Day 1 – Beers, Bourbon & BBQ

Attending the Kentucky Derby live, has been on my bucket list for quite some time. We are finally making it a reality. Santa Claus got Lacey and I tickets for Christmas. Two weeks ago, Nate decided that he’d join us for the quick road trip. We left Stillwater, MN about 5:30 p.m. last night (Thursday,  5/4/17) and arrived in Chicago around 11 p.m. We’re spending the night at Houawah and Ashley’s apartment. Chicago is about the halfway point and we figured it would be a good stopping point after a long work week.

We got a little rest and hit the road bright and early this morning. We got to my sister’s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky right around 1 p.m. local time. It was raining, and didn’t appear to be letting up any time soon. We unloaded our stuff and headed to Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse, located inside of the Louisville Slugger Field. Louisville’s first traditional brewpub was packed with Derby goers. Lacey, Nate, Kelsey, Jarrod, Sarah and I enjoyed a few beers and caught up.

We had really wanted to take a tour of a Whiskey distillery while we were down here, as part of Kentucky’s famous “Bourbon Trail”, but all the distilleries tours had been sold out for months. We figured we’d do the next best thing and head to the Haymarket Whiskey bar. We all enjoyed some bourbon and cocktails. The barkeep thought that his Old Fashioned rivaled the Old Fashioneds that we’re used to drinking in Wisconsin.

It was time to grab some dinner, so we headed over to Feast BBQ for some grub. I had, quite possibly, the best brisket I’ve ever tasted. The place was, again, similar to the other places we’ve been to, pretty full of Kentucky Oaks and Derby fans. We got all filled up on food and had a few more beers before heading back to Kelsey’s apartment. On our way back to the apartment we stopped to pick up a few things. The forecast for tomorrow is looking pretty wet. Apparently we weren’t the only people hoping to grab a few ponchos at the last minute. Walmart, Target and the Dollar Store in Louisville, were all sold out of ponchos. Luckily, Jake and Danielle were on their way from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and were far enough from the craziness to grab a few ponchos for our group.

We headed back to her apartment to do some late night prep for the Derby. You can bring water and soda into the gates, as long as the seals haven’t been broken. I learned a pretty neat trick on how to insert whiskey into a bottle of Coke, without breaking the seal. We did this three or four times before playing multiple rounds of Quiplash and Telestrations and hitting the hay. Her one bedroom apartment is plenty big enough to sleep all 8 of us comfortably. Tomorrow we’ll get all dressed up and head over to Churchill Downs to witness “the most exciting two minutes in sports”.

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