My mom's brother and his family live in Cincinnati, as do various other parts of my mom's [much too complicated] side of the family. We went to visit my uncle, aunt, and cousins for the evening, and then the next day we met up with some long-time friends. Lori went to college and traveled Europe with my mom, and her son Malik is my brother's age.
We had a lovely time canoeing for a couple hours and then we headed to downtown Cinci. We hung around Fountain Square, where we had lunch, a walk, and ice cream. It was awesome, but all the more so because I happen to adore the city of Cincinnati.
I'm not sure what it is about it, but I've always loved Cinci. I kinda grew up visiting the city since I've always had family down there. I have tons of memories--from the zoo to the city lights during Christmas to being fascinated with the fountain in the Square to bus rides in the rain to the Ohio River to a weekend there alone with my mom when I turned 13 to the nearby aquarium to visiting my great-grandma when she was still alive.
Downtown Cinci is really pretty. Sure, it has its bad parts and its iffy people, but it just has a beautiful aura about it. The old buildings are antique and and colorful and and unique and gorgeous. Fountain Square makes me happy inside, as does this poem by Longfellow about the Queen of the West.
There's just so many memories that I have from this city, and it's made even more beautiful in my eyes because of that. And speaking of memories, my uncle said something sweet and proufound when we were visiting him this week.
There's lots of memories, good and bad. The good you hold onto. And the bad--well, they're part of what made you.