Wednesday - August 5
We pretty much goofed off this morning. After breakfast we sat outside for awhile. The weather is so nice in the mid-80's. We enjoying watching the barges and various pleasure boats go by behind us and this morning we were treated to a seaplane take off. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of it. Following that, we decided to head into Aurora to Wal-Mart. I needed to pick up a couple of grocery items and we needed paper to print out our tickets for tonight's event. I failed to bring paper with us!
While at Wal-Mart, the smell of fried chicken got to Dean and we left with some for lunch. It along with more of those yummy tomatoes from Cindy and Elmer made a pretty good lunch for us. After a general pick-up of things and we got ready to head to Cincinnati, OH to watch the Cincinnati Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at the Great American Ballpark. We both enjoy baseball and I suggested to Dean when we first started talking about traveling in Bentley that we should try and visit as many Major League ballparks as we could. This is the first one. Even though neither one of us are big Reds or Cards fans, Misti and her family love the Cards and my dad was a big Cards fan back in the 60-70's. The ballpark was only 36 miles from our campground, however it took all of an hour to reach it.
The ride in was nice and the traffic wasn't too bad, so far. As we drew closer and the traffic began to pick up, I noticed signs saying steep grade ahead and mentioned to Dean I was sure glad we didn't have Bentley with us. I had no idea. I do not know how the semi drivers deal with this in the now almost bumper to bumper traffic. I have to admit the view of downtown was magnificent as we made the descent. At night it would have been breathtaking and unfortunately the picture I have is through the front window of the truck and we didn't think to clean it before we left. I apologize but just wanted to give you an idea of how amazing it was. Of course, the picture does not do it justice.
We parked in the underground parking lot adjacent to the ballpark. You can walk through it directly to the ball field. We walked along the street down to the ball field though just to see the sights. It was amazing how hot it was downtown versus sitting in our chairs, with the lake behind us at the campground. It wasn't near as comfortable being outside now.
The Cincinnati Reds boast they have one of the finest Hall of Fame Museums for their team so we decided to spend the extra money and take a look. It was very nice but would have been better had we been Reds fans. We did enjoy reading about Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey, Jr., and it did keep us cool for about an hour and that was nice.
|Here is the "Rose" Garden|
|Ken Griffey, Jr.|
We took a few pictures on the grounds outside of the ballpark, and several inside. We did not eat before we arrived so that we could experience the ballpark concessions. I had read about the skyline chili coney. When we found their booth - it was closed! I settled for a brat and Dean had a hot dog. We were both a little disappointed but it was filling.
|Entrance to ballpark.|
|Shot early in the evening of the Ohio River in the background.|
|This is from our seat. We were just left of home plate. Great seats. $31 for both of us.|
|This bridge and the architecture was beautiful.|
The game finally got underway. While it was not a really exciting game it moved along pretty quickly. The Reds took the lead pretty early and finally the Cards tied the game up in the 7th or 8th inning. Still tied at the end of 9 innings they moved into overtime. We stayed through the top of the 11th, after the Cards was not successful in obtaining a run. It was already past 11, and we still had an hour drive ahead of us. When we exited the parking lot, droves of people were coming out of the stadium so we assumed the Reds had scored at their turn to bat and had won the game. Much to our surprise we learned this morning the Cards won in 13 innings. Evidently people were just leaving due to the late hour - like we did.
The stadium is really beautiful and has the most beautiful backdrop against the Ohio River that entertained us with the various barges, steamships and personal watercraft that made their way past the park throughout the evening. Then there was the people watching - both by us and the camera that of course looked for folks to put up on screen. It's so funny to watch people realize the camera is on them, especially kids. They also did the "KISS CAM" where they spot couples and then they are to kiss. They focused on this one couple, and the lady yelled and looked over her shoulder, and the man behind her leaned down and kissed her. That was a good laugh for the crowd as everyone expected she would be kissing the man sitting beside her.
|Another shot with a barge in the background on the right.|
|Taken as we were leaving the game of one of the buildings downtown.|
Due to the rain we mostly stayed on Interstates today. There wasn't much scenery but I did manage to get a few interesting pictures. There was a really neat feed store in downtown Aurora, just west of Rising Sun. It reminded me of the old feed stores that used to be around Co-ops and such. I actually took this picture when we went to Wal-Mart Wednesday morning.
As we made our way north around Cincinnati I took this picture of the traffic backed up for at least 2 miles, maybe more. I know they are doing construction on the Ohio bridge that took traffic down to 2 lanes. With the rain I'm sure it was even worse than when we went through there last night. I just hope that's all it was and no accidents occurred.
We were near Newark, OH when we saw this sign for a small town and couldn't help but snap this picture since the name of the town was "HEATH".
Not too much further along we noticed this thing that sort of looked like a building and a basket. I told Dean, I wonder if this is where Longaberger Baskets are made. Sure enough, and here's the proof:
There really wasn't much else to see until we neared Sugarcreek. We have decided that Indiana was the prettiest state we crossed. All of the states are so similar to Kansas and Missouri but as we neared the eastern part of Ohio and began to move into the Amish settlements it was just beautiful here. We drove all over town after dinner and even though we did see a few older, somewhat run down houses, not one of them had junk around them that we could see. All of the homes were so meticulous and I've never seen so many homes with such gorgeous flowers of every color and type. I wish we had more time here because I would just love to walk around and take pictures of them to include in the blog.
We arrived in Sugarcreek at 4:16. It was after 5:00 when we were finished sitting up. We were tired and hungry and immediately checked out a restaurant the campground owner suggested called Dutch Valley Restaurant. It is owned and operated by the Amish. When we pulled up and saw the parking lot was already full we knew it must be pretty good.
While you could order from the menu, we decided to try their buffet. Everything was pretty good. They had baked and fried chicken. The baked was very good, I didn't try the fried. Mashed potatoes, two types of gravy, homemade noodles, creamed sweet corn, green beans, dressing, meatloaf (which was wonderful), and several types of dessert - we tried the peach cobbler. Also their salad bar was quite good and included not only lettuce and the extras but also several others such as coleslaw, potato salads, macaroni salad, and cauliflower/broccoli salad. They brought rolls to the table but I let Dean have mine. I was proud of us. We only had one plate and salad, along with a small bowl of the cobbler.
In addition to the restaurant they had several other shops and stores but we bypassed those. Instead we took a drive around the area and I took a number of pictures. We really loved the old barns as you will see, as well as the farm landscapes and the way they planted their crops.
|A few of the barns we saw.|
|Everything was so neatly mowed and manicured.|
|The soybeans are planted in and around the corn. The colors are very striking against each other.|
On the way back to the campground we passed through Sugarcreek's Swiss Village where I snapped a picture in the downtown area as well as this covered bridge.
All in all it was a good day but we are quite tired. In order for this post tomorrow I have to publish the night before. I think mine has been posting around 3 in the morning. If I wait then it doesn't post until the following day. It will be nice to get to Matt's and not be driving every day. If we had the time spending a minimum of three days in one place would be great, but a week or two would be ideal.
Our campsite here in Sugarcreek is really just a large green space with electric and water hookups in a line, with about 3 or 4 rows. It is nothing special but for $11 night it meets our needs. Electric and water. We will have full hookups, including sewer tomorrow night so no need to worry about dumping the black tank until then.
I'm looking forward to our final stop before reaching Matt & Megan's. Can't wait to share it with you.