I’m in Louisville, Kentucky today with my fabulous friend Clarice. She flew in for the giant ABC Baby Expo (a frightening trade show of about a gazillion mostly unnecessary baby products), to promote the amazing (and quite necessary) Boppy pillow – which has won Baby Product of the Year for the past 9 years and is the requisite baby gift at every shower.
I drove up to Louisville from Atlanta on Monday afternoon, and we’ve been bopping around Kentucky and Indiana for the past two days, having a pure Midwestern/Southern experience.
I love cities on rivers. They always remind me of the great Raymond Carver poem, Where Water Comes Together With Other Water … and the lines “I love the places where water comes together with other water… They stand out in my mind like holy places. . .”
Louisville isn’t quite holy, but it is a quiet, likeable city of beautiful old brick facades, lots of fountains, and the KFC Yum! stadium, picturesquely situated on the banks on the mighty Ohio. Our hotel room overlooks the river, where we can watch coal barges floating by, loaded up with great mounds of black grit. When I drove in Monday night, I missed my turn and ended up driving across the river into what I thought was Ohio but was actually Indiana (and yes, I am directionally and geographically challenged). So Monday, Clarice & I decided to drive up and visit my brother Tim and his wife Gail at Indiana University in Bloomington.
What an excellent road trip! The fields of corn stretched out in undulating waves, a few trees were just starting to turn scarlet and gold, and the farm stands threw out pumpkin carpets that beckoned irresistibly — and naturally, we stopped at every one. We had lunch with Gail, an office visit with Tim, and got to see 40,000 students meandering from class to class across the pretty campus.
And today, we went to the Kentucky Derby Museum, stood in the Winners Circle, admired the fabulous hats of history, and rode our fake horses to victory.
Tomorrow, it’s 6 hours back to Hotlanta – but tonight, it’s Kentucky Bourbon Celebration. Whoa, Nellie!
Happy Fall, y’all!!
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I grew up in Indiana and I went to IU (after I dropped out of Butler and became a terrible waitress for a few years). Those tomatoes give Jersey tomatoes a run for their money. This boppy pillow is intriguing! I have approximately ninety baby showers coming up before the end of the year. Oh, and I will just state for the record that it is remarkably easy to cross the river and think you’re going the other way there. I’ve done it many times. You’re not alone!
This post was so nice to read. I live and work on the Indiana side of the river across from louisville. It is so nice to hear how great your “hometown” is from someone who is just passing through! It was extra nice because my son just started his freshman year at IU, and I have traveled the scenic road to Bloomington many times over my life!! I am so glad you enjoyed your time in the country! Love your blog!
I LOVED being in Indiana — all the green, rolling fields, the farm stands, the gorgeous campus of IU — and the charming town of Bloomington.. PLUS the beautiful old brick buildings of Louisville that haven’t been “fixed up” too much, the great restaurants, the super friendly people … we loved being there!!
I’m in Bloomington! We could have done lunch!! 🙂
Oh, too bad! Maybe I saw you at the Uptown Cafe??!! Loved Bloomington – and LOVE your photo — reminds me of Chutes & Ladders (the board game — one of the players looks just like your gravatar!)
We enjoy visiting the Bluegrass state. Sounds like fun Betty and safe travels.
I’ve only been there once before — but this time, I really enjoyed it! When you drive through a place, you have a whole new feeling for the dips and swells of the land, and the true beauty of it. This morning, as the sun was rising and the sky was a soft pink, I saw an Amish or Mennonite farmer driving his horse-drawn buggy across the overpass, silhouetted against the pastel sky. SO lovely! Thanks for your comment!
I laughed when I read that you’re directionally and geographically challenged. I probably am, too, but I am stubborn and won’t admit it. So much so that I just flip it off and say, “I just turned it into a big ole’ adventure!” and prove it by showing all the great photos I shot on the “detour.” (Wonder if I’m fooling anyone who really knows me?). Enjoyed your post!
I am so hideously directionally challenged that I finally had to come right out and admit it. That way, whenever I do go the right way, it’s a minor victory — and when I turn the wrong way out of the hotel where I’ve been for a week … it’s just my little quirk. You know what I mean……(And the great news is, I still have absolutely no qualms about driving alone across country on a moment’s notice if I’ve got a good reason, so … at least it hasn’t slowed me down! (Just the people driving behind me…ha!)
My daughter just had her second child. The Boppy rocks! I continue to love your blog and what you are up to in this world.
The Boppy DOES rock! And believe me, when you are standing in the midst of a 60,000 foot convention center surrounded by baby gear (90% of which is totally useless) … the stuff that works is pure obvious gold. My friend Susan Matthews Brown invented the Boppy .. and Clarice went to work for her shortly after. Now they are owned by a fabulous Italian company that also makes Chicco strollers et al … but it’s an amazing story of entrepreneurial mommy spunk! Thanks for the comment!
Your post brought back college student memories of the 60s when we spent many years at Indiana University.
My brother Tim, who is incredibly brilliant and a Rhodes Scholar, was the head of the physics department there and is now head of the Wells Scholar Program — and though I’ve been to Bloomington before, this time I totally got to see what a cool, groovy college town & gorgeous university it really is! Lucky you, Max!!!