I'm back from Cincinnati! Bengals Stadium on the left...Cincinnati Reds Stadium on the right
I was in Cincinnati for work from Wednesday of last week until Saturday night. While I was mostly in meetings, I did get the chance to get out and explore a bit. And you know...I was surprised at how much I fell in love with the city. I've always considered myself a country girl. I mean, I didn't grow up milking cows or anything, but when my parents built their house (I was in the third grade), we were pretty much the only house on the street and there were farms and cows and horses all around. The road wasn't paved and we didn't even have a real address. No number...just Route One...And we lived outside the city limits where dogs are free to roam where they will.
I went off to college and every time I came home for a visit, there would be new houses and subdivisions and stores popping up and creeping into our country living. All this has pros and cons, but it still makes me a little sad that THE MAN is taking over so many fond memories of my childhood. So anyway...you get the point...I love the country. I'm not scared of ticks or trekking out into the woods alone or catching crawdaddies in the creek. In fact, I love it. (Ok well I don't love finding a tick on me, but I don't freak out when I do).
Anyway, the whole point of my rambling nostalgia is to help you understand that after this trip, I think maybe I could be a city girl after all. Of course, I have no plans of moving, but its good to know that if the future does take me to a big city....I'd be all right. If it were a cool city....like Cincinnati.
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the trip. Fortunately I flew in early enough to have a couple of days to chill and take in a little bit of the city before the conference began. My training schedule called for a 15 miler and some shorter runs so it was perfect that I had that free time.
After checking into the hotel, I felt sort of intimidated about exploring an unknown place. Living in Memphis has made me understand that there are good, safe areas and there are dangerous areas...and that those areas could be one street apart. But after running one mile in the hotel sauna, I mean gym, I couldn't take it anymore. Seriously folks, it was the worst gym I'd ever been to in all my 28 years of life. My face was right up against a brick wall, the temperature had to be over 90 and due to afternoon sun beaming into my face, I was blinded. I will say that the treadmills were the kick-ass kind-all digitally and high-tech- but being able to see the little TV on the control panel would have been helpful. The sun's glare made that impossible.
But it all worked out, it forced me to take the run outside. And I'm so glad that I did. I found my way down to the Ohio Riverfront, which was absolutely beautiful. Peaceful, clean and beautiful. The landscaping was wonderfully lovely...Sawyer Point, along the river, turns into the International Friendship Park, which features garden and landscape styles from around the world-Australian, African, The Americas, Asian and European Gardens. I ran through these parks and followed the river for about ten miles before I crossed the bridge, into a cute little Kentucky town. All in all, I got in about 14 miles. And you know, I never really felt like I was in a big city! Two thumbs up for the Cincinnati government! Flying Pig!
Once the conference began, I didn't have a whole lot of free time, but meeting the home office people and putting faces to voices that I hear on daily phone calls, was nice. Good people:) I took in a Cincinnati Reds/Milwaukee Brewers game from a party suite (Nationwide is on your side). I left a day early and had to miss out on the Oktoberfest festivities, but no regrets...it was a great trip!