The Cincinnati Kids!


To quote Ice Cube “Today is going to be a good day.”

The Skipah travelling road show had an impromptu course direction yesterday from the great Hoosier state to the the Queen City better known as Cincinnati, OH or for your hipsters the ‘Nati.  As much as I wanted to drive on down to the corporate offices of The Cincinnati Reds and give them the what for on what in the hell they are doing anymore, I refrained and opted for more a peaceful solution….hate mail.  The office secretary pool is currently on an email spamming campaign to the owner, general manager, and team president asking for answers!  In three years we went from really good to the equivalent of the MLB version of the Bad News Bears!  I’ve got hangnails older than most of the players on the club now.


She drove, I commentated or took a bunch of pictures living by the blogger code of “you never know I could make this into something!”  

The first stop was to the world famous build it yourself store of IKEA.  Mr. Skipah had only heard rumors of this monstrosity and had never seen the store first hand.  Miss Madison described it as an experience, I had my doubts but I’m the same guy whose IQ has been known to be the equivalent of the high temperature in wintertime Minnesota.

First we had to get there and travel the southeastern corner of Indiana, the absolute great thing about Miss Madison is how we think alike.  If we see some oddball store or quaint little downtown area, we are checking it out!  This trip would be no different as the good folks at Pat’s Bulk Foods welcomed us with open arms and I spent a hard earned $1.28 on some Applewood smoked salt.  Will I ever use it?  Hell if I know, but now I have some and you don’t!  Throw in an absolute gem of a city in Aurora, IN along the way and we were ready to get our inner Buckeye on.


Hold the phone Miss Madison I’m going to be here a while!


Culinary ninjas any suggestions?

2016-02-07 15.39.24

Not pictured, the casino a mile away!  This place is a hidden gem though!


Easiest decision I’ve ever had to make!

What ingenious Swede come up with IKEA.  That place was sensory overload!  I checked with the accounting department before I left and they informed me the company credit card was maxed out and after the $1.28 purchase at Pat’s our gross operating balance was 92 cents, on the bright side a Diet Dr. Pepper Polar Pop only cost 85 cents!  So needless to say this was more of a road trip than shopping trip.  If you have never been to an IKEA find the one closest to you and go immediately you will not be disappointed!  How they can turn a 307 square foot apartment flat into something livable for under a 2,000 dollars is truly a beauty to see in person.  Ligonberry juice were have you been all my life!


“It doesn’t look that big” I muttered….”You sure that’s Diet Dr. Pepper your drinking” was her response.


One shot of this and I knew this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Running on caffeine and the euphoric high of Lingonberry juice it was off to the organic shopping mecca of Trader Joe’s.  I’ve got to come clean on this one, a year ago I would have told you I was dancing naked at the Super Bowl before I would look forward to going to Trader Joe’s.  Trader Joe’s is awesome, cheap, and healthy.  I’m still not 100% sold on this whole organic craze, but when I can walk out of there spending half of what I would have somewhere else I don’t care if it is organic or grown in the soil from a field in Chernobyl.



I guess the talking grape called in sick, or she drew the short straw.

The last leg of our Cincy experience was to be a stop at an area Meijer’s (it’s like a Walmart only without Walmart shoppers), then something magical happened.  While sitting in traffic and perusing the area Skipah’s extra spidey sense kicked in and he looked left.  He saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen since my precious Sloane was born and that time I clicked “like” on Miss Madison’s dating profile.  I saw a Restoration Hardware storefront.  I’ve been receiving their catalog for a while now basically to torture myself and advance my criminal bank robbing career.  They have an actual store for me to set foot in….SOLD!  The store didn’t disappoint at all, and actually the whole Kenwood Towne Centre mall was spectacular.


Anybody got ten grand laying around?


My Android immediately went into attack mode all on it’s own!  Lasers and smoke bombs just magically starting shooting out of it, luckily no one was hurt.


Mental note…..Feign illness if Miss Madison ever is near this store again.  Stage a seizure, hack a limb off, or tie myself to an escalator anything to distract her!

At one point Miss Madison was about five minutes away from having a missing person’s report filed with the Hamilton County police department until I found out she was being held hostage by clothing in a dressing room.  This wasn’t my first trip to a mall by any means, but this place made any mall I’ve ever been to (non-outlet mall division) look like an area Goodwill store in comparison.  After telling Sloane about it we might be there next weekend so she can see the Lego store firsthand herself, as she was none too happy with dad upon learning I was near the toe stubbing mecca of interlocking plastic and didn’t take her.  We did finally make it too Meijer and headed back to the land of Hoosier, in what I can only describe as some of the most “free” fun I’ve ever had.  Now back to casing the Main Source bank up the road from me!


What the hell am I in Kentucky or something?  A Meijer with a barn motif?  


Isn’t he like a 100 now!

About it for now, the Skipah Super Bowl Extravaganza is coming up and I’ve got to get my bets in with Hammy.  I’m not betting the traditional things like point spreads and such.  I’m all in for how many times Jim Nantz and Phil Simms absolutely lose their minds over Peyton Manning properly executing a five yard out pass.  The line is at 3.5 and I’m sure they will cover that by halftime.  Just kidding here’s hoping #18 has something left in the tank one last time as he’s been as influential as just about anybody in the last 20 years in this state.  Lucas Oil Stadium is never built and we aren’t hosting Super Bowls if not for Mr. Chicken Parmesan!  Injuries and luck (Andrew that is) are the reason he didn’t retire here, but I’m hoping he goes out a winner one last time!

Send Skipah Sailing!


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  10. Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely stick to it.

  11. I’ve actually been to Jungle Jim’s and that was an experience also :). I’m sure if I lived closer to IKEA most of my furniture would be from there, relatively speaking it’s cheap but high quality.

  12. Almost two years into blogging I’ve learned you can turn just about any photo into something for a blurb on your post :).

  13. My stomping grounds! Roughly half of the furniture I own came from that IKEA.

    Next time stop at Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield if you’ve never been (aka an IKEA-sized grocery store with food from all over the world).

  14. Hey Gary, I guess you really had a blast that day.
    I really like the way you have captured everything. I am not use to clicking images and I end up regretting after any trip. I think I should make it a habit, this will definitely help me in forming new blog post.

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  17. I’ve heard the assembly can be quite frustrating with IKEA, but they certainly know how to run a store!

  18. Great time :), although I learned Miss Madison is a window shopaholic!

  19. Ooooooooo! Fun! Road trip!

  20. I love Ikea, half my house is Ikea, but it is a test of my patience because with every piece of furniture there is always one section that I have to take apart because I did it backwards. Luckily, they made the taking apart as easy as the putting together!

  21. I couldn’t imagine living five minutes away, I’d be washing dishes in the cafeteria just to fund my new addiction to the place. I’ve heard of the horror stories in assembly, but seeing the store firsthand was neat!

  22. IKEA is pretty extraordinary. Where I used to live, there was one 5 minutes away. Needless to say, it furnished my son’s rooms from childhood all the way to university and beyond. Just be prepared to build — everything is “assembly required” and, well, they have their own unique approach. I’ll say no more.

  23. If you are anywhere near one check it out, it really is an experience. Do I get any credit for ligonberry juice as opposed to my normal go to for refreshment entertainment?

  24. It’s 30 degrees here today, I would happily trade you locales :).

  25. Never been to ikea, but from what you talked about, I should check it out soon! Way to rock the day!

  26. I liked the shopping experience in “nati” without leaving AZ.

  27. Thanks Ann, it was a blast. Restoration Hardware was something else to see in person.

  28. I enjoyed that armchair shopping with you. Painless.

Tell Skipah all about it!