Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reasons to Love the Heartland

I began my trip in Indianapolis, picking up my rental car; an upgrade from the usual "salesman's car" that I'm usually stuck with, it's a Toyota 4-Runner, but I have dubbed it the Party-mobile since this button is on the dashboard.

This doesn't really come in handy when you are listening to NPR.

I headed to Cincinnati from Indy, and spent the last 5 days there, three nights of teaching, and a bit of rest.  People often ask me why I will fly to the middle of the country and teach, but it's really grabbed my heart for years; the students are great, the staff at the cooking schools are second to none, and I have a good time.  I also get to know what people are cooking in kitchens that aren't in New York or California, since many people tend to think that there are only two places that people cook. 
So here are a few things I love about Cincinnati

With gas prices in San Diego hovering around the $4.00 mark, the prices in Cincinnati made filling up the Party Mobile a bit easier.

Jungle Jim's---this food emporium is almost indescribable---a lot of fun, and the selection here is mind boggling.  I counted at least 5 aisles of hot sauce--who knew?
Real weather!  Not just a sprinkle, but torrential downpours complete with rolling thunder, and lightning---keeps you awake at night, too!

Cute icons!  This little guy greets me when I get off the freeway to head to the cooking school at CooksWares.

A blast from my past; having grown up in New England, Dunkin' is the only coffee and donut combination for me.  Fortunately, they don't have them in San Diego, otherwise, I'd weight 6 zillion pounds!

A vibrant downtown.  Cincinnati has a LOT to offer, and their downtown is having a resurgence.  These were some views from a friends' absolutely spectacular deck.
Gorgeous night to eat out on the deck.  Can't imagine I'd spend much time indoors with this gorgeous retreat outside my door.
The last reason I love Cincinnati is wonderful friends --- my girl friends here are the best, and they introduced me to this lovely woman that last time I was here; if you don't know Marilyn Harris, she is a treasure and I was fortunate to spend an evening with she and her husband while I was here, in the company of some special women.  Marilyn has a long history with the food business here in Cincinnati, with a varied career, and a radio show that is so much fun to listen to.  Click here to hear this week's show.  Although I miss home when I'm on the road, I'm blessed with friends and experiences I wouldn't trade for anything.  Thanks for the great week Cincinnati, I'll see you in the new year.