Last night, I started to write this blog post. But it stormed in the worst way and I lost my internet service for a while. By the time it came back on, I was so spent that I went upstairs to bed.
And so, I’ll start where I left off yesterday.
The commute home, which in absolutely no traffic at all (and is very rare) takes 15 minutes. It took almost two hours this evening due to a storm and a few traffic accidents
Add to that, a day at the office which was both stressful and frustrating and due to issues with 75% of my tasks, I couldn’t wait to leave—but I wasn’t planning on sitting in traffic.
My evening was more stormy and wet than this!
Reality hit me Sunday evening, though—when Oona dropped me off at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport, CVG for short. Just as I arrived at the gate, an announcement was made that the plane would be delayed.
But I’ll get to that later.
Right now, I wanna tell you about the great weekend I had in Cincy (that’s the hip way to say Cincinnati) with Oona and Sam and what a great city Cincinnati is!
Last Friday’s weather was fantastic and I couldn’t have been happier. Whenever I travel by air, the weather never seems to behave. I’ve had more delayed flights in my lifetime than on-time flights.
The beauty of a weekend trip. A carryon is all I need. And a tote bag!
I left the office early—Bonaparte had to pick me up in between his clients. And so, I arrived very early because the flight Oona booked for me was at 5:20. It was 1:30 when I exited the car and entered Philadelphia International. Check-in was a cinch because there were no lines to speak of and I didn’t have to check anything in.
On second thought, perhaps Mr. TSA was smug because my new name was ripped off. Oops!
In fact, the biggest obstacle was the bozo TSA man. Because my name changed when I got married, I had to get a little “name change” card that is kept with my Driver’s License. Something in the back of my head whispered “Take your Passport”—this is because I have a new passport with my married name. Just my luck he wanted better ID—and he was so smug and snarky. Just his rotten luck I had my passport and gleefully whipped it out and shoved it in his face! I love a challenge!
Visions of me sitting down at the gate with trashy magazines were rather enticing and welcome and that’s one of the reasons I arrived early! Waiting at airports is fun when you can read all the trash you want for a price. And since I was hungry, I settled down to a lunch of a Philly Pretzel (6 points) and US magazine. I’m a sucker for The Royal Family.
My six-point lunch. OK–so I also had a bag of Peanut M & M’s. It’s travel food!!
Activity was slow and my eyes lit up when an announcement was made that the next flight to Cincinnati would board at 3:00. I tried my luck to switch flights and was able to get my sizeable rear end into the last seat on the plane. (It was a very small plane). In my mind, it was a great idea because with my Irish luck, the later plane could have run into delays!
I called Oona to let her know that I would be arriving early and it worked out very well.
My happiness is more because I survived the bumpiest ride ever. The Captian wasn’t kidding when he warned us about major turbulence. I’m not used to those smaller planes and every bump was felt. Thank God my pretzel stayed heavy in my stomach!
Look! I was greeted to Cincinnati by someone older than me–a dinosaur! They are on exhibit at the airport. This airport is sooooooooooo nice!!!
We left the airport and headed to Kroger for some last-minute items to complete the dinner that Sam was preparing.
Cincinnati Skyline! I think Oona was getting annoyed because I kept singing the theme song to Cincinnati WKRP and changed the lyrics to WKR-ME!!
I was secretly hoping I would run into Johnny Bench or Pete Rose two of Cincy’s greatest ball players–I could get their autographs! Doesn’t matter that they haven’t played in decades!
Kroger—better than Wegmans. I’m not kidding either. I could have spent hours in that place.
Kroger has a bar! A bar!! Oh boy if I lived here, Bonaparte would park himself at a table with a glass of wine and a newspaper while I shopped!
Kroger’s selection of wine is rather vast and there’s some good bottles of the red in here!
My first night was a very special steak dinner that Sam made with the Sous Vide. My apologies for not taking photos of the meal but we were just enjoying the evening. Oona’s friend Heather and her husband Chase dropped by and it was a ton of fun hanging out with the young’uns!
See that steak at the upper-left corner. THAT’S how the steaks were cooked. I’m telling you it was stupendous. I’m now bothering Bonaparte to get one. Immediately!
See what Oona’s friend Heather made for me? It’s fabulous!!!!
Saturday, we woke up to gorgeous weather. And I mean gorgeous. It was a delight to enjoy morning coffee on the front porch and just be girls together! Our plan for the day was to walk into the small downtown area of Pleasant Ridge, the part of the City that Oona and Sam live in, have lunch, walk around some more and run a few errands to prepare for dinner.
Oona and Sam are in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood–and it IS–it’s so pleasant!!!
We had a delicious lunch at Grand Central Deli. I love the Art Deco vibe of this place..
It’s so cute and quirky inside and the sandwiches were put together with ingredients that blended so well together.
Oona and Sam…
And Oona and me. I should have fake tanned so I could wear shorts because it was hot as balls! But the heat felt so good………
We took a little tour and these homes reminded me of a cross between…
…the Fieldston neighborhood in The Bronx…and..
..the homes in Jamaica Estates in Queens, NY!
Sam’s mom, Anna and her boyfriend, Dick were joining us! It was a meet-each-other and a Mother’s Day Dinner. OMG. We had so much fun. Sam’s mom is great and she’s so easy to be with and her boyfriend Dick is a riot! Bonaparte was surely missed by me, Oona and Sam. He would have had a wonderful evening.
Dinner was beef kabobs….
..and chicken kabobs. Oona worked like a madwoman to get these ready. Anna brought over veg with the best curried dip ever. I made a Caprese salad. And I made a nougatine for dessert that was a huge hit!
I’m so proud of Oona as a hostess—she, along with Sam are really very thoughtful of their guests and it makes me happy to see her in her element.
Is that sign greatness or what? And the bottle of Creme de Cassis for the Kir Royals…
A charcuterie board was also prepared.
Did I mention I didn’t make it to my Weight Watchers meeting on Monday?
The house is adorable. Dopey me never got around to taking photos of the outside but here are some interior shots. It’s perfect for them. And the finished basement area gives them even more house space. There’s an office downstairs and a family room and it’s just so cozy!
I love the character of the touches like the arched entries. And this house is built like a brick shithouse. All plasster and thick–no drywall. All hardwood floors. It’s a gem!
A cozy fireplace
I love the dining room!! It’s so inviting and those chairs are very comfortable. I was very careful not to spill or drop anything!
They started a wall of their travel photos together. Isn’t that a great idea?
Do you know what this is? It’s the OTHER side of the mailbox slot! The mailman slides the mail in a built-in slot and it falls in here. This is so cool!
A little table near the entryway. Sam went to play golf–note the sunscreen!!! Smart going!
Oona and I have the same favorite flower–Peony! I need to return so that I can help her plant peonies in the fall!!
After Anna and Dick left, we sat out on the front porch for a nightcap. I’m telling you the weather was better than perfect. High 80’s to low 90’s and crystal clear! I bought a couple of hanging plants to hang on the porch—a mini house-warming gift!
The majority of homes in the area have semi-enclosed front porches. Let me tell you, if I lived in a home like this, I would be the neighborhood Mrs. Kravitz. This was taken at 9:30 in the evening. Look how light it is!
Sunday was an easy day. Sam went to play golf and Oona took me to brunch in downtown Cincinnati. You know—I love cities and urban areas. I’m not a suburban person at all and it was just so comforting to be within the city limits all weekend. It’s a nice vibe. And I love what’s going on in Cincy. Lots of restaurants are popping up and a gentrification is happening that’s wonderful because retailers and developers are keeping the integrity of the old buildings and the architecture of the older buildings is gorgeous.
It’s Mother’s Day! And a happy belated one from me! I wore the same hair for the entire weekend…and three white tees!
Sam wishing me a happy mother’s day–or perhaps he’s happy that he’s playing golf and doesn’t have to listen to me!
Here’s a better view of the front porch..
And look how beautiful the weather was!
We headed back downtown!
Anyway, we went to Sartre—named after Jean-Paul Sartre. With endless cups of coffee (and very strong coffee at that—I was in heaven) and very fancy avocado toast with salmon and egg, we enjoyed ourselves and filled us up for the remainder of the day!
This restaurant is massive!! And has a slight industrial vibe. The avacado toast was avacado heaven!
Hmmm. I can’t seem to get away from Frenchmen in glasses looking at me like that!! Sartre isn’t as nice as Bonaparte though!
This is the restaurant from the outside. Isn’t it beautiful? The buildings have so much charm–and they are a pleasure to behold!
We walked off some of the carbs by heading to Findlay Market. This is a whooper of a farmer’s market. My God, there were so many vendors and the place was so lively and full of activity. Lots of families celebrating mothers, street musicians, vendors selling everything from tie-dyed sacks to fancy meats and cheeses.
This market is unbelievable. Oona gets most of her meat here and the prices are ridiculously low compared to what we pay in Philly!
A little bit of quirky..
Oona originally wanted to take me to Chef Jean-Robert’s French Crust but couldn’t get a reso. Next time!!! My Frenchman would love this place!
Then Oona treated me to a visit to Cincy Shirts—my beloved little Hippo, Fiona is quite the popular girl at the Cincinnati Zoo and has quite a following. So naturally, I had to have a Fiona Tee!
This place could make me forget about J. Crew’s tees–that’s profound!
I’m always feeling Hip with my hips. But I’m completely Team Fiona. I’ll be wearing this tee on Friday for Jeans Friday at the office!
And look!!! French Chew–(I don’t even dare ask how this candy got the name)!
We drove around some more and went back to the house to have some quiet time before heading back to the airport for the return home.
A bit of mommy and me before heading to the airport!
Goodbye Cincinnati! I’ll be back!!!
And I arrived at the airport early, but not too early. It was surprisingly crowded and the TSA line was rather long—but the TSA people in Cincinnati are a lot nicer and more congenial than the smug, self-important ones at Philly airport! They smiled and were very perky!
This was my plane. It was waiting a hell of a lot more patiently than I was!!
Their perkiness was almost a warning of things to come. My flight was supposed to leave at 5:00. It didn’t. It was delayed until 6:03. Then till seven. Then seven-thirty. I am not lying when I tell you, I could have strapped myself to a flock of birds and had them fly me home faster!
Welcome to my airport stress eating dinner. And in my particular case, these bags of Caramel and PB M & M’s were NOT share size. I ate ’em all myself!
It was not the best of scenes but the Delta airlines staff was great—they kept us updated, apologized profusely and brought out a ton of snacks and drinks.
With Bonaparte meeting me at the airport, it was the happiness that broke my sadness when I saw him—and Chippy was in the car waiting for me. I was told that Chippy was crying until midnight and waiting at the door for me!
My bed was also waiting for me and no matter where you travel, your bed is the one place that makes you realize you are home!
I can’t wait to get back to Cincy—and next time my Frenchman will be with me. I know he’ll enjoy it there. He likes cities too and there’s a lot going on in Cincinnati! But it’s nice to see the different parts of the city that are being remodeled and vibrant.
Overall, the weekend was an A +++++++! And I’m thankful to my daughter and Sam for being so kind and welcoming!
Speaking of my little Hippo Fiona, I think you’ll enjoy this look at her!
I enjoyed reading this so much! You’re a wonderful and colorful writer, Catherine! So, I’m confused, do you live in Philadelphia or in New York? I grew up in Rochester, NY but live in Kansas City. I miss the East Coast! You’re such a riot and look so cute in your wigs. What wig and color are you wearing in these photos? It looks darling on you.
Hi Cynthia! Ohhhhh I’m originally from New York and lived in NYC for many, many years. I was born there, grew up on Long Island and then returned to the city. I’m now in the Philly ‘burbs and it isn’t my favorite dwelling! Aha!! That wig is “Jamison” by Estetica Designs and is in the color Caramel Kiss RT 4!! Thank you for your kind words!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
Thanks for taking us along on your trip and explaining everything so clearly. Would have loved to join in on the fun of discovery.
Ah, And don’t get me started on TSA agents. Ugh! They are so darn rude! It’s worse when you’re identified as an “alien”.
Hey B! Ugh. TSA. I think the initials stand for “Those Stupid Assholes” My license has my photograph and I am wearing the same glasses the same makeup but different hair. I’m guessing I’ll need my passport until I get my licence changed over in a couple of years. Only in Philly. It didn’t happen in Cincinnati!!! XOXOXOXO
So delighted you enjoyed Cincy town. It definitely a fun quirky city that I feel in love on my first visit and eventually moved here. There are lots of pockets around the city and so much to explore.
Hi Diane!! Ohhhh..I’m thrilled that my daughter is living in a great city that I can visit! I hope she settles and raises a family there! It’s so true though, there are a ton of pockets and all interesting. You are fortunate to be living in a great place!!! XOXOXOXO
What a great trip!!! Fun reading your post. I laughed at the Mrs. Kravitz comment………my next door neighbor and I call ourselves the Kravitz Sisters because we are always keeping tabs on the comings and goings of the block. LOL
Vava! You get me! It’s also funny because Oona said that the woman across the street from her is around my age and knows everything about the neighborhood. I wanted knock on her door and introduce myself!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
Next you go, you should do that!!! LOL
I lived in Cincinnati for 7 years. Findlay Market is fantastic! There was always lots of flirting between me, the vegetable guys, and the butchers. haha
LOL!! Patricia, you just brought memories of me at a market in Paris. My husband brings the event up quite often. The Olive Man got to me and we were flirting for about 15 minutes until Bonaparte came and got me!!! Now I know why Oona loves the Findlay market so much!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
What a great time you had in Cincinnati. Oona and Sam look very happy together. Hubby was stationed at Ft. Campbell, Ky. We used to drive up to Cincinnati once or twice a year to visit one of his college friend. This was way back in the mid 70’s. Yes, “WKRP in Cincinnati” with Venus Flytrap, Jennifer Marlowe, Herb…used to love that show. Happy for Chippy you weren’t gone too long. Amelia
Hi Amelia!!!! Yes! They do look very happy together and they are a great team! Chippy hasn’t left my side since I got back!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Sounds like you enjoyed a fabulous weekend in Cincy with Oona, what a lovely home she has. Not sure how I feel about sharing a name with a hippo, (why Fiona? Not a common name in US) but she sure is cute.
Nearly fell off the chair laughing when I saw The Growler Bar!
My airport experience at Nantes today wasn’t great either…I almost missed the flight home as the boarding screen wasn’t updating. Putain!
Hi Fiona! LOL!! You have no idea how much Fiona is loved!! I swear women have named their girls after her! Fiona is a beautiful name!!! Yeah–that bar though!!!
Hey—at least there wasn’t a strike at the Nantes airport!!!! XOXOXOXO Hope you had a blast in Nantes!!!
Your blog posts are so helpful and really amazing! So happy to have come across your beautiful blog. Really loving it. Have a nice day! ❤️
Thank you so much Anushka!!!! You have a wonderful day as well!!! XOXOXOXO
What a wonderful trip – it looks fantastic. Your daughter sounds very like you – same great style and ability to welcome people into her home (and what a cute couple). Cincy sounds a wonderful place to visit – you should become a travel writer on the side Missus (and glad you’re back safe and sound)
OMG. Juliet. If only someone would hire me as a travel writer-Tee hee!!! Oh..I’m so proud of Oona’s ability to host. But she has said that’s how she grew up and learned from the best. The greatest compliment a mom can receive!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Glad you had a wonderful weekend and Mother’s Day. Sam is lucky to have such a great “in-law” as you would be the life of any family dinner. I’m not sure which is worse s delayed flight going or coming home – I think going.
Yvonne. A delay going is definitely worse than coming back. That’s why I jumped on the earlier flight because you just never know!! I can’t believe it’s been a week already!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
We spend a weekend around Christmas in Cincinnati every year – my brother-in-law lives across the river in Kentucky. There are a bunch of great breweries there, several in the OTR (Over the Rhine) neighborhood that I think Sartre is in. It’s the only kind of sightseeing (or maybe I should call it sightdrinking!) my hubby enjoys! It’s a great city with a lot to offer. We had to go see the fountain that was featured in the credits of WKRP. 🙂
OMG. Oona and Sam love the OTR area. That is where Sartre is..and you are correct–there is a huge brewery next to Sartre that has events and such. It really is a great city!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
What a great weekend and City! Love your daughters place…sooo, cute! I very much appreciate this virtual travel trip, both of my parents are from Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. I’ve got a lot of relatives there as my dad is the youngest of 16 kids!!!
Hi Renee. That’s funny! Sam’s dad comes from a very large family as well. I may be a born New Yorker but boy, Cincy is a great, great city!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!