I don’t know why I always book early morning flights. Getting up at 4:45 am is not my cup of tea! But I got to the airport and the lady checking my luggage was able to get me my TSA pre-check, which didn’t show up on my boarding pass initially. But it turned out it didn’t really matter. There was literally one person ahead of me in security. So I didn’t have to remove my shoes. I still got “randomly selected” for additional screening, i.e. a groping.
I slept the entire way to Chicago. I literally do not remember the plane even taking off. The flight from Chicago to Dayton was like 38 minutes, so it was nice to have two very short flights. I got to Dayton and picked up my rental car (which had MN plates!) and made my way to Cincinnati. I checked in at my hotel (which is actually in Kentucky…just across the river).
My first tourist thing to do was go to Skyline to get the famous Cincinnati chili. It was different. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a base layer of spaghetti noodles, topped with “chili”, and then a mound of shredded cheddar cheese. That’s what I had: the “3-way.” You can also get onion and beans and other things. It is very hard to describe, but my tow truck driver described it best. It’s a spicy spaghetti sauce! One of the main ingredients is cinnamon. Like I said, it’s different!
Then I went into Cincinnati to Findlay Market. It’s supposed to be a Farmer’s Market type thing with a ton of vendors. Unfortunately, over half of the vendors were closed (probably because it was a weekday). But I had a tasty banana and Nutella waffle from the Belgian stand. It was very good. Then I decided that I couldn’t keep my eyes open much longer, so I returned to my hotel and took a two-hour nap!
When I woke up I got ready and made my way across the river for the game. But I didn’t make it because I got into an accident. I rear-ended the guy in front of me as my lane was merging due to parked cars in my lane. I had to have only been going 5 mph, but my car was undriveable. His car? He had some paint transfer on the bumper. That’s it. No dents, nothing. And yet, my car was dead. I was so mad at myself and sad that this happened. The other driver was incredibly kind. He wanted to call the police and I’m glad he did. When I said all we needed to do was exchange information, I didn’t know that my car was dead. He called the police and we went to move our cars out of the lane of traffic and that’s when I realized it was dead.
I called the car rental place to let them know and they started an “expedited” tow. It took them, 45 mins. We waited on the sidewalk and chatted. I learned a lot about him. His daughter just finished her junior year of college and started her first day at an accounting firm that day. He was very understanding, so that helped a lot. He apologized a couple times for me missing the game, but hello, it’s my fault!
The tow guys came and the cops never showed, so the other driver left once they got my car on the tow truck. The tow guys were also incredibly nice. One was from OH and one was from KY and I told them that their accents were crazy different! The OH guy said it was because he was from the city and the KY guy was from the sticks. The KY guy said he had never met someone from MN before and the OH guy said that he had met one person from MN…”but he talked real funny.” SEEEE…I don’t have an accent!! The KY guy also made a crack about the bridge collapsing as we were driving over it. Funny guy. But they were just so nice.
Then the people at Hertz were also super nice. They had problems contacting the Dayton office, so the manager came and finagled a new car for me and put a lot of work into making sure the cost was the same (renting from them was much more expensive than Dayton). She actually got it slightly cheaper and got me a slightly bigger car. The OH tow guy came in to check on me before they left to make sure I was ok and that everything was getting worked out.
I then made it to the ballpark at about 8:40 and it was only the top of the 5th. About 15 secs from the time I first glimpsed the field, Brandon Moss hit a 2-run shot to break a 4-4 tie! I wasn’t in the mood to check out the stadium or go hunting for the pizza I had planned to have, so I just got a hot dog and a cider and took my seat. 26 rows up from the Cardinals batting circle. The Cards won in a rout, so that definitely cheered me up!
I got back to the hotel and called my insurance to make the claim. Turns out the guy had called already, which I figured he would’ve done. That person was also very nice and reassuring. So it was not a great start to vacation, but I’m trying to put it behind me and go have a great day today!