Thursday we slept in ’til 10:30 (very little sleep Tuesday night and long drive made for sleepy mle and Dan), then went to Bardstown Road to window shop and poke our heads into various stores. We were particularly enamored of the “Why Louisville” store, run by one of the guys who started LebowskiFest, and we also enjoyed some of the book and music stores. I tried on a dress in a swanky boutique (it was green!) but it just didn’t look right. We met up with Todd again for lunch at an Indian place, then spent a while in EarXTacy and poked into some more stores.
When EEK came home from work, we all changed into non-sweaty clothes and went out to meet the Traveling McMahans, Dana and Brian, who had just returned from their 3-week-long, year-in-the-making anniversary trip. We had a lovely patio repast of cheese and crackers, nuts, and pastis, which I’d never heard of, but loved. Dana is another past member of the same message board through which we know EEK (and each other!) so it was nice to finally get to meet her (and her husband) (and their doggie Truffle) and to hear about their amazing trip.
We had dinner at a restaurant that’s got a Filipino Elvis sitting by the front door and then went to the Bourbon Bistro to taste some bourbon. EEK went with her old standby (Woodford Reserve), I had a glass of wine, and Dan did a tasting flight of “Old” bourbons. I only remember the name of one of them (Old Forester) and he let me taste them even though I’m not known for liking bourbon, but when in Rome, right? The Old Forester was even kind of tasty. Though the place was pretty swanky we felt OK in our casual clothes, and between stops EEK did her best to show us the town, zipping us around various Louisville neighborhoods in Nigel with his top down (ooh la la!).
Friday EEK played hooky from work, and we started off the morning (actually noonish) with brunch at this place with an overabundance of stuff to look at (and play with, they give you toys at your table!) After our meal, we headed over to the great big cemetery where they buried Colonel Sanders, though we were too lazy to pick up a map to show us how to get there. I heard rumors of there being a rotating bucket of chicken atop his grave, but wasn’t willing to put forth the effort to actually see this 8th wonder of the world. Mostly, we wandered around in the heat and humidity sticking to the shade and looking at dead people. It’s really only in cemetaries that I tend to realize how lucky most people have it now – we saw family plots with several headstones showing one date (presumably, baby born dead or living only a few hours) or very short times between birth and death. Nowadays, it’s a tragedy when a family loses a baby at birth or within a few days (and it’s so much more rare) whereas back in the day a lot of people had several kids in the hopes that a few would grow to adulthood. Thank goodness for modern medicine.
We threw pennies in a memorial fountain (dedicated to two successful bachelor brothers who apparently lived together and liked it that way), marveled at the elaborate monuments erected in memory of the deceased (penises! all of them!) and I poked my head into my first crypts (they only put people underground where I come from). One family had this very Greek-looking gazebo columny thing with a statue inside, which I thought was both excessive and beautiful. Then, we were way too hot, so we went back to EEK’s to bask in some A/C for a while.
Dan’s already written about our afternoon at the track, and my only thing to add is that a) I managed to drink about 2/3 of the beer before getting grossed out and giving up, and b) I totally called it when Put Away the Halo was going to win and he/she DID, and even though I had no money riding on the outcome (I’m just not a gambler) I still feel as though I should have bragging rights. Because seriously, despite the favorites in each race and the ever-shifting odds, it seemed like any horse could win in any given race. Which I guess is part of the fun.
After the afternoon at Churchill Downs, we got cheap burritos at Qdoba and took advantage of their free wireless. I got an email from an old friend from out of the blue, and found out that my coworker’s kitty died. So I was both happy and sad when we headed out to see some live music performed by some of EEK’s friends. The band that played after was too loud and bangy, so we went back to the Nachbar to chill out, and found that they also had live music – an old-timey-music style band (think O Brother Where Art Thou music as played by hipsters) which was passing through town and just asked Nachbar if they could play for a while. I really liked the music and ended up buying a CD, despite my distaste for the band’s name (Special Ed and the Short Bus? Seriously?) The Nachbar takes good care of its regulars (and guests of regulars, wow, super generous pours!) and was a great place to spend a summer night.