Last weekend with 4/5 of our family together was, in a word, marvelous. The only thing it would have taken to make it perfect would be to have Papa Bear there. I absolutely loved getting to spend some hardcore quality time with my mom, and seeing Jon and Em in their Ohio homes made me so happy!
Mom and I arrived at the Northern Kentucky Regional Airport on Thursday in gale-force winds, yikes. I should've known the weekend was going to rock when the rental car guy mistook me for a kid on a college campus visit after Jodester told him we were "headed up to Miami." Anytime someone thinks I look like I could be an incoming college freshman is a time I want to repeat, preferably forever. Thanks! We did a little shopping to kill some time, then headed to Em's adorable Hyde Park apartment for some Sancerre and catching up!
Dinner was a girls-only affair at E+O Kitchen, right around the corner from her neighborhood.
We couldn't get enough of the brussels sprout and kale salad...
...or my drink, a vodka-strawberry-cucumber-jalapeno concoction called the "Summer Bliss."
We also loved the "Two Lil Piggies" sushi roll.
Highlight of the night was simply spending time with these two, though. My mom and my sister are legit my favorites (even though Emily is convinced she's a Jessa/Monica and she is 100% a Hannah/Phoebe).
The next day Em worked, so Mom and I took a long walk around adorable Mariemont before heading to “the Oxbox” to pick up Jonathan! We arrived to find one very hungover little second-semester senior in need of lavosh and a mimosa, hence…Quarter Barrel.
After that, I basically pretended I was still an undergrad in the Miami student union while working on disaster recovery plans…it kind of killed the undergrad vibe a bit. We had such a great afternoon though, and it was hilarious to spend time around the college students, let alone the visiting high schoolers. It sort of made me die inside a little bit when I realized I’m fully a decade older than many of them…and they’d be graduating college around my ten-year reunion. ALL THE SADS.
We met up with Em, headed to Over-the-Rhine (the Northeast of Cincy, I’ve decided), shopped a bit, and hit up Senate for dinner. Senate’s known for their hot dogs, but I would like to offer a special shout-out to this utterly ridiculous tiki drink I accidentally ordered (and loved). I’m clearly totally ridiculous.
Also of note: the hot dogs. I had the “Lindsay Lohan:”
…a dog topped with bacon, goat cheese, caramelized onions and “a whole lotta drama.” It was worth every drama-filled bite. Dead. I die.
Em and I split off from Mom and Jon to go to the Oh Hellos concert that evening, and I summarily fell in love with both the venue:
(um hi adorable.) And the band. They were SO incredibly fun, energetic and excited live, and watching them and their opener (The Collection) play all the instruments, including a freaking zither, made my life.
Saturday was brunch at Taste of Belgium, complete with major mimosas.
And all the waffles. And, if you’re Jonathan, a meat-filled crepe that still required an additional side of bacon. (I think he has a tapeworm.)
We spent the entire day shopping and chasing around Cincy, and had to stop to refuel with wine at the Nordstrom Café after spending, I shit you not, three hours trying to find a sweater for Jonathan to wear that night. I went in Brooks Brothers more in that three hour period than I have ever before in my life.
Clearly the wine was highly necessary. We ditched Nordstrom and pulled off the world's quickest change at our hotel before heading over to Zula for a fantastic dinner and then making our way to Cincinnati Music Hall for the Cincinnati Symphony's performance of Mahler's 9th!
How gorgeous is a: that building and b: my sister?! Clearly she's cemented her status as the pretty sister with, as usual, absolutely zero effort. I adore her.
The Music Hall was all gorgeous chandeliers and ornate old molding and paneling. I fell in love hard and fast, loving the contrast from my beloved, ultra-modern Orchestra Hall at home.
The orchestra, under the direction of former conductor Jésus López-Cobos, played an absolutely incredible rendition of Mahler 9, his "deathbed symphony," and I was completely enchanted the entire way through. Even the performers got emotional as Cobos took his bows...it was obvious that they had played "with the blood," to quote my beloved "Mozart in the Jungle!"
On Sunday morning, we had a leisurely brunch in Mariemont (where Jonathan crowned himself King of Cincinnati) before taking Little Bro back to Oxford. I laughed (inordinately hard) at the license plate outside his apartment...it's not his car, but encapsulates his fratty little life perfectly.
Mom and I took advantage of the beautiful day to drive around campus a little bit. I've hardly spent any time there, but I can't get over how gorgeous Miami is with the matchy-matchy Colonial buildings and beautiful signage. It seems so stereotypically college...just like Notre Dame, but with a very different feel to it.
Once back in Cincy, we spent hours at Em's place working on our upcoming family trip. Before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to the "Queen City" and roll back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, minus two siblings. I miss Meems and JD like crazy...already counting the days til our next trip back for...omg...Jonathan's college graduation in just five weeks!