#LouisvilleLove | A New City Makes My Favorite Places List | Part 2: Friday

If you’re following our journey – it starts here with Part 1: Thursday.

One of the perks of staying at an Embassy Suites is that they have a great hot breakfast included, so we discussed what we wanted to do that day with Matt and Taylor over breakfast. We had not come to Louisville with a plan…which is actually kind of unusual for me. We did a little research about things to see and do on the way up on Thursday, so Van and I had an idea of some of the things we wanted to see. Our friends had similar ideas about how to spend their Friday, and we talked about splitting up for a “date night” one of the evenings.

We decided to start our day by walking to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory… turns out LOTS of Clemson fans had decided to make a weekend out of the trip, because we ran into them everywhere, which was a fun bonus!

IMG_7393{Colonel Sanders Greeting Us at the Visitor’s Center}

A BEAUTIFUL day, we decided just to walk to all the attractions we planned to visit on Friday, and as we started out we popped into the Louisville Visitor Center and ran into this guy… Ol’ Colonel Sanders himself…

One of the things I loved about walking the city were the details from the building architecture, to the public art, down to even the trash cannisters… SO MANY CREATIVE DETAILS!!

IMG_7398{Details in the City – This is a fence around a trash cannister…seriously}

After about a 20 minute walk – which could have easily been reduced to 10, except we kept stopping to look at stuff :)… we arrived at the Slugger Museum and Factory on Museum Row…the entrance was hard to miss since there is a GIANT bat out front!!

IMG_7406{Van and I in front of the Slugger Museum}

Inside, there are several activities, one of which is a tour of the museum and factory…and they actually show you how the bat was made when the business first started and how it is made today. You get to hold different styles of bats (which I really didn’t even know was a thing), including Babe Ruth’s 34-in. Louisville Slugger Bat…the giant bat outside is a giant replica just in larger scale. Here’s a pic of the whole thing from the factory’s website:

Activites and things to see (besides the tour and giant bat) at the museum and factory include a theater, grand slam gallery, signature wall containing thousands of signatures that have been burned into Louisville Slugger bats, the museum store, walk of fame (which you’ll notice as you walk up to the building), and a batting cage.

IMG_7409{Just hanging out with Babe Ruth…}

We definitely tried our hand at the batting cages… and I’m no athlete, but I think I did get a good hit on at least 2 or 3!

IMG_7424{Stylin’ in our Batting Helmets at Bud’s Batting Cage}

Van and I even had our picture taken with Superman! The Slugger Museum was hosting TOPPS traveling exhibit which included Superman’s original cape and uniform, Ringo Starr’s drumsticks, Luke Skywalker’s light saber and other pop culture memorabilia.

When we left the Slugger Museum, we were ready for a bite to eat for lunch. We were already on the road we needed to be on to visit the Evan Williams Experience a few blocks away, so we checked out Yelp for some ideas for lunch. We decided on a little café called Boomer’s Canteen, named for the owner’s beloved beagle. When you walk in, it feels you’ve stopped off for lunch at your Grandma’s house – with trinkets and pictures of puppy dogs everywhere.

Once seated, Mrs. Carol gave us sheets of paper where we wrote our names at the top in the corner like we were in grade school, and filled in the blanks, circled, and bubbled in what we wanted to eat. I had a grilled cheese with french fries. Well attended to, Mrs. Carol and the other employees used our first names for the remainder of our visit anytime they asked how we were doing or if we needed anything, and her husband even gave us suggestions on other places we should check out in the city. When we got ready to leave, Mrs. Carol sent us on our way with two giant chocolate chip cookies. Boomer’s Café was the perfect spot for our pit stop and yet another example of Louisville hospitality!

IMG_7438

{Mrs. Carol and her husband, Owners of Boomer’s Canteen}

IMG_7442{Boomer’s Canteen | 722 West Main Street | Louisville, KY}

And then we were off to the Evan Williams Experience – our first Kentucky Bourbon Trail stop! Walking into Evan Williams, you’re greeted by a giant fountain shaped like bourbon pouring into a glass in a narrow building on Museum Row. You know you’re in the right place by the smell of bourbon in the building! We opted for the hour tour with sampling at the end, paid our entry fee (I believe it was $14 per person), and spent the time waiting for our tour to begin by perusing the gift shop and little bits of trivia posted around the lobby areas.

Reminiscent of a Universal Studios ride, through a series of rooms created to immerse you in a story, the Evan Williams Experience walks you through some Louisville Waterfront History as well as History of the Evan Williams “Brand” in addition to teaching you the process of how bourbon is distilled.

IMG_7449{The distilling process happening at Evan Williams in downtown Louisville – that giant vat to the right is chock full of bourbon in the making}

IMG_7454{One of the barrells on display at Evan Williams}

IMG_7456{Our tasting experience at Evan Williams in Louisville}

At the end of the tour, you are taken into a “bar” made to look like one straight out of history where your tour guide walks you through tasting several bourbons. Similar to wine, taking a look, a smell, and then a taste can give you insights into the process and finish of the bourbon, and I definitely learned things – like smelling bourbon with my mouth slightly open versus closed makes a HUGE difference in your sense of smell and even taste! I definitely know more about what I like and don’t like after the Evan Williams Experience!

Once we finished our tour it was about five and we decided to head back to the hotel, and were also toying with whether to have a “date night” and split up for dinner or find something together. We had gotten suggestions from several people that we had encountered and reading some reviews online. We passed a little Italian restaurant that we’d read about earlier in the day and ducked our heads in to check it out…with an intriguing look and enticing menu, we made a reservation for 8:30.

After some down time in our hotel rooms and a chance to refresh our wardrobe, we met downstairs at the Embassy Suites complimentary happy hour and then headed back out the door as the sun was setting and casting gorgeous peach sunlight on downtown Louisville. A short walk away, we arrived at Vincenzo’s nestled on a street corner with minimal recognizability other than the green awning bearing the name. You definitely have to know that you’re looking for it!

{Vincenzo’s Restaurant | Click Image for Photo Source}

When we arrived, the restaurant was bustling with servers and patrons, including a rehearsal dinner. The mouth watering menu is higher in price but definitely delicious, and they plate your food in front of you. I ordered:

MAIALE INFARCITO

Berkshire pork tenderloin filled with a composition of wild mushrooms, walnuts, spinach, apples, and brie cheese, served in an Evan Williams Single Barrel reduction.
DELIZIOSO!!
By the time we finished our dinner and walked back to the hotel, we were pretty much done for. We did stroll through 4th Street Live and listen to a little bit of a band…a hopping nightlife spot with a dueling piano bar, HUGE sports bar, home to Louisville’s Hard Rock Cafe, and several other spots to continue festivities.
IMG_7466
So much to see! So little time!!
Stay tuned for Saturday: Bulleit Bourbon at Stitzel-Weller Distillery, the Silver Dollar, the Comfy Cow Creamery and Shopping on South 4th…and Sunday: the bridge to Indiana and the Original Sanders Café.
Happy Friday! Go Tigers!
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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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