Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Saturday in Cincinnati

I'm ashamed to admit that we've been here two and a half years and never driven the 50 miles to Cincinnati. Quite a nice city, actually. Brian and I had a lovely day there on Saturday, starting at the legendary Jungle Jim's. They don't allow photography inside, but we managed to sneak a few pics. (If you don't know about the shopping extravaganza that is Jungle Jim's., go to Being out for the day, we couldn't buy any frozen goods or perishables, and still somehow managed to spend nearly $100. No one needs four million different kinds of tea (or hot sauce - see below), but it sure is fun to look at them all.

Then we went for a hike and some birding at Winton Woods (lots of Blue Gray Gnatcatchers and Blue Winged Teals, among others). Met our friend Patrick and went out to dinner with him and his daughter, Emma - yummy Indian food! Their dog, Eloise, was quite enamored of me. (OK, I was quite enamored of her.)

The hot sauce aisle at Jungle Jim's.

Springtime at Winton Woods.

Brian checks out the bat box at Winton Woods.

Eloise wants to sit on my lap.

Eloise sits on my lap.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Travel Adventures

Had a really fun weekend in Denver with Shelly (my sister, in case you don't know). We met up there for a (relatively) cheap weekend getaway. The hotel I picked wasn't quite as close to all the fabulous shopping action at Cherry Creek as I thought, but then that's probably why it was under $100 a night. Nice hotel, though. Desk staff very blond and did their best to be helpful. Cranky old Greek man running the breakfast buffet. Nice view, Mongolian BarBQ and Barnes & Noble a few blocks away, Cherry Creek proper less than a mile away with a nice hike-bike trail taking you there, what more could we ask for?

Added plus, a quite hoppin' pub called the "Bull and Bush" nearby, where we had fish & chips and microbrews and watched the Kansas/North Carolina game (at least I think that's who was playing). Very animated crowd, one woman had to have her infant daughter taken away from her by a concerned friend.

On Sunday, we went to the new REI store. It's in a restored vintage building that used to be a train station. It's HUGE, and packed with tons of stuff, and has a park, hike/trails, a bike testing course and a kayaking practice area on the grounds. It's situated right at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, and they really make the most of it. It didn't hurt that the day we were there was a glorious spring day, sunny and temps in the 60's, and everyone out on their bike or with their dog (or both). A little shopping, a nice stroll in the park, a visit to the on-site Starbucks, a quick cab ride back to Cherry Creek. That night, a truly exceptional meal accompanied by a nice chianti at an Italian place called NoRTH (don't hold the pretentious spelling against it, the food was terrific).

Breakfast buffet and flights out on Monday. TCBY at the Denver airport. Air travel is so tedious these days, but it was worth it!

Here's a sampling of my pictures from the trip:

The view from our hotel room.

Outside the REI store.

Tyler, the nice Bernese Mountain Dog we met at REI.

Inside the store, a view from the Mezznine.

The Strait sisters in the park outside REI.

Inside "NoRTH, Modern Italian Cuisine"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Drop it!

Dear Steph,

Took Mort on a long trip to campus today and played fetch on the front lawn for a while on our way back. He had a lot of fun running around. We all miss you, and Peteena says you're in big trouble for not taking (one of) her with you!

Drop it!
Drop it!
Originally uploaded by splaestro

Originally uploaded by splaestro

Originally uploaded by splaestro