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Stay in Covington.

One of the reasons for starting this blog is to share my experiences while traveling. At this point I’m not a world traveler but stick with me, I have plans. So far my travels have been within the North American continent and I’ve seen and stayed in some great places. If you’re looking for luxury travel advice, I’m not your huckleberry. In this house we are middle class and we travel that way too (most of the time). But let me tell you something, that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize good design and great effort, because I do. I have some wonderful things to share about Sandals Negril in Jamaica, a couple of fun trips to Cozumel, a nice weekend getaway to Niagara falls, and I have a couple of upcoming girl’s trips planned in Lauderdale by the Sea and Destin, Florida. But today, I want to tell you about my favorite place to stay while visiting my daughter, The Pickle Factory.

Yes, you read that correctly. I love to stay at The Pickle Factory. It’s a boutique hotel in Covington, Kentucky, a twelve minute drive from my daughter's door in Cincinnati. I should tell you, I’m not being paid to advertise this place or any of the others in this article for anyone. I just really love what they’ve done with an old (otherwise abandoned) building, how they provide for their guests, and the town that it’s nestled in.

First, what is a boutique hotel? I’m glad you asked. According to the dictionary, it’s “a small stylish hotel, typically one situated in a fashionable urban location.” The Pickle Factory Hotel in Covington, Kentucky is exactly that. It’s a wonderful brick revival in the heart of a walkable historic downtown district that’s been brought to life by artisans, chefs, brewers, and creative energy. The Pickle Factory Hotel by Neat Suites features eight suites each designed with specific themes in mind, and this is what sets the place apart from other short term rental spaces. The Neat Suites were smart to hire a designer (Mandy Lehman- I’m a fan) to really bring each suite to life. Aside from the comfort items, like a killer mattress and luxurious feeling linens, she pulled together great thrifted pieces mixed with new items and took the time to add personal touches with throw pillows, striking art, light fixtures, and other decor. These are things that the chain hotels don’t do. They buy furniture and art in bulk and just replicate room after room. Boring. Mandy Lehman pulled the strings of my designer heart with each cabinet filled with thrifted books, each storage ottoman full of throw blankets, and each curated wall of framed art. Bathrooms thought out and designed with tile and furniture style vanities. Each time I stayed in a different suite I walked in and squealed ‘YES! This is how you do it’. As far as I’m concerned Mandy and Neat Suites have set the standard for well done design in a short term rental. Want to learn a little more about the history of the Wenzel Building that became The Pickle Factory Hotel? published a great article on The Pickle Factory announcing it’s opening in 2021. They also took some beautiful photos of the suites. Here are some of my photos from the Pickle Suite.

Covington, for me, has become a little bit of a home away from home. I think it’s that small town feel with the immediate access of major highways. Cincinnati is a great area with so many things to do and places to visit, but it’s a little too fast paced and crowded for my personal liking. I prefer the sidewalk sauntering attitude and casual alfresco seating style that Covington offers. When I travel, I love to take my time in the morning getting ready for my day. I want a comfy spot to enjoy an entire cup of coffee while it’s hot, watch a little tv (or read) and then leisurely get ready to head out.

Last time I stayed in Covington, I managed to convince my kids to try brunch at Cedar and as usual, it did not disappoint. I’ve been there before on a previous trip and vowed to go each time I’m in town. Both times I’ve been there I’ve ordered Filet & Eggs, and both times it was delectable. Their menu is small but exquisite if you ask me. We all enjoyed our meals and then with full bellies started off on our adventures for the day.

What is there to do while in the Cinci/Covington area? Keep in mind my kids are young adults, so if you have littles this may not be a helpful article for you. They’re not old enough to drink legally, so bar hopping isn’t something we do (yet) and each time I visit, I bring someone down with me so that helps determine points of interest. We’ve spent our time so far at Wild Winter Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, Krohn’s Conservatory for the Butterfly experience, Dinner at Ford’s Garage, Shopped at Findlay Market, walked through Over the Rhine, tasted some Goetta at Anchor Bar and Grill, filled our bellies at Adriaticos Pizza, got Charlie’s haircut at Bishops Salon by our favorite stylist (Avery), learned that Pottery Barn was old people furniture" while shopping at Kenwood Towne Center and stopped in for a bit at the Hard Rock Casino so my mom could donate some money. I always hit Ikea on the way there or on the way home (I love to walk through the displays, I can’t help it). Places we still have to get to are the Art museum, Loveland Castle, the Hidden Breweries Tour, Ohio River Sunset Cruise, National Underground Railroad Museum, American Sign Museum, the German Gothic Glockenspiel, and the Newport Aquarium. If you have any recommendations, drop me a line! I would love to add things to my list. Kings Island isn’t far from Cinci, but roller coasters make me sick now so that’s just a waste of money (for me) anymore. I used to LOVE roller coasters.

One of my favorite things about Cincinnati and Covington is they are both bursting with murals. Giant painted sides of buildings with messages of hope or unity. Colorful artwork outside in the weather for all to enjoy. Art for everyone. I love the murals. I wish my hometown had more of them.

Since I’m writing an article about Covington, it really made me curious about the history of the town. I have seen signs that said MainStrassee Village while walking and wondered what it meant. Turns out, when Covington was formed in 1815, it was decided to name the town for General Covington who was killed at the Battle of Chrysler’s Field in 1813. So the new town was named for a U.S. military hero of Alsatian descent whose name originally was spelled Kurfingthan. In the 1970s, it was decided to develop a German-style village in Covington to preserve the historic buildings in the area. The “Rhineland of America” was chosen as the theme for the district, as Covington is on the banks of the Ohio River. The historic district was named “MainStrasse Village'' in honor of its location along Main Street and features many points of interest relating to German heritage. (Thanks for the info German American Hall of Fame).

Of course, learning this, I was like what is “Alsatian?” It means from Alsace. Which is now French territory after being bounced back and forth between the French and the Germans over the years. And now, I have a new place added to my Travel bucket list because it looks like a page out of a story book! If you have been to Alsace, please drop me a line, I would love to learn about it.

As you may have noticed the length of time between each post has gotten a little longer. Confession, I have stumbled upon an author that I can't stop reading, and am going from one book to the next like they're gonna disappear from the library. But I'm focused and have more articles started, so you'll soon be reading those as well as travels to write and photograph more to share with you. I have received wonderful inspiring feedback from the posts so far and I want to say thank you so much. To each of you that have reached out to me, thank you. I am so happy to know that you enjoy reading my babbling and if it makes even the smallest difference in someone's life, then I will consider myself a success.

So as I leave you now, I pray that you are always surrounded by love and comfort.

- Lis


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