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O High O

August 30th, 2003

Our mini two day vacation wasn’t bad. We arrived in Cincinnati around 1 pm on Thursday. I have to tell you, my first impression of the city was not a good one. It looked worse than some of the trashy neighborhoods in Chicago. It made me extremely happy I didn’t book a hotel there. Of course, it may have just been the area surrounding the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens.

The zoo itself was very nice, though. It’s either fairly new, or was recently remodeled. All the exhibits kept the animals close enough to see, and the inside exhibits were set up nicely. In fact, I liked that part of the zoo better than any of the other zoos I’ve been to (which include San Diego, Brookfield, and Lincoln Park in Chicago). Cincinnati’s zoo isn’t huge, which was actually a godsend considering the hot & humid weather. We were sweating and uncomfortable the entire time. We spent about two hours at the zoo and saw everything. Near the end I was ready to get out of there, so we drove to the hotel.

Our hotel (Best Western) was located in Springdale, Ohio, which was a much nicer area. I was extremely pleased with the hotel I had chosen – the rate was cheap ($82/night), it was located in a great area, the expressway was right there, and a full breakfast was included in our rate. Not a continental breakfast, either. The only thing I was disappointed in was the game room. Granted, the last time I was at a Best Western was almost twenty years ago, but I recall them having a ping-pong table, and I so love ping-pong. But all they had were video games.

After checking in, we had dinner at Hooters down the street. I’ve never eaten there before, so it was interesting. Their wings are really good, especially with Blue Cheese dressing. Yum! Afterwards, we drove around and learned we were less than ten minutes from Tri-County Mall. I was excited because they have a Dillard’s, which we don’t have anywhere near Chicago. We spent over an hour in the mall and only browsed three stores … then stopped for some ice cream before going back to the hotel where we relaxed in the hot tub, then went for a swim in the pool. By the time we got out of the shower, we were exhausted. I haven’t felt that tired in a long time. I actually fell asleep before 10 pm Chicago time.

Friday morning we headed over to Paramount’s Kings Island theme park. It was nice because there weren’t a lot of people there. I’m sure part of that was due to it being a weekday, but I think some of it was because originally they hadn’t planned on being open. In fact, Joe and I almost freaked on Thursday when we got to the hotel because he had grabbed a brochure for the park and the calendar inside showed them being closed on Friday. We had already purchased our tickets online, which are non-refundable, so my heart sank thinking we’d have to stay an extra night just to go. Luckily, after calling their customer service center, it turned out that the brochures were printed prior to them adding the day to their schedule, which explains why when I checked their website prior to ordering tickets, it showed them being open on Friday.

So anyway, the park was nice and clean. We went on the The Vortex first. Honestly, I was very worried how I’d react to being on a rollercoaster for the first time in over four years, but it wasn’t that bad. I think part of the reason was that there wasn’t any line, so I didn’t have time to worry over it. Unlike later on in the day when I totally wimped out on Face/Off. It was kinda embarrassing as I was almost strapped in the seat when I decided I just “couldn’t do it” (inside joke). To make matters worse, I chickened out once more on the last ride we were going to go on, Tomb Raider, at the very last minute, after waiting in line over a half hour. I didn’t realize the seats went up in the air in a circular motion (which scares the crap out of me for some reason) because the ride is inside and I didn’t know what it looked like until the last minute.

Consequently, I learned a very important lesson yesterday – I am a wimp. Seriously, I just can’t handle the extreme rides. I was much more comfortable on the Scooby-Doo haunted house thingie, although my favorite attraction was SpongeBob Squarepants in 3-D.

Despite my wimpishness, we still had fun, and saw a different part of the country, which was the whole point to begin with. In all the trip was nice. I don’t think I’d go to Ohio again, but I don’t regret it either.

P.S. Oh – and what’s with Ohio and chili? We tried Skyline Chili but it wasn’t all that good. Of course, it gave me a chili craving, so I got some at Wendy’s today.

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  1. August 31st, 2003 at 15:10 | #1

    I don’t know what the deal is with Ohio and chili either. When I moved to Ohio for a few years from the west coast, I tried the chili right away. Not only was it disgusting (you have to request to have beans, while here in the Pacific Northwest beans are automatically in chili), but they also had weird combinations such as chili on spaghetti. That just seems wrong.

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