Dayton Horse Show – Day Three

 

There’s really not much to say about Friday night’s session.  Nobody was riding from the barn, so Kim and I found a spot by the rail and just watched the show.  Erin gave Francois to Kim for safe keeping while she went to take a shower.  This turned out to be very amusing, as when the National Anthem was being sung, he decided to sing along.  Yup, the little Pomeranian threw back his head and howled on the words "free" and "brave".  I told Kim she had better start walking him around, in case any flag waving fanatics wanted to come over and complain….

During the Top Hands performance, one of girls lost her balance and fell off her horse.  The gate keepers (kids) were too slow to close the gate, and the frantic horse galloped out of the ring.  Kim and I were headed to the restrooms and missed most of the fall, but we did catch the tail end of it.  The horse was so fast!  A couple of the trainers managed to catch it at the end of the track, and that was the end of Friday’s Top Hands performance.

As there was really nothing else to do in Dayton, and because there were only academy classes on Saturday morning, we decided to head back home in the morning.  When I finally arrived home, I found a sick Dean, and thought I should have stayed in Ohio!  Beside having a cold, he knocked a bottle of taco sauce on his foot, which he blamed me for.  Since I was out of town, I fail to see how I could have had anything to do with it.  I think his toe is broken, and he makes a point of hobbling pathetically whenever he walks passed me.  *sigh*  So much for rushing home…


Best Western on Needmore Rd in Dayton – Nasty!

The Best Western on Needmore in Dayton, Ohio is by far the dumpiest hotel I have ever stayed at.  It was unkempt, the hallways were dirty, the weeds far out-numbered the grass, and the whole place needs a serious overhaul.  The hotel was so unimpressive, I was going to check us into one of the hotels by the Dayton Mall.  The suite up-grade helped, and after settling into our room, I just closed my eyes to the poor cleaning service.  Of course, Kim had to constantly bring it to my attention!

There was some sort of clothing in the bathroom lighting that was never removed, even though it was painfully obvious.  The bathroom in the adjoining room was disgusting; there was a dead bug on the floor our entire stay, and the tub was filthy.  The toilets weren’t cleaned every day, and neither was the bathroom counter.  Yucky!

Until Friday night, it seems like Kim and I were the only guests.  This was just creepy.  I was uncomfortable coming back late from the horse show, and as soon as we entered our room, Kim hit the locks.  I can’t adequately describe how awful this hotel was.  Don’t EVER stay there!  I will never stay at a Best Western again. 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

 

Ok, so we only went to the zoo.  We passed on the gardens.  Cincinnati is about an hour south of Dayton, and Kim decided she’d rather go there than King’s Island.  No sweat off my back; the zoo was a lot cheaper!

We arrived at about 9:30, and started making our way around the park.  I wanted to be back on the road by 2:30, to avoid rush hour traffic on the way back.  We ended up sitting in a traffic jam the day before on our way back to the hotel from the Dayton Mall area at 3:30, and I didn’t want to repeat the experience.  Yuck!

We were both very impressed with the zoo.  It was clean, the animals were pretty active considering the heat, and there was lots of shade to stand under while watching the critters.  The Mexican wolf was running around its enclosure, (I was hoping for a timber wolf, darn it!), the orangutans were busily playing with their underwear (I think it was actually just pieces of cloth, but it looked like skivvies to us), and the polar bears were climbing in and out of their pool, enjoying a refreshing swim. 

 

There was a really cool Cat House, with lots of different wild cats, many of which I had never heard of before, and an awesome Nocturnal House.  There were so many cool animals in it, including vampire bats, a southern three-banded armadillo, and douroucoulis.  I actually had some interaction with a douroucoulis!!  It was fascinated by my camera lens, and ran up to the glass and kept staring into the lens.  When I moved the lens, it would move with it, and reach to the glass to try to touch it.  It was so awesome!  Poor thing must have been bored out of its mind…

Kim dragged me into the Insect House, which was totally disgusting, but I forgave her because there was a marmoset in there.  Why it was exhibited in the Insect House is beyond me.  There was also a nifty exhibit with rats, and it showed the difference between a rat nest and a termite nest. 

While not as large as the Cleveland Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo is certainly worth a visit.  The Cat and Nocturnal Houses alone are worth the $12.95 admission.

Here’s a link to some pics – Cincinnati Zoo
 

 


Dayton Art Institute

Yesterday, we went to the Dayton Art Institute.  It was surprisingly entertaining.  They had a nice collection of Asian art, and some really nice early Renaissance pieces.  We ended up spending about 5 hours there,  before heading off to lunch.  And best of all, it was free!  If you’re stuck in Dayton with nothing to do, head over to the DAI.  

Dayton Horse Show – Day One

 

Wow, this was a pretty crazy start to the horse show.  During the warm ups for the first evening class, a lady got dumped off her horse right in front of us.  Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt, and after she frantically searched around in the dirt for her glasses, she was able to get back up on her horse.  That takes a lot of guts.

There are three judges at this show, and that really slows everything down.  It takes so long for the cards to be turned in!  The long delay between the line up and the announcing of the winners was also boring. With nothing to do in the hot sun but cook, it was not a lot of fun.

During another class, a woman’s horse reared up and fell over on top of her.  That was really scary!  The horse scrambled up and started running around the arena, and the woman just lay there in a crumbled heap.  She was able to get up and walk out of the ring after about 15 minutes; I hope I never see that happen again! 

Halfway through the show, they lost power on one side of the ring.  This was bad, as it included the announcer’s booth!  The steward had to yell directions to the riders, and it was hard to hear what he was calling.  Thankfully, after a delay, and one roadster pony class, they had the power restored. 

Kim’s class was an utter disaster.  Sammy took off on her from the minute they entered the ring, and she was never able to get control of him. She lost control of herself, too, and Sammy just fed off of that.  He took advantage of her and acted like a total ass, jumping and hopping around the ring, and racing off down the rails.  Kim, in tears, was called to the center of the ring and after the steward spoke with her, she was excused from the class.  I feel so bad for her!

Quick update from Dayton

This morning, we headed over to the Boon Shoft Museum of Discovery.  We decided to check it out because it was supposed to have lots of animals.  Imagine our dismay to discover that most of them were STUFFED!!!  They did have some otters, a coyote, 2 foxes, a squirrel, a skunk, and various other local critters that had been rescued and couldn’t be released into the wild.  Seeing them in such small enclosures was rather depressing. *sigh*

After the museum, we managed to locate the Dayton Mall.  I raced off in search of the arcade, Pocket Change, and played 3 games of DDR.  It was too hot to play anymore, and I still haven’t changed my clothes!  I hope nobody will be able to smell the sweat over the perfume that Kim squirted on me and the overpowering stench of horses. 

We had dinner at Don Pablo’s (shrimp again!), and right now we are chilling in our suite.  We’ll head off to the horse show in about thirty minutes.  I hope there is some shade to stand under, otherwise it’s going to be a really uncomfortable evening!

We had room trouble again when we returned to the hotel.  The stupid keys wouldn’t work again!!  We had to go back to the front desk and have them fix them again.  The desk clerk said that they only activated the keys for one night.  Hopefully she fixed it so we don’t have another problem.  If you haven’t figured it out, I will never stay at another Best Western again!!

Joe’s Crab Shack – Yum!!

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No, this picture has absolutely NOTHING to do with shrimp or crab.  However, since I am so proud of her, I feel compelled to post pics of her whenever possible!

We found a listing for Joe’s Crab Shack in the hotel directory for nearby dining, and a quick check at Yahoo! Maps gave us directions.  It wasn’t too far, and consisted of only a few turns.  

Wow, there were so many good things to choose from!  If you don’t like shrimp or crab, you probably won’t find anything interesting on their menu. Since both Kim and I like seafood, this was a great place to eat. 

Dinner started with these yummy corn bread muffins.  Then I ordered Bayou Shrimp, and Kim ordered grilled shrimp and snow crab.  Watching her eat the legs was highly entertaining.  She had bits of food stuck to her face for most of the meal.  Why her parents didn’t teach her how to use a napkin, I’ll never understand.

The Bayou Shrimp was very good.  It came in a bowl, with red skin potatoes, in a spicy sauce.  And it was actually spicy – my lips were on fire by the time I was finished eating.  If you like spicy food, I highly recommend this dish.

On the way back to the hotel, we found a Koyama Shoten, but it was closed.  We are going to check it out tomorrow, and see if they have anything interesting.  At the very least, we can grab some snack food!

Here we are in Dayton…

 

 

After meeting Jen and Kim for lunch at Bi Bim Bab, Jen headed back to work, and Kim and I headed over to the barn to see Blondie.  With the heat, the horses were all standing exhaustedly in their stalls.  Blondie couldn’t even muster the energy to try to bite me.  The horse show is going to be pretty boring if it stays this hot; the horses are just too uncomfortable to perform.

We went back to the house, cuddled with Buu for a while, and packed up to leave.  The 4.5 hour drive was, thankfully, uneventful.  We arrived in Dayton right around 5, and headed for the Best Western to check in.

This is where things started getting dicey.  The hotel is pretty dumpy, and it doesn’t seem to be in a very nice area.  There also don’t seem to be many people staying here, so it seems even creepier, because there’s hardly anyone around.

After getting our keys, we drove around to door J, and struggled to unlock it with the code they gave us.  We finally got it unlocked, but not before I was getting so frustrated that I wanted to look for a new hotel!  Then things really started going downhill. 

The room keys didn’t work.  We had to lug all of our junk through the hotel to the lobby to get new keys.  Then we had to lug it all back, only to discover a filthy, unkempt room.  I called the front desk, and they said, "Oh, wait, you should have been given room 106 instead of room 109."  No wonder the first set of keys didn’t work!!

They brought another set of keys, and waited while we examined the new room.  It was much better.  Until I tried to log onto the internet.  I called back to the front desk, and told them the internet wasn’t working.  They asked if I requested an internet room when I booked the reservation.  I totally snapped at that point, and said that when I called to see if they had internet connections in the rooms, they should have explained the room differences to me then.  She said I would use the wireless in the lobby, and I said that wasn’t going to be good enough.  We would have to cancel our reservation and stay elsewhere.  By this point, I didn’t even want to stay here anymore!  She said the manager would call me back.

And he did.  I told him that my first impression of his hotel was less than impressive, due to the wrong keys, rooms, internet situation, he upgraded our room to a suite!!  So here Kimmy and I sit, in this huge room, with a fridge, microwave, 2 bathrooms, 2 tvs and a sitting room with a sofa.  The only thing that makes no sense is WHY is the cable for the modem on the nightstand, and not on the desk??  I hate not being able to use the mouse, and having to type with the computer on my lap.  Oh, well….