Well, my week has come to an end. I left my home last Tuesday morning at 0610 on a Southwest flight out of California, headed for Louisville, Kentucky in order to get away from some really stressful things, to get my head clear and straight, to visit my best friend who I knew would allow me to just re-ground myself, find my center and all that other New Age talk for just re-setting my batteries. I had reached the point in my life where things just weren’t making much sense and were falling apart around me and just needed to get away to clear my head. My friend is the head pyro-technician for a stage show and allowed me to stay with his girlfriend and himself while they were in town and I took him up on it. I had been wanting to hook up with him out on the road for the last eight years, and just always found excuses not to do it. Well, this time, my fingers went faster than my head, and I had purchased the airline tickets before I could rethink the plan, and next thing I knew, I was at the Louisville Airport, trying to find my ride.
I gotta admit, I had no idea what to expect when I got here. There were some pre-conceived notions as to just what Kentucky was. I had envisioned a lot of trees, rolling hills, beautiful horse ranches and the like. I had been watching the weather reports for the week prior to my coming out, and it had been stating that it was supposed to snow the entire time I was to be here, so I was expecting a large amount of white stuff all over the ground, the trees and cars. I was expecting a fair amount of Southern Drawls from the people I talked to and plenty of that “Down Home Southern Hospitality” I had heard so much about. Well, I was not too far off about that much, but still, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth of the place.
First off, let me say that I have not one bad thing to say about the parts of Kentucky that I experienced. I enjoyed my entire time here, and I am really sad to be leaving. I really wish I could be staying at least another week, maybe two. I have been getting plenty of rest, lots of relaxation and really, really enjoying my time with my friend. He has been helping me in the exact way I knew he would. Nothing is more reliable that a best friend, I tell you, and he is the best. He has that “old soul” that is comforting to you just by being around you, just by sitting in the same room. When I leave here in the morning, I leave a new human being, I leave the way I was 20 years ago, not the way I was or have been the last 4, and I owe it all to the two of them. His girlfriend has been like the older sister I never had, but always wished I could have. I can never be or repay them for the love and friend ship they have been or shown.
Now, Louisville, what can I say about this town. It is so spread out, it appears as though the entire town was picked up by a huge helicopter, raised up to 20,000 feet up in the air and dropped, and wherever everything landed, that’s where it stayed. It just splayed all out. Nothing is near anything else. It is just plain spread out. I am used to my own city, obviously, where there are restaurants everywhere downtown. Here, there is one restaurant, then nothing for a long time. I feel sorry for the office workers. they don’t have much choice at lunch. However, I am sure they have it all figured out.
There does seem to be plenty of nightlife, and in the outlying areas, it is just beautiful. The houses and such are old and well kept. Just beautiful. The city, though, appears as if it is going through a major renovation.. ALL of it, everywhere. There does not seem to be anywhere in the downton area that is not boarded up and being redone. This looks as if it holds a great deal of promise for this city for the near future when it is all done, and they have a grand “re-opening” of the city.
Just tonight, we ate at the “Maker’s Mark” restaurant, and I gotta tell you, the food was outstanding. The steak I had with the bourbon sauce was to die for. If you come to this city, you gotta go to Fourth Street, just down from “The Hard Rock Cafe” and eat at that restaurant. The plates are about 30-35 bucks each, but well worth the price.
It never did snow, though my second day here had some sleet in the morning. I visited the Louisville Slugger factory, got my picture taken with Colonel Sanders by Susie, the really friendly staff person at the Louisville Visitor’s Center (If you stop in, be sure to ask her about her Bourbon Happy Balls), and took a trip out to Churchill Downs and walked out onto the track and touched 134 years of horse racing history. I walked the streets and never once felt worried or frightened of being mugged. The people were very friendly, though no one really had much of a “Southern Drawl”. I got a great scenic tour with explanations of historical sights from my cab driver on the way to Churchill Downs, and he got a 100% tip for his trouble, found out that Copenhagen Chewing Tobacco is a valuable commodity.
All in all, I am really, really happy that I came here and really sad to have to leave and return home. I miss my daughters terribly, but wish I could be here one more week. I could really do with one more week of rest, and hey, I just found a bunch more things only today to explore and play at.
Louisville, thank you so much for your hospitality, and the use of your city. I hope one day to return and even make it to the Derby and have a Mint Julep with one of your Kentucky Belles in their fabulous hats.
Yes, I can actually see buying a house in this state. The landscape and countryside is everything I thought and hoped it could and would be and even when it was 19 degrees last night, it was still a wonderful place to be.
If you ever get the opportunity to come to Kentucky, do not pass up the chance, and have a great time.