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Cincinnati, Product Review

Love the Cone

I’ve lived in Cincinnati most of my life and I finally made it to The Cone in West Chester.  I’ve driven by the distinctive ice cream cone shaped building many times, but when I’m actually in the mood for ice cream, The Cone always seemed too out of the way.  But, tonight after dinner in the Union Centre area we decided to make a trip over.  TheCone1.jpg

It was a busy night at The Cone with a large gathering of people enjoying ice cream at the outdoor tables.  After looking at the extensive menu of sundaes and dipped cones, I opted for something simple, a large cone with a vanilla/strawberry swirl.
TheCone2.jpgThis is the best tasting soft serve ice cream that I’ve had in Cincinnati.  The strawberry was much more natural tasting than what you would expect for soft serve.  It even had little specks of strawberry in it!  My expectations for soft serve are pretty low because in my experience, it’s served out of convenience rather than taste.

But, even though the ice cream was great, the large cone is still a little more ice cream than what I needed.  I got taken in by the .50 cent up sell from the small.

The dipped cones came in all sorts of interesting colors.  We saw a girl eating a dipped cone with electric blue “magic” shell.  It’s a favorite of the kids, but a nightmare for clothing and car seats.

If you’re in West Chester, definitely stop by the The Cone.  I know that I’ll by stopping by again in the future.


Western & Southern Masters Tennis in Cincinnati

The Western & Southern Masters Tennis tournament is taking place this week in Mason.  My sister and I took off work and headed up for yesterday’s day session.  If you are able to go during the day, the day sessions are packed with tennis.  You’ll tire from the sun long before the tennis ends.  Lucky for us, we sat in the shade for most of the day.  During our session, we would have seen the top four seeds play if not for Roger Federer’s opponent withdrawing due to injury.

Here’s top seed Rafael Nadal serving.
WSMasters1.jpgRafael Nadal hitting one of his incredible forehand shots.
WSMasters2.jpgRafael Nadal lining up a shot.
WSMasters3.jpgThe crowd managed to find every square inch of shade in the stadium.
WSMasters4.jpgThis is Novak Djokovic serving during his match on the Grandstand court.  The Grandstand court is much smaller and more intimate than the Stadium court.  It’s open seating all the way down to the edge of the court.  Watching professionals play at close range is an incredible experience.  The amount of power and spin the pros use is unreal.
WSMasters5.jpgAfter matches on the Grandstand court, players have to walk through the crowd to get back to the locker room.  It’s one of the best chances to get an autograph.
WSMasters6.jpgBut, if you’re lucky enough to get an autograph, it may look like this:
WSMasters7.pngIf you look closely at the blob, it says “Novak Djokovic”.  I’m sure my sister, who got the autograph will be treasuring this for the rest of her life.

This tournament is one of the jewels of Cincinnati.  It’s world class tennis in a more relaxed intimate environment.

Cincinnati, Product Review

Cabana on the River

With the weather being cooler now, if you’re looking for a nice outdoor spot to grab some food and beer, I recommend the Cabana on the River.

The Cabana on the River is west of downtown Cincinnati- about a 15- 20 minute drive along the Ohio River.  It was a popular spot the night we visited in May.

cabanaontheriver1.jpgIt has a fun vibe, starting with the artificial palm trees sprouting up near the parking lot.
cabanaontheriver2.jpgThe restaurant is quite large with both a covered indoor area and a large outdoor deck.  The indoor area is covered, but still feels very open.  Lots of large long tables that are perfect for large groups.

The downside to being outdoors is that is that people can and did smoke anywhere in the place.
  cabanaontheriver4.jpgcabanaontheriver3A.jpgThere was quite a long wait for an outdoor table that night we went so we staved off our hunger with a soft pretzel that we ordered at the bar.cabanaontheriver5.jpg

It is definitely worth the wait for a table on the deck.  There’s a great view of the Ohio River from the deck.  It’s very peaceful this far from the city with trees lining the river.  The only reminder that you’re near a large city is the occasional barge that floats by. cabanaontheriver6.jpg

This was by far the best outdoor seating I’ve had in Cincinnati.cabanaontheriver7.jpgcabanaontheriver9.jpg

This is the insanely large Certified Angus Beef chuck burger.  I asked the waitress and she said it was 3/4 of a pound of meat.  For size, note the iPhone next to it.

cabanaontheriver10.jpgThe burger was so large, I ended up tossing a few scraps to the cat that came to visit us while we were eating.
After several leisurely enjoyable hours we left, finding the trees had turned to neon.  We’ll definitely be back, not so much for the food which is adequate, but for the atmosphere and the view.  cabanaontheriver11.jpg


Western & Southern Women’s Open in Cincinnati

It’s tennis time in Cincinnati.  This week it’s the Western & Southern Women’s Open.  This is truly world class tennis with all the top players here. This tournament has come a long way in a few short years- from a Tier 3 tournament to a main event on the tour, just below the Grand Slams.

We went up to Mason on Wednesday and between rain storms saw Maria Sharapova play. 
WSWomensopen.jpgThe great thing about watching tennis live is that you can focus on one player to watch how they prepare and hit their shots.  I’ve been taking tennis lessons for years and I’ve been told that the pros will take 10-14 steps in between every shot.  It’s definitely true with Maria Sharapova.  Her feet are constantly moving and hitting the court just like jackhammers.  I’ve tried this before and I think I can do this for about 5 minutes max.  Their conditioning is just incredible.
WSWomensopen2.jpgThe facilities have gotten a facelift since last year with more seats and new luxury boxes on the western side of the stadium.
WSWomensopen3.jpgUnderneath this, there’s a new players entrance where fans can line up and watch players exit.
WSWomensopen4.jpgThe finals take place this weekend and then the men’s tournament begins.  It’s a great event and I highly recommend it.


Shepard Fairey CAC Canvas Print

ShepardFaireyCACCanvas.jpgI picked up the new Shepard Fairey CAC Canvas print over the weekend.  They’re available now at the CAC for members for $45.  The Canvas prints seems to be Shepard Fairey’s new style that captures the collage elements of his fine art pieces.  This one is printed with black, cream, and silver inks.  I like it better than the red ones that we released at the opening.

Shepard Fairey’s exhibit at the CAC closes August 22.


Photos: Blueberry Picking in Milford

It’s going to be hotter than heck tomorrow, but if you’re looking for something outdoors to do, try blueberry picking at Rouster’s Apple House in Milford.  We went several weekends ago and had a fun time picking over 25 pounds of blueberries.  We ate a lot of them fresh and then froze the rest for smoothies and pancakes for the rest of the year.

It’s a fun family thing with lots of kids around.  These days with most of us living in the city, it’s nice to see where your food comes from.

At $2.50/lb you don’t really save money, but you do have the satisfaction of finding blueberries that are sweeter and larger than what you find at the store.

Check Rouster’s schedule for blueberry picking dates and times.

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