Today I traveled from Northeastern Ohio into Columbus. I ran a little delivery errand there, then headed out for Cincinnati. The trip went fine until I hit the Cincinnati ring road — I-276. I'd done really well up til then — not a single missed turn or problem. In Cinci, however, I watched for my first exit and did not find it. I found my motel (it will remain unnamed but it has a red roof) and didn't like the location or looks. So I set off cross-town in the best way I could seeking the address of my Cincinnati delivery errand. Well, if you've got business in two cities and you happen to be visiting both of those cities, why not make it a part of the trip? After long bouts with bad traffic, bad weather, bad neighborhoods, bad maps, I finally found my way to I-71 (thanks to my trusty hand-held GPS), eventually delivered my packages, canceled my previous reservation, and sought an alternative motel. I wound up at the Holiday Inn Express. It's very nice, moderately priced, and convenient to I-71 and, presumably, to my astronomy workshop location — the Cincinnati Observatory Center. Good high-speed Internet access is included and the entire property is non-smoking which suites me perfectly! I decided to go out again to explore and to find dinner winding up at the gigantic Kenwood Towne Centre shopping mall. (Don't you just love their creative use of "olde-fashioned" and European spellings?). The place was huge. Didn't have enough parking. And is about the busiest shopping mall I've ever seen outside of the Christmas shopping season! Anyway I settled for baked ziti at Sbarro's. I know, ewwww… but I couldn't find anyplace else. That is, of course, until I went across the street to a smaller shopping center to visit and stroll around a Barnes & Noble store. All kinds of trendy and interesting dining places there. Oh well.
Heading back to the Holiday Inn the sky lit up with brilliant yellow-orange colored mammatus and cirrus clouds. I ran to the room to grab my camera as quickly as I could as the clouds were smoothing out and the light was fading fast. I managed to catch the last of the beautiful display but was left wishing I'd been back a few minutes sooner to record the splendor that I had seen.
Walking back to the motel entrance I was greeted by a four-footed resident — a beautiful male tabby cat that, according to the desk clerk, hangs around this motel in an industry-laden area. He was very friendly and curious walking towards the camera every time I pointed it at him. The sweetie cried and cried and seemed to want to follow me inside. Loved being petted. Heartbreaking. He's so tame he certainly grew up as a pet. I hope he finds a good home but fear he never will.