Monday, November 10, 2008

Truffle Hunting

This past weekend I traveled to Cincinnati in honor of my Dad's birthday. Cincinnati, like other cities, sponsored an art contest some years ago, featuring pig statues. (Boston had cod and cows....) There are still a few pigs around in various locations - and this trip I encountered two of the pigs in unexpected places. Pigs, as you may or may not know, have been used to hunt truffles in Europe - they are slowly being replaced by dogs who don't like the taste of the truffles, however. So, to begin my weekend, I had a Starbucks espresso truffle drink, which was extraordinary. It was like drinking a liquid Babbaricci*!

The first pig I came across was an armored pig in the lobby of my "retro" hotel, the Mount Vernon.

I was struck by how similar the hotel was to Dad and Barbara's condo in the Belvedere. When I noticed the similar ornate doorknobs Barbara later explained both buildings were built by the same corporation years ago.

Dad and I spent some time celebrating our weakness regarding bookstores, eating in the lovely cafe at Joseph Beth booksellers (and yes, it must be admitted, buying some books...) and then celebrating another weakness, fine French wine, olives and cheese, along with Barbara. Dad has declared that he wishes his ashes to be sprinkled with Chassagne Montrachet - to which I responded that we might spare a few, few drops and drink the rest in a celebratory fashion. He promises to rise up like a phoenix and take vengeance!

Cincinnati too is enjoying some autumn splendor. On the way to watch Dad and Barbara sing at the UU (Unitarian Universalist) church on Sunday I enjoyed a few vistas with fiery foilage, too soon to be replaced by bare trees.

After enjoying brunch with Dad and Barbara, I returned to CVG for my flight home. Alas, my flight was delayed, and delayed, and then oversold. The flight went out of a part of the terminal I had never seen before, so the good news was I found my second pig of the weekend. The bad news was I spent 5 hours getting to know the pig up close and personal. Still, I ended up home with Jim and Bonnie by 10 pm, with a "comped" dinner and drinks, and a $200 travel voucher for my troubles. I can't complain! Next trip to Cincinnati is on Delta.
*more on these later!

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