Saturday, November 17, 2018

2019 Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt

We took advantage of a pretty November day to go north up I-75 to the Colerain area of North Cincinnati for the Christkindlmarkt.  This reminded us of the Christmas markets in Germany.  These festivals called Weihnachtsmarkt in much of Germany and Christkindlmarkt in Bavaria and Austria, become very busy in the evening.  The food, craft and Gluwein stands fill the air with fragrant aromas. We met up with Emily & Ian around 9 am and met up Sarah and Peter at their home.  Peter had been complaining of an earache but his doctor said that he has pneumonia and gave him a prescription for Amoxicillin.  While he takes the course of antibiotic he was free to do anything he wants. 
The Christmas market, sponsored by the Germania Society of Cincinnati, was held at the Germania Park.  Heated tents were set up for events and meals since the weather this time of year is very unpredictable.  Just two days ago the weather was cold, snowy and windy.  Today was in the mid-40s and beautiful.  There were pens with a variety of animals set up for the children to pet.  Peter liked petting the sheep, goat and donkey. 
We walked through the craft tent where vendors were selling nutcracker figures, beer mugs, gluwein and carvings among other things.  In the food tent, we had wurst, schnitzel, potato pancakes and sauerkraut balls.  Peter ate part of his hot dog and a cup of applesauce. 
After lunch we walked through another tent of vendors and bought pretzels to snack on as we walked.  The last tent we visited had Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, strudel, cream puffs and other pastries.  The group bought several choices to share as we sat out in the sun but near the steel drums with hardwood fires.  We walked around a little more then headed for home.
Sarah and Peter had driven separately so they headed for their house and Mary, Ian, Emily and I drove back to Georgetown.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Our First 5K

Because we have been exercising and trying to get more fit, we decided to do a 5K when one was nearby and at a convenient time.  We were fortunate that the Southern LightsStroll 5K was taking place this evening at the Kentucky Horse Park.  This event coincided with turning on the Christmas lights at the Kentucky Horse Park.  During the Christmas season the park has a spectacular light display and charges $27 per car to drive through the lights.  We decided to register as untimed participants which meant that we would not receive a tracking chip for competitive purposes but we would get a long sleeved t-shirt for completing the event with a $25 per person registration fee.  Proceeds from the race go to a local food pantry, God’s Pantry. We do not know how many participants were in the 5K but we know that the t-shirts ran out after 2,000 entries.  There were nearly 700 runners entered in the timed race and we believe that there were at least three times that many in the untimed event.
We picked Emily up a little before 6 pm to make our way to the Kentucky Horse Park.  When we arrived the temperature was in the low 30s and snow was being blown by the stiff wind.  The competitive runners left at 6:50 and the rest of the group left five minutes later.  By the time we were less than a kilometer into the course the snow became blinding and, although we were dressed in multiple layers, the wind cut through us.  The Christmas lights were really nice.  There were sets of lights that were zoo animals, a collection of horse racing lights with a special nod to Triple Crown winners.  There were also light displays for each of the 12 days of Christmas with everything from 12 drummers drumming to a partridge in a pear tree. 
We walked at a good pace, wearing too many clothes to consider running even if we were so inclined to do so in the cold wind.  We arrived at the finish line about in the middle of the pack of non competitive walkers and took some snapshots at the center near the finish line. 
We would like to enter another 5K at some time soon although we will certainly wait until the weather is less likely to be as unpleasant.  Despite the cold, wind and snow, we had a nice evening enjoying the lights and good conversation with each other.