sunny blue skies

A scene we haven't seen too often since winter set in a few months back.

Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show

As we noted over here, we were gifted with a handful of free tickets to the Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show. We have given a handful of the tickets away (Matt S., let us know how we can get two tickets to you!) and we used a few for ourselves, because we had never been to a boat show before.

Mostly, as we guessed, the boat show was not for us. The layout and feel was similar to the Auto Expo we attended last year, also held at Duke, but there wasn't much to hold my attention. The boat show's target audience seemed to be having a fantastic time, and even around 7pm the place was hopping.

I did get to sit on a scooter, though! Metro Scooter was in attendance, which almost became financially dangerous for me. Some day! ;)

I'm so glad we had an opportunity to tackle something new, and within walking distance from home!

Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show:

Giveaway: Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show

I have to admit... boat shows are not necessarily my thang. However, I've been given a handful of free tickets to the event to distribute to my readers. Are there any boating enthusiasts out there?

Comment on this post! Dan and I will randomly choose three readers to win a pair of tickets each. We'll be choosing quickly because this event takes place over the next two weekends!

Information about the event, from their press release:

53rd annual Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show
Jan. 14-16 and Jan. 19-23, 2011 at the Duke Energy Center

Escape from winter at the place for everything outdoors, with more than 250,000 square feet of boats and 400 companies representing: boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing, hunting, camping, golf and travel destinations near and far where you can do it all. Experts in all areas will offer knowledgeable one-on-one consultation to buy the boat, equipment and gear or book the perfect customized trip – at the best early-season prices!

Tickets are $11 for adults and FREE for children 13 and under (available ONLY at the Convention Center ticket windows). Admission includes the Cincinnati Golf Show (Jan.14-16) and the Cincinnati Hunting & Fishing Show® (Jan.19-23). Save $3 when you buy adult admission tickets with your Kroger Plus Card at any Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Kroger store thru 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23. Wed., Jan. 19, - BUCK NIGHT: admission is $1 for all.

Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show website:

Betta's Italian Oven

I've had Betta's in my bookmark list on Yelp for a while. We've driven past it a number of times and I've wanted to try it out. Last night we were burnt out on our usual haunts and decided to go somewhere new and I suggested we take a drive and give it a try. Betta's has a great menu, full of options ranging from soups, sandwiches and pizza to a full menu of italian classics.

I opted for their wood fired pizza and was not let down. Wood fired pizza's seem to be the thing lately, but not everyone does them well. Betta's does them just right. Tons of toppings and cooked enough to be crispy around the edges.

Erica went for the special, a veggie lasagna that came bathed in Betta's house tomato sauce. It looked pretty tasty and she was happy with her choice on what had turned into a very cold and snowy night in Norwood.

If you find yourself in Norwood and are looking for a place to eat, definitely stop by Betta's. 

Betta's Italian Oven on Urbanspoon

Verdin Bell Event Centre

Our New Year's Day was every bit as gorgeous as our New Year's Eve, as we attended the wedding of my friend Alisa to her awesome husband, Adam.

This first photo is from St. Teresa Avila, in the west side. The rest are from Verdin Bell Event Centre, a stone's throw from our home in Over-the-Rhine.

I use words like "gorgeous" and "beautiful" too often, but that's part of what falling in love with Cincinnati is about. Alisa was a jaw-dropping bride, and her choice of church and reception hall were spot-on... what phenomenal locations!

An American in Paris Ball: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Happy New Year! We're back!

Ahhhh. Dan and I needed a long holiday. Plus, throughout most of December, we weren't doing much of anything worth blogging about, so what better time to take a breather?

On New Year's Eve, we attended the American in Paris Ball at Music Hall.

We wanted to do something just for ourselves, as we'd spent the better part of December with family and friends. (Absolutely a blessing, but an exhausting one!) We thought it'd be lovely to walk through our backyard (er, Washington Park) to Music Hall to ring in the new year.

The night began with a fantastic concert of Gershwin pieces, including "Rhapsody in Blue" with Michael Chertock as pianist. Fantastic! There were also some vocal cameos by two CCM students-- an awesome addition to the Broadway pieces.

Afterwards we shuffled into the ballroom for a seated dinner, open bar, dancing and champagne toast. We made great new friends at our table, including Cincinnati's own Marilyn Harris. How great to meet her and chat all evening! Our entire table was full of gregarious, fun people.

I can only hope that all of 2011 looks this beautiful.

I do have to throw one small wrench in the gear: Dan and I were the youngest people there by ~40 years. ...Okay, there were a few other people our age, but we were definitely in the minority. :) Didn't bother me at all, but something to note for the future!

We closed Music Hall down. An incredible event at a gorgeous venue. Happy New Year, everyone!

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: