Cincy Philly Visit
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7/19/17 – 8/2/17

Link to pictures.

A visit to Cincinnati and Philly were on the menu for the summer, so we combined them into one trip. An early morning flight out of DIA got us to Cincinnati just after noon. As usual, the first stop was Skyline for some chili cheese Coneys then to Jean’s folks house in Burlington and right to the pool. Thursday was a lazy day hanging by the pool and chatting away followed by some hysterical rounds of Taboo.

Friday started out raining, but was supposed to clear by late morning so we met Tom, Shelly, and Joey at King’s Island. Miles was so stoked since he is now over 48” tall and can ride most of the roller coasters. Given the rainy morning, it wasn’t busy at all and there were hardly any lines. After one roller coaster ride, Jean’s Dad and I opted to skip most of the rides to prevent getting spinal fusions again. Miles managed to ride The Racer 10 times! Him and Joey would exit and jump right back on. The Beast was another big hit for Miles. I stuck to the log flume and biergarten. It was an exhausting day and despite wanting to stay longer, Miles was asleep before we drove out of the parking lot.

Saturday was another pool day then we met Tom and Shelly at their house to go to America's longest running German-fest, Schutzenfest! It was hot and humid, but fun to hear the bands and eat some yummy jagerschitznel. A life-goal was accomplished by Miles and me getting a photo with The Sausage Queen!

Sunday was another relaxing morning, then Miles stayed with gramma to make cookies while Jean, her Dad, and I went to Burlington to visit the New Riff distillery for a tour and tasting. I give it a m’eh. We walked along the river, got an appetizer, then headed home for another trip to the pool. Tom and Shelly came over for dinner, laughs, and more Taboo.

Monday we did our yearly visit to the zoo. We were hoping to see the new baby hippo, but she was hiding. Once it got too hot and humid, we retreated home and to the pool. On Tuesday we rented canoes and paddled a leisurely six miles of the Little Miami River. Good times! Then…. More pool.

Wednesday morning we started getting packed then Miles told us how bad his finger hurt from a splinter he got at King’s Island. It was pretty swollen and angry looking, so we took him to Urgent Care. They got some puss out then sent us home with antibiotics. It’s a good thing we went because the lab results came back positive for Mersa! Our flight to Philly went smooth, we choose a crappy Nissan Juke (aka, Joke) and off to Uncle Matt’s. Cheese steaks and pizza at Soprano’s for dinner, of course! Per Miles request, he also drove all around the yard on Matt’s tractor.

Thursday we headed downtown to the Franklin Institute. I forgot how cool that place is! Tons of fun exhibits, a planetarium show, and plenty of hands-on things to do. Back at Matt’s, Miles drove the tractor around some more, then Jean and I headed to Chickie and Pete’s to see a bunch of old friends. It was great to catch up with so many folks and laugh about old stories. Mr/Mrs Stinger, Tim, Sean, Pat, Nicole, Kim, Space, Brown, Finley, Pete, Edwards, Kim, Nate, and several of Tim’s cop buddies.

Friday we took Miles to the awesome Doylestown Kids Kastle to romp around, then we went to Hatboro to see good old Mrs. Smith. We can’t visit without stopping to see her, she was so thrilled. Silvio’s deliciousness for lunch, I could eat there every day! We met up with Sean and Tim to fill up growlers then up to Cassel’s. We planned out the weekend meals and tastings while playing shuffleboard, Foosball, and Nintendo Tecmo Bowl 1991. Since the rain was passing south, we went to the Iron Pigs baseball game. On the way back we discovered Sean’s superhero would be “Diabeto”, shooting hot pockets from his armpits and shooting dead toes off of his feet. There would also be a 10 meter Memorial Walk.

We all slept in Saturday then start making a huge breakfast after Jean dove across the deck and threw her coffee at a bee. Miles and Bailey were chasing grumpy bears and having a good time out on the playscape. Right after breakfast we started prepping for the feast….. smoked wings, stuffed jalapenos, bacon wrapped steak and sausage, corn, beef cube marinated onions, Pete’s Italian hoagie dip, and garlic burgers. So much food…. So delicious. Finley, Ennis, and Pete came up also. The highlight of the day was Finley doing a belly flop in the kiddie pool. Some things never change!

Sunday we were up early to head down to Philly for the Eagles public training camp. I was so excited! Parking between the Wells Fargo Center, Citizen Bank Park, and The Linc!! We strolled right in and got some souvenirs, then found seats in the 2nd row above the goal line. It was so awesome to be so close to the players and watch them practice. The linemen are enormous! After the practice I put Miles is the first row and while Nick Foles was walking towards the stands, Miles threw his football at him! He missed the catch, but signed it, and I apologized for all the bad things that Eagles fans have said about him the past few years… but welcomed him back to Philly!!! He found that amusing. Miles also got a signature from the green-haired Jalen Mills. Awesome! Back to Uncle Matt’s for a relaxing afternoon.

Monday we drove up to Ringing Rocks County Park where if you bang on the diabase rocks with a hammer, they ring! The waterfall was a let-down, but it was fun to walk around the woods and stream. Hot and humid! On the way back, Miles found out why I love Wawa so much. Back at Matt’s we hid in the air conditioning and watched a James Bond movie. Tuesday was hot and humid again, I was sweating for hours from a short morning run. We raced Go Karts at the old Village Mall where Miles was so proud to lap Jean three times. We had dairy queen and drove past my old schools, then hid out in the air conditioning once again. After coordinating with Crow, we stopped by unannounced and surprised my old buddy Kephart. We hadn’t seen each other in 19 years and caught up on each other’s lives and laughed about the stupid stuff we did in high school. Once Crow got home, she was Miles favorite because she let him jump all over the couch and onto a mattress on the floor.

Wednesday consisted of packing up, taking Miles for a ride in Uncle Matt’s Mustang, then heading down to Independence Hall in Philly. So much awesome history here. We didn’t have time for the tour so we saw the Liberty Bell, visited Old City Hall, went to Independence Square, walked past the Dolley Todd House and Bishop White House, checked out the First Bank of the U.S., had a great lunch at a little dinner, stolled through Franklin Court, saw Franklin’s grave, then ducked back into the parking garage just as the skies opened up for a torrential downpour. I95 was a complete lake but fortunately the airport was close. Our flight was slightly delayed but luckily it was a direct flight and we got home around 10pm to a very happy puppy. Willow voiced her displeasure of us being gone so long by chewing a couple of Miles shoes. D’oh! We were ready to be home, but it was such an awesome trip seeing family and old friends. The visits, memories, and laughs are what feed the soul.