Louisville, KY

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The Greatest
The Greatest

When we were there: May 15 – 21, 2016
Where we stayed: Ramada Inn, Sellersburg IN
What we ate: Hot Brown
What we drank: Bourbon flights, of course!
What we did: Saw Col. Sanders at the visitor’s center; Muhammad Ali Museum and also his boyhood home; toured Old Louisville; drove past Churchill Downs
Tourism Website: https://www.gotolouisville.com/
Worth the Trip? Definitely

Our Trip Advisor Reviews:
Rubbin’ Butts BBQ
Golden Blossom Buffet
Sellersburg Ramada Inn

Takeaway:
Mint julep bourbon is NOT a mint julep
The Muhammad Ali Museum is a must-see
Hotel loyalty programs will get you some sweet (suite?) upgrades
Troll Pub under the bridge is a terrific bar


Good grief. Okay, so here’s what happened:

We were down in this neighborhood place and we wandered into a liquor store. We saw Forester’s Mint Julep Bourbon, which we thought might be mint julep in a bottle, ready to serve. We asked the liquor store guy, is this mint julep ready to serve like how you see margaritas in a bottle? He said yes. We asked if it was good or was it yakky and not even close. He said no, it’s great and not too sweet.

His tongue should turn black and rot right out of his face for that lie.

This is NOT mint julep in a bottle; it’s vaguely mint flavored bourbon. But Neal poured it thinking it would be mint julep and not straight bourbon. We did have fresh mint that he muddled in it, but two cans of Sprite later our drinks were, you know, drinkable.

My face was numb. I think I was smiling, but I’m not sure. My teeth felt enormous.

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Dee Jay and her favorite guy

We left Elkview, WV and drove to Sellersburg, IN. Took a detour to do a windshield tour in the town of Winchester, KY. It has a great down town area that has retained a lot of it’s charm. I find it interesting how some downtowns just seem like ghost towns with lots of boarded up stores while others that clearly have been transformed to these cute little places that show lots of pride of ownership. Winchester is in the 2nd category.

Heading into the town of Lexington our destination was the Mary Todd Lincoln house. It was closed today. We did get pictures of the exterior. Lexington is a thriving area that deserves a 2-3 day visit. Perhaps this will be a future destination.

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Our hotel was about 15 mins north of Louisville, KY and topping my list was the Muhammad Ali museum. Actually topping my list was to see my friend Gin, so Ali was second. And I have another old friend there that I wanted to see as well. And we wanted to do a bourbon tour. And I needed to walk across the Ohio river. And I had to visit Col. Sanders’ grave and pay my respects. And and and….

Membership has its privileges, so we had been blessed with an upgrade to a suite with a separate sitting room at no extra cost. Let me say again: if you travel in any meaningful way, get loyal with a hotel chain because they will hook you up.

Downtown Louisville

Louisville is the cutest city. I seriously love it here. It’s a good size city with city things, but it has this small town charm and the people are just the best. Gin and Jason are from here, and they kept saying how they were dying to get back. Now I see why. Lincoln, NE is the best small city on earth, but Louisville is a close second, and only because I haz loyal. Otherwise Lville might be #1. It’s a destination in its own right.

They have an area called Old Louisville. There you can find the largest collection of Victorian homes. These homes are amazingly close together. Many just have a driveway separating them. You would think with a big house like that a large lot would be more appropriate. Many have been converted to commercial use or turned into apartment buildings.

Some info on the area:

Since it was declared a historic preservation district in the 1970s, many have considered Old Louisville one of the most architecturally exuberant neighborhoods in the country. With more than a thousand old homes, it’s one of the largest as well. Constructed primarily between 1880 and 1905, the residences in Old Louisville showcase a wide variety of building styles, including Châteauesque, Richardsonian-Romanesque, Italianate, Victorian Gothic, and Queen Anne

We did a windshield tour of Churchill Downs, University of Louisville & Cardinal Stadium. We stopped at an area called 4th Street Live. It’s a pedestrian only area with lots of bars & restaurants. I’m a big fan of the walking streets. We went into Bourbon Raw and had a bourbon flight to taste. I’m not a big hard liquor drinker. I thought I would like bourbon better if I was exposed to by a knowledgeable bar person. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Along with the bourbon we split a Kentucky Cuban sandwich. Think of a Cuban sandwich with the addition of pulled pork instead of sliced.

Any time you want to find out where to go, head to the visitor center. The people working there were very informative. We got some good info on where to go, what to do and other local events.

The better part of an afternoon was spent at the Brown Hotel. The hotel opened in 1923. It is quite elegant. It retains it’s charm from the previous century. All the furnishings are stunning. The ceiling is hand painted. The lobby bartender was full of hotel trivia. We had a mint julep & old fashion, both bourbon drinks. We also had the hotel’s signature dish, The Hot Brown. Turkey, tomato & bacon topped with a cheesy mornay sauce served over toast points. The dish is probably a person’s daily caloric requirement. Definitely drunk food.

The Falls of Ohio State Park was a destination to view the city from across the river. There is a canal system there from the days when river boats plied the river. Prior to the dam the boats had to be unloaded because of the falls. The dam & locks enabled the boats to continue with minimal stopping.

Along the river is the Kingfish Restaurant. The reviews for this place weren’t the best but it didn’t disappoint. The spot is ideal to view the city skyline. The place is clean and the service is decent. We ate with locals and they were able to point out what we were looking at and gave us some historical tidbits of the area.

Float like a butterfly….

We spent the better part of a day at the Muhammad Ali Center. It’s 5 floors of Clay’s life. They also have exhibits that touch on various points in his life, not just boxing. He refused to be drafted, so there is an extensive exhibit of the US involvement in Vietnam and also about the protests going on at that time, along with displays regarding his Nation of Islam days and his other endeavors like carrying the Olympic torch and world wide humanitarian endeavors. If you enjoy 1960s US history, then you’d like this place. It’s not just for boxing fans.

Next we strolled along the Main St. area. They have dressed it up unique art along the street. There is a 60 foot statue of Michelangelo’s David and several smaller statues. There is a bronze, full-sized statue of past city mayor Charles Farnsley. I had never heard of him but evidently he’s important enough to rate a statue in this town. There are many baseball bats & home plate statues that commemorate baseball greats. Cal Ripken & Yogi Berra rate displays along Louisville’s main drag.

We stopped for a nosh and chatted up with the wait staff to get an idea of other things to do in the area. One of the servers suggested a few places and we ran right over to see them. First stop was the Troll Pub Under the Bridge. The pub is located in an area close to the river called Whiskey Row. Like a lot of Louisville, this pub is full of character. It’s down stairs and the walls are exposed red brick with a very inviting feel. They have a bunch of drafts to go along with regular bar offerings and the bartender gave us insight into what it’s like to live & work in that area

Overall a great visit to an exciting city.


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