So we awoke this Tuesday morning to a beautiful sunrise over Stonelick Lake.
David got up and shot some photos, hoping (unsuccessfully) to catch a gray heron we had heard in the night.
We let the cats out (alas, no litter box in the Airstream), but after a breakfast of canned tuna, both were content to sit on our picnic table and wash themselves - it's where we last sighted them as we drove away to spend some time visiting Cincinnati.
Our first stop was at a Starbucks in the city; now, I am not a huge Starbucks fan, and try to bring my business rather to small independent coffee shops when possible. But one of the frustrating aspects of travel is how often we have no computer signal, and so, with both of us needing to do some work online, we made our stop there. After about a half-hour, I heard David, who was across the table, quietly calling my name... looked over, and he nudged his head to the right and said, "That's Mitt Romney."
Oh, yes. Mitt Romney came into OUR Starbucks. What's the chance of a union-lovin' Maine girl meeting the conservative governor of Massachusetts in Cincinnati? He was accompanied by someone I assume is his campaign manager, as he was the one who spoke to people coming up to chat, and a Secret Service agent stood solidly with his back to the exit door. Of COURSE, I could not simply sit there with this golden opportunity at hand - got up and went over with my iPhone.... the campaign manager asked, "Would you like me to take a picture of the two of you together?" QUEL SURPRISE MERVEILLEUX!!!!!!! The photo shows my utter delight to find myself,a dedicated true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat about to attempt to rescue two feral cats, sitting beside the current woowoo Republican Presidential frontrunner who once drove to Canada with the family dog tied to the top of his car.
About the governor... He most definitely did NOT feel like chatting. He was sitting looking at his iPad (and not drinking coffee - he was there for the signal like we were). He reluctantly shook my hand and posed for the pic, then abruptly turned his back to me. I said, "I'm a Democrat, but I appreciate your talking with me." Which he did NOT. He sort-of nodded in my direction, eyes on the iPad. If only I'd thought to peek at what he was viewing! Current poll numbers?
One would expect anything to come after that to be a bit of a let-down, but no, that wasn't the case at all. That's because we decided to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which overlooks the beautiful Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati.
This is a museum dedicated to the many souls, especially those living on the Cincinnati side of the Ohio River
(Ohio was a "free state" at that time), who helped slaves escape in the 1830's-1860's. People risked their lives to bring others to freedom via the secretive Underground Railroad, a route to safety strung together by courageous souls and creative hiding places.
The center is extraordinary, highly recommended for anyone traveling in this area. The displays are so very well done, the material brilliantly presented, and a number of short films bring these difficult stories to life. The one caveat: bring tissues. These are not easy history lessons. The center also includes an exhibit on the current slave trade throughout the world.
After our time there, and before returning to the Buglet, we stopped to have AUTHENTIC Cincinnati 5-way at Camp Washington Chili.
While we were there, we had the pleasure of meetng one of the original owners!
Soooo delicious, and yes, those Greek spices are there, with just the right amount of heat. We will most definitely miss Cincinnati chili when we are back in Maine!
Back to the RV at dusk, and alas, our kittens were not there. Stony did come crying up from another RV down the road, and we fed her, but then turned and made her way back to the other RV... We walked down to meet the people there and saw that Buckeye was hiding under their Airstream. They said they were NOT feeding the cats, did not want them there, but that they'd been hanging around all day. Yet neither cat followed us back. Then, as we sat at our campfire, ANOTHER cat approached us, a large orange tabby whom we named "Harriet." She is terrified of people. She approached when we put down cat food for her, but there's no way she would allow herself to be too close.
We were disappointed that Stony and Buckeye didn't return to us for another night in the Buglet. Will we be able to bring these girls home? Or maybe only Stony? We are so mixed about this - Stony is the only one who will come and sit beside us, loves being patted. But little Buckeye seems to depend on Stony, too. What will happen to her if we take Stony home with us? We're not sure what to do... more to come.