16 September 2009

Looking at Louisville

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Having a bad day in Louisville?  Just head on over to Lynn's Paradise Cafe and World of Swirl and everything will be all better!  And did you know they take reservations there - definitely the way to go!!  We had made reservations for 11:30 Sunday morning and even though the place was packed and the line was long, we got seated on the patio right away!  It was a gloriously beautiful day, and being surrounded by all the pink, purple, yellow, and red silk flowers just made it perfect.  And then we saw the menu.  OMG!!!  I almost got what would have amounted to dessert for breakfast - thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread, griddled in vanilla nutmeg batter, smothered with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and whipped cream, disguised as French Toast - but sanity prevailed.  Instead, I had the Kentucky Farmhouse Scramble - three eggs, scrambled with roasted red peppers and country ham, topped with local cheese and tobacco onions, served with fried green tomatoes, bread with honey butter, and a side of cheese grits like you've never tasted!  I guess that could be a heart attack disguised as breakfast, but it was SO GOOD!!!!  Kim had the fried green tomato BLT with a side of fruit.  She is so good...

We loved the people watching there and had fun after breakfast looking through the gift shop (the World of Swirl) and checking out some of the fun displays out in the parking lot.  Peppy had fun posing as a spoon.  From here, we drove over to the lovely Cave Hill Cemetery, which is the final resting place of Colonel Sanders and George Rogers Clark, among others.  The cemetery is HUGE, and even though we got directions to the Colonel's grave, we got a little lost.  Imagine that.  But we found it, many other interesting monuments (we loved the magician's), AND we got out.

Our next stop was Churchill Downs, where the famous twin spires have pretty much been overshadowed by the sky boxes, museum, and other signs of progress...  The museum was closed due to flood damage, so we just took some photos out in the parking lot.  The monument to Barbaro was stunning - he looked like he was in full gallop, riding through the air.

We drove through the UofL campus and found our way back to the Hyatt, where we parked the car and started off walking.  On the way to the Louisville Slugger plant, we passed lots of the Gallopalooza horses on display throughout town, and then we went past the 21c Museum Hotel, which was decorated with red penguins and had a pomegranate stretch limousine parked out front.

Perhaps we should have stayed here - check it out:

"21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY is the first of its kind—a 90-room hotel dedicated to accessible luxuries, Southern-style hospitality and contemporary art from living artists, exhibited throughout its galleries and public space. Among the many upscale offerings: iPods with a wide variety of music for guests' listening pleasure, award winning design and décor, poster art, 42" HDTV flat screen televisions, WiFi, 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets imported from Italy crowning the exquisite bedding, silver mint julep cups, gourmet coffee makers, mini-bar refrigerators, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, and nightly turn down and Concierge services. The hotel also offers a full exercise facility with a steam room, sauna and spa services. And, of course, red penguins."  And its bathrooms are rated in www.bestrestrooms.com (who knew?!?!) Worth a trip to their website - www.21chotel.com - for more details!

Around the corner, we passed a strange sculpture of Daniel Boone, and then we arrived at the Louisville Slugger factory and museum.  You can't miss it - the world's largest baseball bat is propped up on the building.  It's 120 feet high and weighs 68.000 pounds!! It's hollow, and could hold 30,000 gallons of water....  We had to laugh, because right next door is the Kentucky Mirror and Plate Glass Company, complete with a mural of a baseball breaking a window.  We popped in long enough to get our tour ticket, even though supposedly they don't do tours on Sunday, and then we walked around the corner to GlassWorks.  One of the cool things about Louisville is that lots of the museums are all situated near each other - the Science Museum was just across the street from Louisville Slugger.  Makes it easy to see a lot in a little bit of time!

Worth a look at www.louisvilleglassworks.com, we wanted to see the gallery there.  Kim is a fused glass artist (she has done some great stuff!!!) so even though there was a lot more blown glass than fused, it was still fun to see all the creativity and talent on display.  Back we went to the Slugger, where we joined about 20 other people for a really interesting tour of the factory.  Great interactive displays and very knowledgable guides made this a fun activity.  It was hard to believe that all Louisville Slugger bats are made here, and that most of the wooden bats in use are Sluggers.  Yet another example of a family-owned, small, very successful Kentucky companies - they may be onto something!  Learn more at www.sluggermuseum.org and make sure to stop by next time you're in Louisville!

On the way back to the hotel, we walked down by the river (the mighty Ohio, for those a little geography challenged) and we agreed that Louisville has really not capitalized on the riverfront like it could have.  The Ohio also flows past our hometown of Paducah, where it is a focal point of the city.  No wonder riverboat riders are pleasantly surprised when they stop over in Paducah!  We re-entered the city on 4th Street at the Galt House and took our souvenir bats back to our hotel room.  When we got hungry (did you notice we didn't have lunch???) we walked down 4th Street Live in hopes of finding something good, but we found nothing that suited us.  Back to the car!

We found our way down Bardstown Road and stopped in at Wick's Pizza, which was hopping with football fans.  It reminded me of Mellow Mushroom, so you know it was good!  We chilled over our Blue Moons and pizza and watched a little football, then we went looking for Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen.  Aaahh, sweet reward!  This is my kind of place!  We shared a piece of chocolate chess pie with cookie dough ice cream, and I got a piece of caramel Dutch apple to go (for a healthy breakfast).  We sat outside - perfect weather - and enjoyed our slice!

Since we didn't have a wheelbarrow, we had to waddle back to the car and to the hotel, where I was too stuffed to blog.  What a satisfying day!!

Loving Louisville!


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