August Freedom

The familiarity of fall and the end of summer break is creeping up, reminding everyone that a new school year is looming. Pastel crayon boxes, spiral notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils and trendy dorm décor fill the stores. College students gear up for a trip back to their stomping grounds, while young kids push their bedtimes just a bit later, cherishing the hot, sticky summer nights.

This is the August I’ve known for almost my whole life. For 20 years I’ve followed this routine. Now, though, I’m in unfamiliar territory.

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On Being On

I am a very social person. I thrive on meeting people, trying new things, striking up conversations and hearing people’s stories. Lucky for me, that’s what the tourism industry is all about. It’s not just about planning a trip, showing people around and selling a city. It’s about making friends. It’s about making lasting connections. It’s about realizing that the people you work with, the people that run a city, the people that are visiting – they’re all just people. They’re wandering through life just the same way we are, just down their own unique paths.

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Cincinnati Weekend

Now that it’s the weekend, I thought I’d share a brief itinerary of how I spent last weekend. With so much to do in this lively and historic city, it’s important to spend time taking it all in. Don’t waste two precious days of sunshine and free time. Instead, explore.

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FRIDAY

After a busy day at work, I started my weekend festivities with some good eats and happy hour drinks.

Gomez Salsa

Located in Over-the-Rhine, like so many of my other local favorites so far, Gomez Salsa is a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint. Literally, it’s a hole in the wall. A window on 12th Street, just east of Walnut Street, has sheets of paper and pencils in a slot nearby for customers to check boxes for their order and turn it in through the window.

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Red Bike, Rhinegeist & Ryan

My second week in Cincinnati was just as eventful as the first. People in my office keep telling me I started at a great time. Last week at work we had a team lunch at a brand new restaurant called Maplewood Kitchen and Bar and a wedding shower for a coworker. We had an office outing at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State where we cooked with professional chefs, and we ended the week with an ice cream social for our entire building.

Alongside the fun, I’m still keeping busy with the actual responsibilities of my job. A lot of time is being spent preparing for the upcoming NAACP National Convention, which is expected to draw tons of national media coverage due to the election year. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are expected to speak, so needless to say it’s one of our biggest events of the summer. I’ve also been programming newsletters to send out to CVB members, and reaching out to trade publications to promote Cincinnati for their upcoming issues.

But you’re here for the entertaining stuff, right? Enough about me…you want to know about Cincinnati! Well lucky for you (and for me!), I’ve continued discovering all that Cincy has to offer. Here are the highlights from last week.

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Finding the stories

I’ve been in Cincinnati for almost two weeks, and it’s been everything I hoped it would be. In just that short amount of time I’ve experienced so much in this city, tried some new things, and met some wonderful people. I’ve learned that what makes the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and even the little hat shop on the corner fascinating are the stories behind them. Cincinnati has such rich history and is filled with stories. It’s those stories that I’m already loving and am eager to discover.

Here are a few snippets of my story in Cincinnati so far, from the local venues I’ve visited, the restaurants and bars I’ve tried, and a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

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