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luv2plan Jun 15th, 2007 05:41 PM

Trip Report: Louisville, Cincinnati & Carter Caves, Oh MY!
Background, born & raised in Cincinnati, lived in San Diego for 10 yrs and recently moved to Champaign, IL. We are now just a 4 hour drive from Cincy and all of our family.

So, I took my two boys, age 4 & 7 to Cincy for the last 10 days after school let out to visit with their grandparents (on both sides) and they also have cousins their ages (on both sides).

During our visit we were very busy.
We went to Louisville last week on Thursday night with my mom and stayed at the Hilton Seelbach. It was very nice. The lobby had beautiful marble everywhere. The rooms were snug, but the furnishings were nice and the beds were great. The next day we went to the Frazier Museum. It is a historical museum, mostly an armory. They are having a special exhibit on Dragons during the summer. It was really fun, they have displays like the life cycle of a dragon, the dragon body parts, the dragons production of flames, even fossilized dragon dung! The museum also had a lot of swords and suits (pieces) of armor that my boys were interested in. They also had a lot of pistols, rifles, etc. that my boys were not interested in. Oh, and they also had storytelling, partly acted out, stories about dragons that the kids enjoyed. Like most museumes, if my boys (4 & 7) were a little older they would get a lot more out of it. But they did enjoy alot of it.

We had lunch at Subway because there wasn't anything else to be found. Then went to the Louisville Slugger Bat Museum. The tour of the factory was fun & interesting. It got a little too long for my kids (30 min), but they hung in. We didn't really see anything else at the museum. Then it took 3 hours to drive 100 miles back to Cincy because of an accident.

We had a really good time in Louisville. I actually had never been there. We didn't really need to spend the night either, but it was nice for my mom to get out of town.

luv2plan Jun 15th, 2007 06:07 PM

The next day, Saturday, we went to Kings Island. My mom, sister and her son, age 5, went with us. They have annual passes. We got there when it opened at 10am and it was very crowded. The kids had a great time. We just went to the kids area, Nickelodeon World (or whatever they call it). They have a lot of good rides for little kids. Another good thing was having Chik Fil A for lunch! Around 2pm we went to the waterpark and went swimming until about 5pm then went home. The waterpark seemed very nice, we mostly just did little kid stuff, the wave pool and sprinkler areas. The slides looked fun. I would like to go back with just my husband so we can go on all the big stuff. :)

A few days later my dad and I took the boys on a little walking tour of downtown Cincinnati. My dad lives downtown but we had not taken the kids walking around anywhere. Just to see the train display at christmas. We ate at Wendy's on 4th st, went on the skywalk to Fountain Square & had our frosty's there. The kids really got a kick out of walking over the streets on the skywalk and using the revolving doors. They were in awe of the tall buildings. Then we went across the street to the Carew Tower, the tallest building in Cincinnati at 49 stories, and went to the roof. We could see the river, the football & baseball stadiums and the rooftops of a lot of other buildings. The kids really liked it. I forgot how interesting just being downtown can be for a kid. It was a lot of fun.

Also, while in Cincinnati, actually Florence, KY we went to the Florence Aquatic Center, which is a mini waterpark. It is really great for little kids. There is a huge space that is only 18 inches deep. There are little slides and lots of sprinklers for the kids to play in. They also have a lazy river. And they have real diving boards and two big slides. We had a great time there as well.

luv2plan Jun 15th, 2007 06:57 PM

Then, this week on Tuesday my in-laws and I took the boys (age 4 & 7) to Carter Caves in Kentucky. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive, south to Lexington, then 65 east. We arrived about at the lodge about 7pm and had dinner. The lodge is like a motel. Nothing too impressive or noteworthy, but only $74/nt.

In the morning we had breakfast then toured X Cave, which was interesting. Nice formations and nice guide. It took about 45min. Then we played tennis with my kids and they had a really good time doing that. We had lunch, packed up and checked out. Then toured Cascade Cave which has a small "lake" or actually a pool of water and little creek. It had lots of formations: stalactites, stalagmites, floestone, ribbons and popcorn. We also saw a cluster of about 10 bats hanging from the ceiling, a total highlight for my 7 year old. This tour was longer, 1hr 15min. Then we played miniature golf at the campground. My kids love this. My 4 year old had two holes in one, it was amazing. Very exciting. Before heading home we went scrambling in the creek and the kids were just throwing rocks and having a great time. They have never done this. It was quite a day! On the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and it was very good too!

So, that is how we spent the last 10 days! I think we covered about everything: museums, swimming, amusement park, city tour, spelunking and creek scrambling! Time to relax!

Enjoy your weekends & have a great Father's Day!

maj Jun 16th, 2007 03:48 AM

Thanks for the trip report. Love the details. Where did you take your Dad for a fish dinner?

luv2plan Jun 16th, 2007 06:02 AM

We went to Mike Finks on the river for lunch. My dad had 2 giant crab legs, 1 cold and 1 steamed. I was a bit surprised when the check came and his crab legs were $35 each! Oh well, he enjoyed every bite and took some home for dinner, too. The hush puppies were really good and I just had fried shrimp, which were very good also.

Thanks for asking & Have a great weekend.

npurpleh2 Jul 16th, 2007 07:03 PM

This was fun to read - thanks for posting! I keep forgetting about Carter Caves but after reading your report it reminded me I want to do a weekend trip there. Also your description of the dragon exhibit at the Frazier made me want to check that out too!

luv2plan Jul 17th, 2007 10:48 AM

thank you for the kind words.

it's nice to know people are interested in my report.

have a great week!

Nanafischer Oct 25th, 2007 12:36 PM

I'm not sure where to post this, but I wanted to report on a restaurant that my two sisters and I found yesterday on our way to Cincinnati from Louisville. We stopped for lunch at Karlo's Bistro Italia at Exit 182 (Turfway Road) off I-75/I-71 in Florence, KY. Florence is about 10 miles from Cincy. The food was great and the service wonderful.

The three of us shared the Golden Raisin and Feta Salad, Angel Hair With Chicken & Spinach, and Fresh Mozzarella With Pesto and Chicken. Our server served us the one entree salad to share and then split and served the two chicken entrees on three plates.

In the bathroom they had a Scope dispenser for patrons' use because of all the garlic. That's the first time I've ever seen that!

wanderluster Oct 25th, 2007 04:38 PM

Nice report Luv2Plan!
(not sure how I missed it the first time)
We've been to Kings Island many times but its been awhile.
Do you know if they still have those blueberry slurpee type frozen treats? Our youngest and DH are huge fans
(despite always managing to stain something while enjoying them :(
Your report brings back special memories, thank you for posting it.

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