Friday, November 30, 2018

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend: Cincinnati

Okay Cincinnati, we get it. You're adorable. Many of us hadn't been back in 24 years. I visited Mary and Shannon in maybe 1993 or 94.  Our girls from girls gun club all went to Xavier. We started a tradition in 2011 of getting the gang back together in Maine. 2014, Maine again, and in 2016 in Baltimore, as seen in the last post. In early November of this year we were with Bridget in Cincinnati. 

I landed first and told the girls to meet me at the Ice Age dinosaur bones, not realizing there were tons of bones dotting the airport halls. It took a minute for them to find me. Bridget picked us up and we were frankly a little disappointed there were no balloons and a guy holding a sign with each of our names on it. 

Holly passed out her clever gift our first morning together. Sleepy eye's and pure hearts. Rhianna's Cheer's I'll Drink to That, is our theme song. 

Yes, it's super cheesy to have a "theme song" but alas, we do and Holly had these wine chiller cups custom made for us. Thanks Holl! Bridget was walking the start of the weekend, Murray. Mary gave us the coolest woolly soap bars. I didn't take a photo for some reason. I snagged the one with the Maine lobster and I love it the most. It's a wool sock over a handmade bar of soap for extra exfoliation. 


We dressed for the weather and got ready to "burn and learn" on the Pedal Wagon in Cincinnati with our great guide, Dave. Bridget signed us up for a Mural Tour of Cincy. As it turns out Cincy looked to Philadelphia's murals as inspiration. ArtWorks is the organizer of 132 murals in 44 of Cincinnati's neighborhoods. All of these neighborhoods made me think of Baltimore. It has a very similar vibe with lots of love put into old warehouses and factory buildings. Dave made us sign our life away before heading out. We all chose not to wear bike helmets and were off to see the sites.

It was basically like taking a spin class, while drinking beer, and learning about art. These are a few of my favorite things.

The girls surprised me with my very own beer. We stopped by the Taft's Brewing Company mid-tour for a quick tasting. 

Y'all, they call it a Brewpourium.

The logo is of Big Bill Taft, our 27th President of the United States of America who was born in Cincinnati. Rumor has it that President Taft got stuck in the White House bathtub, but turns out that may not even be true. This is a cool article that digs deeper. Did you know that Cincinnati was named for Cincinnatus? He was some super famous Roman military leader who was known for his manliness. Okay. Read this Badass of the Week story. It's hilariously written and pretty interesting military history. Yes, I'm the daughter of a history professor and love this stuff. The Society of Cincinnatus is in DC, otherwise known as the Anderson House, across from the Cosmo's Club on Mass Ave. Years ago my cousin took me there to share some cool history about how our family, and the name stuck with me. I guessed the city was for the same dude, and yes, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus is the namesake of the Queen City. 

Nellie's Tap Room, and her beer, is named for Taft's lovely wife Helen, nicknamed Nellie. Sadly the tap room wasn't opened.

We went to the Ale House up the stairs instead.

The building was gorgeous and the wallpaper game was lit, as the kids say.

We found a charming corner overlooking the golden delicious leaves outside. The architecture in this city is very cool. Great historic Italianate buildings dotted every corner downtown. We didn't see it but it also boasts a building by one of the most amazing female architects of our time. The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art was completely by the late, great Zaha Hadid.

We learned so much on the two hour tour. I learned that Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney's nephew. I don't pay attention to this stuff and I was this many old when I learned this fun fact. The fun part of the Cheer Wagon was that it had a bluetooth speaker so I pulled up Spotify and pumped Sisters on the speaker.

It's almost time to watch this movie. Such a classic.

The people were super friendly and must have been a little jealous of our lunchtime ride through the city, on a work day, drinking beers and singing songs in four part harmony.

The Fiona mural was so sweet. 

Do you remember the press around this adorable thing? She was premature. People were obsessed with this heartfelt story and the whole town came out to paint the mural basically.

I also love that Cincinnati has a streetcar. 

The toy mural was 8,000 square feet. By far the largest on the tour. The toy company, Kenner was founded in 1946 in Cincinnati. My nerdiest friend pointed it out immediately after I posted this photo on-line. Miss you Tom and Kate.

We celebrated Mary's birthday a week early. Bridget had these adorable cookies made up for all of us. Guess who the bourbon represented? Ha! So sweet Bridget.

We went to a whiskey tasting at Todd and Bridget's friend's distillery. How nice to know people who own their own whiskey joint! Shumrick and & Leys Distillery was our first stop that night. A dear friend of Bridget's picked us all up in a mini-van so we could have a designated driver. 

Pretty good Manhattan. :)

That night we had a great meal at Sartre

We crafternooned with gusto. 

Ate Skyline chili dogs and hung out with the coolest kids. Todd went to college with the girls so it was like old home week for him too. 

Video Archive was by far the most unique place I've ever been for a cocktail.

It's like Fight Club, you can't really talk about it. You just have to go. 

I don't know how to transfer these vids but that's probably a good thing. 

We had no fun at all.

Meanwhile as we were in Ohio, E was in North Carolina with some of our very best, besties at the Carolina game.

They have season tickets. What great seats!

We went to Rhinegeist to enjoy the roof deck on our final day.

It's wonderful being with people who know your whole story and still love you. I love these women. When your friends can just look at you and know there is something on your mind that you have to get off of your chest you know you are with your people. These are those people for me. I appreciate you all so much. 

Thanks Bridget and family for making us all feel so welcome. It was a great balance of busy and rest.