A Weekend in Loo-ah-vul

Or Louie-ville or Lolla-vul, however you feel like pronouncing it. I went there this past weekend with my sister, aunt, cousin, and second cousin and had a blast. The drought my blog has suffered these past weeks is at an end!

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to write a travel post (or been able to post at all)  but here’s the rundown of my adventures and impressions of the big city near the southern Hoosier border.

We begin our road trips with a Wendy’s chicken sandwich in honor of our inaugural trip in 2014. Having stopped for lunch at a rural Wendy’s, our order was misconstrued and we ended up with a free spicy chicken sandwich. I planned on eating it later, but ultimately it was forgotten in the car until we found it at home, 5 days later. This time, my sister ordered one on purpose just so we could recreate the original photo and hilarity.

Staying in a 4-star hotel, our room had a separate water closet and shower room – both with frosted glass sliding doors. Needless to say, we were messing around with these within five minutes because we are classy like that.

Vogue

Our first stop was the Louisville Slugger Museum. I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but seeing the factory in action and finding out each MLB player uses ~120 bats per season was interesting. At the tour’s end you can buy a customized slugger if you aren’t content with the free mini-bats available (I was and I took two).

Besides the tour, the factory also hosts a museum that includes exhibits on famous players and bats, a batting cage, and a miniature Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium. Here you can find an Infinity Box, the effects of which I have kindly demonstrated for you.

Day 2 consisted of a trip to Kentucky Kingdom. It was fine, but to keep this post short I’ll just say: you’re better off with King’s Island or Holiday World.

Day 3 saw us visiting a K-Mart going out of business (picked clean, less-than-sanitary, other-wordly, classic misadventure) followed by a tram tour of Louisville’s Mega Cavern. These man-made caves stretch for 17 miles under the city and have been historically used to mine limestone, as a Cold War fallout shelter, tourist attraction, and more recently for personal/corporate storage.

Due to health/time constraints we were unable to take part in the cavern’s underground ziplines or high ropes courses, but the tram tour was plenty exciting. Our tour guide pretended to eat a worm and terrifying mannequins materialized out of the solid darkness. Their official purpose is to demonstrate how a fallout shelter would have looked. Unofficially, they are to test if you are likely to suffer a heart attack.

Thus, I award Mega Cavern with “creepiest mannequins ever” thanks to their many broken limbs, vacant eyes, and water damaged clothes and paint. If you don’t believe me, refer to the picture below. How would you like 50 of these things to pop out of the darkness right next to you?

Mannequins.jpg

SEE?! Those are not okay.

On a happier note, that evening found us attempting our first escape room game at Countdown Louisville. There were a few bumps along the way, including us overestimating the puzzle rooms. More than once the game master had to tell us we didn’t need to solve a riddle to turn the lights on, there was just a switch on the wall. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In the end, we saved the kidnapped singer and escaped the psychopath’s lair in 55:25 (having had an hour to get out). Not bad for first-timers.

I’ve decided that I love these games and am looking forward to playing more. If you ever want to play an escape room please hit me up; these are my JAM: 10/10 would recommend.

Our last day in Louisville included a couple of museum tours: a visit to the Louisville Science Center succeeded by a trip to the Frazier History Museum. Both took just a few hours to complete, but with low ticket prices they are definitely worth it.

The Science Center is almost exclusively made up of interactive exhibits and each ascending floor correlates with ascending age groups. For example, the bottom level features a playroom about water and its movements (i.e. a giant whirlpool to play with) while the top floor contains a room about fetal development. Overall, the Center is very engaging.

Mirrors
Science Center

The Frazier Museum was even smaller than the Science Center. Containing exhibits about Prohibition and Lewis and Clark’s travels, it was still very much worth the price of entry. If you are able to go before its run is up, definitely check out the installations paying tribute to the photography and light effects of Julius Friedman. As you can see, it makes for some great photo ops.

I had never been TO Louisville before (just passed through), but let me say it is totally worth a weekend trip. Just about three hours from Indy, fairly inexpensive, but with great value in its history, vibrance, and variety, I can easily say I enjoyed my experience.

My only complaint: be sure to pass on the local Hard Rock cafe – don’t ask, just keep practicing the pronunciation of “Louisville” and let me know how one should say it…

…then invite me to an escape room.

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