Exploring Ohio and Kentucky
I don't usually share much about myself mainly because I want to keep some parts of my life private, however, I've decided that a personal blog every now and then would be great to share and today's blog is one I'd love to share because I love to travel. If you love to travel then this blog is for you!
I have wanted to go to the Ark Encounter for years, ever since I heard about it. The thing was it wasn't close to California for a quick trip. The Ark is in Williamstown, Kentucky, and was going to need more time. Starting to plan the trip we realized there were a few things, or a lot of things, we wanted to see. We were going to stay for 7 days, two days were our travel days with layovers so we had 5 days to plan fun things to do.
We stayed in Cincinnati, Ohio because there were more things we wanted to see in the area than in Kentucky even though Kentucky was on the other side of the Ohio River.
Thursday was our first full day and we went to Findlay Market. We watched a youtube video of places to see with vegan eateries and Findlay Market was a top spot to visit. We wanted to try Harmony Plant Fare and it didn't disappoint. My boyfriend isn't a plant-based eater but he enjoyed the sandwiches we got just as much as I did.
After we ate, we walked around the shops and took some photos. It was a really nice start to our day.
We both love baseball and it's become a tradition of ours to go to a baseball game where we are staying. The Cincinnati Reds stadium is right on the Ohio River and was so pretty to walk around. We had seats almost on the field and it was fun to watch the game. The Reds have a few mascots and we found Rosie on our way out and had to get a picture with her.
We left the baseball game before it finished so we could make it to the Underground Railroad Freedom Center before it closed. Thankfully it was really close walking distance from the stadium.
The above photo is from the balcony of the museum. It was sad to see up close the conditions and things used during this part of our history but happy to see how far we have come from that time. Not only did the exhibits talk about slavery of the past but also every type of slavery that is still happening around the world today. They had great resources and information on how to get involved to end or help others get out.
Views of the Ohio River from the Kentucky side.
The main reason for our trip was to see the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky (about 45 mins from Cincinnati. Answers in Genesis are the creators of this park and built a life-sized model of the Ark according to the measurements in the Bible. It is truly a site to see how large it is in person.
Inside the ark, they built it to what they thought it would have been designed. They built places for the animals and how they would have had to feed them, give them water, and how they would have dealt with waste. They built places for food and water storage and living quarters for Noah and his family.
We started on the bottom level and walked toward the center of the ark and that is where you see the size from the inside and how awesome it is to witness all three levels. It was just beautiful and I had to take photos from every level. The exhibits as you go up in floors show the science behind the ark as well as the evidence of the flood and how they date it. Truly a fascinating part of the museum.
The Ark Encounter also has a little zoo called Ararat Ridge Zoo. Walking around the ground of the site was so beautiful. The little zoo was cute and you could walk right into the kangaroo's enclosure. You have to stay on the walkway but if they were active, they could have come up close to you. Unfortunately, it was their nap time and they didn't interact with us.
The next day was not as busy, however, we managed to do some site seeing and historical outings. We found this little town call New Richmond that is known for its underground railroad history. This is a part of history where the town saved a runaway slave from slave catchers that would scout up and down the river. If you crossed the river, generally you were safe, but the slave catchers could take you back if caught. LeRoy Lee was caught by the slave catchers who took him to the ferry. The townsmen confronted them and demanded LeRoy's release. Seeing how many were against them, they released LeRoy who then enlisted in the Union army. There are the same stairs to walk down to the river that he would have walked. It was a surreal moment.
Sunday was another full day. We started with brunch at Sleepy Bee's which was another spot we found through Youtube videos about vegan options. Sleepy Bee's are mainly in Cincinnati and only in Ohio.
Their bee cakes (not vegan) were so good. They were made with gluten-free pancakes made with almond milk, quinoa, and buckwheat flour.
We thought it was funny that I wore my bee shirt for the creation museum and had to take a photo with our Sleepy Bee's mug.
After we were full, we drove to Kentucky again for the Creation Museum. The museum is by the same organization that built the Ark Encounter. The main purpose of this museum is the belief in the Bible as history and how science supports the Bible.
The exhibits take you through creation and through Jesus as well as scientific teachings about the subjects. The grounds also have a beautiful botanical garden and zip lines to enjoy after going through the museum.
We didn't have as much time to spend at the creation museum due to shorter hours and the fact we had dinner plans on a river boat!
We took a dinner cruise on BB Riverboats on the Ohio River. The cruise has a buffet dinner and thankfully they accommodated vegans on the menu and had it out within 5 minutes of us sitting at our table. After we finished eating, we went outside to take in the views. The weather was perfect and was not as hot as we thought it was going to be.
After our boat ride was finished we decided to head to the tallest point of Cincinnati. It was a perfect spot to see the sunset!
Monday we drove 3 hours south of Cincinnati to Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. We enjoy going to national parks and exploring the beauty of our world. Mammoth Caves are the longest caves in the world and have been explored for about 200 years.
We took the Historic Tour with Ranger Eric who was a blast during our tour. There were many places with huge domes and big spaces as well as places called Fat Mans Misery where you have to walk sideways to narrow openings as well as Tall Mans Misery where we almost had to crawl. I didn't take photos of that but we do have a video which is great to have. This tour takes you about 300 feet below the surface. Ranger Eric also mentioned that the original tour guides were slaves and it was the only time they felt free was during the tours because the visitors had to trust him and listen to him to make it through safely.
On our 3-hour drive back to Cincinnati we decided to do some last-minute sightseeing. We were going to drive through Louisville, Kentucky, and decided to make a spot there. Louisville is home to the Louisville Slugger Museum where baseball bats were made. We, unfortunately, missed the chance to go inside because it closed and we missed it by a few minutes. But we had to take a photo to show that we in fact were there.
Louisville is a waterfront city on the Ohio River. Indiana was on the other side of the river and happened to have the closest open ice cream spot. We drove to the cute family-owned ice cream shop and across from there was a nice park to sit down and enjoy the views of Louisville. It was a nice way to end our last night before our flight home early the next morning.
It was so much fun exploring Ohio and Kentucky and if you are ever there, I hope you check out some of the places mentioned.