Sunday, June 26, 2011
Cincinnati, Part I
We took the slow way to Cincinnati.
I hardly ever make a hotel reservation the day of our arrival, but this time I did. The head cold that turned into something a bit more made it uncertain whether we should attempt a little road trip. But the weather was fine, and the travel bug in me had been very bothersome of late...so to Cincinnati we went.
It was a brand new territory for all of us. Sadly, our daughter knew more about Cincinnati from reading and watching Kit Kittredge than anything else! We were determined to make it a pleasant drive (knowing that we could make it a short 2-hour trip the quick way), going first down to the first capital of Ohio, then southwest toward the Queen City.
The landscape changed about an hour into our journey. Rolling hills, corn fields, and big old barns peppered our views. We stopped for a picnic lunch at the Seip Mound, which also happened to be a rest area with picnic tables and well kept grounds. We had visited another of these interesting Hopewell sites before, so it was fun to see another.
Then we crossed the mighty Ohio river into Kentucky, only to cross it again a few minutes later when we entered the city from the south side. Our hotel was smack in the middle of downtown, right across from the fountain square. We gave up our car and did not need it again until we checked out 24 hours later.
Downtown Cincinnati had a quaintness to it. The streets are smaller (than Columbus), and there seemed to be a lot of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the fountain square. We wanted to visit the National Underground Railroad museum before they closed for the weekend which was also a quick block and a half walk from our hotel.
If you are a foreigner like me, you would learn a lot in a short period of time about the whole anti-slavery movement, the history of slave trades in the US, and beyond. It's an intense experience - probably a bit too much for our 7 year-olds. But my husband and I agree that it's never too early to teach children the importance of equality.
Just outside the museum entrance, several quotations are imprinted into the stone walk way. Our son asked for a piece of paper and a pencil. I want to write these down, he said. I want to remember them.
One of the quotations he chose was this:
"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth." ~ George Washington.
Never too early, like I said.