My new Kentucky home.

Bounty by the side of the road ...

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.

The Boppy in "action."

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. . .”

The mighty Ohio River from our hotel room

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.

Pumpkins on parade

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!!