WOW – what a trip! I spent August 27th – 31st in Kentucky…..# 48 of my goal to visit all 50 states!!! I thought this was just going to be a “check the box” trip – I didn’t think there was a whole lot I wanted to see or do in Kentucky, so I just planned on five days – two travel days and three full days for sightseeing activities. Boy, was I wrong! As I was researching things to do, I soon realized, I may not have allowed enough time! LOL But, I stuck to the schedule and crammed in as much as I could in the time I had.
In those three full days, I put 460 miles on my rental car and traveled another ~150 on a round trip bus tour of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I covered a lot of ground! I actually stayed at the Radisson, Louisville North in Clarksville, Indiana just across the Ohio River from Louisville. I did a lot in and around the Louisville area and also drove north to Williamstown, east to Lexington (with stops in Frankfort (Kentucky’s capital) and Historic Georgetown, and south to Loretto and Clemont……and back and everything in between! Some of the sights I’ll write about in this and other separate posts will be my visits to Cave Hill Cemetery, the life size replica of Noah’s Ark, various bourbon distilleries, Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Horse Park, the largest exposed fossil bed in the country, and food and sights along the way!
My first thrill of the adventure was when I had my layover in Charlotte, NC……on my way from my arrival concourse to my departure concourse, I spotted a Chick-fil-A!!!! I had plenty of time, so I stood in line go get one of my favorite southern sandwiches, delicious waffle fries, and a super sized sweet tea!!! I was in heaven!!! (I know a Chick-fil-A was recently built on the Ridge in Greece – they are slowly moving their franchises north – but I haven’t had a chance to go, yet, so this was a delight!) I had my fill of “real” southern sweet tea while I was in Kentucky — every meal was accompanied by this amazing nectar that I miss so much!
That evening, I arrived at the Louisville Airport, picked up my rental car, and found my way to my hotel.
This bridge (just past the KFC YUM Center) took me across the Ohio River to Indiana – I crossed it at least twice every day I was there! The traffic you see is just a VERY light representation of the bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout Louisville – it was a very large, congested city that was very confusing to drive around…..luckily, I took Gabby (my GPS) with me and didn’t do a lot of things right in the midst of the city – the country side was much more pleasant to travel around!
The Radisson was a nice, comfortable hotel – my home away from home for my stay!
I was tired and planned to just settle in and get some dinner and start my adventures the next day. But……when I was parking my car, I looked across the parking lot and saw a building called “Derby Dinner Playhouse”. It got me curious, so I googled it! I found out it was a nightly dinner theater venue that was highly rated and seemed very popular! I also saw that the current show was “Million Dollar Quartet” – The story of the night of Dec 3, 1956 when Sam Phillips got Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis together for the first and only time for a jam session and made Rock and Roll History at Sun Records……I suddenly got my second wind and knew I had to see if I could get a ticket – the show was starting in like 20 minutes and they were able to accommodate a single, so I high tailed it over there – I missed the dinner time, so I got a little discount off the ticket and made it just in time! WOW!!!! What a show – a fantastic two hours of great music, lots of chair dancing, cheering, and some tears, too……so glad I was able to do it!!! Oh, and I got some dessert, cause I didn’t have dinner – cranberry bread pudding – HEAVEN!!!! So, my adventure got off to a rip roaring musical start…..and I loved it!!!
I slept like a LOG……and, the next morning, I made a couple impromptu stops on my way to planned activities – just saw signs that looked interesting, so I made the little side trips:
This is the Historic Louisville Water Tower
The Louisville Water Tower, located east of downtown Louisville, Kentucky near the riverfront, is the oldest ornamental water tower in the world, having been built before the more famous Chicago Water Tower. Both the actual water tower and its pumping station are on the National Register of Historic Places.
This is Thomas Edison’s house in downtown Louisville – Thomas wasn’t home, so I just stopped long enough for a couple photos and got back on the road!
The wording on this sign is interesting……
This is Louisville Slugger Field — if I had booked a couple more days, I would have liked to tour this place and go to the Louisville Slugger Museum / Factory, but I had already jammed the days up, so this quick stop and photo op was all I got!
I googled “local food favorites” to see what was popular to the Louisville area……I like to find things that you typically only find in the areas I visit – much like our Beef on Weck or White Hots! Well, I found that the big local specialty was the Hot Brown – it is an open faced turkey and ham sandwich with tomatoes, bacon and layered with four cheeses and baked to melt and brown the cheese….so, of course, being allergic to cheese, I could not try it…..and, once I actually saw a plate of it, I’m glad I couldn’t! It looks very heavy and rich and I’m not sure my stomach would appreciate it! But – the three young guys on the Bourbon Trail tour all ordered it for their lunch and loved it – they cleaned their plates!
This is the Hot Brown – it was first developed by the chef at the prestigious Brown Hotel in Louisville in the 1920’s. It is now served in just about every restaurant in the greater Louisville area and each place has it’s own little spin on it, so it looks a bit different wherever you find it! This was served at the Country Club that we had lunch at during our Bourbon Trail Tour!
My lunch was a much more delightful chicken salad croissant with delicious homemade chips and, of course, a glass of sweet tea that I had them refill at least twice!
One evening, I ordered in a delivery of Papa John’s Pizza to my hotel room — I used to LOVE Papa John’s and had it delivered to my home in NC quite often! So, I had to take advantage of the availability of getting some while I was in KY!!! And, I ordered it just like I always used to – extra light on the cheese (I can have a small amount of skim cheese before I get a reaction), pepperoni, onions, pineapple, and sausage!!! YUM!!!
Once I got out of the city, the country side of Kentucky was gorgeous!!! The rolling green pastures and board fences of horse farms were everywhere……and just gorgeous!!!
The weather while I was there was perfect……low 80’s, sunny, and a wonderful breeze that kept it from feeling hot….except for the last day, which was well over 90 and not a hint of a breeze anywhere! But, that last day was less strenuous, so it wasn’t too bad!
I had an amazing time in Kentucky — this is just an overview to lay the basis for the next posts that will get into my adventurous activities! Be sure to watch for all the Kentucky related posts to get the full experience!