American Roadtrip; first stop
It took me about 8.5 hours to drive from my dads house this morning to Cincinnati. I was so excited to see a new city. Unfortunately, about 30 mins before I arrived the clouds opened up with a tremendous storm. I had planned to wander the city and go to Covington, KY. for dinner.I envisioned myself wandering around the city and walking across the suspension bridge. It would’ve been nice to streatch my legs after sitting in a car all day. Instead, I was getting alerts from my phone, ‘Flash Flood Warning’. I couldn’t be any more disappointed by my luck and worried a bit about this being the start of my 3.5 month solo trip.
The entire ride here was mostly dry. On a more positive note- I do prefer this. I would much rather be driving in good weather than in rain. I truly dont mind the rain when I am in a big city. It creates more vibrant colors in photos and keeps people indoors- except me and dogs on walks. Again, in a big city, this is my preference; I am not a huge fan of crowds. That being said, I was only upset because I had ideals for this trip and this was only the first stop and I only had a few hours to explore a new city.
It takes a lot to break my energy… so I wasn’t detered. I checked-in to my hotel and settled into my UPGRADED king suite, a surprise to me! =) Then I began to look at closer options for food. I found a new gastro pub right around the corner from my hotel- Crown Republic. The food was great, and I would recommend it. I had a beet salad and fried chicken. I noticed the rain stopped and the sun was going down, so I had to run. I asked my server, Mike, a few tips about the area. He was extremely nice as were all the people I interacted with in Cincinnati [this would include both desk attendants, Mike, another waiter and eventually 2 intimidating men at the park]. He gave me a few suggestions, we discussed a few parks and routes to get to them. He also told me where to avoid specifically and so I figured out my plan. I thanked him for his advice and made my way to Smale Park. I passed the Reds stadium and took lots of pictures on my way: the stadium, the river, Smale park, the ferris wheel, and Roebling bridge.
The sun set had set and the dusky glow was soon to disappear. I realized it was time to head back (originally I planned to Uber back). I am pretty confident and am not intimidated easily, but I wasn’t feeling particularly brave this night. I had my purse zipped under my jacket with a knife in my hand tucked in my pocket. I used this opportunity to call my dad- I felt safer talking on the phone and walked as quickly as I could passed some shady characters. I was relieved when I saw a few police in a particular area I was hesitant to walk. Mike said this route wouldn’t be too bad but to be careful so I had been very mindful- I’d hate to go to the place he told me to stay away from.
I felt so much better when I arrived back to my hotel room- after I scanned my key card to get to my floor and latched the dead bolt behind me. I was able to finally let my guard down and relax for the night. The shower was amazing- I had a regular shower head with great pressure, plus a rainfall and side jets. I used them all simultaneously at 101 degrees and didn’t run out of hot water or pressure. This litarally saved the day. I ended the night feeling more hopeful and sure of myself.
I did not want to get up today at 8. I knew I had to get ready for Chicago, my favorite city in the Unites states, at least for now. I would be meeting up with friends of mine and staying with them for the weekend. I excitedly walked to Maplewood for breakfast- this place had wasnt too far and based on their online reputation, it was a MUST. It was soooooo good, I had lemon ricotta pancakes with a green pressed juice. They were worth e.v.e.r.y single calorie.
On my way to Maplewood there was so much commotion. Police sirens all around and they were SPEEDING, like highspeed chase, would’ve hit a pedestrian if they were in the crosswalks as they ran all the lights. I have no clue what was happening and no one in the resturaunt seemed bothered by it. I let it go and looked up a few shops I could stop in for snacks for my ride.
By the time I came out from breakfast 3 roads were shut down. Then, I saw a homicide van and was a bit freaked out. And on that note, I walked back to my hotel and packed the car. On my way out I had the bartender at Spoon and Cellar fill my water bottle for my ride, the news was on, there was a shooter on the loose, they already shot 2 people. The shooting was at a park 2 blocks from where I had been having breakfast. Regardless of the chaos from my first day on this trip I remained optimistic.