Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I went back to Ohio

I just had a fantastic four-day weekend traveling with my Dad and my brothers. They arrived last Tuesday, and toured DC while I worked on Wednesday. Early Thursday, we set out for my Uncle Tim's place in Kentucky. Our old skills from many long-distance driving family vacations quickly returned: we passed the time cooperating on crossword puzzles, cracking jokes, or quietly zoning out.

Kentucky was fun - our little cousins Tara and April were full of energy, and demanded a lot of attention. They were a blast, but we had to split time with them, especially April, or we would have all been worn out in a few hours.

Friday, Tim took Chris, Ryan, April, and Dad on a hike of the many natural stone arches that are near their home. I stayed behind to get some drawings done for work. Working on vacation blows. But, it had to be done to get things delivered on time.

That night, Tim and the girls hit the road with us to drive to the Elings' ancestral home in Greater Cincinnati. This time, we stopped in Florence to visit our grandparents. It's been a while since I've seen them, so that was a real treat. We ate pizza and caught everyone up with everyone else. Late, we drove into Ohio to Dad's cousin Mark's house. I guess that makes him my first cousin, once removed. Either that or second cousin. Anyway, he and his family were out of town so they let us use their house. A very cool log-cabin style place, with room for all 8 of us (Aunt Julia joined us Saturday).

Saturday, after playing catch with Ryan and Chris, the grandparents arrived with food, and were fairly closely followed by Uncle Jeff, Aunt Nancy, and cousins Nick and Nina. We ate, we laughed, we let April wear out Nick for a while. Good times continued.

Detail of Roebling suspension bridge over the Ohio

Everyone but G&G then went to the Reds Hall of Fame in Cincinnati. I got pictures of the incredible Roebling bridge over the Ohio to Kentucky, but I didn't take any pictures inside, but it was fairly slick. Especially for dyed-in-the-wool Reds fans like ourselves. Plus, it was Induction Weekend, so many past Reds greats were there, including Tom Browning, Lee May, Dave Concepcion, and Ken Griffey Senior. Weird fact: since Pete Rose is banned for life, he can't even be in the Reds Hall of Fame. This was unexpected - Rose was a god in Cincinnati - I'm surprised they didn't tell MLB to stuff it and induct him anyway.

Anyhow, after the Hall there was the game.

Chris and Dad at the game

Ryan at the game

It was a great game. The seats were ideal - good view of the whole field, out of the sun, nearby Skyline Chili stand selling outstanding coneys. We all had a really good time. Especially when the Reds came back after coughing up the lead in the 8th. They loaded the bases on walks and hit batsmen. Then a bloop to the shortstop snuck through, really should have been scored a hit and an error, allowing two to score and this one belongs to the Reds.

The Reds celebrate their victory, 3-2, over the Colorado Rockies Posted by Picasa

On Sunday we drove back to Alexandria, via Columbus to have lunch with Chris' friend from high school, Dr. Virgil Pierce. He teaches math at Ohio State. I haven't seen him in years, and I'm sure Chris was glad to catch up with him.

We had a long trip back to Alexandria, but made it without too much trouble. It was Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!), so we called. And she saw Kiefer Sutherland at a restaurant in Portland. So everybody had a big weekend, really.

[more photos here]

Filed in:


Matt Boulanger said...

I always try to hit a skyline chili when I'm connecting through Cinncinnati after discovering it on a Geology field camp in college- good stuff. Glad you saw Virgil, too. Hadn't thought about him in years- I knew him from scouting, among other activities back in the day.

Kelly said...

GO REDS!!! I am glad they beat the Rockies. Sounds like you had a good family weekend. Did you have Cincinnati Chili (Three Ways) while you were there?

Dan said...

I didn't get the Three-Way at Skyline, though I did scarf down two of their coneys, sans cheese (I prefer my coneys with onions and mustard). I so prefer Cincinnati chili to Texas.