"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
I think I’ve mentioned that J was a jock in high school. Baseball was his first love. He even coached little league after graduating high school for a number of years. And I have a feeling he’d like to get back to coaching one day. Since we were visiting my brother’s family in Kentucky, and Louisville was a mere 4 hour drive away, we saw no reason not to make a day trip up to check out the Slugger Museum.
It was just J and I, and hours of open highway ahead of us. We got an early start and around noon we were passing through downtown Louisville. A steady drizzle, not unlike the PNW weather we had left behind, left a mist over the Ohio River through which I could just glimpse Jeffersonville, Indiana on the other side. We parked and made our way to the Louisville Slugger Museum. The entrance was impossible to miss with the world’s largest bat leaning against the building. We got to go on a tour of the factory where the bats are still made to this day. Only a few bats are still made by hand, most of them being carved by precision machinery now. My favorite baseball player is Edgar Martinez, DH of the Seattle Mariners when I was growing up. I got to hold one of the bats that was made specifically for him and designed per his request – bliss! J was in his version of Disneyland the whole time.
After our visit to the Slugger Museum we wandered a half mile through the downtown area (along the Baseball Walk of Fame) to Doc Crowe’s, a local joint serving up hearty southern eats and house-made cocktails. We started with some incredible Texas-style chili and moved on to hand cut potato chips, a BLT for J, and a steaming bowl of seafood gumbo for me. Our waitress told us about the Bourbon Trail and gave us a “passport” with info about all the whiskey distilleries and boutique bourbon showrooms in downtown Louisville. It’s called “The Urban Bourbon Trail”. We made a point to stop into one of them on our way back to the car.
The Evan Williams Experience was awesome! We didn’t have time for the full tour of their boutique distillery. But we did have enough time for a good ol’ Kentucky old timer to offer us a whiskey tasting. We actually learned a lot about whiskey from him as he explained in a husky drawl about mouth-feel, smokiness, and the warming sensation as the amber liquid made it’s way to our bellies. My favorite part was that he actually joined in the tasting with us. And I’m pretty sure he had already participated in a couple other tastings already. Definitely a hilarious experience!
On our way back to Oak Grove I saw signs for Churchill Downs and J indulged me in a quick stop to see the historic spot. As a child I was enamored of anything horse related. I read any books about horses that I could get my hands on, including racing books. I read about Seattle Slew, Seabiscuit, Barbarro, all of the greats. As we drove up to Churchill Downs, the spires surrounding the course rose high above us. The place was already closing down for the evening but I’m so glad we got to stop in to see it.
Our adventure in Louisville was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Just getting to wander downtown with my love and explore the city was wonderful. We’ve already decided we want to go back and see more of Louisville.
Until next time!