We're back in Pee-Ay, but we're missing Kentucky, probably the most underappreciated state in this here union. We packed a lot into the long wedding/family reunion weekend, and it was all sunny, fun and delicious. Two of the Louisville area's native treats we had to try are Derby Pie (chocolate and nuts) and the above referenced Kentucky Hot Brown, a pile of turkey, cheese, potatoes, bacon, tomatoes and what not, served on sourdough, hot as a July day. Either one, let alone both, is a health and dietary disaster, but no one could resist!
We saw a hot and versatile band, Voodoo Lounge, at Stevie Ray's Blues Club on old (and I mean old) Main Street, and a few blocks away is an inviting entertainment district known as Fourth Street Live with more music clubs, bars and restaurants than you could visit in half a year. We overindulged there, too. The riverfront has been graced by a large park, with a menagerie of metal bird sculptures (in honor of the Colonel?) and a Joe's Crab Shack, and lots of shady parking (something urban developers often forget).
We couldn't miss Churchill Downs, of course, and it is both beautifully maintained and well attended. Even on an ordinary Friday, the parking lots were full (how do they accomodate the Derby crowds??) One of our group won $1.40, but we weren't informed about how to do it, so gambling success eluded the rest of us. We did see a photo finish and one of those sports upsets that are such fun, when the least-favored horse won handily.
On a lusciuosly beautiful Saturday, four of us rode in cousin Jim's rented Lincoln pimpmobile to tour and visit the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery, again beautifully maintained and like the Downs, the best of its type. The aroma in the stone ageing warehouse was magnificent; 50% of each barrel's contents evaporate away during the 6 - 7 years the bourbon rests quietly -- this is called the "angels' share." They're pretty content angels in the blue skies above Versailles, Kentucky, I'm sure.
It was not only great to see two such outstanding young people get married, but gratifying, too, to see people we fondly remember after so many years. The bride's parents, the Kaminskis, shared their beautiful home for a Friday night barbeque, where two sets of beanbag toss boards were in constant use, and we had the opportunity to meet some of groom John's college partners-in-crime. If you EVER have need of a caterer in Kentucky, call Mark's Feed Store: I didn't know you could do that much with cole slaw!
After John (Nancy's brother Tom's son -- Tom is in the picture above with sis) came under new management Saturday, the new couple headed off to Spain to undertake the 800 km pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela (yes, on foot) across the Pyrenees and the northern edge of Spain to the Atlantic. That will not be a forgettable honeymoon, at the very least.