Thursday, August 9, 2012

Game 26 - Cincinnati Reds

My Mom, Dad and I made the five hour drive from Springfield, Illinois to Cincinnati, Ohio for a Monday night Reds game against the Padres. My buddy, Dave Moore, planned on taking the MegaBus from Chicago  in time for the game. This would be the first time I had been to both the city of Cincinnati, and Great American Ballpark. As Cardinals fans, we don't have a lot of love lost for the Reds. A great rivalry has developed between the two teams and former Cardinal GM Walt Jocketty has built a pretty good team.

The area surrounding the ballpark has gone through a major transformation over the past few years, and the park is lined with great restaurants, bars and apartment developments. Much to my Mom's delight, Toby Keith opened a bar just across the street. The ballpark, although a bit older than I anticipated (constructed in 2002), it showed really well. The park had great food options including the best bar-b-que I've had on the trip. Dave's friend, Kate, who lives in Cincinnati, joined us for the game. It was great to get her insight on the city and her favorite parts of the ballpark.

On a somewhat random note, Dave and I headed to my parents hotel room to help them get ready for the game. With all the hotel room numbers floating in my head throughout the trip, it's no wonder the following happened. I knocked on what I thought was their hotel room, and received no answer. For some reason, I thought that would be the perfect time to break out the Tommy Boy 'housekeeping, me want mint for pillow' spiel. Unfortunately, in mid sentence, we found out that no, it wasn't my parents room, but an Indian couple who spoke very little English. Dave immediately started laughing, and I couldn't help but laugh too and turn around and run. Another fun day on 'tour.'

Big Jim enjoyed the park, even though the Reds are currently in first place in the Central division:

Pros: River views, food and beer options, neighborhood bars.
Cons: The team is competitive and a rival to STL.

The next morning we made the short drive to Mt. Adams as I've heard great things about the area and how it had a Lincoln Park feel to it. Although much smaller, it was a very cool drive with much more topography than I would have expected in Ohio. If I lived in Cincinnati, this place would certainly be on my list.


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