Every year, Best Bud Gina and I head off on some adventure. This year, she flew into Nash:
Gina’s collage of the trip here.
and after spending a couple days as a family at our house:
Gina’s allergic, hence, Nutmeg loves her.
Yessa goes through the clothes Gina brought to share.
We hauled her to the new library to enjoy the giant tinker toys. (She enjoyed them more than the children, I believe.)
She and I were off to Louisville.
Todd says we look like Siamese Twins in many of our photos:
Attached at the brain.
We drove over on a very rainy late afternoon, got into our luxurious hotel (with an indoor pool), walked to Guaca Mole for dinner, had a couple drinks, went back for a swim with lots of youngsters (none of our own), then collapsed into bed. Dinner included many, many stories, snorting laughter, and increasing hilarity. We managed to almost get lost walking back to our hotel that was right next to the restaurant. It was a splendid beginning to our weekend of adventure.
The next morning we got out the door about 11 a.m., which is the middle ground for us.
Churchill Downs was our first stop.
Gina’s collage of the day.
Our first tour guide
The Derby done in glass.
Gina on our “back-stage” tour.
In the mural of all the winning Derby jockies, the artist turned this fellow into a 3-peat by modifying his fingers. Note he now has 7 fingers.
Note the jockey statue below. It is taller than life-size. He always wanted to be 5 foot tall, so they stretched him a little for the statue.
The top level in the distance is the “Millionare’s Club.” You can guess why.
The twin spires
The back-stage tour was fantastic. Our tour guide, Barry, has a passion for horses, racing, and Churchill Downs in particular. His Uncle Joe died shortly after attending his 75th Derby in a row, and Barry has been to 30 straight. (Am I making that up, Gina?)
Some interesting things we learned:
1) During the racing season, 100 thousand gallons of water are used on the track every day. They water and churn it up between each race.
2) The average horse’s heart is 6-7 pounds. When Secretariat died, the autopsy revealed his heart weighed 22#, a large reason for his amazing success.
3) The Kentucky Derby has higher attendance and a greater television viewing audience than the Super Bowl.
I had some excellent questions on this tour, and Gina overheard another one of the tour members snort, “Acchhh, more questions!” So we gave him dirty looks for the rest of the time like the 12 year olds that we are. And then we made fun of ourselves for the rest of the trip.
“I have a great question, shall I ask it?”
After spending time at the races, we had a lovely lunch, without liquor, at Barry’s favorite bar.
Then, on to the Louisville Slugger Museum.
We parked right near this golden dude.
Highlights of the “slugger.”
I was worn out after two museums, so back to the hotel for an afternoon nap, which is my idea of an awesome time.
Then, over to Guac for dinner again so we didn’t have to drive, then watching some “House Hunters” talking, talking, talking, laughing, dreaming, planning, laughing some more, then sweet, sweet sleep.
Sunday was the big day: Zip-lining in a cave! Mega-caverns in Louisville is the only fully underground zip-lining cave in the world.
So, dark, high in the air, lots of mesh flooring, and a friend who would support me in doing most anything. Basically, on this adventure, I was sheeple, following Gina’s lead. (Much like the time we hiked up a mountain in pure fog for the great view at the top…of great fog. I followed her willingly while she wandered around muttering, “I’m sure there’s a better view from the summit, if we could just find it. I’m sure it’s just a little farther.”)
I was only the second most scared person on our tour, so Gina and I got to do our comedy couple routine to help keep Elisa from getting even more petrified than she already was. I’d love to do the zip-lining again some day, and I’d try to keep my eyes open and not scream at the beginning and ending of every zip.
Those bridges with open mesh board though, I don’t think I’ll ever like those. Ever. Never.
After zipping, which was really very, very fun, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner, no drinks, then headed on back to reality.
Monday we got to have Gina all to ourselves for one last day, which was wonderful.
Here’s her “Day In The Life” collage:
A little science experiment, CrossFit, music lessons, and silly fun time.
I finally zoomed her to the airport for those last precious minutes of conversation, and off she jetted to her family who missed her.
Thanks, Dear One, for a reviving, rejuvenating, laughter-filled weekend. It made all the difference.