My mom is a rock star. She booked rooms for our family in the Netherlands Plaza Hotel (Hilton) in Downtown Cincinnati with access to the VIP lounge. We drove down on the 4th to watch the Reds game and see the fireworks show afterwards in the Great American Ballpark.
Mom, Dannen, his girlfriend Haylee, Dad, me, and my fiancé James drove down together and stopped by the MadTree Brewing to meet my long time friends Kevin and Joanna and their awesome daughter Lilly for a couple of brews. It was so fun to catch up and see Lilly growing up! It seems like she was just a tiny baby last year. Kevin and I met when I worked in Knoxville at WATE-TV in 2001. I was a reporter he was a photographer and editor. We then had the opportunity to work together at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati (that's where he met the beautiful Joanna) for a few years as well.
After seeing Kev, Joanna, and Lilly, my parents, bro, and our guests cruised down to the riverfront and checked into the Hilton. If you get a chance to go, don't miss the amazing Art Deco details. The Orchids restaurant shows some fantastic examples. From there, we tried The Blind Pig. We loved the spot for the location and especially enjoyed the patio overlooking the river.
Next up was the stadium. I have loved the Great American Ballpark since I lived in downtown Cincinnati. I would walk over after a day at work (I worked the morning shift) and get a "businessman's special" ticket for half price and listen to the crack of the bat. Dad landed excellent tickets behind home plate for us for the 4th. We were only slightly bummed that the Reds didn't play that well. (They lost to the Brewers.)
James and I agreed that besides spending time with people that we love, the best part of the night was the fireworks show! From our vantage point, the sparkles were perfect. The show was designed at the right explosion height for Reds fans and it seemed like they were shot directly off of the river just for us!
I hope you had a lovely 4th! There were some "super" fans in the stadium who celebrated a bit more publicly. I was envious.