Thursday, June 23, 2011

Travels With Clancy: Alms Park

My car has fallen in love with my mechanic, and seems to want to spend more time with him than it does with me, so between that betrayal and the seemingly endless rain we have had, Clancy and I have hit some roadblocks on our Travels project. But since I had the day off work today and we had some nice weather for a change, we made a trip to Alms Park, which is nestled in the hills on the east side of Cincinnati.

I read that the park was once called "Bald Hill," as the Native American tribe that lived in the area cleared away trees to have unobstructed views of settlers coming down the Ohio River. Now, the park boasts a beautiful overlook with an impressive view of the meeting of the Little Miami River and the Ohio.

One of the bloggers I read recently wrote about visiting places, and imagining who else has stood where you are standing. That's a habit I have always had, and today when I stood at the overlook, I couldn't help but think about that tribe, looking down and seeing the boats carrying the settlers. I can't imagine what a sense of foreboding they must have had. Conversely, I can't imagine being on the boats either, setting out to a completely unknown and hostile world.

While standing there, I looked down and saw this compass in the stone.

I really liked it, and had to laugh as well, as anyone who knows me knows I have the worst sense of direction on the planet. A compass is always a good thing for me to come upon. Anyone who relies on me for directions is making a terrible mistake.

Across the street from the overlook is a pavilion, similar to the one at Ault Park. Apparently, the pavilions were designed by the same architect and thus have similar styles, although this Alms Pavilion is smaller and much less ornate. Still, I thought it was stately and very pretty and, as the park was not at all crowded, quite peaceful.

I loved the architecture of the pavilion.

And the view from inside.

In addition, the landscaping around it is lovely.

Clancy and I continued wandering around, and I ended up finding my favorite part of the park right as we were about to head home. When we walked back to the car and retraced our steps, I noticed a wooden bench near the overlook. The bench was engraved "For Betsy - My Princess."

I was totally taken by this bench, and immediately wondered who Betsy was. Anyone who sat on the bench would have a spectacular view of the river and the valley below, and I couldn't help but wonder if Betsy had loved sitting in this very spot.

The bench reminded me of the scene in the movie Notting Hill, when the main characters find an engraved bench in the garden. I found the bench very romantic, and also felt like there was a story hidden in its wood. I can feel ideas spinning in my head about Betsy and her prince.

While I was enchanted by the bench, Clancy couldn't have cared less about it, and was quick to remind me that we were supposed to be heading back to the car, and the air conditioning. We did, and said goodbye to Alms Park.

It was good to get back to our travels, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my car will stick with me, and we will finally get a prolonged break from the rain. We have pages of places to visit so, with luck, I'm hoping we can get our project on track.


  1. What a gorgeous park! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

  2. I'm loving these travels with Clancy.

    Two things I do as well -- imagining who stood in the same spot hundreds of years ago, and seeing something as innocent as a name engraved on a park bench and needing to know the backstory behind it. It must be the curse (or blessing) of the writer. :)

    Wow, you have some pretty parks around you.

  3. Julie, I LOVED the first line! What a wonderful opening. Thank you for taking me on your travels - love the photos and I too, want to know about Betsy, so you must write something to satisfy my/our curiosity. Thanks for your note on my blog - I am actually REALLY excited now - I spoke with my Createspace team leader today (I have people!) and I really want to do everything I can to make this a success, for my own book of course, but to encourage all of us to believe in what is possible. SO, I will give it my best! Hugs,

  4. I hate when cars get sick, but you seem to have put your time away to good use. Lovely pictures. The last time my car broke down, I was on the way to a Dr appt. My most wonderful husband of all brought me his car so I could go and sat and waited on the tow truck at mine.

    Is he not wonderful?

  5. Hope your car is holding up! Beautiful pictures along with a lovely story. It is romantic to wonder who a bench was named after and all the people who've sat in it since. Julie

  6. I loved your first line, too! Very clever and hilarious!! Thanks for sharing your photos and stories of your travels with Clancy!!

  7. Wonderful pictures Julie, a pleasure to look at,


  8. Two-timing cars are indeed trouble. This is a very fun read Julie. I especially love the bench, you gotta love that bench.

  9. These are fantastic shots. You are quite a talent, thanks for sharing.

  10. @Samantha, thank you!

    @LG, before I read that blog post, I thought I was the only one who wondered about who else had stood where I was, I thought I was a little nuts. I'm glad there are more of us!

    @Melissa, thanks! I still keep thinking about Betsy, I really want to write something about her. How exciting that you have people now, I can't wait to read along as you go through this exciting process. :)

    @worddreams, oh my gosh, you do have a wonderful husband. He deserves a medal for that LOL.

    @Julie, thank you!

    @Becky, thanks, I'm so glad you liked it. :)

    @Yvonne, thanks so much.

    @Tim, thanks. Yeah, I'm totally in love with this bench, I'm so glad I saw it. :)

    Langley, thank you!

  11. Alms Park looks like such a beautiful place! Love the view you get at the river, looks a lot like where I live actually. LOL about the compass, I've no sense of direction either, it's terrible. I always feel so bad whenever I happen to send someone off in the wrong direction. How sweet about the bench's engraving though, I always find stuff like that so romantic as well and I love "Notting Hill". :) Sorry about your car, it's just bad it's been giving you trouble like that. Hope that'll stop soon! Thanks for sharing another one one of your travels with Clancy with us!

  12. Hi Carina! Thanks, I'm so glad you liked the post. I loved Notting Hill too, and I couldn't help but think of it as soon as I saw this bench. I just loved this park. Fingers crossed on the car, thanks for your good wishes! :)

  13. Okay, next time I'm up there I will have to visit this park! I love the overlook structure. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  14. @Jules, I agree, I thought the structure was so pretty. Hope you are able to visit! :)

  15. Beautiful park. Great views. You have many wonderful places within driving distance to you ...

  16. @Retired Knitter, that's what has been great about this project for me, I'm learning to appreciate how many great places are so close to me. I'm glad you liked the park!


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