Wednesday, February 25, 2009

GART; Destination: Cincinnati, OH

After having packed the night before we hit the road fairly early to have breakfast before I left for Cincinnati. We said our goodbyes and I departed for Brian and Lisa's. Brian is, and has been, my best friend since about 9th grade. His job has taken him and his family to Dallas and now Cinci. Of all the people who have moved it's him (and his wife) I miss the most. As I'm a guy, and an anti-phone guy at that, we likely don't talk as much as I'd like but we do keep in touch. He's usually back here on business or visiting and I've been to Cinci pretty much every year since he moved there

I will say this was the worst driving of the trip. Slow moving truck traffic dominated the ride. It was frustrating and annoying but I was on schedule until...a detour. Because of construction the road was re-routed and as I was in the left lane I got taken off the main road. Normally this isn't a problem BUT every exit off this local road was closed for 10 miles!! I finally got my ass turned around and arrived in Blue-Ash (a suburb) where Brian lives about 90 minutes later then planned. We pretty much hit the ground running visiting some of the artsier parts of the city I hadn't seen visiting a really old bar and another that's back deck overlooked Cincinnati. Then we ventured just over the Kentucky border to a German beer hall we'd been to before. Now, with a good lather under us we decide to go food shopping for dinner totally unaware of the time. We came home with pork and steak and potatoes. Lisa reminded Brian that it was already almost 7:00 and nothing was marinated, etc so we opted for a chain type restaurant (which isn't a chain but seems like one) for dinner with the kids. After Lisa and the kids left Brian and I met up with a friend and his brother in-law who was visiting from England (he was attending the Ryder Cup). These guys were a riot. we drank and carried on all the way until...10:45 when they called last call. Seriously. I was horrified as I don't normally even go out until then. We decided to go back to Brian's for a few. Well, not only do bars close before 11:00 but the town has no cabs!! So, we walked what felt like an hour back to Brian's place. It was actually a very funny walk but was tiring as hell. When we got back to his joint we drank on his back porch until nearly 3:00 a.m. which was amusing only because those 3 had a charity golf tournament the next day (I declined the initiation).
The next morning came rather quickly as I wasn't really sleeping much at this point. I heard them get the kids up and off to school and decided to head out for coffee and a little solitude. Brian had the tournament and Lisa and I were going to spend the day together until the kids got home. FYI the tournament was very important as it raised hundreds of thousands for autism research which is a cause near and dear to their hearts. So, Lisa and I lunched and had a couple of beers then just whiled the day away catching up. I usually don't get to spend much time with Lisa as usually when I get there Brian and I are off being boys. She is a great, funny person and the day flew by. We prepared dinner for the kids and drank beer and wine until Brian finally got home. He looked about as excited about going out as having a root canal but I told him, hey, it's my last night so we're going out. We went to a Buffalo Wild Wings just because I had never been. This one was odd as it seemed like a mix between Chucky Cheese and the Ground Round. Equal parts adults drinking and children and tweens running around. I guess that's Blue-Ash on a Friday night. We had a couple beers, I tried the buttery garlic wings and then the Blazin and I must say, even for me, the Blazin were brutal. We called it an early night as I decided to hit the road at 5:00 a.m.

Next stop: Home??