Monday, July 4, 2016
Not because I had a huge hunger to see Louisville or Toledo,but because this was a trip with Ryan.
Planned trips with Ryan haven't always worked out and I prepared myself not to make the trip,but I really wanted this one.
As some of you know,Ryan is getting married later this year and I've always went into this assuming that would be the final trip that we would make.
Life changes once married and the more than likely inevitability of grandchildren will make times for things like this very short.
Much of the early part of the drive is very similar to the drive that I went on to Bowling Green-across rural West Virginia including the Coal Country miniature golf course.
I love stuff like that with themes built around your area and had time been a lesser factor (as it would on the following day),I would have loved to have played it.
I dozed for a bit and woke up in Mount Sterling KY,where Ryan took care of some work business and I was able to eat at a favorite fast food stop-Krystal.
Krystal is the southern version of White Castle,so their small square burgers should be at least known to you.
The burgers were great,but really enjoyed something called Junkyard Fries,loaded with chili,cheese,onions and jalapenos,that trip to the junkyard was pretty yummy.....
We went straight to Louisville from there and wanted to make a few stops before the game.
We went to the Louisville Slugger museum first in downtown Louisville and passed much of the sights of the city including the KFC Yum Center,home of the Louisville Cardinals and the building that attempted to attract the team that became the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Louisville Slugger Museum is where the Slugger and Hillerich and Bradsby bats are made,so most of the bats used in the majors come out of this shop in downtown Louisville.
The museum itself wasn't huge,but the best part was the tour of the facility and seeing how they actually make the bats themselves.
Very cool and I almost bought a custom bat in which they make a bat with your signature on the bat,but the line was long and I didn't feel like standing in line for that long for it.
The huge bat pictured is located in front of the museum and the RIP Champ is for the recently passed Muhammad Ali-a Louisville native.
Yes,that is the head of Iron Man at the lower left corner too!
For a reason that was never explained-there were two statues of Iron Man and two of Captain America in front!
Weird for a baseball museum!
Louisville's downtown was really neat-it wasn't overcrowded and bustling,but there were people around the area as well.
Ryan said it reminded him of Indianapolis,which I'll take his word on because I haven't been there since I was 10!
After traveling through downtown Louisville and more sights,which included crossing the Ohio River,which made me laugh when the GPS said "Welcome to Indiana" and then "Welcome to Kentucky" when we returned,we went to Louisville Slugger field.
The home of the Louisville Bats (AAA Cincinnati) is considered downtown,but it's more on the edge of downtown and was pretty easy to get to.
When I entered the stadium what I noticed was rare,but welcomed-the line to enter the stadium is indoors and air conditioned!!!
What a feature and I'm sure one appreciated by me!
At the ticket window,as often happens when I go to the park,the young man thanked me for coming to the park,comped my tickets and placed us in the suite section for the evening!
And it didn't even come surrounded by concrete blocks like some stadiums that I know!
The above picture has a little bit of glare,but I wanted to take a picture as the sun was going down.LSF has a spectacular view of the Ohio River and all the steamboats going up and down the water.
It was beautiful and I liked it better than the other AAA stadiums that I have been to-what a view.
The autographing was futile as few players came out and two of the players that I needed badly (Cody Reed and Jose Peraza) were promoted to the bigs the day before,but I was told that on a good day,Louisville can be a decent AAA graphing stadium.
The funny part of the game was when the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox lineup was announced and two members of the 2007 Hagerstown Suns were in the starting lineup with Justin Maxwell and Chris Marrero each holding spots.
Marrero homered in the Pawtucket thrashing of the home team and it was fun re-living those early Suns days as a Nationals affiliate with Ryan talking about those teams.
I didn't stick around to graph post-game,I was enjoying the day with my son (I didn't want to push my luck) and as we left the park a little before 10,it was still light out,which I found remarkable until thinking that Louisville is located at the western edge of the eastern time zone,which will enable the light to linger longer than home,but the sun comes up a bit later than here.
There was some construction in Louisville,so we did get kicked around town a bit,but we did see the Muhammad Ali center from the outside and began to make our plans for day two as we drove back to the hotel.
We stopped at a place named Thornton's to for a quick snack and discovered a place with a dozen different flavors of icees!
I tried lemonade,but then saw grape on the machine,so I "nudged" the less than tasty lemonade to garbage with a small nudge and grabbed the best grape icee I've ever had!
I asked Ryan,if we could stop there before leaving in the morning for another,while we gassed up and he agreed.
Sleep awaited and I had a great day,but I loved hitting the bed for some rest....
Day one was in the books and day two was coming soon-I'll be writing on our travels to Toledo later this week or even tomorrow,if time permits!!
Also look for the promised Buddy Ryan post soon as well!!