Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring in Louisville

Red penguins at 21c Museum Hotel
We took a four day mini-vacation to Louisville at the tail end of the girls' Spring Break last week(end). Although it's an easy 5 hour drive away (and Indianapolis offers a nice midway lunch stop), our trip started off semi-disasterously.

Ada, you see, was in a foul mood (for no apparent reason). Add the usual hotel room round of musical beds, and Josh woke up the loser, beginning a day of sightseeing in a sleeping bag on the floor of the plush 21c Museum Hotel

Fortunately, things got better from there. Every single person in Louisville was pumped for the Final Four matchup between University of Louisville and University of Kentucky, and blue and red tee shirts and banners were everywhere. 

On Friday, we visited the Mohammed Ali Center (so great) Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (worth it), the Louisville Science Center (eh, but the kids liked it) and Kentucky Show! (the exclamation point is for the "Wow! You must have a thoroughbred's balls to charge $7 for 30 minutes of slick tourist propaganda!").
World's Biggest Baseball Bat

All of the above are located within a 5 minute walk of the 21c, which is a very cool boutique hotel that is also home to 2 floors of contemporary art and Proof on Main, a well-known restaurant and bar. We stayed for just one night, as it is as expensive as it is memorable (just under $300, which included a $25 credit at Proof).

Friday night we began left the downtown area, eating dinner at Hillbilly Tea (a hipster hangout where everything on the limited menu is made with tea). We then checked in at a well-equipped Residence Inn on the far east side of Louisville. It wasn't even off the highway, but buried in a nest of gated communities and strip malls.

Saturday we spent driving around the countryside, visiting two bourbon distilleries and Abraham Lincoln's birthplace.
Lincoln's Birthplace
Although the weather had been glorious up to that point, on Sunday morning we awoke to a crazy thunderstorm. Josh and the girls were afraid the horseback riding lesson I'd booked for them would be canceled, but it was at an indoor arena. Suffice it to said I had two very happy campers for the ride back to Chicago.