Cinco de Mayo in Cincinnati

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday made for partying and Cincinnati loves to party!  A group of us met at Nada Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati and of course I brought my camera.  I ran into people I’ve photographed for iSPYCiNCY at other events and took their photograph.  I stopped this girl for a photograph and love her expression!

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I even ran into my hairdresser…Jocelyn (on the right), who I’ll be seeing before I go on my trip next week!

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Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park isn’t just for kids

Last night, my husband and my Cousin joined me for some indoor trampoline fun at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.  As you can see, we loved it.  It’s great exercise and a wonderful alternative for an adult instead of going to have a drink!  An added bonus…none of us got hurt!

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Fun on the Farm

Instead of the usual dress-up Halloween party last night, my husband and I went to a friend’s farm for a grill-out.  It was an hour’s drive away into Indiana, but we had never visited.  He has 46 acres and the view is so peaceful and beautiful…

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Girls Gone Wild

OK…so we’re not really girls anymore…more like ladies…but we did get a little wild!  Here are some photos from the 24 hours we spent together (excluding sleeping time).

Dee (the Chiropractor…the 2nd photo down on the right) gave us a partial Pilates class Saturday morning, so Cindy put on an outfit she had bought recently that makes her look like I Dream of Jeannie.

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I can’t divulge what story Gina (in the middle) was telling us, but it was obviously very funny!  Cindy (on the left) was also a bit appalled!

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You’re Never Too Old for Pony Tails

Last night Randy and I rode the Harley to hear one of our favorite bands at a Harley shop, where they set up outdoors and have vendors selling BBQ and beer.  Some strong storms had moved through the area an hour or two before we left, but the radar was clear, so off we went.  Upon arrival, we discovered they had cancelled due to the threat of bad weather.  I’ll tell you about Plan B in a minute.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to think of a way to keep my hair from getting too tangled without putting it in a pony tail and braiding it and came up with this.  I felt like Pippi Longstocking

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We pulled over on the Harley so I could take a pic of the sunset…

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Plan B…we met my friend Shari (some other friends arrived later) at the Silver Spring House, a local restaurant/bar and had a drink and some laughs.

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Kissin’ Cousins

On Father’s Day this year, I visited my cousin and saw her new farmhouse in Batavia, Ohio (near Cincinnati).  She’s so much fun, is very upbeat and family is important to her!  She’s kissing her new kitten…Beau!  After discovering some mice, Ursula decided to make Beau a new part of the family.

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This cutey pie is another cousin…Domenic!  He’s part Italian and going to be a senior in High School this year.

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Football and Fun

Saturday evening we attended a Bengals Playoff Game party at a friend’s house.  I’m not much of an organized sports watching fan…but I love to socialize.  I made some Tailgate Ham/Cheese Sandwiches that were a big hit.  Originally the recipe was on Pinterest, but when I went to the website, the recipe was no longer there.  Luckily, I had typed it up and saved it—

Ingredients:

* 1 pkg. (12 count) Hawaiian bread rolls

* 1 lb. shaved Black Forest ham

* 12 slices Gruyere cheese

* 1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cheese Spread

* 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

* 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

* 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion

* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

~Cut all rolls in half.  Place roll bottoms in 9 x 13 inch pan.

~Place equal amounts of ham on each roll bottom.  Top with Gruyere.

~On each of the roll tops, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese spread.  Return the tops to the bottoms making sandwiches.

~In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion and Parmesan cheese.  Pour over your sandwiches and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  (You can make these ahead of time and allow to sit in fridge overnight.)

~Place sandwiches, covered in foil, in a preheated 350 deg. F oven.

~Bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through.  Enjoy!  Yield: 12 servings.

After a while of talking, eating, and drinking, it was time to have some fun…so I arm wrestled four women and won!  They wanted me to try a couple of the guys…so I did…but I knew they would win.  My arm is a little sore today.

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Next, we convinced a couple of the guys to help us make a partial pyramid…

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The photos were taken with my friend’s iPhone.  Who says you have to act your age?

 

Maracas Mania

My friends — April and Wayne — were such fun when I asked them to dance and shake the maracas before we went out for dinner!  April is in her early 40’s…don’t you think she’s “hot”?  She’s very athletic…in fact she’s out jogging right now as I do this post.  She rides a Harley, runs in charity events, bought a boat recently (so she skis)…practices yoga and is a certified holistic health coach (or something like that)!

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Of course, Wayne, the guy — has to take it to the next level — juggling with them!  And he does it quite well!  Isn’t he cute!  Wayne is also quite amazing!  He’s won awards in his age group (which is still the Fabulous 50’s) for swimming.  He swam 12 miles around Key West last year!!  He turned me on to the Yoga place here in Fort Myers.  He’s also almost single!

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Hopefully, we’ve entertained you!

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Stay tuned for the next installment of fun!

Sunsets at Pier 60

Clearwater, Florida has a daily festival on their pier and surrounding area called, “The Sunsets at Pier 60.  I had to jump for joy from the beauty!

The Hilton was glowing…

I noticed this girl and asked if I could take her photo because her hair was pretty.  She seemed surprised and quickly said “Yes”!  Her name was Ebony and we told her she should be a model, but she said she has MS and couldn’t wear high heels.  I told her upon leaving, that she was beautiful!  It feels good to make other people feel good!

This drummer was using empty buckets as drums and was very talented!

Walking back to the car, I told Zully this palm tree looked almost like fireworks going off from the lighting…

When we got back to Zully’s condo, we had pizza delivered and it was sooo good!  Another great day! 🙂

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton, Ohio is a beautiful place to visit.  Randy and I went there yesterday to get some exercise and for me to take photos.  He used to live in Hamilton and we affectionately call it “Hamiltucky” because many of the people from there have a Southern accent…similar to some “folks” from Kentucky!

The park is situated on 265 acres and they have golf carts to rent if you’re not able to or don’t want to walk to each of the 62 sculptures.  I’m guessing we walked about 2 or 3 miles and saw only half of the sculptures!

Citizen by Walter Driesbach

After picking my favorites to show, I have 12 of them for your viewing pleasure.  The sun would disappear behind the clouds occasionally and it was interesting to see how that affected the photo.  Sometimes it was better without sun/shadows.

Triumph by Michael Tearney

I found the names the artists picked out for each sculpture to be interesting and a reflection of their interpretation of the piece.  Roxanne has pretty hair…don’t you think?

Roxanne by George Sugarman

Still Life by Ed Benavente

Tory’s Comet by Harry Gordon

This is a historic stone house built by pioneers in the 1800’s.

The landscape was beautiful…

A girl’s gotta have fun.  At least I’m not lifting anyone this time!

Laocoon by Alexander Liberman

I used the pop art function on my camera for this shot.  It made the colors really pop!

Abracadabra by Alexander Liberman

J.S. Bach’s Fugue by Tony Rosenthal

This was one of my favorites, but it isn’t listed on their brochure…so I don’t know who the artist is.

The gardens were peaceful and lovely…

I love the way the sun’s rays are hitting these star crossed lovers!  And I can see my reflection.

Wherefore Art Thou by Sam McKinney

Adam’s First Breath by Sam McKinney

Melinda at the Beach by Bill Barrett

I was informed by a reliable source (Randy) that this is a manure spreader.

I’m gaining a greater appreciation of art as I age.  I wonder if that is normal.  Anyway, hope you enjoyed and if you’re able…check out some of the links listed below…especially the second one!

My Old Kentucky Home

Had a great weekend!  Went 4-wheeling/gun shootin/fishin and of course photographing in Kentucky at my husband’s cousin’s cabin.  My son and his girlfriend joined us and we brought our dog “Jake” for the first time on a car trip longer than 30 minutes.  It was a 3 hour trip and he panted the entire way there.  Next time I think we need some doggie downers!  He had such a good time exploring the property and tracking all of the smells…the ride was worth it!

Here’s some of the land surrounding the cabin…

After unpacking the vehicles…I made sandwiches for them and had a huge salad for myself.  They snacked on organic cheeries/grapes/strawberries/blackberries and celery/carrots/apple with hummus.  I tried a trick with the apple that I found on Pinterest…cut the apple and put a rubber band around it so it won’t brown.

Then…it was time for the 4-wheelin fun!  We used to own 4-wheelers but sold them about 10 years ago…so it was a treat to get to ride again.  Here’s my son and his girlfriend looking like “The Terminator”…

After taking a quick ride, my husband and I went for a hike.  We walked in the glorious sunshine and stopped occasionally for me to take some photos…

We came up through the woods to find our way back to the cabin…

Then it was time for more photo fun…

I like it when people aren’t afraid of looking silly!

The porch had a lovely view of the fishing pond and was a great place to kick back!

This was calling my name….”take my picture—please”!

We did lots of target shooting!

A different perspective.

I brought along the ingredients for Se-mores…but I was good and only had a chocolate bar!  The next morning the lighting was different so I took this photo of the cabin…

We went fishing and I caught one.  This photo is of my son taken from the cabin with my zoom lens…

Jake wanted to ride in my lap for a few minutes on the drive home…

It was a wonderful weekend and we’re blessed to have our family and such a wonderful place to visit!  I hope you had  a great one too!

Picking up Bushman in Botswana

With almost two weeks of my 35 day African Overland Truck adventure behind me, we were on the road again for 9 hours driving from the capital of Namibia—Windhoek—on our way across the border into Botswana to visit the San Bushmen.  Upon arrival to Ghanzi, which is located on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, I decided to spend $5 to upgrade from my tent to a Bushman hut.  It had electric and a bed with warm blankets!  Oh…the things we take for granted!

After getting situated, I made my way to meet the group and to say hello to the indigenous San Bushman.  I had brought a wand with bubbles to blow for children along the 8,000 km overland truck journey, and when our translator saw it, he took me by the hand over to the small group with their children and let me start blowing bubbles.  No one took a photo of me with the bubbles…but here are some of the people.

At first I thought they had horrible body odor…but later found out that they rub a plant on themselves to ward off mosquitos!

Later, I wanted a photo with them.  One of the fun things I do when traveling is pick up men…

I’m not sure he was enjoying it though!

Later that evening, for $10, we were treated to traditional dancing by the fire.  There was a funny moment when the translator was giving us some history of a local tradition that is performed by girls when they start menstruating.  I thought he said that they have to dance naked in front of the elder men of the tribe and was asking him more questions trying to clarify it.  Everyone had a good laugh, but I still didn’t find out what really happens!

We all had a great time with the San Bushmen of Botswana!

St. Paddy’s Day Party Bus

Yesterday was a fun-filled day spent drinking, eating, talking, dancing, listening to music, taking photographs and being silly with friends!

Nine of us were shuttled around on a party bus to a variety of Irish Pubs located throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  My two friends (since 8th grade), who are sisters, invited me to go.

We took some food and drinks on the bus and as you can see, there were poles to hold onto…or to dance with.  We hit the road about 12:30pm and the party began.  I gave a few people foot rubs.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations aren’t complete without men in kilts, bag pipes and beer!

I love interacting with people and taking photos of them is a great way to do it!  Every one was in a great mood and there were some really interesting costumes/people.

Everyone wants to know what’s under a kilt…so Joy, who I just met yesterday (she’s a lot of fun), gave us a peek…

This guy’s beard is real!  I had a hard time finding something green in my wardrobe.  I love green…but maybe it’s a carry-over from being in the military and having to wear green for 4 years straight!

Even the wee ones are so festive!

Love…Love…Love…Happy people!!

I thought this girl’s necklace was quite pretty!

As we were walking to another pub…we passed this older woman, who was standing there with a walker.  She was really in the spirit!

More happy (and cute) people…

This lady had on arm sleeves that look like tatoos!

I particularly like this photo…her bottom half is the next one…

It was fun to stop people on the street and ask for their photo…

After a couple of drinks…everyone is your best friend!

That’s Joy’s face in this photo…

Here’s all nine of us…

Even the kitchen guys were happy!

Everyone was impressed with my pole dancing skills…it was my first time and today my wrist hurts.  Oh well…it was worth it!

Tomorrow we’ll return to our originally aired broadcast…the European whirlwind trip…to the City of Corfu, Greece!