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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mini Vacay

Cincinnati!  The best town in O-H-I-O Ohio USA!
(I'll give you a dollar if you can name what movie that's from!)
As a last getaway before school starts, we took a trip down to Cincinnati for the weekend.
Our first stop for the day was the good old
Traders World Flea Market.

We found candy from our childhood, tools for the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, an obnoxious barking, squeaking, walking dog that Holly fell in love with, and the all important Pokémon trading cards.

Jacob loved Harry (name that movie!) and wanted to take him home. Not gonna happen.  On this trip anyways.  Wouldn't it be awesome to tuck this guy back in our pine trees?

Then we crossed the mighty river into Kentucky to visit the Newport Aquarium!
There was some kind of seafood music fest going on.  We didn't buy any but it was fun walking through it and seeing seafood dishes I've never heard of before.

The Newport Aquarium is slightly different from any other aquarium or museum or travel destination that we've been to.  You don't just go up, pay the admission, and go in.  In order to for everyone to have the most optimum viewing and visiting experience, they limit the amount of people entering at one time. When you purchase a ticket, you set the time slot (which is most convenient for you) to enter.  Since the next entrance time was full, we explored downtown Newport for a bit.  There were lots of little shops and a train for the kids to ride.

Inside the aquarium!

The picture doesn't quite capture just how large the whale is.  Pretty impressive.  Upon entering, the very first thing you experience is an underwater tunnel.

Holly was loving it.  We had to coax her a lot to move on.

Like most good aquariums, they had a touch tank.

Can you accurately name this fish? 
Jacob said "They should call this a stripey fish!"

Well look at that.  That's exactly what that fish is called!

We saw a shark diving show and penguins being fed. 

One of the most impressive things there is Mighty Mike!

He's 14 feet long, over 800 pounds, and was caught in.... FLORIDA!

They even have an albino alligator!

Of course it only makes sense that in the amphibian room they are going to have the game 'Frogger.'

One of the features they are famous for is the 'Shark Walk.'  Its a balance beam surrounded by nets that spans over the top of the shark tank.

Then it was time for lunch.  And when you run across unique restaurants not available in your area, you eat there!  This stop was Tom and Chee - a gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup eatery. 

Our last stop for the day is a must when visiting Cincinnati.
Jungle Jim's International Market
Jungle Jim's is over 200,000 square feet featuring foods from more than 70 countries.  If you can't picture what that would be like, just take a look at the cheese section!


If you think going to Sam's Club is fun on sample days, your head... and stomach... will explode here.

What other grocery store do you know that has a boat in the middle of the seafood section?

Or has avocados bigger than your hand?

Who knew they even still made New York Seltzer?!?!

And what better way to show off your hot sauce collection than with a real life, full sized, retired fire truck?
If you like seafood, bring your cooler!

Soft shelled crabs, whole fish or skate is available at your fingertips.

If you prefer fish of the fresh variety, they have quite the selection of that too.
And if ramen noodles are your thing, you could go broke in this store.  However, you may want to keep one thing in mind.  Food is shipped internationally to this store.  These are real authentic noodles with real authentic flavors that are not Americanized. 
With all these varieties and selections of everything you can imagine (and some things you can't), we play it safe in the pasta isle!

What a long, wonderful day.  Time to return to the hotel and put the kids down in the bedroom...
while we stay up in the "living room", watch the Olympics...

and enjoy the fruits of trip.

Up next tomorrow.... The Loveland Castle.

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