Anyway, when I left off, we were departing from my Gramps's house on Monday morning (6/3) after a great family reunion in Cleveland. We were en route to Cincinnati, a drive that took a little under four hours.
Welcome to Cincinnati!
When we arrived, we went straight to our hotel (Garfield Suites) and got settled in. This hotel was another older one, but the rooms were condo-style, so we had a living area, full kitchen, and bedroom with the biggest king bed I've ever slept in. Maybe it was super duper king bed or something, but at one point during the night I woke up and practically needed binoculars to see Eric on the other side of the bed. (He was probably pretty thankful for this, as I came down with a nasty cold while we were in Cleveland and was a pretty big mess by Cincinnati. So, also, if I look like I'm near death in any of the pictures in this post, that's because I was.)
Left: Our hotel; Right: Ellie helping Daddy get the luggage!
We arrived in Cincinnati early enough to give Ellie (and sickie me) a little nap before heading out for the evening's events (another baseball game!), which worked out quite nicely. I think we all needed a little bit of time to rest and recharge after the crazy reunion weekend.
When we did finally head out, our first stop was Skyline Chili for dinner. We were Skyline Chili rookies, but we had a great server who walked us through it. We ended up with two 3-ways (spaghetti, chili and shredded cheese) and one child's "P'Sghetti" meal (just spaghetti and cheese). Eric and I both really enjoyed it, and to our surprise and delight, so did Ellie! She gobbled that "p'sghetti" right up. We are officially Skyline Chili fans now.
Ellie loves her Skyline Chili!
Signing "more!" She can't get enough!
We still had some time to kill before the game, so we just did some wandering around. Our hotel was right downtown so we were able to both walk to the game and do a little exploring beforehand. We walked towards the river, past the National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum (we would have loved to go in if we had the time!), and along the waterfront. The riverfront area is actually really cute, with swing benches and fountains and nice landscaping, plus scenic bridges and such. It kind of reminded me of Pittsburgh a little bit. It was quite charming.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum
A piece of the Berlin Wall in front of the museum
Fountains along the riverfront
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, designed by, well, John A. Roebling - the same guy who designed the Brooklyn Bridge! We could definitely see the similarities.
Swing benches along the water
Stopped for a swing!
After exploring the waterfront we made our way up to the Great American Ball Park, MLB stadium #3 of our trip.
The Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds
All in all, we liked this stadium. The Reds were the first professional baseball team, and pparently there is a pretty cool Reds history museum on the property (with memorabilia such as a signed baseball from every Red since the 1920s), but that was a separate admission cost that we didn't feel up to paying. The rest of the stadium and surrounding area was pretty neat, though. There was a vibrant bar scene (for the grown-ups) just outside, and inside the stadium there wsa a cool fan area (for the kids). And again, it reminded me a bit of PNC Park in Pittsburgh because you could walk around (inside) the stadium along the riverfront - a feature I liked very much in both places. Eric was disappointed in the quality of the souvenir soda cup, however (he collects them from every stadium, and this one was his least favorite and the most expensive!).
Inside the stadium
We love a good photo op.
Steamboat smokestacks in right center field
The famous "toothbrush lights," although if you ask me, the lights at Progressive Field in Cleveland are far toothbrush-ier.
View of the river (and the National Steamboat Monument) from the stadium
Ellie particularly enjoyed walking around as much as we would let her, although I'm not sure how much of that was really Great American Ball Park-specific.
Left: She really wanted to get into that play area and climb around with the big kids! Someday, little one!
Right: Ellie and Eric, off to find some food.
Cool statues in front of the stadium
Ellie amongst the statues
From there, it was onwards to Graeter's for some frozen custard.
Time for dessert!
I got the Peanut Butter Chip and Eric got the Cookies 'N Cream, and it was delicious. (Way better than Ted Drewes in St. Louis, if you're keeping score). Mine had huge chunks of chocolate, and similarly, Eric's had...well, see for yourself:
I mean, how often do you get cookies 'n cream with cookies so big the Oreo logo is still in tact?
Graeter's was located right in Fountain Square, where there was live music/trivia and a lovely fountain. It was such a gorgeous night, and it seemed like such a great place to sit and spend the evening. Alas, my sick self was spent, so we hit up a Walgreens for some meds and then went back to the hotel to call it a night. Another time, Cincinnati!
And that was our time in Cincinnati! Brief, but rather nice. I spent that night doing my best to rest and recover, because the next day, we were Tennessee-bound!
Coming up tomorrow: Our travels to Memphis, by way of a yummy lunch with family in Nashville.
To see more pictures from Cincinnati, click here.