Day Two, Part One: Louisville

World's Largest  Baseball BatHit the road at 9 a.m.  On the schedule was six of Louisville’s greatest attractions – or at least great in my book!  The first stop was the world’s largest baseball bat – a Louisville Slugger to be exact.  It graces the entrance of the Louisville Slugger Museum.  At 120 feet high, it’s quite spectacular.  A window shop next door had the wise marketing sense to play off of its neighbors and place a baseball going through a plate glass window on its building. 

World's Largest Liquor BottleThe next stop was a few miles away at the Brown-Forman Corporation, which has a water tower shaped like one of its liquor products.  Some have compared it to the ketchup bottle water tower in Collinsville, Ill., which I’ve also visited, so I can attest it’s a contender.

Grave of Col. SandersThe third stop was Cave Hill Cemetary on the east side of Louisville.  We traveled there for one reason, but found there were many more reasons to stop.  Our quest was the grave of Col. Harland Sanders.  Of course, you know him as the white-suited southern gentleman who combined 11 herbs and spices to create Kentucky Fried Chicken.  We really enjoyed riding through the cemetery and looking at all the other tombstones, many of which were true works of art. 

After a brief photo stop at Lynn’s Paradise Café to catch a glimpse of the giant coffee pot and cups outside, we drove a short way to the building that once housed Kaelin’s Restaurant, which claims to have created the cheeseburger (several other restaurants have the same claim to fame).  I knew the restaurant had been sold and was now operating under the name of Mulligan’s, but I was hoping the new owners may have had the good sense to keep the wonderful neon sign that once advertised the burgers.  I was not disappointed.  The sign was hanging from a porch on the house next door. 

Grave of Barbaro at entrance to Churchill DownsThe last stop in Louisville was wonderful for me – Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.  My great-uncle was affiliated with the Preakness for decades, so the Triple Crown is a big deal in my family.  The track was SO much bigger than it appears on TV!  As I stood in front of the twin spires that have become synonymous with the run for the roses, I could sense the electricity of Derby Day.  What I didn’t know was that the track held a surprise for me.   At the main entrance is a beautiful life-size bronze of Barbaro, the ill-fated horse that was destined for the Triple Crown, but felled by injuries sustained in the starting gate at the Preakness.  I soon found out that this was not only a statue, but also where the thoroughbred is buried. 

Once we left the track, we were soon on I-71 and heading toward Memphis, but not without a few more stops.

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