November 2008: Cincinnati, Ohio….the Neon Shangri-La

We’re planning for our next trip, a 4 day weekend to Georgia. We originally planned for Thanksgiving weekend, then Pat asked if I could go sooner (i.e., this weekend). No sooner did I arrange for Friday and Monday off work, when I received an e-mail from our friend, Denny Gibson, from Cincinnati. Another roadie friend, Don “RoadDog” from the American Road Magazine Forum that we moderate, was going to be passing through Cincinnati and they were planning on going to the elusive American Sign Museum. Elusive, that is, to Pat and me – we never seemed to be in Cincinnati at a time when the owner / founder was available to give a tour.

However, the sign museum now has regular hours (every Saturday from 10-4) and Denny wanted to know if we wanted to join them for the day. I immediately said yes and canceled my 2 days off (back to Thanksgiving weekend for that trip…so stay tuned!).

We met up with Denny and Don for breakfast at The Echo Restaurant, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. This neighborhood looked familiar – a short while back, Pat and I had driven down to pick up some Danny DeVito’s Limoncello, which I couldn’t get in Indiana.

Union Terminal - Cincinnati, Ohio

After breakfast, we drove to downtown Cincinnati and then over to Union Terminal, which primarily serves as the city’s Museum Center, housing a Children’s Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, and Natural History / Science Museum. They have a free tour of the terminal, which we took. It is an extremely impressive Art Deco building, completely evocative of the era. The terminal was saved from near destruction with its current use, after having had a short life as a mall. The decline of rail travel in favor of automobile travel led to the diminished use as a train station. There was no passenger service from 1972 to 1991, when service was resumed. Very few trains run through here, as the museum complex is the building’s primary usage.

Union Terminal - Cincinnati, Ohio

We then headed over to the American Sign Museum. All I can say is “wow.” Complete roadie heaven! Here are a few photos…see my links at the bottom of this post for more.

American Sign Museum - Cincinnati, Ohio

American Sign Museum - Cincinnati, Ohio

American Sign Museum - Cincinnati, Ohio

American Sign Museum - Cincinnati, Ohio

After the sign museum, we had an early dinner at Terry’s Turf Club. The burgers and fries were great! More neon awaited us there too.

Terry's Turf Club - Cincinnati, Ohio

Terry's Turf Club - Cincinnati, Ohio

Afterward, Don and Denny were going to catch some live music, but Pat and I needed to head back to Indy, so we said our goodbyes and headed home.

For more photos from this trip here are a few slide shows:

November 2008: Cincinnati, Ohio

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157609841173849″ width=”500″]

American Sign Museum – Cincinnati, Ohio

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157609764986114″ width=”500″]

Union Terminal – Cincinnati, Ohio

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157609900287214″ width=”500″]

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4 Responses to November 2008: Cincinnati, Ohio….the Neon Shangri-La

  1. Bliss says:

    Very cool, Jennifer! Sorry we weren’t closer to see it with you guys.

  2. Laurel says:

    The Sign Museum pics are fantastic! I’ve been wanting to go there for ages. Maybe some day… I’ve been to Union Terminal and think it’s just a remarkable and beautiful building. Glad you had a good trip.


  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Laurel, we had wanted to go there forever as well, and missed several chances. It was well worth the wait!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Kent! We’re thinking of organizing a roadie get-together sometime and one of the things to do will be the American Sign Museum. Just a thought right now, we’ll see if there’s enough interest!

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