Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Louisville - Part 1

After going back and forth about where we should spend fall break - the beach, Atlanta, Memphis, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Nashville - we decided to do something different. {Do you know how many times we've been to Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville & Birmingham? Like a 100 times between them. They are fun places to go, but it gets kind of old doing the same ole thing over and over. The exception to this...the beach, of course. I could just about go there any time we have a few days to spare, but it isn't always feasible.} We have actually only been to Atlanta a couple of times - and had hotel reservations to go for fall break. But the rain put a huge damper on our plans.

Plan B {or was it C, D or E?} was Louisville, Kentucky. I have actually been there before - twice. The first time was in 1991 when we visited my stepsister. And the other time was 3 years ago when I went for a convention for work. Pete & Sam stayed home when I went for work. I was impressed with all of the things they have to do there - the Louisville Slugger museum, Science Center, etc.
The drive was pretty easy, and there was lots of kid-friendly things to do. I put it on my "one of these days" lists for a getaway.

After we decided that Atlanta wasn't the best option and that Louisville might be a good rain-free option, I started thinking about my trips there. I remembered that when we went in 1991, we went to this farm in Indiana to eat dinner. I didn't really remember anything about the place, how good the food was, etc. I just remembered that it was neat. So I asked Mom if she remembered what it was. And thanks to her and Google, I was on my way with researching and planning. I discovered that not only was the place still open {things DO change over the years, you know?}, but Joe Huber's also has fall festival-y activities...including picking pumpkins!!!
{and if you ever want to go, they have various "pick it yourself" options during the year...strawberries, apples, etc.} I was SOLD! Having our fall break trip AND getting a trip to a farm in for picking pumpkins at the same time {since we won't have time for that otherwise} - how cool is that? Between the farm and the fun stuff I already knew about in Louisville, it didn't take long to have our weekend planned out.

We drove up on Friday and hit rain just north of Nashville. The drive across the state of Kentucky {which despite the rain was just beautiful!} took a little - or a lot - longer thanks to the heavy rains and a few wrecks. We got checked into our hotel and then drove over to a mall area with lots of restaurant options. We settled on Cheesecake Factory. After dinner, we walked around the mall for a while before we went back to the hotel. We ended the evening with a short swim in the hotel pool.

We were staying downtown, so when we got up Saturday morning, we walked 10 or so blocks down to the Louisville Slugger factory and museum.

Louisville Slugger Museum - isn't that bat cool?

We checked out the museum, and then we did the factory tour. It was interesting! I know Pete enjoyed it. We all got mini bats as part of the tour. I'm not sure how long they will survive in our house. It didn't take Sam & Grace long to be dangerous with them.

After we finished there, we walked to the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch.

We made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and were on our way to Joe Huber's Family Farm. I called the day before and made reservations for dinner at 6:00 in their main restaurant.

The drive to the farm was really pretty. The trees were just starting to change colors, and we noticed a lot of red leaves. Seemed to be more intense than we see around here. We finally got there and it. was. chaos. People were everywhere. We figured out where to go for the tractor ride to get pumpkins. {That part of it seemed so much easier, faster than at home. They would take you out to the field and drop you off. You wandered as you liked to find a pumpkin, then hopped the next trailer or the next or next after that. I wonder if they took people moving classes at Disney?}

After our pumpkin picking experience, we played around the "barnyard" - the area for kids. They had slides out of a "barn", a playground area, hayrides, a silo with an overlook. We also checked out the country store.

We pretty much had done everything that we could or wanted to do. And we still had a hour or so before our reservation. I started to second guess my suggestion that we eat there. What if we waited around and it wasn't good? We finally decided that we would just stay but check in early in case we could be seated early. {They also serve the same food in 2 overflow "barns" buffet style. In the restaurant, you are served family style - bowls and platters full of fried chicken, ham, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, waldorf salad, slaw, fried biscuits & apple butter. With small kids, I'll take someone bringing it to me at the table over having to hunt and gather at the buffet any day.} We got checked in {and found out that the walk-up wait time was 2 hours} and were seated pretty quickly. I. am. so. glad. that. we. stayed. The food was so good. And the mashed potatoes were some of the best that I have eaten. Ever.

We stopped on our way back to Louisville in Clarksville, IN for a little shopping {We weren't up for swimming and it was still early to be in the hotel room with the kids. They needed to burn off more energy.}.

The other half of the trip to follow...

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