2009 Staycation, Part 4

Part 4 of the Great 2009 Staycation (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but I have finally gotten around to it.

So, Tuesday, we originally were going to head downtown, but for various reasons, it didn’t work out great. So instead we just took kind of a relax day. During the afternoon, while kids were napping, I decided to do a test route on my Every Library in Hamilton County bike trip. The plan was to hit 7 libraries (Madisonville, Oakley, Hyde Park, Norwood, Pleasant Ridge, Deer Park and Madeira), which would be about a 16 mile trip. I was trying to just see what the route was like as well as getting a gauge for how long it took to check out a book once I got to each library.

It was going well till, tragically, I got a flat tire on my bike in Norwood. You can read all about it over at Every Whatever, once I get around to writing that report.

So I had Carolyn come pick me up and that was fun. Wednesday we decided to do our downtown trip, since that was the last day that we had before I had to go back to work on Thursday.

We drove downtown after lunch and the first stop was Fountain Square.


Here’s the kids in front of the Tyler Davidson Fountain. I believe that one of them is trying to make the birdman goggles. Honestly I think they enjoyed running around trying to catch pigeons the most.

Then we went up to the top of Carew Tower, which is the tallest building in Cincinnati (at least for another 2 years). You can see it in the background of the Fountain Square picture.

It was cool, yet freaky. You have to take the main elevators to the 45th floor, then get out and take another elevator to the 48th floor, then walk the stairs up to the 49th floor. It’s $2 for adults and $1 for kids 6-11. The thing that is freaky about it is that there is a wall maybe 3 feet high, but then nothing else. Not for the acrophobic, to be sure. I didn’t mind it much myself, but it was the kids. Since they outnumber us and were just running around like the lunatics that they are, I was nervous about them falling. I mean the wall is high enough that they couldn’t fall over just by running, but then they started climbing on the binocular pedestal and it was just hard to relax and check out the views, ya know?


That’s Fountain Square from above.

We started walking downtown towards Sawyer Point, then quickly realized that was much farther than we really wanted to walk, especially now that Cincinnati has finally remembered what August is generally like (hot and humid).

So we drove down and found some $2 parking at Bicentennial Commons. We played at the park that is nestled under the I-471 Big Mac Bridge. It was a lot of fun – it’s a pretty big park and nice and shady since it’s under the bridge.

After that we continued walking around Bicentennial Commons. We stopped and snapped a picture at the monument that marks the various flood stages of the Ohio River in different years.


Unfortunately Dan the crappy photog missed the very top mark, which is the 1937 flood, which was a whopping 28!! feet above the 1884 line. If you look closely at the picture, you can see a very bit of black at the top left of the red pole, which is the 1937 line.

Then we came to good ol’ Cincinnatus, for whom the city of Cincinnati is (sort of) named for. See, technically, it’s named for the Society of the Cincinnati, but that’s usually more than I feel like bothering to explain.

When I was in college, we used to come down here and poke our head up Cincinnatus’ skirt. I don’t know why we thought that was funny, but naturally I had to take the opportunity to do it while I was here again!!


In case you are wondering, he is not anatomically correct.

I wanted to walk across the Purple People bridge, but Carolyn didn’t, so I just took one of them on my walk.

You can’t really see us, but we’re up there.

After we walked across the river to Newport and back, we found the rest of the fam at the Otto Armleder Aquatic center, which is basically just all these fountains that you can play in.


Swimsuits? We don’t need no steenkin swimsuits.

It was about 4 pm by now, so we decided to head home, get some dinner, change the kids out of their sopping wet clothes, before heading out to our final series of destinations.

We went to Dave and Busters, as I had a $10 gift certificate. Unfortunately, the fine print states that it is not good on “Half Price Wednesdays” so we couldn’t use it.


Here we are growling at how annoying they are. And oh yes, they will be getting a Complaint from Me. Then we stopped by Tri-County mall, before ending the day with some Graeters (for us) and McDonalds ice cream cones (for the kids – no wasting the good stuff on them!)

Final budget tally!

Remember, the budget is $250.

Earlier days: $170


  • $1 in parking (Under the Westin Hotel – $1 for the first 2 hours
  • $6 for Carew Tower observation deck
  • $2 in parking at Bicentennial Commons
  • $2 at Graeters (I had $6 left on a gift card I won at work)
  • $4 at McDonalds
  • And the gas tank on the van is half full, so I’ll give it another $20 there.

Final Total: $205

I hope you enjoyed reading about our staycation / vacation – we sure had fun doing it!

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Comments (6) left to “2009 Staycation, Part 4”

  1. amy wrote:

    you guys had such a fun staycation! I am signing up for that next year because our vacation this year was way to pricey. I loved reading about all the fun things you did in Cincinnati especially since we have lived here almost 6 years and have hardly done any of them! I also laughed at the graters and mcdonalds ice cream, we do the same type of things with our kids, they don’t notice so why not.

  2. Carolyn wrote:

    Actually, I think that wall was more like 4 feet tall. And it did have a short metal bar built into the top of the wall to add as an extra barrier. But I DID NOT feel safe up there will my kids running all over the place. It would had been better if it was enclosed with glass or at least some sort of metal fencing.
    Dan What’s all this about there being a taller building soon?

  3. Dan Miller wrote:

    The new Great American Insurance Building will be 86 feet taller when it is finished in 2011. It’s at 3rd and Sycamore – you can probably see it under construction off to your right when you are on 71 south right after you come out of the tunnel.

  4. Rachelle wrote:

    Oh this post made me so homesick for Cincinnati. “Stupid LA” has been our catchphrase lately…. Thanks for the good memories.

  5. Carey wrote:

    A vacation without new counties? I’m confused

  6. Carolyn wrote:

    This was a great idea. A really relaxing vacation. Maybe next time we can try this without the kids! :-)

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