Taco Bell Cantina.

When we were downtown last weekend for the Bunbury Music Festival, we walked over to the AT580 Building at the corner of Main and Sixth Streets to find the brand new Wahlburgers. And right next to the new Walhburgers, we also found a brand new Taco Bell Cantina. You know what I did today for lunch? I walked right back over to the AT580 Building to check out the new Taco Bell Cantina…

It’s one of the nicest Taco Bell’s I’ve ever been to, that’s for sure. And they weren’t stingy the sauce packets either. Just look at all that Fire Sauce…

I ordered my favorite, three Chalupa Supremes and a large Gatorade Fruit Punch. It’s pretty awesome to have Taco Bell as a quick and inexpensive lunch option in downtown Cincinnati. I’ll definitely be Living Mas at Main and Sixth in the near future. 😀🌮👍❤️

Northside Saturday.

This afternoon we walked down to Blue Jay for lunch…

We tried their cheese coneys and chili cheese sammiches and they were awesome!

After lunch, we were headed off to the grand opening of favorite coffee shop, Sidewinder’s brand new coffee roastery…

But first, we stopped in Shake It Records…

Seriously, we need to get a record player…

They had so many good records that I would have bought today if we had a record player. Walking down Hamilton Avenue right next to Hoffner Park, it looks like a new smoothie and juice bar is going in…

We made it all the way down Spring Grove to Sidewinder’s new coffee roastery…

Their new coffee roaster…

There was some serious roasting going on in here…

Original artworks by very talented artist and Sidewinder barista, Amy Poliner…

They’re going to need some more coffee beans…

We had a coffee drink and hung out for a little while and learned about the process of roasting coffee beans. It’s a lot more complicated than I thought it would be…

From there we stopped at Second Place to have a bourbon slushie and kill a little bit of time while we waited for our friend’s backyard birthday party to start…

W estayed at the backyard birthday party until it got too dark to see anymore in the backyard. And then we headed home. It was a really fun day in Northside. 😀❤️

Summer Hours: Taft’s Brewpourium.

Deskey lets us work just a half-day every other Friday throughout the summer. They call it Summer Hours. They’re pretty flippin’ awesome. And they’re back! Today was my first Summer Hours Friday, and we went to Taft’s Brewpourium for lunch…

We had a couple of beers and shared a pizza and some knots with beer cheese. Summer Hour Fridays are the best Fridays. 😀🍕🍻❤️

Seen and noted.

It’s kind of crazy to me how many snails we see on the sidewalks around Northside. We didn’t see 125 of them or anything. But we see more snails than you think we would…

I don’t think this snail is doing so well. 😀🐌❤️

USOC18: FC Cincinnati versus Minnesota United FC.

IT’S US OPEN CUP MATCH DAY ROUND 4! But first a little diatribe…

With much fanfare and back-patting, it was announced last Tuesday that FC Cincinnati is officially MLS expansion bound. They will finish the rest of this season in USL. And next season, FC|C will make their highly anticipated jump to the “big league.”

Let it be known, I’m not a fan of MLS. Not one bit. I think it’s a mediocre product with too many teams. It all has a very corporate, manufactured feel. Yet it’s next to impossible to find an MLS match on TV, making it really difficult to follow any team. So I’m not super excited about this FC|C to MLS news at all. I remember when it was first announced that Cincinnati was getting a USL soccer team. I was beyond excited. I loved the fact that they were in USL even though I didn’t know much about what the USL was, how many teams there were or really much of anything. I knew it was the second or third division and that was awesome. I was excited. For me, the fact that they were a lower division team sweetened the pot. There’s something about cheering for the little guy. And then we went to the first FC Cincinnati match at Nippert Stadium and they had me, hook, line, and sinker. It was all so magical. Not far into the inaugural season, talk of jumping to MLS kept getting louder and louder. Talks of soccer-specific stadiums. And I could feel my enthusiasm starting to waver little by little. In my opinion, it would be really hard to improve on any great number of things in regards to the club. I think it would be pretty easy for the experience to take a nose-dive. FC|C had a really good thing going in USL. They’re the big fish in a relatively small pond. More than likely by moving to MLS, they’ll just be another midmarket team in a vast ocean of competitiveness. Their impressive USL attendance numbers will put them near the bottom of the top ten in MLS. It’s doubtful they’ll even rank in the top ten once they move into their new 21,000 seat soccer-specific-stadium in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati.

To me, the only good news that came out of MLS expansion announcement was that the team will play its first two seasons of MLS soccer at Nippert Stadium while their new soccer-specific stadium is being built. My biggest concern is right off the bat with the move to MLS is ticket prices. Are we still going to be able to afford our season tickets next year?  USL Season ticket prices are relatively affordable. Are MLS season ticket prices going to affordable as well? Probably not with the seats we’ve had the last three seasons. But perhaps if we moved to cheaper seats. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Tonight, we paid $30 a seat to watch a US Open Cup match that was one the most lackluster soccer games I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Remember last season’s US Open Cup run when FC|C played Columbus Crew and there was so much excitement? Or when they played Chicago Fire and the ecstasy of winning that shootout? I still get goosebumps thinking about the electricity that crackled through Nippert Stadium leading up to the match against New York Red Bulls. There was none of that tonight. Just a future MLS expansion team against a former MLS expansion team who currently sit in ninth place out of twelve teams in their conference. All I could think the whole match was, is this a precursor to what we have to look forward to next season?

At the half, it was nil-nil…

Sprinkles didn’t even bother coming to this match. Second half…

And at the end of 90 minutes, it was still 0-0…

At the end of the first 15 minute extra time, you guessed it 0-0…

And at the end of the second 15 extra time, still 0-0…

On to the penalty kick shootout…

I recorded the entire shootout in case something awesome happened…

And it did not. FC Cincinnati lost the shootout 3-1. I hope I’m wrong about MLS2Cincy. But this is what I imagine all the matches to be like next season when FC Cincinnati jump to MLS. Boooooooring. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. All I know is that I’m going to enjoy the final season of USL soccer in Cincinnati and deal with MLS and all the nonsense it brings with it later. 😐⚽️❤️

UPDATE: I just discovered that for $5/month you can watch all the USL and MLS matches live through ESPN+ on the ESPN app. Done and done.

Look up in the sky.

We saw a rainbow this evening on way home from our dog walk through Parker Woods! Taken with Instagram. 😀🌈❤️

One hundred and twenty-five.

We counted 125 Daddy Long Leg spiders on our dog walk through Parker Woods this evening. One hundred and twenty-five!

Our old record was 72 on a dog walk. I think we’re probably done counting spiders on dog walks now because that was really a lot of spiders to count. Taken with Instagram😀🕷️👀❤️

Good evening from Northside.

Good evening from Northside. We both took the day off work. We didn’t do much today. We just hung out with the dogs all day and were generally pretty lazy after our big fun Bunbury Music Festival weekend. It was wonderful. 😀🌄❤️

They’re our best friends too.

This morning we picked up Oscar and Mack from Best Friends. And they had Oscar’s and Mack’s photos on the TV in their lobby…

I think Mack had a lot of fun over the weekend. Because he didn’t want to leave. It was either that or he really hates riding in the car. Maybe a little bit of both. He has a lot of anxiety about rididng in the car. Have I mentioned how much I like the people at Best Friends? They’re pretty awesome. 😀🐾❤️

Bunbury Sunday.

Bunbury Sunday! There were a bunch of great bands again today but no one that I really loved. I didn’t take a ton of photos today. We just enjoyed the performances…

Tonight’s headliner was Jack White who closed Bunbury 2018…

Pretty awesome. It was another great day of music at Bunbury! We can’t wait for next year. 😀🎸🎶❤️