Brown" sandwich (below).  I love these.  Unfortunately it wasn't real turkey but deli turkey meat and again not served hot enough.  I wasn't complaining though as it was great comfort food.  It's bread, turkey, bacon, and tomatoes with a Mornay cheese sauce. and more cheese on top.

I tried a glass of their Cabernet and it was good and reasonably priced.  From there we headed to the town of Maysville, Kentucky.  This was a pretty town with many mural paintings.  The Russell theatre (below) was the site of the world premiere of Rosemary Clooney's first film, The Stars Are Singing, in 1953. The theatre is currently under restoration.  (I took that from Wiki).

Below are some of the murals and sites around the town of Maysville we saw while walking around...

I made dinner in the evening.  We had bacon wrapped Filet Mignon & Twice baked stuffed potatoes.  I then prepared a chicken, sausage cassoulet (hillbilly style as I had to improvise a lot of the ingredients as the local Stop & Go grocery store was a little lacking) for the next nights dinner.  We ended the evening with a swim in the pool.

Tuesday, May 28th:

Today we did some errands in Georgetown, Ohio and stopped for lunch at a local place called Parkers.

I had some wings and we each had 6 inch pepperoni, mushroom & onion pizza.  It was good and lunch for two was only $14!

We had the cassoulet for dinner which ended up being extra hot since I accidentally dropped too many chili peppers in.  Plus I used some country smoked bacon and it wouldn't render down but other than that, it came out pretty good.

Wednesday, May 29th:

Today was relatively low key.  Spent the day at the farm and in the pool. I made BBQ ribs for dinner (A little tough, unfortunately).  We had nice spinach salads and garlic bread with it.  The Stop & Go only had frozen garlic bread though but it was actually quite good!  I can't tell you how much I loved sitting out here and how much I loved that pool!!!!!

These roses were beside the pool and beautiful but Betty disliked having to skim the petals out of the pool every day.

Thursday May 30th:

Today we headed to Cincinnati.  We left a little later than we were planning so we had to stop for a little bite.  Betty had a soft serve and I had a Coney dog which is Cincinnati chili, mustard, onions and cheese on it.  The Drive-In was cute!

Our first stop was Newport on the Levee which is in Kentucky.  We stopped and had lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market.

I had some New England Chowder and some char-broiled oysters.  Betty had a grilled scallop entree which was pretty good except for the crunchy, underdone green beans.

For dessert, I took her over to this place I saw on Shark Tank.  The guys of this grilled cheese place got their money from the sharks to franchise out.  We split the donut grilled cheese and it was good.  I had to force Betty to eat it but she did have a bite.  I had two bites.  I think it was $3.80 for that cheesy donut.

Then we walked across the "Purple People" (eater?) bridge to get to Cincinnati.

At the end of the bridge

We then walked through downtown to Fountain Square.  This is a main hub of downtown.  Fountain Square was renovated to reclaim its place as the heart of Cincinnati’s public life and to become a catalyst for downtown rebirth.  (I took that info from the link above).  

“To the People of Cincinnati” 

Fountain Square

Looking at Downtown Cincinnati from Newport, Kentucky

Dinner was leftovers for me.  I had the ribs (more tender after more cooking) and they had Cincinnati chili (spaghetti, Skyline chili, cheese with oyster crackers and Frank's red hot sauce).  We always had dinner in the dining room and it was nice to do this each evening.

Friday, May 31st:

Today's plan was to visit the historic town of Augusta, Kentucky.  We had to take a ferry over to get there.  First though, Betty had to go to the post office in Feesburg, Ohio.  

Isn't it cute?

Then we made our way over to the ferry crossing...

Here comes the ferry!  $5 each way for a car.

On the ferry now looking at Augusta

What awaited on the other side was this captivating, quaint little town that I fell in love with, with gorgeous homes and whimsical shops.  It was so nice walking around looking at everything and my pictures don't do it justice at all...

Overlooking the Ohio side from Augusta

After wandering, we stopped for lunch at the Beehive Tavern.  This place was open for twenty-five years before the economy closed it in 2011.  It was a favourite place of Rosemary and George Clooney.  

It recently just re-opened and is called "Chandler's at the Beehive Tavern".

The atmosphere inside was wonderful and it's like stepping backwards in time.

Tuscan Chicken Sandwich on a Pretzel roll with home made chips & coleslaw

My delicious Kentucky Hot Brown.  Comfort food to the max.

And then we had to grudgingly depart because Betty had an appointment to meet tree trimmers back at the farm.

Dinner was courtesy of Betty who made crock pot steak and we had yams, steamed spinach and tomatoes with cottage cheese.  It was probably the healthiest meal of the week and was very good.

Saturday, June 1st:

It was a nice relaxing day and Eddie didn't have to get up early to farm so we all slept in and then took lunch at BJ's Lake in Hamersville, Ohio.  I really liked this place.  All locals, home cooked food and the food was great!  I liked this place so much I bought a T-shirt.

1/2 open-faced Roast Beef sandwich

Country fried steak was awesome, so was the white gravy and taters!

I cooked Betty's favourite dinner that evening which was meatloaf, more mashed taters and sweet corn with homemade onion gravy.  I think it turned out pretty good.  Then we had some drinks and swam and ended the night about 1:30am.  It was my last night.

Sunday, June 2nd:

We awoke and departed for the aiport close to 11am.  We stopped at a Bob Evans for breakfast, I have never been to one before and all I can say is it might be the biggest breakfast I've ever seen!  For $10 I got this - both plates!  I barely dented half.

Sausage gravy and biscuits

We arrived exactly at 1pm to the airport.  I found out my flight was delayed until 3:35pm and then at that time it still hadn't arrived.  I originally had a two hour layover in Dallas but that was cut to a half hour.  Anyway, I made it home about 10pm local time (1am Ohio time).  It was a long day...

I had a wonderful week in Ohio/Kentucky.  I really enjoyed seeing the country life and I got more fresh air than I ever do.  Betty said she would like to do this annually and I'm all for it.  She's a teacher so I can't wait till next year when School's Out for Summer

Thanks to Eddie & Betty for a great week.  I'm blessed to have them in my life.  Pffffffffffft!!!! <--- That's a private joke.

I was also lucky enough to see a few fireflies.  I was just a tad early for them to come out in full bloom, but I did see a few.

No comments:

Post a Comment