Last night I went with a friend to Blink in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s an annual global art display, spanning 30-blocks, with 39 large-scale projection mappings, murals, interactive light sculptures, music from over 80 bands, and diverse entertainment from both local and international artists. It lasts for four evenings. We walked about three miles to see about two-thirds of it.
This is in an area called Over-the-Rhine
Washington Park, also in the Over-the-Rhine area, had some beautiful installations.
Cincinnati Music Hall
There’s even a parade
One wall of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
My friend Scott
Next to the Moerlein Lager House near the Ohio River
The Banks area near the riverfront
The beautiful John A. Roebling Suspension bridge crossing the Ohio River into Covington, Kentucky
I highly recommend taking a road trip to visit Cincinnati during this event!
As usual, to escape the cold in Ohio/No. Kentucky, I traveled to Cape Coral, Florida for 5 weeks in late January/early February. Because I didn’t qualify for the vaccine yet, I again stayed away from people, except for a short trip to see a friend in Clearwater. It was quite lonely, but I bicycled, walked, and even jogged some. Went to the beach a couple of days per week to walk, jog, and read.
In March I received both of my vaccines. So in April I visited Austin and San Antonio, Texas with a friend. This is the San Antonio Riverwalk. I spent my honeymoon here with my late husband back in 1994.
I began renting out my spare bedroom/bath to as an Airbnb. I met some wonderful people – it was like the United Nations – People with roots from the Philippines, Africa, Poland, Mexico, and Jordan. Amazon employees, traveling nurses, a med student, etc.
I planned a road trip to North and South Carolina to hike and check out waterfalls and some of the towns I’d never been to, like Greenville, S.C. (which I loved), Hendersonville, N.C., (quaint), Bryson City, N.C., Highland, N.C., and Ashville, N.C. (which I had been to).
I planned a trip to Alaska for 10 days in July – 2 nights Glacier Bay, 1 night Fairbanks (didn’t see it – just wanted to take the scenic train starting from there heading South), 4 nights Mt. Denali Nat’l Park, 3 nights Anchorage. This is the view flying into Juneau.
I took a small boat cruise to see a glacier in Glacier Bay National Park
I took the scenic panoramic train all the way to Seward, stopping for 4 nights in Denali Nat’l Park. I stayed at a lodge located 92 miles (the farthest you can travel) into the park. And 3 nights in Anchorage.
On the 7 hr. bus ride back to the lodge, we saw some wildlife (I’m not posting all of it).
The guide told us we were so lucky because for the 4 days I was there, Mt. Denali was either in full view or mostly full.
I went hiking with a small group of people…
I went kayaking as a day trip in Seward from Anchorage on the train.
In September I went to Ft. Lauderdale for 5 days with a guy I dated for a couple of months. He made me laugh so much, but I found out he was an addict. I truly had feelings for him after years of looking, and went through some emotional pain. But, nothing could ever come close to the pain I experience since losing my son.
In October I went to the Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana with a friend…
A couple of weeks after that overnight trip, I had hip surgery. I’ve been walking and doing exercises and it’s healing. I also got my booster shot in November.
In December, I drove 1 ½ hrs. to Richmond, Indiana to see a friend and spend the night. We went to the Warm Glow Candle Factory.
I took a solo day trip (2 hrs.) to Columbus to the Franklin Park Conservatory. It was lovely. They had Chihuly glass art mixed in with flowers and the architecture.
While I was in Columbus, I went to a place called Otherworld. It has over 40 rooms filled with lights and interesting displays.
I also spent two nights in the Ozarks in Missouri with a friend. It was a long drive – 8 ½ hrs. each way. We hiked at Ha Ha Tonka State Park (odd name) and had lunch at J.B. Hooks Restaurant, which had a fantastic view and the food was pretty good.
I celebrated Christmas with my brother and sister-in-law, as usual. New Year’s Eve was spent alone, grieving for my son. That’s his birthday. I’m hoping this coming year will be less lonely for me. I’ve planned a month long trip to Oahu in late January/February and a 3 month trip to 5 European countries in the Spring.
The year started with three weeks in Miami, Florida in February on a solo trip. Most of my time was spent bicycling, walking on the beach, photographing, and exploring.
I was gearing up for a big year with my business, Cincinnati Urban Adventures when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, I was alone with my grief – no travel – no business – no boyfriend. I went to a local shelter and brought home Grayson, who has been a comfort.
I had two trips previously planned before the pandemic hit – one in May to Utah and Idaho, and the other in August to various destinations in Oregon. I ended up cancelling the flights for both and drove 4400 miles round-trip out west to Utah and Idaho.
I’d already explored Bryce and Zion Nat’l Parks in Utah years past, so this time I went to Arches and Canyonlands.
On the drive to Idaho, I spent a couple of nights in Salt Lake City for hiking and also had a masseuse come to my Airbnb for a 1 ½ hr. massage to treat myself on my birthday. I hiked a 6 mile roundtrip, 3,000 ft. elevation change trail while there. This was at the top…
Next was Idaho. This is the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho (where Evil Knievel attempted jumping the mile wide chasm with his rocket, but failed).
I visited Sun Valley, Idaho, which I found to be gorgeous. I rented an e-bike and explored for miles. I also hiked a lot. I stayed away from people because of the pandemic.
Then I drove up to Stanley, Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains and stayed in this cabin on a small river.
There was time spent with friends throughout the remainder of 2020, doing mostly outdoor activities (because of the pandemic). Lots of hiking and also get-togethers at our homes for patio dinner/cocktails.
Rough River Lake, Kentucky for our annual ladies long weekend. I reserved a 5 bedroom/3 bath home on the lake. We rented a pontoon boat and had fun!
A visit to my cousin’s place in central Ohio. He has built quite the mansion/castle – it has hidden rooms, so many things to look at – very eccentric!
Birds in my backyard…
An outdoor Thanksgiving with family…
My dear friend helped me put up my Christmas tree. Holidays are rough when you’ve lost your parents, spouse, and only child.
Christmas with my brother and sister-in-law…
All things considered, I was doing pretty well with everything I was going through. I tried to be grateful for what I had.
Remember the handsome and helpful Park Rangers I mentioned in my last post about hiking the Ledges, well this is the gorge they told me to visit instead of going to Rocky River Reservation. It’s called High Bridge Glens Park and there’s an overlook that you would easily overlook (no pun intended) unless someone in the “know” told you about it. As I walked out and saw the view, I literally said “wow” out loud!
Looking to the left, I changed from my wide-angle lens to my 18-200 zoom lens and captured this series of cascading waterfalls way down below…
I got back in my car and drove a couple of miles down the road to hike the Gorge Trail. All of this area is part of the one of the Metroparks…
There are two trails and one of them was down by this lake, so I decided to see where it took me…
I came to a boardwalk…
that led me to this cascading waterfall that I’m assuming is a dam…
After that gulp of beauty, I drove to Brandywine Falls and walked along a boardwalk until I came to these stairs…
and another boardwalk…
to these stairs and alas…we can see the falls!
It’s beautiful, but I’ve heard when there’s been a lot of rain and in the spring they’re even better!
Stepping back to take in the view…
and down the boardwalk we go to another vantage point up above to see them. I took a photo from that view also, but it’s better in person.
I probably got in a total of 4 miles of hiking. Cleveland’s Metroparks are amazing!
I’ve hiked all over the world, but absolutely loved my 1.8 mile hike at the Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio! It was my third and final day in the Cleveland area and the Ledges were first on my Itinerary for the day. In contrast to the hot sunny day yesterday for biking, this day was overcast and a bit humid.
These rocks were so massive and they went on and on for most of the trail! I was happy to see a few people along the trail to provide a perspective of the scale of the beautiful formations…
Backing up to my arrival at the trail head. I ran into these two friendly Park Rangers who gave me pointers about the trail and also information about their recommendations for hiking at the area Metroparks later in the day.
I entered the trail here…
Very green and serene. I felt like I had entered the enchanted forest…
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio has six floors of memorabilia, history, and amazing exhibits of the music and artists that were/are passionate about this genre of music; and how it has evolved thru time. The architecture of the building itself is amazing!
Good thing I had my wide angle lens with me!
Rock and Roll in particular has been very vocal in the political arena and continues to lobby for positive changes our society wants and needs! Also, spreading the message of love, peace, and acceptance!
The last time I was in Cleveland was the year 1963 and all I remember is sticking my hand out of the car window to pet a policeman’s horse to only have it slobbered on! Well, Cleveland definitely impressed me this time! She has whimsical toys for children in front of the Science Museum…
I awoke early (as usual), and after a 30 minute drive from my Airbnb, arrived downtown at 7:15am. My first stop was going to be the West Side Market, but they were closed…so I changed gears and walked all over downtown, lots of miles, and took the free trolleys a couple of times.
A visit to the Victorian era Arcade in the Gateway District was on my agenda. I wanted to go to the second or third level, but the Hyatt Regency doesn’t allow non-guests upstairs…
The 85 mile long Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio (near Cleveland) and I have to admit I didn’t know there was a National Park in Ohio until a couple of months ago! When I found out, I decided to see it as soon as possible. I planned my three day itinerary after booking an Airbnb. Located less than four hours from my house near Cincinnati, I began my adventure bicycling 21 miles along the trail from the Big Bend trail head in Akron to the Canal Exploration Center trail head closer to Cleveland, and then took the Scenic Train through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park back to my car. It’s only $3.00 for bicyclists to ride one way! There are 13 trail heads within the Park.
As you can see, the trail is beautiful! There’s construction going on between the sections of Big Bend and Botzum and not much scenery, so I would begin in Botzum.
I bicycled day before yesterday, a Wednesday, so there weren’t many people on it, which was nice.
The Beaver Marsh area is really cool…didn’t see a beaver though.
Lake Erie has a tiny two by four mile island — “Put-in-Bay“, known as Ohio’s premier summer-time party spot, located only 20 minutes by ferry from mainland. Every year my friends and I organize a long weekend away that usually includes relaxation, hiking, good food, fun, and a hot tub! We enjoyed our trip to Put-in-Bay so much last year, we decided to return for this year’s annual get-away.
This shot was taken early Saturday morning just as the sun was rising…
Friday morning we drove from Cincinnati and caught the 12:30pm Miller Ferry ride (during high season they conveniently leave every 30 minutes) to the island. We left our car parked (it’s free) in their lot and carried our bags on board.
Once on the island, having reserved a golf cart (the preferred method of transport on the island) through Miller Marina, we were able to fit six women and all of our stuff on it! Yes…it was only for the weekend!
Miller Marina in Put-in-Bay offers public transient dockage with a private club atmosphere and family friendly setting. It is located one block West of downtown Put-in-Bay, close to island attractions, yet far enough away from all the distractions. Miller Marina offers grills and picnic area, pavilion, modern restrooms/showers, WiFi and golf carts are available for rental.
We stayed at the Island Club Condos aka Put-in-Bay Condos at a beautiful end unit with a view of the pool and Lake Erie to the left. Our two-bedroom/two-bath condo was perfect!
Put-in-Bay’s split personality ensures that everyone has an unforgettable time…think Gatlinburg and Key West on steroids! While exploring the island with your fun mobile, make frequent stops for shopping, dining at one of the colorful outdoor cafes while listening to live music, and cooling off at a swim-up bar with a frozen tropical beverage in hand. When or if your senses become overloaded from the people watching and intoxicating excitement, hop back on your cart to experience the other side of Put-in-Bay, where you’ll find serene and tranquil spots to gaze at the sailboats gliding by on the glistening blue lake.
When we weren’t out exploring, you could usually find us out on the patio enjoying nature…
I arrived to my Cousin Steve’s farm late on Tuesday evening after spending the afternoon exploring the gorgeous Amish countryside in Holmes County, Ohio. His farm is in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, almost 1 1/2 hrs. Southwest of Holmes County, on the way back to Cincinnati. I’ve only visited once before, a few years ago, so I was looking forward to it! As we brought my overnight bag into his home, the setting sun caught my eye, glowing gold behind bottles on his kitchen windowsill…
Steve took me on a tour of his place. His cute bunny rabbits…
Monday afternoon I decided last-minute to take a 3 1/2 hr. drive Northeast of Cincinnati to Holmes County, Ohio to visit the Amish countryside. On the road by 11am Tuesday, the drive took me past rolling pastureland, through small Midwestern towns, with names like Utica and Stillwell. Listening to an audiobook on tape, I would alternate my attention from the book to the passing scenery. I was excited to finally have a peek into the somewhat guarded and secretive life of the Amish. I spotted my first Amish horse and buggy in Danville, about 30 minutes from my first stop in Millersburg. When I finally arrived at the Chamber of Commerce in Millersburg to pick up some information, the excitement was building. My route was to travel 7 miles on to Berlin, 4 miles to Walnut Creek, 6 miles to Sugarcreek, 8 miles to Farmerstown, and 4 miles to Charm.
I had read that the Amish don’t like having their photograph taken, so when I saw this gentleman coming down the road in Farmerstown, I jumped out of my car, pointing to my camera as I gestured my question. He shook his head “yes”.
This couple was passing my vehicle on a back country road in Charm. The outside corners of their lips are turned upward in a small smile….
I couldn’t have picked a nicer summer day to be taking my tour. The sky was a brilliant blue with puffy white clouds and a light breeze brought scents of freshly cut grass and wildflowers through my open car windows. A couple of times my eyes pricked with happy tears for the beauty I was bearing witness to.
Everywhere I looked, well-tended farms sat on hillsides or in the valleys surrounded by green and blue. The only sound within these peaceful communities was the clip clop of the horses’ hooves making contact with the road as they transported the Amish to and fro…
Miles of pristine forested hiking, outdoor cafes, resplendent architecture, astonishing views, thrilling adventures, intoxicating gardens! Does this sound like your kind of get-away? Ohio has all of this and more! Here are a few of my favorite places…
The Fling Barn (Hillsboro, Ohio)
Situated on a 200-acre farm, an hour East of Cincinnati, The Fling Barn is a well-kept secret (well…not anymore) where you’re guaranteed to have a good time! Stuffed to the gills with Americana décor, featuring two bars, a dance floor, outdoor deck, and live rock n blues…it don’t get much better than that! In case you have too much fun, they have their very own Bed & Breakfast for your convenience, if it’s available.
~view from The Fling Barn (Images: Sherry Lachelle Photography)
Located on Lake Erie, just over 4 hours North of Cincinnati, Put-in-Bay is Ohio’s split personality playground with a wild side to dive into…pretty people in skimpy bathing suits guzzling tropical adult beverages, but hop on a golf cart and within minutes you’re transported to a lake-side paradise of glistening blue water, rolling hills, and tranquility!
The weather forecast for Day two of our Hocking Hills hiking adventure predicted rain late in the day, so unlike the previous day, we left our rain coats, umbrellas, and waterproof camera bags back at the cabin, because we started out early. Mistake! While taking in the amazing scenery at Ash Cave it began to pour rain. Fortunately for me, I was lagging behind taking photographs, under the shelter of Ash Cave, while my girlfriends were caught in the deluge. Not a bad place to get stuck for 10 minutes!
We ran into a photographer who was kind enough to take our photograph before the rain. Even Evan (the dog) posed for the camera…
The 1/2 mile trail at Cedar Falls leads to the waterfall….
The sloped forest hillside afforded beautiful photography opportunities…
Our cabin’s location (only a few miles from Cedar Falls) made it convenient to head back there for lunch before our afternoon hiking at the stunning Rock House, which I’ll save for tomorrow!