Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Getting My 'Fixes' Around Cincy.....OLA

Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting My 'Fixes' Around Cincy.....OLA

Ohio Barn Quilt
I am a tennis fan-addict! Bill cannot quite understand why I passionately stay awake up to the wee hours of the morning to watch the rounds of the majors. Finally in Cincy (cute nickname of Cincinnati, Ohio) I got the chance to go to my very first live ATP Masters tennis tournament: The Western and Southern Open. It is part of the US Open Series prior to the US Open which just started today in Flushing Meadows, New York. The Cincy tourney has been running since 1899 and is the only one still playing in its original city. The Lindner Family and Tennis Center in Mason, a suburb of Cincy, is one of the country’s major tennis centers.

Blake-Baghdatis encounter on Opening Night
You cannot imagine my excitement as I waited in line for the gates to open, toured the many exhibits and kiosks, gobbled up many souvenir items (for our grandchildren and myself!), took countless photos, and watched #1 woman player Caroline Wozniacki and #2 men’s player Rafa Nadal practice at the side courts! I was frozen many times while watching even just the early rounds. My eyes followed the living ball whizz to and fro during the Blake-Baghdatis, Harrison-Chela, and Roddick-Kohlschreiber matches. Now, watching at least one of the four majors is a definite addition to our bucket list!

a section of Highway 127 in Ohio
Just like any other female, I am also a shopping fan-addict! But, retired and without the income I had before, it has evolved to become more of treasure hunting. Last year I was just reading about the World’s Longest Yard Sale in a travel magazine. It’s all of 625 miles along Highway 127, from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan on the first weekend of August. I ran into It when I took to bring Bill home from his surgery. On its last day, I dragged Bill, still in crutches, to get my ‘finds’: ‘Hot Wheels’ for my other grandson, Kenji who lives in Seattle, some bake ware, and other bargains! 
the Great American Ball Park
I am also a fan of Paul McCartney who chose Cincy as one of the venues for his 8-city ‘On the Run’ tour. It was a sell-out crowd of 41,500 at the Great American Ball Park. Unfortunately, we were not one able to go because of Bill’s surgery. Later we were able to go to the famous home of the Cincinnati Reds (although they may not be playing well nowadays)! I thought…wow they indeed got the best name for a ball park even if it is not ranked as one of the top 3 (Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, Wrigley’s Field of the Chicago Cubs, and Fenway Park of the Boston Red Sox)!

the family with Bill, catching a small one
Admittedly, another addiction of mine is to entertain! The Wilmington RV Resort had a family centers basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, indoor pool and spa, mini-golf, horseshoe pits and shuffleboards, and 3 fishing ponds! Former I/ACT colleague Lea, husband Jimmy and children, Miles, Patrick, and Mathew visited us there during our first weekend. Matthew had long wanted to inspect RV living up close and personal. So in our Chicago reunion, Lea decided to visit us in this Ohio campground, just 30 minutes away from her home. I had a lot of fun watching the family catch three fish in just thirty minutes, enjoy the ‘ride’ on the RV slide-out going out, and take a nap on the dinette turned bed!

how can I bring home this chair???
And the biggest addiction of mine…the color yellow…got fed as we explored the farms around Clinton County. There we found more barn quilts (56) than the collection in Houston County, Minnesota! Wilmington is also the home of the first banana split in the world and the site of the annual Banana Split Festival in mid-June. But the most special find of all is the biggest chair I have ever seen, probably about 10 feet tall…and it’s all in yellow! 

We are having a lot of fun but soon I have to fly to Vegas for a mini-reunion with gal pals Jingjing and Ann and a visit to my friend Angie and cousin, Ate Tesing. Finally, Bill might be able to have time for his own ‘fixes’…sans moi!