It all began with what I thought at the the time was an unlikely destination; Louisville, Kentucky. It definitely wasn’t on my list of exotic locations that I wanted to see before I die. But I guess we often find inspiration in the most unlikely places.
In October of 2010 I was finishing up my Associate in Arts at the local community college before transferring to the State University. I was writing feature stories for the student newspaper when an unexpected opportunity presented itself. A free trip to Louisville for a student journalism conference. Of all the states in the union I never imagined I would ever find myself in Kentucky “The Bluegrass State.” But I just couldn’t turn down this chance to travel.
So with all expenses paid, airfare, lodging and a sixty dollar a day per diem, I boarded a flight to the mainland USA for the first time in over a decade. On this trip I traveled with my professor/advisor Mike and two colleagues Jen and Joel. I won’t bore you with the details of the conference which consisted of three days of back-to-back workshops and meetings. Instead I will focus on all of the fun stuff. Food, Photographs and Fornication. Okay, no fornication.
We ended up staying in suites at the Galt House in downtown Louisville or “Luhville” as the locals say. Mike got his own room, an advisors perk. Jen got her own room, she’s a girl. Joel and I shared a room, a really nice room I must say. FYI – Louisville is quite chilly in October, or it can be. Some days were so cold they required sweaters and some nights were easily doable in just a t-shirt. Our first day we toured the immediate area which included 4th Street Live, the Louisville Slugger Factory and the Muhammad Ali museum.
Of course as a wise man once said, “No trip to Louisville would be complete without a roadtrip to Chicago.” That’s right, pack your bags cause we’re going to Chi-Town! It was only a five hour drive and we still had another day before the conference would officially begin. I found a cheap rental car for $50 a day which not only enabled us to go to Chicago but also allowed us to see parts of Louisville that we would not have had the chance to experience otherwise.
We had dinner that evening in Bardstown, a part of Louisville known for its local bars and restaurants. Marks Feed Store was a BBQ joint with a line out the door. Needless to say, the food was awesome. Try the honey BBQ wings if you’re ever there. “Always eat at the place with a line.” Another quote from the wise man. Later that night we had a few drink at the 4th Street Live, saw some country music and happily ended the night at White Castle.
The next day we woke up just before dawn and drove strait through the state of Indiana to the Windy City of Chicago. I’ll save that story for another time. Louisville was an unexpected and unlikely destination but I enjoyed the city so much that I wouldn’t mind going back again, if the opportunity arises.
If you’re reading this… What do you think is an unlikely destination for you? What unlikely destination turned out to be a pleasant surprise?