We arrived in Cincinnati after 2 days of rough driving from Door County. There was heavy rain most of the way, toll roads, and lots of traffic as we drove through Chicago. Once we got into Indiana, we found ourselves on some very bumpy roads (not fun when everything in the motorhome is shaking) and on a bizarre detour after a major highway closed due to an accident. In short, what should’ve taken an hour to drive took us close to 3 hours. This was by far the roughest drive we’ve had since we left home, and we were exhausted when we arrived. Luckily for us, Cincinnati offered us a chance to connect with family, gorgeous weather, and a beautiful campsite with great kids for Neela and Esa to play with. We originally planned to stay in Cincinnati for just a day or two, but we wound up staying for 5 nights! Here’s why:
- Visiting with my Ohio cousins (who I haven’t seen in years!) and having some of the best chili I’ve ever tasted – thanks to my cousin’s husband, Jason. YUM!
- The park we stayed at was AMAZING! It was on a lake, surrounded by bike paths – with tons of places for the kids to play. Every day we took long bike rides around the campground, and around the lake.
- Good weather (FINALLY!) This was the first time since Labor Day that we were in temperatures higher than 50 degrees and we were thrilled to be back in the sun!
- Our hike in the woods: as the wind blew and leaves started to fall, Esa was convinced that it was raining leaves 🙂
- Great neighbors: the family staying next to us had an eight year old girl (Joslyn) and a four year old boy (Riley) and they hit it off with Neela and Esa immediately – they were inseparable the entire weekend! Michelle and Jerry even made us a delicious dinner one night and introduced us to Mets (a type of brat that’s available in Cincinnati). The food (and the conversation) was awesome!
- Skyline Chili – a Cincinnati favorite. It’s kind of like a sweet chili that is served on top of spaghetti. But they top it with at least a pound of cheese (see pic). OMG. It was strange but delicious. And food coma-inducing.
- Graeter’s Ice Cream – another local favorite. They are famous for their “Chip” flavors – which are basically variations on chocolate chip – except that their chocolate chips are ENORMOUS (like, the size of a quarter – at least.) We got the Toffee Chocolate Chip and it was sooooo good!
- Food coma! We decided that we should eat more local favorites, which led us to Skyline Chili, Steak & Shake, and Graeter’s Ice Cream. It was all so good, but hard to eat just a little. (OMG did I really just eat all that cheese?! Mmm yep!)
- More to-dos. Since we were close to the city, we found all kinds of things that “needed” to be done. We had plenty of time here, so it wasn’t stressful, but it reminded me how easy it is to become busy. For me, it takes effort to remember that the point of this trip is to just relax and enjoy this time. It’s more natural for me to spend time cleaning, perfecting the organization in the motorhome, and generally running around doing errands than it is to just sit back and do nothing. So I’m going to work a little harder at doing nothing.
We really enjoyed our time in Cincinnati, but after 5 days of perfect weather, it finally cooled down and threatened to rain. Time to leave! Next stop, Amish country in Northern Ohio.