I suppose it was bound to happen.
And so I put on my best Gheorghe face and make the best of things. My misfortune is your boon, my misadventure your window into a whole new world. Friends, I give you: Florence, KY.
As you may know, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is in Kentucky (the name is a bit of a giveaway). Boone County, KY, to be exact. Home to fabled outdoorsman Daniel Boone, the county sits just over the Ohio River from Cincinnati. As I scrambled to find a hotel room and avoid the cots being wheeled out at Gate B24, hotels.com rescued me with a room at the Days Inn Florence. (It also suggested a room at the $200/night Cincinnatian Hotel downtown, which sorely, sorely tempted me and my corporate credit card. Please be sure to tell my bosses how frugal I was with the company's money.)
Florence (I would call it beautiful Florence, but it mostly seems to be strip malls, interstate, and light industrial parks) is the largest city in Boone County, clocking in at just over 29,000 souls, 92.44% of them white. (And 0.06% Pacific Islander. I do believe I met that guy at the Chick-fil-a.) Founded in 1830, the town is working hard on having something of historical significance added to its Wikipedia page. Perhaps my visit will qualify.
The town is the home of former Alabama and Seattle Seahawk (and Washington Redskin) great Shaun Alexander, who ran for 3,166 yards and 54 touchdowns for the Boone County High School Rebels. In his senior season. Florence also boasts the pulchritudinous Sheree Paolello, loose-tongued news anchor for WLWT, and a water tower with a wonderfully silly story:
Originally the tower advertised the up-and-coming Florence Mall, as part of an agreement by the mall developers who donated the land for the tower. However, because the mall was not built yet, the tower violated highway regulations, and the city was forced to change it within a short deadline. Rather than repaint the entire tower, they simply painted over the two vertical lines of the "M" to create a "Y". The intent was to change it back when the mall was built, but the local residents liked the tower's new proclamation, so the city decided to leave it as it was.Allegedly, according to the good people at Delta (who lied to me at least twice yesterday), I'll be headed homeward at 1:55 this afternoon. I don't envy the folks sitting near me on the plane, as all my clothes have been stuffed into a suitcase with foul-smelling workout gear. Until then, howdy from Florence, and may the road rise to meet you.