A Hop Skip to Cincinnati


There are few things for which I'm willing to wake up early enough to catch a morning flight to a different city and be back just after dinner time (aka when all the food spots are closed), but family is definitely one of them. This past week, after I shuffled all of my belongings from Somerville to Cambridge (quite the trek, huh?) and tried to snuggle back into dorm life amidst a non-stop welcoming week for the freshman, I snuck away for a quick day trip to Over The Rhine, Cincinnati, OH to spend my mom's beautiful day of birth with her and my nuclear family. While you might be thinking, "Oh, she's from Miami, Ohio?" I remind you that I'm still flowing with Floridian blood, and the reason the plane flew me to OH instead of MIA is simply that my sister just recently made the move from NYC down to OTR for a year. 

So, for a grand total of about 7 hours, I explored this new city and enjoyed the time with my family all together - as it hadn't happened since my sister's Master's graduation back in May, and won't happen again until Thanksgiving. 

Fresh off the plane, my sister and I drove through the city and paused at Findlay Market to pick up my mom's cake.

As standard little sister protocol, I was left in the car as my sister pulled off to the side to run quickly into the bake shop. This gave me ample time to enjoy the air conditioning before the scorching strolls through OTR, as well as begin to admire the architectural styles that didn't quite resemble anything with which I was familiar. Already armed with my "looking up" perspective and primed with my dad eagerly sending me photos of building corners and doors (probably as frantic proof that he does, indeed read my blog), I set out on the streets of OTR, looking up in awe. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the colors, textures, and designs that bathed this little neck of the urban woods. 

And what's a trip to a trendy city without tasting their donuts? Holtman's is conveniently near to my sister's apartment, and fusion-y enough to combat the likes of Miami's The Salty Donut and Boston's Union Square and Blackbird Donuts. Fruity pebbles and fluff? Yes, please! 

Even with my limited time in OTR, I managed to squeeze in a quick hug and catch-up with Sara after a long (two week) stretch apart from being roommates! 

As my 8pm takeoff time crept closer, we hurried to celebrate my mom's birthday with a decadent cake that was surprisingly gluten free and dairy free! (Note: Given that I LOVE dairy, and I am reluctant to trust many things sans gluten, I did not expect this rendition of a "German Chocolate Cake" to taste just as heavenly as it actually did. So props to my sister, the healthy daughter, for winning this round). 

Honoring each year of my incredible mom's life with just one candle was definitely not enough for me, but it was more than enough for the fire alarm - hence the frantic fanning of the Airbnb post song and wish. 

While I could've spent a whole week in this city that is reminiscent of a Wynwood (given its varied cultural history coupled with an unfortunate economic decline, and recent rise in youth and popularity) meets Brooklyn style of spot, I had to fly back to Boston to resume my welcoming week duties. Until next time, or the Kentucky Derby, OTR! 

Xx, Maia