Wander Indiana, just across the border in Ohio. Cincinnati Ohio to be exact!


We lived in Cincinnati Ohio from 1991 until 1999. We started out living near Cincinnati in the suburb of Fairfield. We then moved to Maineville. Maineville is interesting, because it is literally the small town that is connected to the amusement park King’s Island. For the summer we lived in Maineville we went to King’s island often, but not as much as we could. Jakki was on her way (Barb was pregnant) so after the first summer there things slowed down. We have been back to King’s Island many times as the kids got older. Our last trip to Cincinnati with the kids before moving to Maryland was in 2010. This picture outside King’s Island 2010. The amusement park was a destination for folks in Bloomington. Well for High School and College age people it was the destination. Barb, as discussed before loved roller coasters (so do Nick and Luke now). So she is always ready to drop everything and ride roller coasters at an amusement park. Her favorite remains the Beast. The Beast is the main coaster at King’s Island. I guess that first roller coaster is always the one you remember.



When Nick was younger he did not like Roller Coasters. So he and I went to the top of the replica Eifel Tower in the Center of the Park. You can see a lot of Ohio from up there. That’s Nick at the railing looking back at me. I can say, having been to the top of the real Eifel Tower, and the one at King’s Island, the one at King’s Island is a lot smaller. The park like most amusement parks is broken up into a bunch of areas. As you enter the park through the main gate, you see the Eifel Tower straight ahead. From that position you can head South (or to the right) and you will end up in the kids area. The daredevil (upside down, hanging from your seat crazy rides) are off to the left. If you walk towards the Eifel Tower you will pass by the recreated old town, with shops and an auditorium where they do shows. King’s Island is a mix of ride types, with a water park attached to the park as well. I love water, but I am not a huge fan of water parks. I’ve been to a few, and the smell of chlorine reminds me of my days on swim club, or worse my day’s of owning and maintaining a pool.


Just like in Paris, the Eifel tower coming out of Nick’s head. During the time we lived in Cincinnati we probably went to the park 40 times. Personally my favorite time ever was taking Jakki (all bundled up and warm) to the park for their holiday lights display. That was when Jakki loved Christmas lights, she sat on my lap saying yights, yights. The next year, when we moved to our first house in Cincinnati, she made me put up yights. But that was a magical evening. You rode on the train that went the western town in the Kid’s area of the park. Each building was intricately lit up and sitting on the train you were wandered by each of them. That was my all time favorite trip to the park. I guess since the goal is to share travel stuff as well as family stuff, I should point out some really cool things about the park. There is a really nice picnic area in the park. You can bring large groups and have a blast there. The water park is very nice (but smells like a lot of Chlorine). They have several exceptional roller coasts. The most famous is the Beast. But there is also the Roller Coaster. The park, many years ago was featured in an episode of the Brady Bunch. The entire Bunch made their way from California to Ohio in order to partake of the park and spend a day there.

King’s Island is only one of many places to go and see in Cincinnati Ohio.


Family Historian

On pools and big cities, moving away from Bloomington Indiana


I have to say the one great thing about our neighborhood is that we have a great neighborhood pool. Great because I don’t have to spend the last three weekends of may getting the pool ready for the years. We built two pools (I know didn’t learn the first time). Our first pool was smaller in Cincinnati Ohio. We then went a little bigger after we moved to Greenwood. Since moving to Maryland we’ve lived in neighborhoods with pools and it makes all the difference. Unlike Indiana though, few neighborhoods here have basketball courts. They all have tennis courts and pools but no basketball courts. Even the sport complex (The Soccer Plex) that is a massive sports facility with 20 soccer fields (Cricket, a water park, and indoor tennis and indoor/outdoor swimming) doesn’t have basketball courts. I find that such a change from Indiana where every barn had a hoop (or so it felt like to me).


These two pictures slightly different including the new fountain we tried in 2010. I think over the years we tried 4 different ones. Each of them was interesting but effectiveness was always the problem. Like I said I do not miss pool maintenance. Having a large backyard I don’t miss either. Someone has to mow it. Our yard is small and with the new patio there isn’t much yard left, just enough for the dogs to run around in. It is a very different world in the ‘burbs of a big city. When you live near a medium to large city things are much different overall. I remember complaining about traffic that delayed me an hour. It felt like forever when that happened driving around Indianapolis. Now there are days I wish it were only an hour. I guess as you move around your perspective and expectations change.


My crew. I am so proud of all of them. On the far left my dog walking superstar Jakki. Then we have the amazing Lucas! Next to Lucas is the equally amazing Nick! And finally, the now fully licensed Maryland Social Worker, and my partner for the last 25 years Barb. This image taken on our family vacation to Indiana Dunes in 2010. Barb loves beaches so we have often vacationed near the water (now we get to vacation on the water). This trip ended up being our last summer vacation in Indiana. The next summer time we spent in Indiana wasn’t vacation. Both Barb and I grew up in Bloomington Indiana. We both loved growing up in that wonderful little university town, but we both longed to be somewhere else. Barb left Bloomington (she was born there) when she was 19 and moved to Arizona for a year. I was born in Chicago and missed being near a big city the entire time I was in Bloomington. I didn’t realize I missed the hustle and bustle of the city until we moved to Cincinnati Ohio. Bloomington is a unique experience. I love going back to see my sister and mother who still live there. But it is now going back. I was born in a big city. To me its where I belong.


City boy…

A day at Kings Island Mason Ohio

P6060035Kings Island (which was on the show The Brady Bunch) is an amusement park near Cincinnati Ohio. It is actually in the town of Mason which is just outside born in Mason Ohio, although she was actually born at the Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati Ohio.

The first time I went to Kings Island was with a bunch of friends as part of a weekend off. We were working at a camp and we took off early Saturday for Kings Island. It was roughly a three hour drive back then and we spent the day at the park. We rode the rides, hitting the roller coasters right as the park was closing so you got to ride them as close to in the dark as was possible.


All four kids developed this face very early in life. Becca, Jakki, Nick and Luke all make this face. This is the “Dad, stop taking pictures of me.” face. I know that is what the face is because shortly after the face appeared and normally after I had taken the picture the phrase was uttered.

Dad, stop taking pictures of me.

I never did. As you can see by the number of times I captured this face in pictures. It is a classic face like I said all four kids developed it at a very early age.

I wonder what is wrong with them.


In the first picture you see the replica of the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island. Cincinnati. We lived in Mason for 9 months back in 199. Jakki was technically Also by the way featured in The Brady Bunch. This is the view of the Ohio landscape from the top of the tower.

I have been to the top of the actual Eifel Tower and have to say the view from there is nicer than the view of Mason Ohio. Additionally this is from roughly 1998 or 1999. The landscape you see here is no longer there. At least three more hotels and a lot less trees are now visible from the top of the Eifel Tower at Kings Island.

Times change, that face doesn’t change. They still make that face as I take pictures at times. Except the difference now is that Lucas tries to Photo Bomb every single picture I take which ends up making me laugh. Sometimes Nick even spontaneously smiles.


Former resident Cincinnati Ohio

Pictures that haven’t seen the light of day in a long time….


Picture of my father and his mother. You never get to old to stop caring about your mother. They are very special people that change not only your life but the world around them. I was lucky over the years in that my parents helped me understand the importance of being a human being first. My parents taught me that it isn’t the size of your garden that matters. It matters how many people you share the food from the garden with. I was very blessed to have them in my life.

One of the things that happens as you get older is you lose people. They don’t leave you, they just stop producing new memories with you. The first major loss in my life was in Cincinnati Ohio. Sure a couple of kids died in High School but I wasn’t that close to them. I lost a dear friend in Cincinnati. The first loss of many.

DSCN0100Now he is the one most likely to attempt to photo bomb any picture I take. But then he was just plain cute. He isn’t cute now, a lot taller than he was then. Lucas O Andersen. The middle name revealed only to those he is willing to tell (just like his dad)

I was sure the blue eyes would turn to brown. Brown being the dominant eye color. But their predominant Scan avian Background foiled that plan (mostly Dutch and Danish). Their eyes never turned brown. My house is a genetics experiment gone horribly wrong. All three kids have the recessive blue eyes. Plus of the boys, Luke is Left Handed and Nick is Right handed. Further wandering into the world of Mirror twins but also another recessive!!!

DSCN0132 I love this picture of them. Luke and Nick. First off my apologies to the world for passing on the one gene trait I did manage to pass one (hair). Or to be more specific cow licks (sp). They loved this ball pit for a time. Mostly, as I later found out because they used to throw the balls at each other constantly.

Nick is on the left, Luke is on the right.

They really are good guys now. I do occasionally miss them at this age. Although I do not miss having to keep one eye open when napping on the couch. Back in those days they took great delight in jumping on me when I was sleeping. They don’t do that anymore thank goodness.


Digging deep into the picture archives…

Images of Ohio now more than 15 years old…


5776 Willow Cove Cincinnati Ohio. We built the house to our specifications over the spring and moved into the house in August. Little did we know that we would be moving out less than a year later. But this was the house as we were moving in in 1998.

We loved our neighbors and the neighborhood, we just got the chance to move closer to family and friends in Indiana. With young twins the support of family was critical.

We lived in Cincinnati Ohio from 1991 to 1999. It was a great time, Jakki and the boys were born in Ohio. They are the first Buckeyes in our family. We moved to Cincinnati Ohio for Barb’s job and then moved backed to Indiana for my job. I guess in the end everything that goes around comes around.

It was a grand house.


On the right side is Gwen. Yes, that is her I am playing catch stance. Gwen wasn’t he happiest dog on earth. I suspect in the end she was abused before we adopted her. Then sadly her primary care giver used to scream at everyone in the house when it came time to walk her or feed her. So in the end she was fairly traumatized.

This was how she played catch.

The picture is of the backyard of our house see above from the front.

Attack catch I used to call it. And if she got the ball that was the last time you ever saw that ball unless you were able to wrestle it away from her. But based n what was around her I don’t blame her.

Gwen and I used to take long walks. I have learned over the years that dogs respond better to long walks than they do to not having long walks. Gwen in unsorted867particular needed to have long walks to calm her down and get her focused again on being part of a family. Gwen calmed down when we moved to Indiana and the screaming abated after a time.

Today ends with a nap. This picture taken of the back bedroom of the house above where we had the boys room.

Never wake a sleeping baby.

When you have twins and one baby wakes up so does the other baby. Every time. Without fail. Seriously. It gets loud. Then like everything else they get a little older and now you couldn’t get them out of bed in the morning without lights, a cattle prod and loud crashing noises.

My father used to say when asked “how tall is your son” he would smile that wry smile of his and say “about ten inches, unless he is reading then the book adds another 4 inches of height.”

It’s all part of being a teenager.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Pictures from Cincinnati Ohio Circa 1998/1999.


Frist birthday picture right before the cake dive. Lukey literally dove into his cake. This was taken in the kitchen of our house in Cincinnati Ohio (Willowcove in Mt. Airy). We had the chairs in the kitchen and then literally walked them out and dumped them into the pool.

As you can see from this picture Lukey was ready for cake.

The next picture has three generations of Andersen Men. In the upper right corner of the picture is my dad Hans Oliver Andersen. In the blue/black shirt is Scott O Andersen and on my lap is Lukas O. Andersen.

It is a family/Danish tradition that all male’s have the middle initial O.


Actually I believe the tradition was really that all males should be Henry Oliver Andersen. My grandparents changed the tradition to only carry the Middle name Oliver. My parents changed the tradition to a middle initial O.

We had twins so we honored my grandparents and my parents tradition. Luke’s middle name is Oliver in the family legacy. Nick’s middle name is Otto. It just so happened by a quark of fate that Leslie Otto Ralstin, Barb’s dad also had a middle name starting with an O so we wee also able to honor Barb’s family.

The tradition goes back many years now to the old country and I hope the boys will honor it as well. There aren’t as many good O names, but it is a grand tradition. One that at least five generations of Andersen males have been a part of.

Tradition. Tradition.


Another Willowcove image. We built the house on Willowcove. It was the first (and only) house we’ve built so far. Our front yard was flat, our back yard rose to the sky quickly. This is jakki mowing the front yard. She really wanted to mow the yard. I was the parent that was home the most when Barb was working 100 hours or more a week. So she and I kind of created a bond.

I am happy to say that bond is still there today.

Although she did stop mowing right after this attempt never to mow again. The mower weighed more than she did and back in those days I didn’t have a push mower. Still she made the attempt to mow the yard.

All three images from our house at Willowcove. Willowcove was actually during the transition time for me. I had just started to shoot digital pictures. Our family was growing and there were a lot of pictures to be taken.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

They grow up so fast. Do you remember those day’s in September?

The boys were into technology at a very early age. Here they are checking out the video camera. unsorted011They learned quickly that if you are behind the camera then no one can take pictures of you.

Not sure the location but I suspect it was a family gathering at a restaurant.

Over the years the boys have become quite adept at using and building on their knowledge of technology. It is amazing to see them try fun new things and look at the world through different lenses. The other side of that reality is they have no interest in either cameras of photography. It seems like in our family that gene isn’t passed to everyone. Or perhaps it is the loud pushy photographer gene that causes everyone else to stop.

I will never forget Jay Ralstin, Barb Andersen (nee Ralstin) tormenting Joan Ralstin on the day of Barb and my wedding rehearsal. She was trying to take a photo of all of us and Jay and I did exactly what she asked us to do. Sometimes the literal meaning drives a photographer nuts. So we did.


On the beach in Mexico (Xcarte). What a wonderful experience that was for everyone. We didn’t enjoy the cruise ship as much the second time but we did love the stop at Cancun. We spent a magical day in the ecological park that maintained the wonderful rule – the people are the visitors not the animals.

This is on the sandy white beach that faced into the Caribbean.  As I said we as a family did not enjoy the cruise as much as we did the first cruise but we loved the ports of call. Are you allowed to pluralize port of call? Anyway the ecological park Xcarte is simply an amazing place. Wonderful creatures safely in their environment. Humans are no allowed to wear sun screen or anything else that might cause the animals discomfort. We frolicked on the beach and wandered around the park all day. We have been to Mexico a few times, this was the first time for the boys and Jakki so that was a lot of fun!


When the boys were little Barb insisted we didn’t need a dining room, we needed a large playroom for the boys. So in our house on Willowcove we ended up not having a living room, we had the kids tv (behind Barb) where the Sega Dreamcast was, and the boys toys. There was no dining table (we kept that in storage until we moved to Indiana) and the boys had room to roam.

We did have child gates on both ends of the room. We learned that from Dangerous Dan who was caught several times trying to get her walked up the stairs in Cincinnati. (Dangerous Dan was another nickname of Jakki and was given to her when she was doing things that were at best dangerous). Eventually when we moved to Indiana the dining room returned and the boys moved up to their room. They had the bonus room above the garage then that was huge and didn’t need a larger playroom. Seems funny but in less than 80 days those two little guys in these pictures will be 17 years old.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.