|But I didn't eat one here.|
|Eleanor in repose.|
Tuesday marked our first shopping excursion. My family loves to shop, and sadly, I must include myself in that as well. A few years ago, Marilyn and I were at some kind of timeshare sales pitch in Branson, and the lady conducting the meeting asked everyone present why they were in town. The young couple to our right said that they loved to rock climb, and they were enjoying doing that in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The woman then asked the two ladies seated to our left, and one of them said, "We like to hunt." Then, the woman in charge of the meeting looked directly at Marilyn and me, and said, "And what about you?" For some reason, the words that immediately escaped my lips were, "We like to shop." This created a bit of suppressed laughter in the room, and the lady conducting the meeting for some reason felt compelled to amplify my comments a bit. "See there ladies," she triumphantly bleated, "there ARE some men who like to shop."
Not one of my more triumphant moments.
Anyway, back to Tuesday. Ross had researched for me the location of a Nordstrom Rack store, which turned out to be in the Rookwood Pavillion shopping center. I have difficulty finding shoes in my size, and I had heard that Nordstrom carried a good selection. Sure enough, I found a pair that fit me. We went to a few other stores too, but since I had already made a purchase for myself, I was pretty much just going along for the ride. It's all about me, you see. Anyway, after some shopping, we decided to look for a place to pick up some lunch. We settled on a nearby sandwich shop called Potbelly Sandwiches. It was good. Extremely good.
After lunch, we headed back home to rest up, since we had not fully recovered from our 14-hour sojurn of the previous day. When Laura got home from the hospital, she had in mind a destination for our evening meal. A restaurant called The Senate.
The Senate is downtown, on Vine Street, in the area the locals call Over The Rhyne. Laura had been here before with some friends, so she had already given us a bit of an idea what to order. As our appetizer, we chose roasted marrow bones. Yes, really. You get two bone halves that have been roasted with garlic; you dip your spoon into the marrow and put a little bit on your toast along with some of the supplied cranberry sauce. We all had some, although there isn't much marrow in the two little bone sections. The marrow reminded me of the residue that might be left in a skillet after frying a steak. After we had all experienced the bone marrow, it was time for the main course. After carefully perusing the menu, I settled on the McSchnitzel. This was a porkbelly sandwich with a glaze of carmelized onions and apples, and my friends, it was superb.
On the way out of the Senate, while I was waiting for the others to come out, a nice gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He asked me how the food was, reported that he himself had tried to get a job at the Senate but with no luck, asked me my name, and then proceeded to recite an impromptu poem about my name. Being the country rube that I am, as he was reciting his poem, I wondered to myself if he was a bum. I had never really seen a city bum before, so I was perplexed. At the conclusion of his poem, another person walking by handed the poet some folding money, so I followed suit. I gave him five dollars; I'm not sure what the going rate for poetry is now days.
Here are some pictures of our exciting first day in Cincinnati:
|Nordstrom Rack in Rookwood Pavillion|
|A mighty fine sandwich shop.|
|The Senate Pub on Vine Street|
|Roasted marrow bones, with cranberry sauce and toast.|
On Wednesday morning, after a late breakfast, we traveled north of Cincinnati up Interstate 71 to an outlet mall that Ross and Maegan had read about, the Tanger Outlet in Jeffersonville Ohio. This day turned out to be much colder that the previous day, and windy. Marilyn and I took Kate to the food court while Ross and Maegan shopped. After a bit, we ventured out to a few shops with Kate, but by the time we hit the Disney store she was fast asleep in her stroller. I tilted the stroller back so that her little head could lay against the back of the stroller, and kept her that way for the next two hours. At one point, as we were walking along the sidewalk, big snow flakes began to fall. Kate, who had stirred a bit, stuck her hands behind her back and went back to sleep.
|Kate taking a break at the outlet mall.|
I had never been to an IKEA store before, so it was quite an experience. The only problem was, we had barely managed to get everything we brought with us loaded into the car in the first place, so any additonal purchases of large items was out of the question. I did allow myself, however, a small lamp and a set of door stops.
|Eli's Barbeque. We parked in the back.|
|Marilyn's Happy Place|
|A Cincinnati tradition.|
I had read on the Internet that you could get dehydrated insects at Jungle Jim's, and sure enough, you can!
Kate gets International flavor at Jungle Jim's.
Well, since I had talked big about eating an insect, I felt that my honor was at stake if I failed to follow through. So, I carefully selected one of the Giant Waterbugs. The bug was completely intact, eyes included, just dehydrated. So, for the honor of Abb Yates and the Arkansas Razorbacks, I ate it.
It took about four bites to get it down, each one accompanied by a sickening "crunch" sound. The bug was basically flavorless, perhaps with a bit of a salty taste, but it took forever to chew up each bite. But I got the whole thing down.
After our trip to Jungle Jim's, we got take-out from an Italian place called Buca Di Beppo. Outstanding, but frankly, after a Giant Waterbug, most anything tastes good.
End of Thursday. Whew!
Friday, it was a bit warmer. Laura was off that day, so she got to experience the full day with us. Our first stop was the Gap Outlet,
Later that evening, we went to the Chipotle that everyone had passed up for me for our supper. The portions were huge, the food was delicious, and everybody was happy. End of Friday.
Saturday was designated as Kate's day. She had been very patient, and actually made it through the 14 hour trip with almost no complaints. She was content to watch her favorite show, Calliou, on her mom and dad's iPad. We had hoped to go the the famous Cincinnati Zoo that day, but we realized early in the week that it was too cold. So instead, we went to the Cincinnati Children's Museum in the old train station downtown.
|The 1930s era former train station, now a museum.|
|Kate crawling in the tube under the aquarium.|
|Kate having fun at the water table.|
|Marilyn, Laura, Kate, and me.|
|Our Laura and Little Kate.|