This morning, I woke up a few minutes before six and started getting geared up to drive to Cincinnati. In retrospect, I probably should have slept for another hour, I did doze off a few times on the way down.

I took Katie to Hopple St. to look for the entrance to the abandoned Cincinnati subway project. There is a Wendy’s near where I wanted to look, so I parked in their lot and wandered around a construction project going on at the bank next door. The number one thing that I learned from my dad in regards to banking that has nothing to do with finance: if you have a shirt, tie, and camera or clipboard at a construction site, no one asks you why your there. Maybe on bigger projects, but things that cost less than five million dollars to build, I don’t think so, just walk around like you know where your at, where your going, and your not too happy about being there.

The trek through the site was completely fruitless. Lunch was at an Italian buffet adjacent to the Wendy’s. The food was decent, with the exception of the bleu cheese dressing, which was probably the worst I’ve ever had.

After lunch, I drove south on I-71 asking Katie to keep an eye out for the steel doors that should mark the entrance to the subway, and I spotted them almost immediately. Access to them is from a spot on Central Parkway, over a chainlink gate, and down a service road. Katie wasn’t in the mood for jumping fences, so I didn’t get close enough to see if the steel plates over the doors were welded shut or simple to get into. The trip was a success, if I had been able to get in, that would have been a bonus.

Following that, I carted Katie to UC campus to sell back some of her books. Back here, at her apartment, I slept for an unknown amount of time, I really haven’t been keeping track of it today.

Fortunately, I woke up in time for dinner. Dinner was at the Montgomery Inn’s boathouse. I had forgotten that the Boathouse was near the arena district, which was packed because of the Red’s game. I might have went to the other one, had I known that, but fortunately there was no real problems with traffic. The Inn had a 20 minute wait, which is in my “acceptable wait for food” time frame. Katie and I waited on the wheelchair ramp and watched the valets at work. I hadn’t shelled out the two dollars for valet parking, not because I’m cheap, it’s because I’m not lazy. I think a great system would be when there is a wait for a table, to get your Remote “Your Table Is Ready” Buzzer and then you park your car in No Man’s Land of the parking lot, and by the time you walk back, your table is ready. Of course, people who are dressed nice and don’t want to hoof it through the parking lot in 85-90F weather, can just valet.

Prior to being seated we had to see THREE(3) hosts. I’m counting the two at the front podium as one, since I think they’re a team. Once our buzzer went off, we went back to them, handed over the buzzer, she gave it back and directed us up the stairs, telling us that we’d be in the “Bob Hope” room. On the way up the stairs, Katie asked “The Bottom Ho Room?”. The hostess at the top of the stairs took our buzzer and directed us down the hall, and on the left, where the third host greeted and seated us. The “Bob Hope” room has several Bob Hope related posters framed and hung on the walls and is moderately lit. We had a circular booth, should you ever visit said room, it’s the one on the left on the way into the room, first place in that room you can be sat.

The Inn is supposedly “world famous” for it’s ribs. So, I ordered the ribs. Katie had the rib/duck combo. While telling our waiter (“Jeff”, I believe) how we wanted our salads, Katie asked for mozzarella on her salad. Jeff is either incredibly naive in the waitstaff business or is a jerk. He acted like getting mozzarella on a salad was the best idea in the history of ideas (I’m serious), I wasn’t sure if this was something to laugh at or something to be cranky about.

The Montgomery Inn has decent bleu cheese dressing. Maria’s has the best bleu cheese dressing and the best crab cakes I’ve had to date, but the Inn’s dressing was satisfactory. Katie’s duck was very tender, but not as flavorful as Maria’s. The orange sauce that came with it was a notch away from pathetic, in my opinion. Not pathetic because it was bad, but pathetic because it tasted like it came out of an aisle at Kroger. Ryan’s is better.

Ribs, on the other hand, were very good. Katie thought the sauce was too sweet, I found it to be sweet, but not overly so. The rib meat was unquestionably the best quality preparation I can recall eating. Is it something I got so worked up about that I’d write home to mom about it? Nah, but it was good. Katie said she was “unimpressed”, this is supposed to be a world famous rib place, and this is what we get? She wasn’t saying it was bad, she just had higher expectations. I thought that was reasonable.

For nearly the entire duration of our meal, we watched four people sit out on the balcony, two couples. From these observations I’ve decided to include a tip to all guys: If your a smoker, and you go outside with your date to smoke, take your plastic bib off. If your going to be outside for about an hour or more, take that bib off. In fact, if your going to be doing anything at all that doesn’t require a bib, don’t wear the freaking bib. Take the bib off. You look like an idiot. If your doing it to be funny, the joke gets old after about five minutes. If you decide that the full hour of bib time is funny, don’t do it in full view of a room full of diners who can overhear each other making fun of you.

Now Katie is starting the process of gearing up to move all of this stuff tomorrow morning back to Zanesville, I’m typing this, and then when we’re both done, we’ll go watch the Mothman Prophecies (finally).