A trip to paradise………
December 1, 2010
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
And there’s a backwards old town that’s often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn.
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away
Ok, so maybe we weren’t in Muhlenberg county, but it was a trip back to Western Kentucky, a visit to Mammoth Cave along the Green River and a stop at Paradise along the way. Not the Paradise Mine referred to in John Prine’s song, but Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, in Louisville.
Last time we were at this fun and eclectic (not to mention yummy) restaurant was to celebrate Kiddo’s 1st birthday. He’s now 11. It’s been a while. First discovered when I was working for a wine & spirit distributor in Kentucky. Occasionally had lunches there with customers, or bites with co-workers when I was in town for a meeting. When we moved to Louisville, we discovered how great a place it is for brunch. Bobby Flay did a Throwdown with Lynn. (WTF, my second Bobby Flay mention in two days, and I’m seriously not *that* big of a fan)
Don’t let these pictures fool you. The place is usually packed. This was mid-morning on a Monday. Not exactly prime time. As we were leaving the lunch crowd was beginning to arrive. Love how every inch is decorated. Even the bathrooms! Fun touches (and puzzles on the tables). Kiddo and I enjoyed a nice game of Would you rather…
The tour is marked as moderately strenuous due to about 500 steps. Pace was leisurely, but we were always going up or down steps or ramps. Kiddo was suitably impressed. Which makes me glad.I love visiting caves. Kiddo and I want to go back and do one of the longer spelunking tours – a bit of crawling and climbing and exploring.
Louisville, however you say it, the "S" is silent
October 20, 2010
I cringe when I hear folks say Lewisville when referring to Kentucky’s largest city. Admittedly, not as bad as when they say Ell-ah-noise for the state of my birth. That “S” is also quite silent. As a child we made regular visits to Louisville, because my grandparents had retired to Corydon, IN a small town not far away. Growing up we called it Louie-ville. In college at UK, I learned to pronounce it as the natives do, Looavull.
I only lived in Louisville for a couple of years. However, it is a city of significant events in my life. Met my husband there (while we were living 4 hours apart on opposite sides of the commonwealth), got married there, and our kiddo was born in Louisville. All of which make it a city near and dear to my heart. So when I discovered we’d be going on a trip to Lexington (click here to read that one), I suggested we add a night here.
Spent most of our time wandering around downtown. Last I saw this city was in 2001 as I followed the moving van out of town. Hubby has been back on a couple of business trips, and was dying to show me the new (well, new to me) entertainment district on 4th Street. This downtown area runs roughly from the Convention Center south to the Seelbach Hotel (with the final block closed to traffic and under an open ended roof). Shops, restaurants, bars, lots and lots of bars and nightclubs, this is the hub of the city nightlife. As we walked through, crews were setting up a stage – no doubt for a band after that evening’s UofL vs. UC football game.
Got a kick out of these signs along the river edge.
The piece, or rather pieces, of urban art I was thrilled to discover was the bike racks. When I noticed the first one, I thought “how interesting, someone is using that art to lock their bike”….then I started noticing more bikes locked up to other pieces of sculpture. Finally noticed the plaque on the ground next to each.
This put me on a quest to find as may as possible. I’m sure I just scratched the surface, but here’s a few.
Back in the Bluegrass, or My Old Kentucky Home…..
October 19, 2010
While I now live 60 miles or so from where I grew up in Illinois, I spent a significant portion of my life living in Kentucky. As I often told folks, I went to college at UK, and forgot to leave. After college I began my professional life in Lexington, a promotion sent me to Western Kentucky where I stayed for nearly a decade, then another promotion brought me to Louisville. Finally, it was a work related move that took us away from the Commonwealth in 2001. As fond as my memories are of the time in Kentucky, as much as I miss Derby festival and Keeneland, I haven’t been back since we moved. Until this past weekend…..
In addition to horses, the Bluegrass State is known for Bourbon. All the major bourbon distilleries are located in central Kentucky – the area from Lexington to Louisville – now known as the Kentucky Bourbon trail. One of the oldest distilleries, which also happens to make my favorite bourbon, Woodford Reserve, is the Labrot and Graham distillery. I love the drive to visit Woodford Reserve – first passing famous sights like Calumet Farm and Keeneland, then traveling down a typical bluegrass horse farm lane to this picturesque distillery. On site you’ll find the visitor’s center containing exhibits on bourbon, a small deli and a nice gift shop. Woodford also has a meeting/catering center, and hosts special brunches on Saturdays during Keeneland
Keeneland is a horse racing track like no other. Located on Hwy 60 just west of Lexington, it is only open for races in April and October. It just drips with southern charm and Lexington’s strong thoroughbred tradition (speaking of which, not sure I like the announcer calling races, preferred the silence of the past). We were fortunate to be seated in the Keeneland box just behind the winners circle. Delighted to discover that, yes, the Blue Moon Barbecue on the 3rd floor terrace serves my beloved Blue Moon beer. Enjoyed trying to teach the couple of guys in our group who’d never been to the track how to read the form, place bets. Reminded once again that a horse race handicapper I am not. Cashed tickets in the majority of races, but didn’t even break even. Smiled when handed a white parasol by the box attendant to block the sun.