so, i’m totally a momma’s girl. the furthest i’ve ever driven by myself is bloomington, indiana, and that was just to get myself to and from school. not that cincinnati, ohio is so much further, but it was my first “official road trip” and it was a blast!

we planned to stay with the boy’s cousins in westchester…but since we headed over midday, we had a little time to get some things off of our list before they got home from work. first, we stopped by the outlet, just to get some links removed from my new watch

the thing i love most about fossil outlets, is that the charms are always on clearance, and buy one get one 1/2 off. for this reason, i always get two. i think i only need one or two more to make my bracelet complete, because they are very chunky. here are the new additions from this trip

then we went to ikea. it was the boy’s first time, although we both learned that it helps to know what you need in advance before going. if you’ve never been, it’s huge, and it wasn’t long before the boy got restless. here is he wishing our living room looked a little more like this

we just ended up getting a bunch of little things, nothing too exciting:  an ice cream scoop (which we’ve desperately been needing), a few flower pots that were on clearance (some for cute craft room storage, some for  his mom who is an avid gardener), a toilet brush cleaner for the guest bathroom, a tool kit for my brother to take to college, and i can’t really remember what else. the most exciting purchase was a memory foam pillow for me, and the large ikea bag we had to buy to tote all of our stuff home.

when we arrived to the cousins’ house, they were anxious to call the sitter and get going. we had a delicious thai dinner and nice conversation. then we went to this amazing multi-level bar, with outside decks on every floor. the view of the city was to die for, and fireworks in the background (from reds’ homeruns) wasn’t too shabby either. i finally got to taste “fruity pebbles beer,” aka berry weiss leinenkugels. yum! a new fave for sure

i guess it’s too dark to see the view, but you get the drift! after that we headed to a few more outdoor places with live music, and standing room only. this one pocket of cincy made indy’s whole bar scene look horrible in comparison. the last place we stopped had two very large and colorful chalkboards full of over 100 different kinds of specialty shots. the cousins were responsible and didn’t partake, but the boy and i couldn’t resist. he was lame and chose something he was already familiar with (liquid cocaine), i on the other hand wanted to try something new. to my advantage, the bartender didn’t know how to make it, so i ended up with a shot almost twice as big as the boy’s 🙂 my “peanut butter and jelly shot” is on the left. it pretty much just tasted like creamy raspberry. i definitely had to share it, because that’s just too much for one person to handle.

in the boy’s family, you are taught the game of euchre at about age 4…so once we got home the cards quickly made an appearance. the cousins have summer shandy on tap in their basement (how cool is that?!) so after a round of cards, and a lemony nightcap, we hit the hay.

staying with the cousins gave us a little taste of what having kids would be like. i noticed a sticker chart on the fridge for the oldest son, who will turn 5 next month. in order to receive a sticker, he had to sleep past 7 am. needless to say, we were early to rise 🙂 with one boy off to the noon reds’ game with his grandparents, the rest of us headed to jungle jim’s international market.

not what i expected, but wonderful nonetheless. i think at some point we just randomly started throwing any snack that looked good into the cart, but some exciting purchases included:  tamarind candy (a childhood favorite of mine), pumpkin ale (that didn’t end up tasting all that great in my opinion), lots of asian spice packets and meal mixes (already used one and it was amazing), and lots of hot sauces for the boy. he controlled himself and only got 5 or 6, but if he had his way we would’ve been in that aisle all day! he also got some weird nettle and bromaid supplements that supposedly help with allergies, so we shall see. i was told that the international alcohol section was awesome, but it was mostly wines. last year, while tailgating, some fellow IU fans shared “grecian delight” with us (a very smooth and delicious honey liquor) and i was really looking forward to finding some, but that was a bust.

after that, we headed to hyde park to visit some more cousins. much different setting, but full of character. there was a charming coffee shop on the corner where i could just imagine myself reading my kindle and sipping on a chai tea latte. there was also this weird house that looked like an owl perhaps? i just looked it up, and it’s called the “mushroom house.” anyway, i think i would really like living in hyde park. it has a very local and artsy feel to it.

i don’t know if we are bad luck or what, but the reds won 3 out of 4 games against the cubs this weekend…guess which game we attended 😦 9-7 isn’t too bad…at least we came back drastically, because for awhile there we almost walked out. the boy’s favorite player ever is barry larkin, and they just happened to be doing the 11 days of larkin, because they will be retiring his number. because we got 11 strikeouts during the game, everyone in the audience got free pizza and ice cream, but we were so mad about the loss we forgot to pick up our coupon, lol. to be fair, we didn’t have any good pitchers playing, but ludwick did score 2 homeruns for us! and we also were two of the first 20,000 fans, so we got free barry larkin hats.

i wanted to check out toby keith’s “i love this bar,” but we had read several bad reviews about it. plus it was packed, because it’s right by the stadium. plus we were grouchy (due to the loss) and it was late, because it was a really long game. the boy fell asleep on the way home, and his phone (our source of gps) died. if you know me, you know that i am super directionally challenged, and the only piece of advice the boy game me before dozing off was to take 75 north. really?! well i had been on it for a long time and was starting to get worried, but i was saved by ikea, because i remembered that was only one exit away from the cousins’ house. whew!

sunday, we went to church with the family, and stopped by quaker steak and lube for wings, because the boy had been praising their food since the last weekend he was in ohio. it was pretty delish.

overall a great weekend i must say. not too “romantic” for an anniversary celebration, but definitely fun and action packed! i think a move to ohio may be in our near future. ok, i don’t know about near, but we both love it there…so much more entertainment, job opportunities, family our age, etc. only time will tell.

off to send a thank you card to the cousins. i am so excited about these new ones i just ordered for us. front, back, and matching envelope. how stinkin cute are those?

one happy camper


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