Walking Columbus


Columbus, Ohio is a beautiful City!  I visited there this past weekend for my annual girls’ weekend and loved it!  We stayed in the downtown area and walked almost everywhere.

After spending a couple of hours at the Columbus Museum of Art, we walked down to the riverfront…and as you can see…it was gorgeous!

Cindy’s having fun in the fountain!  We love to take advantage of photo ops!

There was a festival with live music and booths filled with art…

This artist obviously makes art from mirrors…

I took about four photos of this sculpture.  While reviewing them later, it was interesting to see how moving a couple of feet or changing the direction from which I took the photo, could so greatly impact the color and visual feel of the photo.

My friend Cindy just bought an Olympus camera (I also use an Olympus) and isn’t familiar with some of the settings yet.  She took this photo and wasn’t sure what she pushed to get the effect, but I definitely like it!

If you have girlfriends…let them know how much they mean to you and if you don’t…get some!!


The “Artsy” side of Columbus

My annual girls’ weekend was in Columbus, Ohio this year and one of the places we wanted to visit was the Columbus Museum of Art.  We passed a number of beautiful churches walking from our hotel to the Museum.

The doors were simply stunning!

The weather was beautiful and sunny!

I loved the fence around the museum!

We were impressed with the museum itself!  The architecture was beautiful and their use of color and light was amazing!

This area for dining was so open, light and airy!

The “Chihuly” art was spectacular in the sunlight!  I first became aware of Chihuly sculpture while on a trip by myself to Las Vegas.

This sculpture was suspended…

This painting was a favorite of mine…

I’ve always enjoyed pieces that resemble sun bursts!

There was a design show being held at the Museum and the representatives were there to sell the pieces.  They had free drinks and food…so of course we had to partake!

Leaving the Museum, there was another photo-op!

Just loving the sky and the buildings on the walk to the hotel!

Street Art and Wine in Columbus

One of the advantages to staying in the City center when you travel is the ability to walk to most of the activities you choose to do.  While in Columbus this past weekend for my annual girls’ weekend, we decided to go to a winery that was almost two miles from our hotel.  Some other activities on our “to do” list were the Columbus Museum of Art, dinner at Martini Modern Italian Restaurant, listen to a live band at Park Street Tavern, and hiking at Scioto Audubon Metro Park.  I printed off directions to each location.

We set off walking on High Street, which is the main drag filled with restaurants and bars.  Here are some of the sights along the way…

Compared to Cincinnati, downtown Columbus seemed smaller and cleaner.  I really enjoy street art and there seemed to be quite a bit of it…

I’m always excited to find interesting architecture and when I saw this man leaning against this building, I knew the composition was nice…

This was one of my favorite paintings and the area was lovely…

My friends thought this one was a bit creepy…

When I looked up and saw this guy hunched over his laptop (or book), I knew it would be a cool shot…

Camelot Cellars, the winery we went to was very nice.  The wine was excellent and the interior had a loft feel with the brick walls and high ceilings.  The only drawback was the lady that waited on us.  Her vibe was definitely negative.

There were only two other couples there and one of them was sitting at the bar with us.  The woman had a huge camera and I thought she was just taking photos for fun, but then the girl across the room let out a gasp and began kissing her boyfriend.  We quickly caught on that he had just proposed to her and the photographer was there to capture the moment!  It was so cute!

I know this is a little weird, but I noticed a gnat in my friend’s glass of wine.  So, after I fished it out for her she put her glass on top of it.  I thought it would make a cool macro shot!

We wandered through some of the shops we passed during the walk home.  This one was so colorful…

Hope your weekend was great!

Thurman’s Cafe in Columbus, Ohio


My annual Girl’s Weekend was in Columbus, Ohio this year.  It’s only one and one-half  hours drive there from Cincinnati, but I had a great time…as usual!  For the past five years we’ve been going to Cities…Nashville, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Lexington!  Anyway, this Cafe was made famous on the travel channel show–“Man vs. Food“.  They’re known for their huge hamburgers!

Every square inch of the interior was filled with an interesting mix of signs, games, art, and photos!

The four of us split two burgers and they were deeelicious!

We stayed at “The Residence Inn by Marriott” in a two bedroom suite in the heart of downtown and loved it!

The decor was modern, stylish and functional…

Although we only used the kitchen to make coffee and to make sandwiches for lunch one day, it’s nice to have!

Let the games begin!!



P-arty time in Cincinnati

Last week, I went to an event called the “Best of Cincinnati” with friends, and had a great time.  It was held in Memorial Hall, a beautiful building over 100 years old, that was built as a memorial to the military of the city and county of Hamilton, and is home to the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Attendees receive a goody bag with coupons, gift certificates and some Proctor & Gamble sample products.  Of course, drinks and food were abundant!

The detail on this heat register is beautiful!

Here’s a view outside one of the windows…

We couldn’t resist getting our photo taken with funky hats they provided for you to pose in.

This guy didn’t mind showing off his artsy hair cut.

Lovin the purple hair…

What a cutie!

I just wanted to put him in my purse and take him home!!  Look at that bow-tie!


Here’s Gina goofing around!

One of our trusty police officers!  I know…his eyes are shut!  Memorial Hall is located in Over-the-Rhine…an area of Cincinnati that is the up and coming artsy district, but has its problems with crime!

Urban Hike…Downtown Cincinnati

Yesterday, I went on a two-hour “urban” hike through the streets of downtown Cincinnati with my hiking club.  Like many people, I’ve taken my own City for granted and am excited to be doing more things around my hometown.  We started our hike at Fountain Square…

In the winter there is a temporary ice skating rink set up…

As you can see, I like to display my photos as a collage now-a-days, because it doesn’t take up too much space that way…so I can display more photos.

We stopped in a few hotel lobbies to view their holiday decorations and to warm up briefly from the chilly weather (30’s) outside.

I discovered many new sites while walking…this statue of Abraham Lincoln is cool…didn’t even know it was here.

The two big buildings on the right are the Procter & Gamble headquarters.

Some of my photo collages are just for art’s sake…combining a variety of photographs that have interesting textures, colors and/or shapes.

A major grocery store in town is the Kroger chain.  It was started in 1883 by Bernard Kroger, who invested his life’s savings-$372 (roughly equal to $8,739.34 today) to open a grocery store in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Cincinnati.  Kroger was the son of a merchant, and his slogan was simple: “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.”  In the 1970s, Kroger became the first grocer in America to test an electronic scanner.  It is the second-largest grocery retailer–behind Wal-Mart–with over 3,600 stores located mainly in the midwestern and southern states.

Our newspaper is The Enquirer and Macy’s is a popular department store.

The Cincinnatian Hotel is one of the upscale hotels located downtown…

There were gingerbread creations on display…

We stopped at Cadillac Ranch…a restaurant/bar…for a late lunch.  They have a mechanical bull to ride.  I haven’t tried it yet.

The photos below are of Garfield Place.  In 1882, after the assignation of James A. Garfield (1831-1881), the short-lived Ohio President, the two block “park avenue” was memorialized as Garfield Place in 1882.

As we walked through the Netherland Hotel, I was surprised to discover that it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

There was a lovely water feature in the hotel…

The two photos on the right are large “graffiti” paintings on buildings and the photo on the left is in front of the library.  It’s a sculpture of books!

This is one of my favorite shots…

An Urban Hike is a great way to learn about your own City…so don’t let the cold keep you from getting outside!

Cincinnati Art Museum and The Way

I had an artsy day today.  Enjoyed spending a couple of hours at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  One painting stood out to me.  The Road Under Trees, by Claude Schuffenecker..1888.


Next I went to the Esquire Theater in Clifton to see the movie, “The Way”.  I really enjoyed it.

Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American, who travels to France to recover the remains of his son, who died in a storm hiking the pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago.  Tom decides to hike it with his son’s ashes, to honor him, meets some interesting people and develops a deep bond with them.  The movie was very inspirational!

THE WAY, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

I first became aware of this 800 km pilgrimage a few years ago and it’s on my bucket list.  What’s interesting is just in the past few days, it has come to my attention through two sources, another blogger, Anita Mac at TravelDestinationBucket and a facebook friend who just saw the movie.

Also…the painting I was drawn to at the Museum appears to be someone hiking on a trail. I believe I’m destined to traverse it!

According to Wikipedia…

The Way may refer to a spiritual path:

  • The Way or “Tao” of Taoism
  • An early term for early Christianity (see also The Two Ways)
  • The Way of the Cross, a Catholic devotion to the Passion of Christ.
  • The Way (church) (Japanese: 道会, michikai), a Japanese movement founded by Matsumura Kaiseki in 1907
  • The Way International, a Biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry founded by Victor Paul Wierwille in 1942.
  • The Way of Madonna Della Strada
  • The Way, or , of any number of spiritual and martial disciplines stemming from Japanese culture.
  • The Way of the Buddha Dharma, or Buddhism
  • The Way of Shinto
  • A term used for the Two by Twos church, commonly known as The Way, Meetings, Workers and Friends, Cooneyites or The Truth

It’s Like a Zoo Out Here!

The Cincinnati Zoo is ranked as one of the top 10 zoos in North America and has the nickname of “The Sexiest Zoo in America” because of their successful breeding programs!  It’s also the 2nd oldest zoo in America!

Having not visited in 15 years, I enjoyed going yesterday.  I also wanted to check out the annual “Festival of Lights” event, so I accomplished two missions!  When I’m on a mission that means I walk fast!  Here’s the Christmas tree upon entry…

The zebras are one of my favorite…

The pink flamingos don’t even look real…

The green on these birds is gorgeous!

Since we didn’t arrive until 4pm and only had an hour or two of day light…I didn’t take the time to learn the names of all of the animals we saw.  I really like this bird though…

These bats were fighting and I’m not sure what the ducks were doing…

The owl was one of my favorites…his colors and demeanor are outstanding!

The orangutan seemed to be posing for me…he froze in this position while I took multiple photos…and other primates seemed to run from my photos!

I always feel a little sorry for animals at the zoo…some don’t seem happy to be there!

Reindeer are cool!!

As you can see…night is coming…and the crowds!

There are over 2 million LED lights at the Zoo!

I used my new tripod for the first time and also tried my Olympus PEN on manual setting for the night shots.  My settings were 1/25 shutter, 4.5 F-stop, and 1000 ISO.  Photography is a true passion for me…I was looking forward to taking photos more than anything else!

The small lake had the prettiest display of lights.

You can see the ducks swimming in the reflection…

This is the tunnel you enter and exit through…very pretty!

I hope you enjoyed your tour and perhaps this will help get you into the holiday spirit!!


Last night I went to an event in Cincinnati at Mirror Lake in Eden Park…called Balluminaria.  It was beautiful!  There was one balloon in with the crowd…

Across the small man-made “Mirror Lake” were the other balloons.  In preparation for nightfall…

It was a bit breezy, so you couldn’t see the balloon reflections very well, but it was still really lovely!

I forgot to take my tripod…but they turned out pretty well anyway…I think!


O’Bryonville Christmas Walk

On my quest to explore more of Cincinnati, my friend Dee and I went to the O’Bryonville Christmas walk last night.  It was fun…all of the shops had free wine and snacks!  This is another area of Cincinnati that I don’t usually frequent, but who could pass up free wine!

Some of the arts and crafts were very interesting and “crafty”!  These are quite whimsical!

The “hair like” photo below is actually a lampshade!  And…the last photo that looks like a flower is a chandelier with cloth draped on the ceiling!

The materials that some of these things are made out of are unique!

I know it’s a little early for Christmas decorations…but here are some that were displayed.  I know it’s kinda wierd…but I already put my Christmas tree up.  I usually wait until after Thanksgiving, but I had the time!

We stopped into the Phyllis Weston Art Gallery and saw some works by Mark Patsfall.  The lady in the photo is the owner.

Here I’m snapping a photo of us in a mirror above us at a restaurant we stopped in!

Events like these are nice because you get some exercise, meet new people, eat, drink and be merry!

Exploring Cincinnati

Yesterday, my friend Dee and I went exploring in Clifton, an area of Cincinnati next to the University of Cincinnati.  I haven’t been there in five years and enjoyed walking around, taking photos, and having a bite to eat!

Here’s some of the architecture…

We stopped in a wonderful wine shop called “Ludlow Wines” and here’s a photo of Mike — the extremely hospitable owner!  He loves his business and is expanding into a larger building down the street.  We had a tasting of four wines for $5.00.

Next, we went through some of the shops that lined Ludlow Avenue.  I have so much fun just looking at things with an eye for photography.  It keeps me busy and an added plus…I don’t spend money!

This is an African shop owner and some of his wares…I remember going in here and buying a ring back in 2006.

We went for a short walk through Burnett Woods.  Dee was going to go for a hike with the Tri-State Hiking Club through Meetup.com, but she knew I needed some company, so she came with me.  I’m thankful I have good friends like Dee!

We filled our tummies at Sitwells.  I had a Gouda and Guacamole Sandwich.  Our waitress was cool…she had red-eye shadow on and a few piercings.  I love when people feel free to express themselves through fashion/makeup/body art.  She was very pleasant and sweet also!

This picture was in Sitwells…when you look at the lady from one angle, she looks like this…

and from another angle like this….

No matter where we live, there is beauty and interesting people…so let’s get out and explore our own backyards!

Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park

Since returning from my whirlwind trips through Washington, British Columbia, Colorado and New Mexico, I’ve been thinking more about finding beauty in your own backyard.  Many people from Cincinnati usually feel that there are much better places to live than here, but because of work or family, continue to reside in this area.  I’m beginning to embrace living here and realize there are wonderful places for enjoying the “great outdoors”.  I have been a member of Meetup.com for four years and joined a hiking club at that time.  My friend Dee, my husband Randy and I decided to take a day trip to Hocking Hills State Park, which is located 2 1/2 hours from Cincinnati in Logan Ohio, to hike 5-6 miles with the club.  These are photos from the day…

This is a “Hickory Horned Devil” and then it becomes a “Royal Walnut Moth” or “Regal Moth”.  Later that day when I showed my friend Dee a photo of it, she thought it was a fake photo because it looks like it has sunglasses on.  It was about 4 inches long by 1 inch wide.

Since I was taking quite a few photos…I was usually lagging behind and had to run to catch up…but sometimes it’s better to be by yourself.  It’s quieter, no people in your photos and the timing was good for getting this photo.  I was told that this guy just dropped out of a tree a minute earlier.


I love the “gnarled” look of these roots…


Everything seemed to have a green hue…lots of moss-covered rocks and even trees.


Since today was a record 100 degrees…I had to take a dip in the ice-cold water!


This is Dee…


I usually try to turn around frequently when I’m taking photos so that I can see things from a different vantage point or observe when the light changes or is really nice…like this photo!

Hope you’re finding beauty in your day!


To be In The Moment…Zipline!


Another fun day with my son…Ziplining at Camp Kern, just north of Cincinnati.  We’ve been one other time in Mexico about 7 years ago.  I’m admitting it…I was scared…but one of my big beliefs is to “face your fears”!  I took Justin skydiving a few years ago and for some reason this makes me a little more nervous.  The only injury of the day was before we even got outside…Justin hit his head hard on this doorway of the Ozone Zipline building.  The autumn colors were stunning and the other five participants were fun.  We went on seven lines…each one getting longer, faster and higher…up to 175 ft. high and 45 mph.  Because I was one of the lightest in weight, I had to do the “cannonball” to ensure I went fast enough on the longest lines to reach the end.  I can’t say I was ever totally relaxed…but I was in the moment. It’s nice to feel proud of yourself for doing something that pushes you…I guess that’s called empowerment!






Justin always went in circles…unintentionally…and one of the guides asked if he came out of the womb backwards!




Color coordinated gear…




This is the cannonball!





Sending peace, love and joy!



p.s.  I have a phone interview with a travel company…so send good thoughts!



It’s Alive!

I can scratch off another experience from my bucket list…a Segway tour!  It was fun…a bit dangerous…and we had a beautiful day for it.  I took my son, whom I infrequently do anything with and he loved it.  There were six people on the tour of Eden Park in Cincinnati.  After a 20 minute lesson…we were off.  Up and down hills…along skinny sidewalks with steep drop offs…and even off-road.

I had to laugh watching the tour guide give Justin his lesson…she was about 5’4″ and in comparison to his 6’9″ frame…it was quite comical!

Unfortunately, a couple in their late 50’s or early 60’s fell off of their Segway a number of times.  Luckily only their pride was injured.  They are quite tricky – when you step on or off…they sense your presence and react by moving.

The mighty “Ohio River” was sparkling in the sunlight!

“Twin Lakes” were very tranquil.  I haven’t been to Eden Park in many years.




We sat outside in Mt. Adams for a late lunch afterwards and went shopping afterwards.  It was a great day.  I’m blessed to have a wonderful son to spend time with!

Hope your day was great too!!