Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sites in Ohio and Kentucky

While Mason was playing at daycare, we chose to visit a few things close by. Only eight miles away from the church daycare was the Freedom Museum dedicated to educating about the Underground Railroad. We crossed the Ohio, found a parking place which was not easy as downtown Cincinnati was in heavy construction mode. Once there we found out the museum did not open until 11:00. So we walked up to sit for a while in a fountain area amid skyscrapers. It would have been fun to see the whole city I guess, but downtown cities are losing appeal for me. We did stop at a Greek café on the way back down and had a BLT on pita bread which was delicious! We took ours out to the tables on the sidewalk and ate outside. Fun!

Then we went back to the Underground Railroad museum. It was interesting but rather lightweight in information we both thought. It was huge building of five floors and only one floor was complete with exhibits. Too much wasted space and space given to administrative offices. What was there was gorgeous and state of the art in how it was displayed. I was disappointed there was nothing on the quilts used to signal Underground Railroad paths and safe houses. There was a wagon with a false bottom that was interesting to see. Maybe I had read too much because nothing outstanding in the way of new information for me. The gift shop was huge and packed with great educational materials however.

Just outside was the Roebling Suspension Bridge that crossed the Ohio River. It was closed to traffic while it is being repainted the original blue it was painted over a hundred years ago. The bridge was started before the Civil War, finished after the Civil War, and was an inspiration for the Brooklyn Bridge. Although closed, we were to learn too late that one foot path was open across the bridge. We would have loved to walk out over the Ohio and back into Kentucky.

On Friday we did up laundry and cleaned house and picked up toys for a fresh start while Mason was at daycare. Then we had lunch before picking him back up. We went to Yesterday’s Café and Tea Room. It was a gorgeous place and quiet. I had Matcha Lemonade made with matcha green tea. Very refreshing and tasty! I chose gazpacho soup and quiche for my lunch and presentation was lovely.

When we picked Mason up, the church parking lot was full of an afternoon farmer’s market. We walked him around looking at the colorful fruits and vegetables. We brought home some Molly Delicious apples which were new to me; they had a nice flavor. Mason ate them well! I also picked up a small box of heirloom tomatoes that were delicious.

When our children returned and we headed home, we were going to linger on the drive. We followed the Ohio River on a winding side road rather than travel the super highway. It was a lovely area despite the industrial sites sitting right next to the river. The plants all looked new, shiney, well-maintained, and were huge. Then we found a great bridge over the Ohio which DH was looking for. We crossed right into a gorgeous old river town. Madison, Indiana was gorgeous wth brick storefronts and smartly painted Victorian homes. There were great shops and antique places, although everything was closed on Sunday. We were discussing staying so we could look the town and shops over in the morning, but a phone call that DH's mother was in the hosptial sent us back on the highway to push for home.

We drove until midnight, crashed, and started on the highway again. We made only one stop on the way home and that was small town Lebanon, Illinois. We had found this town on a business trip to Indiana years ago. It is a couple of blocks of antique stores, a tiny tea room, and shops. At that time there was a British shop I loved for its tea choices. But being a Monday this time almsot evertyting was closed. We grabbed a bite to eat in a cafe we knew, but the food was not great this time. The British store and tea room were gone. Frankly, the economic hard times seemed to have slapped the town a bit. However, there was one antique shop open and we walked around there for a while. It was grand place because it was nothing but tea cups, tea pots, dishes, serving pieces, knife rests, egg coddlers, and all of it was beautiful.

Lebanon's claim to fame is the fact that Charles Dickens slept here. Dickens was on his American tour and wanted to see the prairies. However, while here it rained and he stepped out into mud! He stayed at the Mermaid House that you can tour for free. We had done that on the earlier trip. The rooms are so tiny and stairs so steep it is hard to imagine living in it everyday.


Linda O'Connell said...

If I take my time and proof read, maybe I will not make silly typos like I did in my last reply. The older I get the more I appreciate meaningful historical places, and I hated history in school. Sounds like you did a lot in a few days. Now I want a BLT!

BECKY said...

This is so interesting. I'm so glad you are sharing it with us, your faithful followers! :)
PS I wish my husband would "take the scenic route" once in a while!! With him, it's always how fast we can get somewhere, and he doesn't care to stop and see any "sights"! Tell DH I think he's a good guy!!

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