Friday, December 30, 2016

The Whitehead Street Chicken Fiasco

Ray drew this reenactment of when he claims I threw my bike down when I saw chickens in Key West. In my defense, there were many chickens, probably four — but possibly up to 12 — closing in on me at the corner of Whitehead and Olivia Streets. I think one of them had a knife.
Things surprise you when you're traveling that surprise no one else. Like wild chickens.

The residents of Key West probably think nothing of these big chickens that wander around clucking and crowing all the time, but for us, coming upon wild roosters in the streets... whaaaaat?   

It wasn't until we were eating chips and salsa a few hours later that Ray told me I threw my bike down (I thought he had it), leaving him to try and catch it before it crushed our toes. He drew the picture to better capture our (supposed) expressions. 

Aside from congregations of them at our little villa hotel and on the street corner, the weirdest place I saw a rooster in Key West was at the gas station. Just standing in the middle of the gas pumps like, 'Yo, I heard they have great fro-yo here.'

Be glad there wasn't a Popeye's in that gas station, chicken. Like the one at Madison and Edwards.

Madison and Edwards Popeye's/gas station — no place for a wild chicken. 

I keep ending up in Florida for work conferences, so we took the opportunity to road trip down US1 from Miami to Key West earlier this month. It was 80 degrees, balmy and sunny pretty much the whole time. In a word, amazing.  (Joke's on us though. It was 17 degrees when we landed back at CVG.)

We toured the Hemingway Home and Museum.

Petted the six-toed cats there, including this nighttime escapee...


Watched the sunset from Mallory Square.

And visited the Southernmost Point.

(There is a Southernmost Point live webcam. Ha, who knew!)

I wasn't expecting the Southernmost Point to be anything but a photo opp for us, to say we'd been, but I was surprised at how strongly connected I felt there, to both the international visitors alongside us and to the people of Cuba. There is a granite marker just a few feet from me in this photo honoring the thousands of Cubans who have lost their lives at sea attempting the 90 mile trek from Cuba to this island. It makes you think.  

But mostly we spent our time riding around the island on rented bikes, traversing Key West in the dark looking at Christmas lights in 80 degree weather. (Christmas in warm, humid air is so foreign to me.)  

But also, wild chickens!


I'm certain this was one of the four-to-twelve culprits that was closing in on me when I threw my bike down.

Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Christmas in Cincinnati and Chili all the Time

Good news, my little snowflakes, Ray and I’s Christmas video is ready for primetime, just in the Jolly Old Saint Nick of time.

The star of this year’s holiday spectacular is our fair city — Fountain Square, Graeter’s, Skyline, the Roebling. Basically, all of the things we love set to Jake Speed and the Freddies’ perfect holiday ode to home, ‘Queen City Christmas.’

The only thing missing is someone asking you where you went to high school.*

Some of our friends, neighbors and an assortment of ice skaters knowingly (and unknowingly) make cameos this year. And as it turns out, driving a stick shift across the Roebling while holding a camera is no easy feat. But thankfully, I filmed most of it from the passenger seat of Ray’s car while he drove me around.

Santa’s merry magic is just two short days away. So here’s hoping your stockings are soon to be stuffed with Graeter’s gift cards, Union Terminal bookends and a sixer of Rhinegeist Truth. Because nothing says happy holidays like letting Aunt Betty know you’ll need that gift receipt. #truth #hurts

Merry Christmas and happy 2017!

*In truth, I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve never been asked where I went to high school. I feel a bit cheated.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Almost There

This year's holiday video required a lot more filming than usual, and I still have a few more shots to go. (Basically, I am a Christmas documentary filmmaker now, fyi.) But I'll have it done this weekend. Ho ho ho!

In the meantime, doesn't our tree look festive? And the Charlie Harper prints with the reading chair, what?!  

All we need is a $160 "antler inspired" sculpture to complete the look.