Thursday, May 23, 2013


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FMCA Headquarters - Cincinnati, Ohio
We are members of the world's largest motor home group, FMCA, Family Motor Coach Association, and when we travel through Cincinnati we usually stay at the Headquarter's campground. A member benefit is that we are entitled to stay at their campground for 2 complimentary nights a month, and we opted to stay 3 nights upon arrival - at a cost of $20, which includes water, electricity and sewer, in other words, a full hookup (FHU).  

No, we didn't go to WKRP (if you are old enough to remember), but we did enjoy some new experiences and we hope you will as well!  

SKYLINE CHILI - Since 1949 Skyline Chili has become a tradition enjoyed by generations - Cincinnati Chili, Coney's, Ways, and table-side service.  We talked to locals about exactly what we should order.  RV had 3-way, I had 4-way uniquely seasoned  Cincinnati chili.  That means I had spaghetti, chili, beans and cheese.  We ordered a small order and split a coney - hot dog, chili, cheese, mustard.   

This logo is very familiar to Cincinnati!

Cincinnati chili  - 4 way!
GRAETER'S ICE CREAM - Since 1870, Graeter's Ice Cream is a name synonymous with ice cream in Ohio.  This is also listed as the number 1 restaurant in Cincinnati - hands down.  Wow . Incredible . Indulgent . Delicious.  This chain (with over a dozen ice cream parlors) pretty much has the sweet tooth covered at every angle.  I had the raspberry chocolate chip in a waffle cone, and I think I teared up on my last lick.  Yum.  RV had vanilla ice cream in a cup.   By the way, this is a reason to return to this city.
Graeter's Ice Cream - Mariemont, Cincinnati, OH location 2013

Graeter's Ice Cream - Mariemont - Cincinnati, OH 2013
For those of you who may not have heard of JJ's, this is an awesome international food market with over 200,000 square feet, yes, 200,000 SF,  which carries over 150,000 products.  This is their second store in Cincinnati, Ohio, and opened in September 2012, after being under construction for almost 3 years.  The staff moves efficiently throughout the store on segways.   It was difficult to show restraint with so many  varieties....hundreds of selections...completely overwhelming!  Loved every minute of it.  This was the ultimate ethnic food lover's paradise!  I love you Jungle Jim's!!
Jungle Jim's Entrance - Eastgate - Cincinnati, OH 2013

Jungle Jim's Entrance - Eastgate - Cincinnati, OH 2013
Jungle Jim employee on his segway! 2013

Jungle Jim's - Eastgate - Cincinnati, OH 2013
Highlights of our 3+ hour shopping reconnaissance trip included:  A huge hot sauce section (one cost $1,500. and you will have to call EMS to revive you).

A huge international cheese section including a monster 7,000+lb. Wisconsin cheese, candy and MORE candy, larger-than-life produce market, homemade salsa bar, humongous olive bar, and ethnic everything, etc. With all the varieties and selections we hardly knew which way to turn next.
I think Santa may get his candy here!

Do you need an ostrich or a duck egg?

The olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop kept us occupied quite a while.  The seafood department was fantastic - including live fish tanks; a tea and coffee tasting area, huge wine and beer section.  I'm sure I have left out half of what we saw but I think you get the picture!
Jungle Jim's - Eastgate - Cincinnati - OH 2013

Jungle Jim's Pirate Ship - Cincinnati OH - Eastgate 2013

Jungle Jim's Travel Trailer - Cincinnati, OH - Eastgate 2013

Jungle Jim's Seafood Exhibit - Cincinnati - Eastgate 2013

Seafood Counter - 2/4 CT Shrimp 2013

Top - is Tiger Shrimp 2013

International Cheeses Department - Jungle Jim's 2013 

International Cheeses - Jungle Jim's 2013

Gourmet Cookware Section - Jungle Jim's 2013

7,155 lb Wisconsin Cheese Wheel - Jungle Jim's - 2013

Nascar Race Car - Jungle Jim's 2013
Quirky is an understatement throughout the store!  The bathrooms are entered through what appears to be a porta-john, but when you enter, the restrooms are actually gorgeous and very spacious.  Next door is a theatre showing a film about the history of JJ's!
Movie Theatre - Jungle Jim's 2013
JJ must have been a true American picker.... An old monorail from Kings Island, a pirate ship from a hotel in Las Vegas, a vault from a bank on Colerain Ave. in Cincinnati, even seats from an airliner up near the front registers....and everywhere you turned...more!

We're poised to leave Cincinnati in the morning and will arrive in Shipshewana, Indiana, mid-afternoon.   

Monday, May 20, 2013


Thursday morning, May 16, we left the Sevierville, TN area and rolled about 221 miles north to the "horse capital of the world", located in the heart of Kentucky's bluegrass region, also known as Lexington, KY.  We quickly found a very comfortable spot in the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park Campground which is adjacent to the largest tourist attraction in Kentucky, the Kentucky Horse Park, which spans over 1200 lush acres.  A gentle drizzle of rain on the roof of our coach started mid-afternoon and made it possible to get a most restful sleep that first night.   ....Think rain on a tin roof.
Entrance Kentucky Horse Park

Blue Grass Country

Horses of the World 

Horses of the World Stalls

Grave Sites of Famous Horses

Arena for Hunter Jumper Event


Horse Farms and Countryside
You don't have to be a horse lover to enjoy the natural beauty, culture and history of Lexington....but it helps. There are over 500 horse farms in the area with some very interesting names....  Elmendorf Farm, Spendthrift Farm, Calumet Farm, Walnut Hall Farm, Spindletop Farm, to name a few.  It seemed to us that just about every ride took us through a scenic area more beautiful than the one before.

Lexington Horse Farm Countryside

Horse Farm Countryside

Lexington Horse Farm Countryside

Driving through Lexington Horse Farms
 We spent our first full day at the Horse Park and enjoyed it thoroughly.  We were in the Arena for the first part of a 3 day hunter jumper competition.  The Park offers 2 museums, nice walks, views of celebrity horses, restaurants and lots of bluegrass.
Getting ready for Hunter Jumper Competition

Blue Ribbon Competitor

Blue Ribbon Competitor

Hunter Jumper Competition
Traveling to downtown Lexington you can't miss the state's flagship university and largest employer in the area, the University of Kentucky.  RV made lots of commotion when we passed Rupp Arena.  I didn't have a clue, of course, but now I know how important Adolph Rupp was to the University of Kentucky and Kentucky basketball history.
Rupp Arena - Downtown Lexington

University of Kentucky Library

Commonwealth Stadium - University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky - College of Agriculture

Scenic Walk - University of Kentucky Campus
We took an interesting side trip to the Capital of Kentucky in Frankfort, about 20 miles from Lexington.  Almost in the shadows of Kentucky's state capitol building is the Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory.  The original "bourbon balls"  are as delicious as the famous "Mint Kentucky Colonels".  RV said I looked like Lucy in the chocolate factory.  Friends had warned us not to go there, to turn around, don't stop, stay away...but we walked away with lighter pockets as well as some of the most delicious chocolate candy, and now my RV chocolate reserve is returning to normal. 
State Capitol  - Frankfort, Kentucky

Franklin County, Kentucky

Rebecca Ruth Candy Company

Chocolate candy at Rebecca Ruth Candy Company

Handmade chocolates - Rebecca Ruth Candy Company
We will return to Lexington again.  Several famous people from this area include Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, as well as Henry Clay, who ran unsuccessfully 3 times for President of the U.S., and was former Secretary of State for President John Quincy Adams as well as a former U. S. Senator and Congressman in the 1800's. 

Thanks again for all your comments about our blog and for being interested in following us as we discover America.  Tomorrow, Monday morning, we'll be rolling north about 82 miles and will be staying in Cincinatti, OH several days.   Like RV says, "Life rocks when your living room rolls!"