What to do in Louisville besides see how baseball bats are made


t was a long, long day for me - as you might imagine - yesterday into today.  I finally closed the MacBook and headed to be shortly after midnight, and I slept mostly all the way through the night until about 6:30 am.  Breakfast was had at 7, and a subsequent nap until 10 am.  

Yeah, I know, lazy.  But it’s been a stressful few weeks working on the appeal and doing work for Professor Conway at the same time, only to have the appeal go by the wayside with the Judge’s revised ruling.  She took the wind out of our sails.  But after that, it was a non-business kind of day.

We’ve been driving by the Fort Knox Mint several times, and at first, I wasn’t ready to take the shot, and the other two times I was driving.  :(  No luck.  We have one more shot tomorrow morning, where I will hopefully have Wayne driving, and I can get my substitute for the placeholder above.  Nothing like the picture of a postcard to adorn the web site.

We started out heading to the Jim Beam distillery, quite close by.  If you come to Louisville and want to tour the joint, make sure you reserve your tickets (weekend/holiday tickets in particular).  Just click here to make your reservations!  The actual tour is quite extensive.  You get to mash the contents that make up the whiskey, help shape a barrel, and help pour out the whiskey from a tapped barrel.  It’s about an hour and a quarter, it costs $10, and you get a tasting of the bourbon or rye at the end.

A little secret - anyone 21 or over can get a tasting of at least two of the whiskeys and go on a self guided tour.  If you are not interested in doing the mashing/shaping/pouring yourself, want to learn a little about the history of making bourbon, and sample a wee dram, just go get the ticket for the free tasting.  Wayne and I each got a ticket, and each were give 2 half ounce portions of our choice of whiskeys.  They have a sweet side and a dry side, we chose the dry.  The Knob’s Creek rye was particularly good, and the Knob’s Creek 100 proof singed our eyebrows and nose hairs.  We each had a sip or two and then poured out the rest into the champagne bucket.  So many of my friends would be so disapproving of that!

Lunch was at the delectable Mussel & Burger Bar in Louisville.  If you want to see the menu, log into Yelp, look for my profile (StephanieB), and check it out.  We shared a calamari sweet and sour appetizer, and then each had our own servings of Prince Edward Island mussels in individual sauces (mine was blue cheese, beer and pancetta based; Wayne’s had a sort of lobster rioux, tomato based).  They were both great, and the sweet potato and regular potato frites were quite tasty.

From there, I took over driving for the day, and we headed off to the Louisville Zoo.  The Louisville Zoo was founded in 1969, on land acquired by the City of Louisville in the 1960s from the estate of Ben Collins. Much of the initial funding was donated by local philanthropist James Graham Brown.  The Louisville Zoo has six geographic settings within the zoo: The Islands, African Veldt, Asian Plains, North and South America Panorama, Aquatics and the Australian Outback. The zoo itself is situated within the middle of suburbia, and I commented to Wayne that those who live most immediately outside its borders are probably those who hardly come in at all!

We saw lots of lovely critters - cats, elephants, giraffes, simian species, birds, you name it.  When we wind up publishing our photo album, I will return to this page to give you a link.  I think I am going to have to break this trip’s photo album into a lot of mini photo albums.  

My only anecdote - the first place we visited was The Islands.  At the entryway into the exhibit, two parents were standing with their children looking at storks.  The mother told her sons that the storks were here on earth to bring babies to their parents.  All I could think of was teenage pregnancy.  But I was good and stayed quiet and moved ahead!

The zoo itself can be covered in about an hour and a half if you don’t stop for any of the shows.  I was very impressed that the zoo housed caged areas exhibiting small children in their natural, albeit wild, habitats — there was a kiddie water park and there were several playgrounds within the park area.  It’s a little over a mile to walk the perimeter walkway, and it appears there are a number of annual members who get their exercise in by walking the pathway.  There is also a tram that covers the entire outer perimeter of the grounds, and it appears that there are several trains that do limited areas of the zoo.  We chose to walk, though, since it was very, very manageable!

For the adventurous, try the Louisville Underground Zip Lines - we didn’t have enough time, so that is something that is still not crossed off from the bucket list.  We won’t head there tomorrow, as we are off to see Philip and Stephanie in Slade, KY.  I have not yet introduced them to Wayne, and it has been 10 years now.  I feel like a bad kid in Catholic school!  I can’t wait to bring the three of them together in one room!  We also didn’t make it to the train museum, as it was a little too far off the beaten path to make it worthwhile this time.  But if we ever come here again...

Dinner was close to Knox - a Mexican restaurant called Los Nopales.  I recommend them if you come to Knox for any reason at all.  Good sized portions, some nice spicy salsa, and a HUGE menu it would take eight years to eat through.

And now to bed to get ready for a short two hour drive to see S&P tomorrow!  Yay!!