Dinner Adventure

Jessica, one of my best friends, her 13-year-old daughter Alexis and I decided to have dinner out the other night (my children were with their dad). I told them via text I was in the mood for Rio Grande, a local Mexican restaurant. Alexis responded saying she didn’t want Mexican because she had it the night before. I suggested Applebee’s, Barleycorn’s, anywhere at Newport On The Levee, the Elusive Cow or Asian food. Her response was “ewe.”

I asked her to suggest something that wasn’t pizza because I had it the night before for dinner and that day for lunch. Her response “Gahh. I like pizza.” I told her she could get pizza any where. After about a dozen text messages, she suggested Bar Louie in Newport. I thought “perfect, she can get pizza there and I can get Mexican if I want or something else delicious.” While at dinner, Alexis mentioned she really wanted Dewey’s Pizza. I told her she should have spoken up because I could have gotten a salad there but oh well… we were at a place we had agreed on.

So it’s time to order… This is what Alexis (who did not want Mexican ordered):

Chicken Quesidilla

Chicken Quesadilla

Yes, that is a chicken quesadilla with salsa, sour cream and guacamole!  I did ask her over dinner where she had Mexican from the night before. She said Taco Bell. WHAT!?! Taco Bell is not really Mexican.

Here is what Jessica and I decided to share:

Buffalo chicken flatbread

Buffalo chicken flatbread

As Alexis pointed out to me, that is kind of like pizza. Ha Ha.

Since it was National Margarita Day, Jess and I decided we must have a margarita or two.



The server called it a skinny margarita but she didn’t mention the cost and of course it wasn’t on the menu.

receiptIf you look closely at the receipt you will see that our four margaritas cost us $40! This made our bill about $75 with tip. We were very shocked that dinner for three with only four drinks cost this much! We decided that the skinny margarita was not skinny on the wallet and we needed to get every last drop out of it.

Getting every last drop!

Getting every last drop!

At Rio Grande, Jess and I would have split the $12 fajitas and four margaritas for about $15. Alexis would have had an $8 dinner making our bill about $40 with tip and I would have fulfilled my craving for Mexican.

Lesson learned… Just tell the kid you are going to eat where you want because she doesn’t really know what she wants any way. Ha Ha. Other lesson learned… Ask how much drinks are before you order them!

How does your family decide where to eat when going out? Have you ever been shocked by the bill?

Around Town (and at home) With the Kids

Watching Live Sports

 Recently I put together a list of activities in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond for a friend who was having a hard time coming up with inexpensive and free things to do with his children. He was looking for ideas of things to do at home and out and about. So I asked my friends and family to contribute their favorite things to do and was able to compile a pretty comprehensive list. I even broke it down by weather and if it was free or cost. I thought I’d share this list on my blog because I’m sure many other parents would love to see it.

I also want to suggest visiting my friends at www.familyfriendlycincinnati.com, www.stockpilingmoms.com and www.365cincinnati.com since they are always posting great activities.


Any season activities – Free

  • Cincinnati Art Museum (do a little research and make a scavenger hunt before you go)
  • Krohn Conservatory
  • National Museum of the US Airforce in Dayton
  • Dance together like no one is watching
  • Play active video games together
  • Go to a local gym and play basketball
  • Watch movies together
  • Cook or bake together
  • Look around Ikea or Jungle Jims
  • Lunken Airport to watch planes take off
  • Build things like a bird house or do crafts
  • Visit the Public Library
  • Obstacle course inside or out
  • Blue Marble Bookstore in Fort Thomas or other local Bookstore
  • Put photo albums together
  • Volunteer to serve food at Hosea House, Parish Soup Kitchen or another local agency
  • Tell stories
  • Camp in the living room
  • Lowes and Home Depot Workshops

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Warmer Weather Activities – Free

  • Walk around Fountain Square/Downtown
  • Walk the Purple Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati
  • Watch boats on the river
  • Fishing
  • Early morning at Turfway Park – watch horses train
  • Go for a walk
  • Play sports together in the yard
  • Lunken Airport Aviation Days in May
  • Bike trails
  • Walk around Art shows
  • Devou or Eden Park
  • Hiking
  • Nature scavenger Hunt
  • Parky’s Farm
  • Hamilton County, Kenton or Boone Parks – lots of parks have free programs if you look at website
  • Walk around Mount Adams and look at cool old buildings and churches
  • Hocking Hills – Ohio
  • Clifty Falls – Indiana
  • Lunken Airport Play field
  • Sawyer Point
  • Plant a garden at home or for a neighbor

Activities that Cost

  • Behringer Crawford Museum (free one Sunday a month)
  • The museums at Union Terminal
  • Cosi in Columbus
  • Cincinnati Zoo
  • Plays downtown or at theater in Fort Thomas
  • Children’s Museum in Indy
  • Indianapolis Zoo– dolphin show
  • Louisville Slugger Museum
  • Movies
  • Out to eat (check to see where kids eat free)
  • Laser tag
  • Baker Hunt Art
  • Bowling
  • Recca Roller Rink
  • Cincinnati Fire Museum
  • Dinsmore House Tour
  • Color Me Mine
  • Lego Kids Fest March 23-25 at Convention Center
  • Concerts
  • Apple orchard, blueberry picking, – some might be free
  • BB Riverboat
  • Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
  • Top of Carew Tower ($1 or $2)
  • Reds Games
  • Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Ride the Duck
  • Newport Aquarium
  • Florence Freedom Games
  • Cyclones Hockey Games
  • Roller Derby
  • Lego Store in Kenwood has weekend events
  • RockQuest
  • Dave & Busters
  • Kings Island
  • Beach Water Park
  • Booneshoft Muesum in Dayton
  • Bellevue Beadery

 Please comment here with questions about any of these places or add activities my friends and I might not have thought of. I can’t wait to read about all the fun things you do with your kids at home or out on the town!