Friday, May 05, 2006

My trip to Cincinnati May 1-3

So my first press trip this year was to Cincinnati. I had never been there before so I was excited. I love press trips because whoever is sponsoring the trip pays for everything: the airfare, the transportation, the hotel and all your meals. I stayed at the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati. It is huge with 872 rooms. I stayed on the 28th floor in a superior room, as its called. The room had a huge king bed and nice desk and a cool couch. The room was in a very modern style which was unexpected. I ordered room service the first night. It was sesame crusted Tuna with stir fry and glass noodles. Plus some cheescake. LOL.

The only full day I spent in Cincinnati was Tuesday May 2nd. I got up and had a full breakfast at the hotel's restaurant then I met the other writers, the hotel staff and Linda my PR contact. We had a casual lunch then we got a tour of the hotel. We got to see the different types of rooms, all the meeting rooms and ballrooms and the pool area. After that we took a tour of downtown Cincinnati. The city is pretty cool. Cooler than I expected. The downtown is very lively with lots of folks walking around. Things are quite accessible and most of the buildings have a cool early 20th century feel to them. There are lots of brick buildings that give the city a charming feel.

We walked across a purple bridge to get to Northern Kentucky. Walked around a bit at an entertainment complex called Newport on the Levee and had a beer. After that we returned to the hotel and had dinner. I think I ate way too much.

On Wednesday I had to get up early for an 8am breakfast with the writers and hotel staff. We had conversation with the general manager and the sales director which was nice. I am always the youngest one in these things. After that we walked across the street for a tour of the newly renovated convention center, the Cinergy Center. We got to see the back area including the massive loading docks and the kitchen as the cook were preparing lunch.

The convention center was hosting an expo for the meetings industry so we got to sample the best of the city. There were lots of samples, food, drinks, knick knacks and the sort to grab. I was able to chat with a few people and that sort of thing. Then it was a lunch. I sure did eat a lot!

Before I flew back home I rushed to go to the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Its a compelling museum that explores Slavery in America, the Underground Railroad and the fight for Freedom. I think a lot of people still think the Underground Railroad is actually underground. Anyway the museum was beautiful. I rushed through it but some of the most emotional moments came from a recreation of a slave pen, a KKK robe and an animated film illustrating the different parts of the slave story from capture, to slavery to freedom. I am glad I could get a chance to see it.

And after that I returned home. It was definitely a great trip.

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