This is a really long post, but I decided to include everything in this one post because I’m desperately trying to get caught up on all these travel posts.
Rob had a conference in Covington, KY, which I tagged along for to add a couple more states to my bucket list.
Saturday we left after Alex’s soccer game and headed to the airport. Flying above the clouds and seeing the sun go down. We flew into Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). They had some really cool skeletal replicas, but we were in a hurry so I just snapped a quick shot of the one we were closest to.
We took an Uber to our hotel Marriott Cincinnati Rivercenter. They have updated the rooms. Really nice. Great beds and contemporary decor. So stayed in Covington, KY right on the Ohio River and we had a great view of Cincinnati, OH.
We threw our stuff down, pumped the AC up, and went down to the meet and greet for Rob’s conference. We had a drink and then decided to head out for some dinner. We ended up at Blinkers Tavern. I had the Blinker Burger. Rob had the Ribeye. We also had the Grilled Asian Steak Skewers for an appetizer. Amazing! Those skewers are a must get!
We got back to the room and just enjoyed watching the ferris wheel as it changed colors in different patterns. Mesmerizing.
Who knew Cincinnati had such a unique skyline!
The next day Rob got up early and headed down to breakfast and then to the first general session for the conference. I slept in, watched some TV, and got to see the view in the daytime.
I caught this Riverboat getting pushed somewhere I assume to be repaired.
Rob got done around 10 and we headed out for lunch and then the Bengals game.
This is the Roebling Bridge that you cross to get from the Kentucky side to the Ohio side. If this bridge looks familiar to you it might be because it was designed by the same architect as the Brooklyn Bridge. However, the Roebling Bridge was built first! more info: 1 2 3
As we crossed over the Roebling Bridge, I looked back and saw the Flood Wall Murals. Unfortunately since there was construction they had it blocked off where you could not go down there.
View as we came off the bridge coming into Cincinnati.
We ate lunch in the Banks. This is a happening place on game days when either the Bengals or the Reds are playing. It’s a really nice area in between the Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park with shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
We ate at Jefferson Social. Their gauc was some of the best I’ve ever had, which is saying something since I’m from Texas! Then, it was off the Bengals lose…again! It was my first NFL game.
Here’s a picture I snapped walking back into Kentucky. Our hotel is the short one.
After the game we came back to the hotel and ate our leftovers and enjoyed the views some more.
Monday I had a few hours to do something, while Rob was in the conference. I decided to explore Covington. First on my list was this “Living Mural” located on 4th and Scott Streets. The reason it’s a living mural is because of the greenery you see that the artist incorporated at the bottom of the mural. more info
I loved Covington with the cute character that all the old buildings bring.
George Rogers Clark Park (more info) is a lovely park that sits along the Ohio River on the edge of the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood.
You get a great view of the Great American Ballpark from the riverside.
I could have walked this neighborhood until my feet couldn’t walk anymore. However, I needed to get back to the hotel for lunch.
After lunch I got to go up to the presidential suit for a spouse get together. We got to wear derby hats and were taught how to make Mint Julips. It was so much fun!
That evening we went on a riverboat dinner cruise along the Ohio River. The riverboat we got on was the large one the left.
The views from the riverboat as we neared Cincinnati were unbeatable at night.
The next day I got up and headed downstairs to meet up the spouses to go on a tour of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, just a few blocks from our hotel. The outside alone is grand.
Inside was just spectacular from the stain glass windows to the hand-carved figurines of saints in the Baptistry.
We learned so much about this beautiful building. In 1953, St. Mary’s Cathedral was designated a minor basilica by Pope Pius XII and is now called the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.
We also got to learn about the organs that are in the basilica and even got to hear one of the organist play for a few minutes.
When we were done at the Basilica got the bus to drop us off near Hotel Covington and from there we walked over to Kung Pow for some Chinese.
Rob and I met up after lunch and we met up with some of his coworkers, so that we could walk to Graeter’s Ice Cream.
The park near the Roebling bridge on the Ohio side is an interactive park with some really cool stuff. A flying pig, a floor keyboard that rings the chimes above, and some other unique playthings.
Rob trying the Skyline Chili. They were nice enough to just give him a free sample.
WKRP Cincinnati Building which was the “home” for the WKRP in Cincinnati show from the 70’s.
The first Graeter’s we went to was closed for remodeling, so we had to walk further to another one. I got the Buckeye Blitz Ice Cream, which was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Walking to this other Graeter’s was a good opportunity for us to see more of the city.
Cincinnati has over 40 murals. Here’s some we saw as we walked.
That evening was the awards banquet and entertainment. Bob Arno, who is a comedy pickpocket entertainer and more recently as a criminologist specializing in global street crime. He was so entertaining and stole lots of stuff during the show! Of course all of it was returned by the end of the show. Rob was part of the show.
Wednesday I got up and headed back out to explore some more of Covington while Rob finished up his conference. Loved the murals on this block.
As I walked around Covington I continued to see painted barrels, which are part of the NKY Bourbon Barrels
So many interesting building and murals in Covington.
The Mother of God Catholic Church is another beautiful Catholic church.
When Rob was done with his conference, we checked out of the hotel, took an Uber to a rental car place, got our rental car, and drove around a bit since all our previous sightseeing on this trip had been by foot.
We finally got to drive over the Roebling Bridge to the Ohio side
We drove around Cincy a little and then ended up back on the Kentucky side to grab lunch.
Devou Park is a great place to view the 2 cities split by the Ohio River. Rob and I bought some White Castle burgers up there and enjoyed the views as we ate our lunch.
From there we were headed to our final destination, Louisville, KY, but decided since we want to visit all the state capitals that we would make a little detour towards Frankfort, KY.
We took some back roads in hopes that we would see some horse farms. We did see some horses and some beautiful rolling hills and lots of barns and cows. I just wasn’t able to capture any decent pics except for these.
We did noticed the designs on the barns and what the significance of those might be. Cell coverage wasn’t great so I ended up not looking it up till after we got home. Putting a quilt square on barns, apparently, is a tradition that started in Ohio and has spread across many states. It was a way of honoring their elders. more info: 1 2
We were stopped at a light I was able to read part of this historic marker for this house, which was built in the early 1800’s.
We saw signs to Fort Hill out of curiosity. We spoke with one of the experts there as he talked about what this place is and the history that occurred here. We got the guide and followed it around as Rob read what happened in each spot.
Fort Hill overlooks downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, where military fortifications were built by Ohio Infantry during the American Civil War to protect the city and its pro-Union state government. In September 1862 the Confederate States of America took control of Frankfort, becoming the only Union capital to be conquered during the Civil War.
This is the view from the point on this hill at the flag pole.
After we left there, we drove over to the state capitol. We looked back towards Fort Hill and could see the flag pole where we were standing earlier. No pics of that, but look at this landscaping. Beautiful!
Once we got into Louisville, we checked into the hotel and went to eat at Cardinal Hall of Fame Cafe. Decent food. So-so service.
From there we went drove over to the Big Four Bridge, which connects Louisville, KY with Jeffersonville, IN. We walked across to the Indiana side, walked around a bit and came back. The bridge is lit up and changes colors. I highly recommend taking the walk across at night!
Our last day was a jam packed one! We got up early, ate breakfast at the hotel, and went downtown. We got to the Louisville Slugger Museum a little early, so we walked down Main Street. So many eye catching buildings, statues, etc.
Along Main Street you will see the Louisville Slugger Walk of Fame. Players that have been inducted have a bronze caste of the Louisville Slugger model bat they used next to a bronze home plate with highlights of their career.
And of course you can’t miss the Big Bat in front of the museum!
You aren’t allowed to take pictures during the factory tour, but I did snap these pics of the factory from outside.
The bats of these nodules on each end during production, which of course get cut off before they’re done.
The museum was really interesting. When you first come in there’s a set of bats, one from each MLB team that is an actual bat that has been used by MLB player from each team.
Rob chose to use Cal Ripkin, Jr’s bat as you see here.
They had several different lego models; from stadiums to players’s faces. Can you guess who these players are? Or what stadiums are here?
The Bat Vault is an area is not included on the general tour. You have to buy that tour separately. However, you can see this little bit from the hall way. There are over 3,000 original bat models created by some of the game’s greatest, like Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. Some of the bats in the vault are over 100 years old.
Over one block from Main Street is where we parked. This is the views of the Ohio River. So many cool bridges cross the Ohio.
Never realized how close Churchill Downs is to University of Louisville!
Churchill Downs is so fascinating. There is so much tradition and nobility in this event.
Just standing next to the track and looking back at the stands, thinking of all the people in the decorative hats and fancy dresses. All of the wagering that occurs. Definitely an event I’ld like attend one day. (You can see the University of Louisville Stadium in the backdrop.)
The 2 pics on the left below are the paddock area where they bring the horses before the race. The pavers are made out of recycled tired for more cushion for the horses. Top right photo is the stalls where they stand after they get their randomly drawn number. Bottom right pic is the signs honoring Sir Barton, the horse that won the triple crown in 1919. He was actually the 1st horse to ever win that!
On the concourse area of the arena they have all the names of the Derby winner through history. If their name is in gold with the crown that means they won the triple crown.
At the end of the tour, they bring you over to a small barn area where they usually have a retired Derby horse. Twinspired raced in 2011 along with a pony named Tatanka for companionship.
This was such a fun trip. I highly recommend everyone staying in Covington, KY and visiting Cincinnati and surrounding areas as well as a trip to Louisville.
If you’d like to see more pics click here.
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That looks like such a fun trip! I love tagging along on my husband’s work trips too.
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