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Kentucky Trip Report

May 8th, 2009

We went to Kentucky for the opening weekend of Keeneland, which was the first weekend of April. Somehow over a month has passed since the trip, so I’m going to try to recount it now. I’ve also posted the Kentucky photo album.

We left home on Thursday morning, hoping to make it to Kentucky by dinnertime. The trip is about 8 hours, but with Maddie it seems to take at least 10. We usually drive as long as she will let us, stop for food, and then drive as long as she will let us again. She typically does fairly well for the first part of the trip. This time, she slept for a few hours in the morning. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch where Maddie was the star of the show.

After lunch, we ran into some awful fog. Visibility was so bad that it was difficult to see the car in front of us. This persisted for several miles, and then it was smooth sailing after that. Maddie did pretty well until around the time we got to Kentucky. We stopped at the Kentucky Welcome Center to stretch her baby legs. She liked walking around the picnic area.

Meanwhile, Melissa and Jason were touring Mammoth Cave, which is neat but in the middle of nowhere. I was amused that their bus driver said, “Well. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that we’re under a tornado warning. The good news is that we’re about to go into a cave!” Ha! We hope to tour Mammoth Cave someday.

We had dinner with Gabe’s family and did some visiting before heading back to the hotel for Maddie’s bedtime. When we visited in November, we tried having Maddie sleep for a little bit at Gabe’s parents’ house before going to the hotel, but that doesn’t work real well for her these days. We stayed at the Hyatt attached to Rupp Arena which was neat, even if we didn’t get to see the inside of the coliseum. We did make a discovery while strolling around the shops in the hotel. The art gallery had a featured artist that did scroll saw art similar to Gabe’s parents. In fact, one of the portraits had been cut from one of Mick’s patterns! Gabe’s parents were interested to hear about that and actually may provide more portraits for the gallery by “the original artist” at some point.

Friday was opening day at Keeneland. The weather wasn’t great, but it was better than the last time we went to Keeneland. It was chilly and windy. We stayed inside most of the time, but we did go out to watch several of the races. We had a great time! Gabe’s mom and Dylan went with us as well as Melissa and Jason. We did really well this time and actually cashed quite a few tickets, including Gabe’s first trifecta (well, it was my first, too)! That was very cool. Melissa had some great luck as well – she cashed over half of her tickets, amazingly. Jason was not quite so fortunate and did not cash a single one of his bets.

After a day at the track, we went out to dinner with Melissa and Jason at Joseph Beth Cafe. Jason enjoyed his first hot brown, and Gabe’s meal was tasty. Unfortunately, Melissa and I got quiches and they were lukewarm. Turns out that lukewarm quiche is not very tasty. After dinner, we visited Artique which is a local chain of art galleries. Gabe’s parents have some of their work displayed in some of them now. We were in the super pricey side of Artique with fancy glass sculptures and vases and such. I held on tight to Maddie and made sure we weren’t within kicking distance of anything breakable – it was a bit scary to even walk into the shop. They have signs all over the place that basically say, “you break it, you buy it.” While we were in the shop, a lady knocked off a large glass vase off of one of the display pedestals. We saw her standing next to the register looking absolutely sick when we were leaving the shop. Yikes! We peeked at the price tag of a much smaller vase, and that one was $700. Who knows how much a larger, showcased item was priced! I’m glad that it didn’t happen to us – scary!

We went back to the hotel, put Maddie to bed, and played a little Tichu with Melissa and Jason. Maddie didn’t want us to have too much fun and only let us play a few hands.

On Saturday, we spent time with Gabe’s family at his parents’ house while Melissa and Jason went to the Kentucky Horse Park. In the evening, we treated Mick and Debbie to a birthday dinner at DeSha’s, which was very close to our hotel. Maddie was a bit restless during dinner, so the two of us went for a walk around the neighboring park. Mostly, I think she was a tired baby as she was ready for bed right after dinner and slept long enough for us to play a complete game of Tichu with Melissa and Jason.

We woke up bright and early (well, not too early) and headed back to North Carolina on Sunday morning. We managed to coordinate a lunch at Cracker Barrel with Melissa and Jason about halfway through the trip. Maddie did pretty well, but we did have to make a few extra stops in the second half of the trip.

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