Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why I Love The 4th Of July

Happy Thursday! Katy here… and I’m getting excited for the 4th of July weekend! Even though I love Christmas and Thanksgiving… the 4th is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I’ve always been a very patriotic person, which is probably why it’s one of my favorite holidays. I’m sure it has a lot to do with growing up a Navy brat and attending fly ins at the hangers when our dad would come home from cruising. There were always a bunch of American flags, decorations and a live band at those events. We would stand waiting for the airplanes to fly overhead, and then land on the tarmac, while all the kids would wave little American flags. Running out to hug our dad from returning overseas was always a special moment for our family.
So with Independence Day upon us, I’m getting geared up for a weekend with friends and family, grilling out to celebrate America. I’m not going lie, one of my favorite things to do on the 4th is to blast the 1812 Overture throughout my house, so if you hear it coming out the windows of a house, you know it’s me… ha. But of course, at night, it’s grilling and fireworks that I look forward to the most. And desert! What would be a 4th of July celebrations without apple pie? I think I’m going to make my famous apple pie this weekend… yum!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Flick: Cars 2

Do you remember your first movie? And by that I mean the first one you saw on a big screen.

Sheila here. Mine was The Sound of Music. I saw it in my pj's at the drive-in with my mom and dad, and I didn't stay awake until the end.

My four-year-old son Eric can relate. I took him to his first flick in a movie theatre last Saturday, Cars 2, and he didn't make it to the end!

IMDB describes the sequel to the first Disney Pixar hit: Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. I thought it was a great story, sort of like a James Bond movie for kids. Michael Cain is the voice of British spy, Finn McMissile.

But I think it was a bit over Eric's head. There is a wonderful message in the movie about friendship and being a loyal friend no matter what. Mater ends up embarrassing Lightning McQueen at the big race and public appearances in Japan, and that story line is really funny. But I think the espionage plot is for kids who are a little older, maybe seven or so.

Eric's favorite part of our outing were the treats! Very seldom does his mom let him get two treats (Reese's pieces and popcorn)! He liked the big screen very much, and he was into watching the cars racing, but he lost interest about halfway through the movie, mostly because, well, he's four! Ha ha! I would give Cars 2 a thumbs up, but I think we'll wait until next year to try another big screen summer blockbuster movie! In the meantime, the ticket stub is safely tucked in Eric's baby book.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First Bed and Breakfast

Good Morning, Marzullo Here...Hope all is well my friends! I had a few days off to kick and relax as I turned 32 years old and one of the ways I relaxed was taking a quick trip up to the state capitol in Columbus. We went up on Friday night and our accomodations were a first for me, as it was my first time staying in a bed and breakfast. However, this was not your traditional bed and breakfast with old furniture, quilts, and a sweet grandmother welcoming you in. We stayed at the German Village Guest House in the heart of Columbus's German Village neighborhood. The hip and modern decor and feel of the home made you feel like you had the entire place to yourself. The guest house was voted best of the city back in 2010 and has racked up several awards. When you arrive there is no front desk you type in a code and enter and the home is yours. With three guest rooms you may run into another couple or two but the serenity is perfect for a weekend trip. In fact we met a very nice couple named Alex and Sandy and I learned that Sandy is a children's book author who just wrote her first book called The Adventures of Foxy. The backyard consists of a awesome patio with covered seating areas and outdoor fireplace which is perfect for a late night glass of wine. If you want to try something different I would highly recommened this little gem in Columbus. Plus you have the wonderful resturants, coffee shops, and one of a kind stores in German Village to brouse and take in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes!

Good Friday Morning - Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits! In my blog this morning, I want to take you back about a week.

Last Thursday night, my family entered unchartered waters. It was my oldest daughter's FIRST dance recital!

Let me set "the stage," (pun intended) as I watched my 3 year old cross the Notre Dame Academy stage in-full costume, ballet shoes and a huge smile, I couldn't help but think how fast time goes.

My daughter stood perfectly in her 3 feet of awesomeness with the rest of her little friends. No slumped shoulders, no tentative steps, no question that she was first on her own priority list. It made me proud, happy and even a little sad that my little girl was growing up “literally” before my eyes!

Her "number" was to the song "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" she was the epitome of "Cinderella" in her costume, my wife did her make-up and she looked beautiful. The performance itself was perfect, or as perfect as 3 and 4 year olds (who realize they're on-stage in front of a few hundred people) get! The girls paid attention to their dance leaders, smiled at teary eyed parents and wowed a crowd of young and old alike.

And if you wouldn't have already guessed, as she was literally having a ball up there. She is not allowed to be this old. I know I keep saying it, but I hope the more I say it, maybe time will somehow start to slow down. As I watched her up on that stage, all I did was stare at her sweet little innocent face and think, 'she is still supposed to be an 8 month old little baby!' But there she was dancing away.

As the curtain closed on the three minute ballet performance, I couldn’t stop thinking about how many things I KNEW my daughter learned…and was walking off the stage with.

In addition to her dance skills, she learned self-confidence, respect, listening skills, how to make friends, and MOST importantly how to believe in yourself! It was honestly a night that seemed magical.

With that said…

To my darling daughter: THANK YOU for giving me a memory that will last a lifetime.

To MJM Studios in Burlington, Kentucky: Your well-trained staff teaches kids to have fun, walk tall and not be afraid to fall, you inspire the youngest of students to always continue learning with an open and positive mind. THANK YOU!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All American Date Night

Good morning, and happy Thursday! Katy here… and I thought I’d share a great “date-night” idea, if you’re looking for plans this weekend. Last weekend Tom and I were having a lazy Saturday, when we decided to go to dinner and see a movie. For dinner, (thanks to one of Rob’s previous blogs) we decided to check out Terry’s Turf Club off of Eastern Ave. All I can say is… wow! We ended up waiting for awhile, because it’s a small restaurant, but it was well worth the wait! We both love a good burger and it didn’t disappoint. The best part was the ooey, gooey cheese… yum!! The restaurant was fun too, decorated in neon signs all over the walls. It definitely had a 50s diner type feel.

From Terry’s we hopped into the Jeep, put on some classic 50s tunes, and drove down Hwy 125 until we reached Amelia, OH. Just on the other side of Amelia we reached our destination… Starlite drive-in movie theater! It had been so long since the last drive-in theater I went to. In fact, I was probably in elementary school. Tom had never been, so it was a lot of fun to see a movie sitting in the car on a comfortable summer night, with the Jeep windows open. We saw Green Lantern, which was not that great, but the drive-in experience made up for it! It was our All-American Date Night!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer In The 'Nati - Take Two

There's nothing like summer in the 'nati! Sheila here, and we are finding so many fun things to do I decided to make this an ongoing series of 'blogs!

If you haven't been out to Lunken Field in awhile, you're really missing something. We went last week to see the B-29 Flying Fortress, the only B-29 from World War Two which is still flying. I was amazed at its size. Ric and Eric waited in line to see it inside and out, while Katie and I sat on a bench and just enjoyed the sunshine. Lunken has a terrific track around it for walking, running, and biking, so you don't wait until there's an attraction to check it out. There's another chance to take in some history starting tomorrow (June 23-26), when the Flying Ford vintage aircraft flies into Lunken, and you can even take a ride on that one. Flights on the Ford Tri-motor are $60 per seat with the cockpit right seat available for $100. And be sure to grab a bite to eat at the Sky Galley restaurant. I love the wraps, and Ric is a fan of the burgers.

My son Eric got to see his very first Reds game this month with his big sister Katie by his side. I've been raising Katie as a Reds fan since we moved back here when she was 5 years old, and I think she goes to more games than I do now! Ric and I took the kids to see the Reds vs. Dodgers, and we were so excited when Brandon Phillips came right up to the crowd along the wall to sign autographs. Eric had no idea what a big deal that was! Brandon's definitely a crowd pleaser because he's so friendly to the fans. Joey Votto hit a homerun to touch off the smokestack fireworks. We ate tons of good ballpark food -- a brat at the ballgame is always a must for me -- and had a great time cheering on our Reds. Perfect day!

If you're looking for an inside activity on one of our horribly hot days, a cool spot is the Jump Zone in Florence. It's a good way for the kids to get some exercise without the danger of heat exhaustion. After about 2 hours of this, Eric took a terrific nap that day, which is just what Mommy needs sometimes! You can sign up for special offers at the Jump Zone website too. Http://

And rain didn't dampen our good time at the Walk for Wishes at Sawyer Point last Saturday. We listened to music from the U.C. Jazz band and B105, ate some Domino's Pizza, and raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Thanks to everyone who came out in the wet weather to make wishes come true with me and Ric, including my fabulous co-workers Katy Morgan, Tom McCullough, and Ashley Whittle!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back

I had the opportunity to take part in Campbell County's Relay for Life again this past weekend.

Hi everyone. Rob here.

This is the 3rd year, I was asked to take part. The relay was held at Newport High School and it raises money for the American Cancer Society. The purpose is not only to raise money. They celebrate those who have survived, remember those who lost the battle, and fight back against this deadly disease.

Hundreds showed up Friday night for opening ceremonies. It was pretty powerful to see the dozens of people who have survived cancer honored. Men, women, young and old proving no one is immune to cancer.

The keynote speaker was Mark Krebs. He's a Newport native, played 4 years of UK basketball and now author. He wrote the book, "Beyond a Dream," which is about more than just basketball. It's about overcoming obstacles and reaching beyond limitation. It is also about Mark's mom and her fight against cancer. She was diagnosed in 2001 and given 9 months to live, but she fought back. Survived nearly 400 chemotherapy treatments and 7 surgeries. She lived to be with her son at Rupp Arena for senior day at UK. Terri Krebs lost her fight against cancer about a year ago. That's hasn't stopped her son from continuing the fight along with hundreds of others this past weekend on the track at Newport High School.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day !

Happy Monday! Frank Here... How was your Father's Day? Did you say thank you to dad for helping you through life? Did you say thank you to dad for putting things inperspective and always being understanding and helpful even if you have not always showed how greatful you are to him? I was able to get up to Cleveland and spend sometime with my dad and mother who I do see often but there is something special about Father's Day itself. I think so many times we probably take our dads for granted because they do not ask for much in return so it is easy to forget but at least one day a year we can say thanks. We spent the morning together with some brunch outdoors and told a few good stories over some bloody marys and eggs benedict. My dad is a great guy after working his entire life he is finally slowing down with his Monday through Friday job but not is working even harder with his second love of his yard. Every weekend he is adding some new shrub, plant, or water fountain. So thanks dad for everything, love you very much!

Friday, June 17, 2011

We're buddies!

Good Friday Morning, Dan Wells writing!

Right now "I'm kind of a big deal" that is of course according to my kids. As you can see by this picture, "Barney and I" are buddies.

If you don't know, Barney is the star of an independent children's television show, aimed at children from ages 1-8. The series, which first aired in 1992, yes I said 92'...features the title character Barney, a purple anthropomorphic tyrannosaurus rex who conveys learning through songs and small dance routines with a friendly, optimistic attitude.

Oh, yes my girls love it!

Now...what's crazy about this blog is the time Barney has been in my life. A colleague alerted me to this fact -- Barney, the lovable purple dinosaur is almost least on TV.

Barney was created in 1987 by Sheryl Leach of Dallas, Texas. She came up with the idea for the program while considering TV shows that she felt would be educational and appeal to her son. Leach then brought together a team who created a series of home videos, Barney and the Backyard Gang, which also starred actress Sandy Duncan in the first three videos. Later, Barney was joined by the characters Baby Bop, B.J., and Riff.

Although the original videos were only a modest success outside of Texas, Barney became a major success only when the character and format were revamped for the television series and were picked up by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), debuting as Barney and Friends in 1992

That little history lesson makes me feel old.

That means, when Barney started his TV career, I was in the 7th grade. I don't remember his debut. But he came on my radar a few years later when my younger brother loved "barney." Now it's my kids turn.

Anyway. What a long run and with that said cheers to making kids happy for decades, Barney!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round

Good Morning, happy Thursday! Katy here… and I wanted to talk about a really neat program that goes on at the Cincinnati Museum Center every Wednesday. I participated in “Celebriteering” yesterday, where I got to read a book to a group of young kids. Naturally, I read a Dr. Seuss book about weather. We had such a great time! I was so impressed with the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, as they provide so many neat things for kids. From jungle gyms, to science stations, and the Little Sprout Farm, which is where I was reading, it all looked so fun. It’s a great place to bring the kids for the afternoon, especially since it’s summer vacation. Every Wednesday at 11 am they have a local celebrity come in and read to a group of kids, that’s what I did yesterday. But after we were done reading, we played a whole bunch of games and songs. From Wheels on the Bus, to Old Mac Donald, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider… the kids sang them all. I actually had to stop and think about the songs, because it’s been so long since I sang them last! But all in all, it was a great time. If you want to learn more about the Little Sprout Farm, or Duke Energy Children’s Museum, I encourage you to head to their website

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daniel's Wish

Meet my new friend Daniel. He's 12 years old, a Boy Scout, a home schooler, and a pretty funny guy. He's also been battling leukemia.

Sheila here, and Daniel is one of the reasons my family is walking this Saturday in the Make A Wish Foundation's Walk for Wishes at Sawyer Point, which makes wishes come true for kids like Daniel.

I got to know Daniel when he and his mom came down to the Fox 19 studios from the West Chester area to promote the Walk, and I shot a commercial with them afterward. Daniel made fun of me and his mom when we messed up our lines, so I really gave it to him when he finally had his own blooper!

Daniel and his family will be at the Walk too. You could say they're paying it forward, because Make A Wish made Daniel's wish come true when he really needed something happy in his life. For kids with leukemia and other life threatening illnesses, life is filled with doctor visits, hospital stays, and painful treatments. Most of us can only imagine the emotional toll on their moms and dads, brothers and sisters. Make A Wish helps these families escape from the reality of illness for awhile.

Daniel's escape was a trip to Disney World. His mom says their family would never have been able to swing this vacation on their own, considering the medical expenses they've been facing with Daniel's illness. When Make A Wish steps in, families like theirs don't have to worry about a thing. Volunteers take care of flights, hotels, expenses, even passports if they're needed for overseas trips, and the family can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Daniel told me his favorite part of the Disney experience was Give Kids The World Village -- a 70-acre resort in Orlando that's specifically designed for children with special needs. It has accommodations, entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and lots and lots of fun things to do. Daniel liked the fact that he could get ice cream anytime. With the support of Walt Disney World, Give Kids The World has the ability to provide an amazing experience at all four of the beloved Walt Disney World parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Each family member and the Wish Child receives three-day park hopper tickets for free, and Wish kids always go to the front of the line. Walt Disney World's favorite characters visit twice a week, and there's a lot more to make the Wish kids feel like royalty while they are there.

Of course, all of these wonderful things take money, and that's where the Walk for Wishes comes in. I hope you will walk with us this Saturday at Sawyer Point. Signup starts at 7:30 a.m., and the walk is at 9:00. And if you can't be there, please donate a dollar or two. Every bit adds up to help kids like my friend Daniel. Here are some links to help you learn more.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Tavola

Checked out Gateway Quarter's newest restaurant.

I was delicious. Hey everyone. Rob here.

A Tavola located in the 12ooth block of Vine Street in Over-The-Rhine.

I loved the food there. So much so, I defended the quality of the food to some guy who called it average. I was said by a guy who didn't seem too discriminating when it came to what he threw down his gullet. Most reviews I have read online agree with me. Now lets back to the restaurant and its food.

The restaurant was created by Jared Wayne, Same Ginocchio and Bill Draznik. The wood burning oven was imported from Italy and produces NYC style pie. It's thin and chewy. We got the margherita pizza. It cost a reasonable $10 bucks. It tasted so good, I would have have paid more. The cheese was fresh. The crust was fantastically chewy in some parts, crispy in others. Oh we also ordered the sweet corn ricotta bruschetta. It was so good, when the server asked us how we liked it, we ordered another one. The menu is super small. When you do something well, you don't need of a lot stuff. A Tavola. Check it out. I'm looking forward to eating there over and over again this summer.

My Hometown and The Vineyards Trip

Sometimes you have those weekends that are just perfect where everything seems to go just right. This past weekend was one of them...Marzullo Here! My girlfriend and a few friends and I went to my hometown of Cleveland this weekend to enjoy a nice Italian dinner at my parents and to spend the afternoon visiting some of Cleveland's vineyards and wineries. We started the weekend with a trip to my hometown of Chagrin Falls where we enjoyed breakfast along the Chagrin River and the tranquil sounds of the waterfalls. I grew up with this my entire life and never really appreciated the beauty of it until I moved away, it is a true little gem in Northeast, Ohio. After breakfast we made the trip east of Cleveland where we visited some of Lake Eries over nineteen wineries and vineyards. The first one we went to is a favorite of my family, The South River Vineyard. It is centered around a old church which was actually built in 1892, however the building was moved and reconstructed in 2002 in Harpersfield, Ohio on the property of a vineyard. You can sit back in the Tuscany atmosphere and overlook acres and acres of vines all while enjoying some of there specially boutique wines. You can also feel free to bring your own cheese and appetizers while listening to great music. After South River we ventured over to Harpersfield Vineyeards and a few others. The weather was perfect with sunshine, the wine tasty, and the company fantastic as Northeast, Ohioans are now just getting out since our weather here warms a lot quicker than up north. So if your looking for a weekend getaway make a trip north.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A good movie and REDBOX!

Good Morning - Dan Wells writing...TGIF! I hope this note finds you well and good spirits.

With it being 90 degrees afternoon movie doesn't sound so bad. Right? Well to be honest, I haven't seen (in my mind) a good film in quite some time. Actually, It's been so long, that I can't even tell you what the last "great" movie was.

But months ago, I had a feeling a "great" movie was on the horizon, before all the nominations and award shows, I tagged this one as a winner. The previews alone were enough to sell this phenomenal story.

DRUM ROLL...I'm talking about The King's Speech!

Now, If you're asking yourself why I didn't actually go to the movie when it came out, the honest answer is...I'm cheap a $10 dollar movie ticket just doesn't work for me.

If you are unfamiliar with The King's Speech, it is a detailed look into King George VI of Britain, and his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Throughout the movie, King George, played by Colin Firth, must overcome a debilitating stammer which makes him an unsuitable fit for the role of king to many of the people of England.

This film is a real mix of every type of genre; it is dramatic, funny, suspensful, and informative. It is an excellent example of fantastic acting, directing, and writing.

The actors are real and easy to connect to.

They make you laugh, cry, and keep you on your toes. It is a story of friendship, trust, and loyalty. It is also an insightful picture into the life of royalty that many may not have known.

In my mind, this is a capitivating and impressive film which, as you can tell, comes highly recommended! So go see it, and the best part, it was ONE DOLLAR.

You have to love - Redbox!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yummy Thai

If there is one thing that I knew about Frank Marzullo after first meeting him, it’s that he loves good food and fine wine! Katy Morgan Here... He’s been talking about Ruthai’s Thai restaurant in Mt. Lookout forever now and how we needed to go check it out with him one night. So, yesterday evening Tom and I went to dinner with Frank and his girlfriend Leslee, and friends Stephanie and Kevin. I’ll admit, I’d never had Thai food before so I was a little nervous to try something new. I went with a spring roll for an appetizer and ordered pork friend rice for my entrée. It was so good, I was asking others to try their dishes as well. I liked the phad thai! What I really liked about it too was that you could bring your own wine to dinner. So I can put a gold star on my calendar for this week, thanks to Frank… I tried a new cuisine! We’ll be going back for sure. After dinner, we all went over to Dutch’s in Hyde Park. Tom and I had never been there before, and we loved it! The best part was when we found out that dogs are allowed on the patio. We’ll be going back there, with our dog, Casey! Although Tom and I have been here over half a year now, I love that there are so many great places to explore. Good food, good wine, good friends. A perfect way to cap off an evening.

Oh, and I can’t wait for lunch today! I’ve got thai leftovers! Yum!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mayor, The Ol' Left-Hander, And Some Special Kids

I met The Mayor!

Sheila here. Sean Casey may not be with the Reds anymore, but he's still doing great things for our community, and it's all because of the 'Ol Left-Hander, Joe Nuxhall.

I love baseball. Always have. I'm not a fan who can quote a bunch of stats. Heck, I don't even know what some of the stats mean! But I love the game, and there's no bigger fan of the Cincinnati Reds. Last week, I was in baseball heaven at the Green Diamond Gallery in Montgomery for a fundraiser for the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League fields. You could call it a win, win, win. I got to meet Sean Casey, one of my favorite former Reds, I got to see some unbelievable baseball treasures while surrounded by my husband Ric and friends, and I got to see why the project in memory of the Ol' Lefthander is so special.

I don't know if you've heard about the Green Diamond Gallery. A local baseball collector named Bob Crotty has amassed so much baseball memorabilia that he decided to open the gallery as a way to showcase and share it. It's not a museum. You can't just show up and pay for a ticket to see it. Bob allows local charities to use the facility to host their fundraising events.

The Green Diamond has more than 5,000 square feet of high-end baseball memorabilia dating from the late 1800's to the present. Want to see Cy Young's autograph? It's there. In fact, you can gaze at hundreds of autographed and mounted baseballs from greats like Mantle, Ruth, Morgan and Bench. The collection includes things like a Roberto Clemente contract for a $6,000 salary. And there's a great photo and autograph of a young Joe Nuxhall, who at 15 was the youngest player ever drafted into the majors.

It was a fitting place to hold a fundraiser for Joe's Miracle League fields, planned for Fairfield. Joe's son Kim was watching Real Sports on HBO several years ago when he saw the very first story about the very first Miracle League in Georgia. That story inspired people all over the U.S.A., including Joe and Kim to work to build their own Miracle League fields for children with special needs to play baseball.

Kim showed us the video, and the tears flowed, just like they did the first time he and his dad learned about the Miracle League. It was one of Joe's dreams to build a field for special needs children in Butler County. Joe loved kids, which is why there's a fantastic Tom Tsuchiya statue of the Ol' Lefthander surrounded by children in Fairfield's Waterworks Park. Kim says one of Joe's dreams was to give disabled children a place to experience baseball, something so basic to most of our childhoods. With one in 10 children in the U.S. living with some sort of disability, I can't think of a better way to let kids be kids, and as Kim says, give their parents the joy of seeing their children just play and have fun.

Speaking of feeling like a kid, I told Kim I felt like a big goober when I met The Mayor, Sean Casey at Friday's event. I've been a fan since he first started at first base with the Reds, and like most Reds fans, I was sad when he left. Even though he no longer lives in Cincinnati, he continues to support efforts started by his good friend Joe Nuxhall. Aside from the Miracle League fields, Sean still supports Nuxhall's character education efforts, now carried on by Kim.

This day was one for the record books for this baseball fan. And I can't wait for the day when we see some kids playing on that Miracle League diamond. You can follow the progress and find out how to help at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blue Oven Bakery

I'm a stalker.

Hello everyone. Rob here.

I'm a stalker of Blue Oven Bakery. It was featured in Cincinnati Magazine a few month back. Then we had the owner, Mark Frommeyer on the show. He's actually a high school classmate of our senior producer. Mark came on told us his story and showed us all different types of bread baked in his wood fired oven. They're delicious. Their website reads: We want to know what we eat, we know what we want to put out there, and we are committed authenticity. That's why we use organic and local ingredients in our baked goods. Growing organically without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic chemicals is better for the soils, the creatures in and around the soil, and our health. Who wouldn't want to eat that. Blue Oven makes whole wheat bread, apricot walnut cranberry bread, baguettes, and my favorite English muffin.

You can find the breads on certains at Findlay Market, Hyde Park's farmer's market and in the Northside neighborhood. Get there early, as they sell out quickly.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Farmers Market Sunday and Mr. Benson's Pool

Summer in the city! If you thought it was hot this weekend, you would be correct. We hit 93 degrees on Saturday and that is the HOTTEST day we have had so far. It was so hot I had to open the Mr. Benson swim club up. I picked up a plastic swimming pool for my dog Mr. Benson and his buddy Mr. Otis. They enjoyed it for about 5 minutes and then they were done. Earlier in the day however I started a new Sunday morning tradition. If you are looking for something fun and relaxing to do on a Sunday morning this summer, then you have to check out the Hyde Park Farmers Market. Marzullo Here! I felt as if I stepped back in time, when you would ride your horse and buggy into town to pick up your fruits and veggies. Every Sunday the square in Hyde Park shuts down from 10 to 1:30pm for LIVE music and vendors from all over the Tri-State set up shop. You can find everything from fresh veggies, herbs, cheese, freshly baked bread, and also ready to eat items. On a hot hazy Sunday morning the GELATO was a perfect breakfast. You can also bring your dog along with your baskets and bags to stock up on everything you need from local farmers who specialize in organic goods as well. I can't wait until mid-summer when local fresh corn and beans start to arrive, nothing like it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Great Vacation...Cheap!

Good Friday Morning - Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

ATTENTION, ATTENTION...I have the perfect "CHEAP" vacation spot for you this summer.

DISCLAIMER: I vacation there myself...I worked at this park for years...and it's pretty much one of my favorite places on Earth!

Yup, it's in Pennsylvania...the good ole "The Keystone State." Don't stop's the pitch below...I promise you will love it, then when you do...write me back and tell me I was right!


Presque Isle State Park, is a national natural landmark and ecological gem, it's Pennsylvania's only "seashore" and its great!

It's a 32,000-acre sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie and offers a unique mix of nature and recreation, including more than 7 miles of pristine beaches, over 320 bird species, a War of 1812 historic site and a paved multipurpose trail.

So What to Expect:

Presque Isle is a day use park with year-round recreational opportunities. The Karl Boyes National Recreation Trail provides nearly 14 miles of paved pathways along Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and in-line skaters. The sandy beaches and CLEAR waters of Lake Erie offer great swimming, boating, fishing, water-skiing and scuba diving during the summer.

Historic Lighthouses:

Presque Isle is actually a sand spit peninsula, not an island. Even its name is French for "almost an island." Because it juts out so far into Lake Erie, lighthouses are necessary to warn boats away. Presque Isle Lighthouse, built in 1872, is still in operation, but not open to visitors. You can get a good look at it from the beach, however. At the eastern tip of the peninsula the Presque Isle North Pierhead has been shining since 1858. Only the grounds are open to the public.

Beaches & Swimming:

The sandy beaches and clear waters of Presque Isle State Park offer the only surf swimming in Pennsylvania, and have earned a place in the nation's "Top 100 Swimming Holes" listed by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Presque Isle beaches are open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Regular hours are 10am to 7:30pm. Beaches 1, 6, 7 and 11 offer fairly shallow swimming areas and the best facilities for families. You can check the current beach conditions and water quality at Earth 911.

Boating & Fishing:

Fishing - Presque Isle Bay and the park's many ponds, bays and piers attract anglers for bass, walleye, northern pike and crappie, while Lake Erie offers some of the best game fishing on the lower Great Lakes. A special Lake Erie fishing permit is required to fish in Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay or their tributaries.

Boating - Four launching areas are available in the park for both non-powered and registered powered craft. If you don't have a boat, a variety of powered and non-powered boats, canoes and other watercraft are available from a rental concession on the park's southeast shore.

Birding & Bird Watching:

Presque Isle State Park is a great stop for bird watching, rated by Birder's World magazine as one of the top birding spots in the country. Presque Isle's location along the Atlantic Flyway and its ecological diversity support over 320 recorded species of migrating and indigenous birds. Exhibits and displays detailing these birds and other natural wonders can be seen at the Stull Interpretive Center, located near Barracks Beach.
Presque Isle Scenic Boat Tours:

Places to Stay Near Presque Isle State Park:

Visitors to Presque Isle State Park enjoy a variety of lodging options, including everything from upscale hotels to a tent by the lakeshore.

Directions to Presque Isle State Park:

Presque Isle State Park can be reached by PA Hwy 832 or by boat.

From Cincinnati:

Take I-71N towards Cleveland....then merge on I-271 N and W... towards Erie Follow I-90 to Hwy 832 (Peninsula Drive). Take a left off the exit and follow about 8 miles directly to the park.

Have a great weekend~!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

Good morning, happy Thursday!! This past weekend I took a short vacation back to Myrtle Beach to take part in my friend Marla Walter’s wedding. Tom and I had a great time catching up with the bride and groom, plus all of our old work friends in Myrtle Beach. It was my first experience being part of the wedding party, but won’t be the last. This year alone I have 5 weddings to attend, including my own. I’ll be in the wedding party for another friend of mine in August, and then of course I have my own to look forward to in October! But Marla sure has set the bar! It was a beautiful ceremony, in the backyard of a beach house overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Very intimate and sweet! The coral and green colors she chose were perfect with the beach backdrop! Then we walked next door for the reception, at another beach house. Under a big tent, there were dozens of white lanterns strung, giving it a perfect summer beach feel. I’ll admit it, after attending this wedding… A beach wedding for Tom and I is appealing! But still, having ours here in Cincinnati is definitely going to be top notch, and exactly what we want. I can’t wait for October!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer in the 'Nati

We finally made it to summer!

Hi, it's Sheila. I know we didn't have much of a spring with all of the rain, but I am loving this warm weather, and there's no better time to live in Greater Cincinnati than right now because there are so many things to do!

Saturday, my guys and I headed down to the Taste of Cincinnati with a few hundred thousands of our friends. We had a bit of lunch, and we listened to our friend Greg's band, Cover Model. Eric danced to the music while sipping a fresh squeezed lemonade (now that really says summer!) I put some money in the jar at The Bistro's stand to vote for its Korean BBQ Turkey Slider with Slaw. Yum! And we topped it off with a double serving of Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding from Bella Luna. To die for!

Last week, Eric and I made our first trip of the season to Kings Island to check out the new Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. He had a blast pushing the buttons to make these life sized creatures move, wag their tails, and nod their heads. The layout on this thing is amazing. You take a long walk through the woods on acreage previously unused by the park. The dinos peek out at you and roar as you approach. Eric kept saying, "I'm not scared!" It's the world's largest collection of animatronic dinosaurs, and if you have a little guy who loves all things reptilian, it's a must for your next Kings Island visit. The park is offering Dinosaurs Alive birthday parties too.

And what's summer without some lunch outside? I finally got down to Jean-Francois Flechet's new Taste of Belgium location at The Banks. You've probably heard of his famous authentic Belgian waffles, whether from his stand at Findlay Market, or one of the other places around town. (Did you know you can even get them for wedding favors?) But Jean-Francois offers a full menu at this new cafe right inside the Freedom Center. You can get in from the museum or from a separate entrance at the corner of Walnut St. and Freedom Way. My girlfriend Lauren had the Veggie Crepes with Balsamic Vinagrette, and I had the Belgian Onion Soup with a salad. He has a big selection of breakfast and lunch fare, including chicken and waffles. Maybe I'll get that next time! And if you haven't seen how The Banks is shaping up, it's a great place to take in the view. It almost feels like a little vacation.