So, as I write this post, I'm in my backyard, which is a nice, very small oasis in the middle of the urbanish jungle. It's warm, and humid, and I'm drinking a Kombucha, which is very trendy, I think.
It's been about six weeks since I last blogged, and in that time, the temperature has gone up a lot. Where we had snow before, we now have lots of lush greenery. Where it was 20 degrees? Now it's in the mid-eighties, and has been that way for a week.
It's really like we've skipped spring and jumped straight to summer. Fitting for the midwest. And very normal, though we would probably all like to think it's not.
Since the weather started to warm up (and by warm up I mean since the temperatures started to top out at forty or higher instead of twenty), Allen and I have been going for pretty frequent walks throughout our city. Most of these happen after dark. Often we end up walking into downtown, or along the banks of the river.
Walks are when we catch up on the day and check in with each other, so the time we spend outdoors during these walks is pretty important. It's also the time of day when we decompress from the workday, or just to get out and breathe the fresh air!
Now, we've been walking around Cincinnati pretty much since we bought our house at the end of 2011. We live across the river from downtown. Our neighborhood has a high walkscore, which was part of its appeal when we were house hunting.
In that time, we have walked very nearly everywhere that is walking distance from home. Before I go on, I should probably explain that we think of distances up to around three or four miles in one direction to be walking distance - as long as there are sidewalks or pathways to allow us to get to our destination.
So we have walked as far as Over the Rhine and 12th street in downtown, which is 2.2 miles from home. We've walked into other parts of Northern Kentucky, well into downtown, and in one instance, almost as far as the Cincinnati Museum Center (well, that was part of a road race, so it wasn't exactly walking).
You would think we've walked everywhere. But we haven't. Yet. I would say we have walked almost everywhere we can walk, with the exception of parts of Fort Thomas (due to sidewalk access, it wouldn't be the smartest thing to do).
Over the past couple weeks, we've checked off a few more areas from our list. One of those was the banks of the river in Covington. Or as I called it, the evening that I learned where photographers get the gorgeous panoramic views of the city. We did this to watch the fireworks from the Reds game on a Friday evening, but I could not get over just how gorgeous the view was, even before the fireworks began.
It was a gorgeous sight to behold, and one that I'm eager to revisit in the future - I want to go with the dSLR (something I failed to do that evening) to take some lovely pictures of the cityscape, very nearly unobstructed. Our skyline in Cinci is not massive, but it is lovely, and every time I drive home it makes me smile.
This past weekend, we ended up deciding we wanted to try to walk to Mount Adams, which is a not-so-hidden gem near downtown. It's actually a neighborhood we considered while house hunting, and even when originally moving to the area. However, it's quite the incline, and midwestern winters when they're rough? Well, we had concerns about being stuck on the incline for days at a time. Unfounded, sure, but sensical.
We didn't think we could actually walk to Mount Adams, actually, as it lies just above Route 50, which runs into downtown. But we wanted to try. We figured it was nice outside, so why not?
Getting there was actually pretty easy, once we found the walking path and small bridgeway up into the neighborhood. It's by far one of my favorite places in the city to go, even if we don't make it to Mount Adams that frequently. The streets are narrow and windy, the houses are close together, and the homes are a mix of old and new-that-looks-old. It has an East Coast charm that feels homey, and on Saturday in the sun?
Well, it was perfect. It took us maybe a half hour to walk up there, and after exploring the neighborhood and a sidewalk art sale, we ended up at Mount Adams Bar and Grill for a drink before we wound our way back through downtown and home.
We both enjoyed one of our favorite summer brews: Bell's Oberon, a beer we have enjoyed for almost eight years - since we first discovered it in college.
Our walk back Saturday was a bit circuitous, taking us by the casino and through the park by the river before we finally made it home. It was a fun way to spend a few hours together, walking, talking, and just enjoying our lovely city home.
In many ways, we are still learning our city, and in many ways, we're just discovering new ways to enjoy it. I love this little big city of ours.