Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cincinnati - Day 2 - Sharks, Shopping & Swimming

It was warmer as predicted, but it was also wet as predicted. The rain started coming down mid-morning. We enjoyed the excellent Express Start breakfast bar (cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, sausages and the usual assortment of beverages, breads, cereals and fruit). We drove to Newport, KY (across the river from Cincinnati) to the Newport Aquarium. The aquarium is part of a shopping/recreational facility called the Newport on the Levee. Underground parking is available for $3.00. If it is full, there are plenty of surface parking lots around the facility.

Unfortunately, to enter the Aquarium, one has to go outside. Fortunately, the rain turned into a light drizzle and we brought umbrellas. There was lineup to buy tickets, but it moved quickly. We entered the aquarium and proceeded to view the tanks and display, which were grouped according to themes. Everynow and then you would walk through a tank, which meant fish and water right above you. The shark tank was amazing. You not only walked through the tank, but there were a few places with a glass floor. Jeremy especially liked the glass floors. Corbin loves sharks, so naturally, the shark tank was the highlight of the day. The only downside of the aquarium was the clustering of people around the small tanks - sometimes it was impossible to view some of the tanks. After about 2 1/2 hours of walking, we made it to the gift shop. There was a candy shop beside the aquarium, so like every other Szymczak family vacation, we had to go inside and buy some sweets.

Next on the agenda was some lunch and shopping. We drove up to Kenwood Towne Centre (located at I-71 & Montgomery Road or Kenwood Rd). We did some shopping (including a visit to Williams-Sonoma where Tina bought some pancake molds) before mowing down on some cheap but tasty food from Great Steak and Potato Company. More shopping afterwards. Back to the hotel for some relaxation and swimming. Dried up and searched for a Target (our favorite department store). Drove north on I-71 for about 5 minutes and proceeded to browse and shop. Adam got some more jeans and Tina found some cheap Playmobil toy sets. Bought some other things and drove back to the hotel. Ordered a pizza from Donato's, which was hot and tasty - large chunks of ingredients right to the edge of the pizza, which Tina and Adam washed down with beer. Gotta love vacation.

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