The people have spoken and Hausfrau has listened. It is only fair that I also write about what I am liking about my new home--especially if there is even a REMOTE chance that SoNotMartha and her family are coming to live here. Which they aren't. Mark my words, they will be moving to a certain foreign country that will remain nameless.
At any rate, there is a lot to like about the OH/IN/KY area. I haven't ventured out all that much as I now have two chilluns and just showering and getting to Target is an amazing accomplishment most days. However, I haven't been a complete hermit. Here are some things I like in no particular order.
1. I like my neighborhood. While the people may be quite churchy and are determined to have us joing SOME christian religious establishment, they are all sincerely nice. Except for the people right next door. I think the dude is holding his wife and child hostage. He is the only one who leaves his house and the blinds have NEVER been open in the 6 months we have lived her. At any rate, people take a lot of pride in their lawns and I am relatively certain that we need not worry about an el camino ending up on cinder blocks in someone's driveway, thanks to the powerful Homeowner's Association.
2. I like Jungle Jim's International Market. I mentioned in my previous post that I call it the "Freakshow of Food." It's true. This place is the vision of a guy named Jim (shocker, I'm sure). He had a fruit stand back in the 70's and built it over the years into a more than 200,000 sq. foot store with food from every corner in the world. Need some fufu flour for your plantains? Jungle Jim's got it! Need a smoked pig's head? Aww, yeah--got that too! Apparently people drive hours to go there to get a taste of their homeland. He has been slowly adding on to the place so that there is a Starbucks, and a bunch of other stores and restaurants going in. He is also the largest wine retailer in the state. They have cooking classes, they've got it ALL--including a monorail that he is building around the perimeter o fhis gargantuan building.
3. The Newport Aquarium ROCKS! It is, by far, the best aquarium I have had the fortune to see. The glass tunnels in which fish and sharks swim around and over you as you walk through them are amazing! My favorite section is the Jellyfish Gallery. It looks like a museum room with a tremendous chandalier and the coolest crushed velvet seating in the middle. Around the room are tanks that have gold picture frames, as if the swimming jellyfish are artwork. It has tranquil music piped in and has quite the calming effect.
4. I like Brown County, Indiana. The Northeast has nothing on Brown County when it comes to autumn! Nashville, Indiana is a small artist community that is great to stroll around. The hiking at Brown County State Park is also great.
5. I like Bloomington, Indiana. It's nice only being a couple of hours from my former alma mater, Indiana University. While I try really hard to not appear to be some pathetic old fogey trying to relive my college years (they were the best years of my life), it's hard to not feel nostalgic when we have a beer at Nick's or walk the beautiful campus.
6. I loves me some Skyline Chili. Cincinnati-style chili is unlike any type of chili you'll ever have. The secret to the chili is that it has cinammon in it, among some other secret spices. Sounds strange, but it is dee-licious! And then, as if it couldn't get any better, the chili is put on top of spaghetti and then topped with cheese. That, is called a "three-way" (insert porn music here.) They also have "four-way" and "five-way" but I have no idea what those are.
7. I like Sharon Woods. Cincinnati has an impressive parks system. Sharon Woods is the largest, I believe. I love it the most because it has a shaded playground. Roll your eyes if you must, but I happen to have two of the pastiest children in Ohio. My daughter can't play on our swingset in the backyard unless it's cloudy day. It's worth the 25 minute drive.
8. Finally, I like the fact that every Kroger, Meijer and Target I frequent has a Starbucks in it. Since I am not going to have a chance to go to a freestanding location anytime soon, it's nice to pick up a venti skim latte before I pick up some formula and diapers. Now, if we could just get a Restoration Hardware and an Ikea for Christ Sakes...