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Cin-cin-nati. Now you never have to misspell it again. We had to hightail it from Illinois to Cincinnati to make the 7:05 Reds game at Great American Ballpark, which we are wont to do because we like to drive about 55 mph and despise interstate. “Nothing on interstate but interstate.” But, sacrifices must be made and four lanes must be driven. Word of advice: always google free parking for any city you go to. A quick search turned up cheap and/or free parking in Covington, KY, just across the river from downtown Cincinnati.
We agreed after the Cardinals game we needed better baseball snacks than jerky, almonds, and warm water; it was just too hard smelling all those hot dogs and nachos. In Covington we stopped at the first Taco Bell we saw and I went in to get us a burrito each and directions to walk across the river. At $1 each, burritos are a great treat to sneak in, and I found an upopened bag of Doritos just sitting on a table so I grabbed those too. What are people- millionaires? They can just leave food uneaten? Unreal.
There’s free parking just across the street from Taco Bell under the C.W. Bailey Bridge and from there you can take a $1 shuttle one way to the ballpark. But… that’s two burritos for the Warckens so we walked the mile and a half instead. We made it halfway across the bridge before a terribly uneasy feeling came over me about where we’d left the van. We were already close to missing the start of the game but I thought about all the meth heads (I’m just assuming here) we passed on the bridge and all our life’s possessions being in the back of that van and I just had to go back and move her. I tried to send Greg on without me, but he’s a perfect gentleman and gave up first pitch to put my mind at ease. I found non-permit street parking just east of the beautiful John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in an absolutely charming neighborhood next to George Rogers Clark Park and we joined another not so much sea of red as a large lake maybe crossing the bridge to the ballpark.
My trepidation about parking cost us the first inning but it was worth it for the peace of mind and ended up being less than a mile walk to the game. We rarely stay in our assigned seats at games anyway so we always buy the cheapest ticket we can then move around if need be. For a Friday night the stadium was pretty empty so we moved out of the nosebleeds into the not so nosebleeds and had an entire row to ourselves. Greg always leaves me to go wander the stadium and I was really hoping to make it on the jumbotron as the only fan in our section, wearing a Cubs hat. Greg dreams of extra innings, I dream of making it on the kiss cam. There’s always hope for Wrigley.
We fared much better with our burritos and Doritos and kettle corn and white cheddar popcorn and a bottle of Diet Coke and didn’t crave those giant helmet nachos at all! Maybe a bit. The Reds smoked the Nationals but our favorite part of the game was seeing Danny Espinosa’s mug on the big screen every time he was up to bat and watching Bryce Harper get smoked in the back with an unruly pitch. Sorry ‘boutcha! Fireworks after the game were just icing on the cake and we took an hour to walk home, just enjoying Cincinnati’s gorgeous Smale Riverfront Park and all the bright lights. We were disappointed to only have the evening to enjoy the city, but Greg liked it so much he suggested we do a travel nursing stint there. That’s huge coming from a country boy, and a pipe dream since I’m not sure I’ll ever nurse again. Oh but that neighborhood in Covington overlooking the city and that ballpark, it might tempt anyone to get a real job.
A gorgeous city and a damn fine ballpark. We’ll be back!