J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween's Lazy Blog Post

My husband in a onesie, inside a banana | 
I apologize ahead of time that this will be my laziest blog posts yet, I’ll be mostly sharing links :)

It’s Halloween and it’s cold! We’ll be hitting the streets tonight, rain or shine, cold or warm.  My niece and nephews have been waiting all year for this and nothing is stopping them.  If you’re thinking about going out tonight, here’s a great website with information trick or treating around Louisville.

Have you been to Hillcrest Ave? Head there if you haven’t, starting at the intersection of Hillcrest Ave & Frankfort Ave to Hillcrest & Brownsboro Rd.  It’s a Halloween Mecca for Louisvillians.  Residents of that entire street go all out and decked the entire street in Halloween decors.  Some are scary, other funny and all are entertaining.  Be warned, because it’s popular, the street will be super busy.  You might have to park a block away then walk down the street.  DON’T drive down that street, it’s narrow and you might be stuck in traffic for a while.  Unless of course you want to see the decorations and don't want to walk :)

So what’s going on this weekend? Not a lot of interesting stuff, most events you’ll have to pay. We’ll be heading out to take some fall photos around Louisville and I'll be sharing some favorite spots for Fall.

Here’s a link if you want to check out events going on around Louisville this weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Plans - Fried Chicken Throw Down at Resurfaced

It's been a busy week and an even busier weekend ahead, so my blog activities have been down some what.  I've started and stopped at least 5 different blog posts and can't wait to share some stuff I've been working on.  But for now here are some exciting stuff going on this weekend, the condensed version.

We're starting the weekend off with a Once Upon a Time theme party at Beckley Station with drinks at the Dragon Keep's Tavern leading to a Royal Banquet in the Great Hall and finally dancing until the clock strikes midnight. The event benefits the Boys Scout of America.

The rest of Friday and Saturday, you'll see us at Resurfaced (615-621 West Main Street).  If you haven't been here yet, I highly recommend it, especially since it's their last week. The idea is to temporarily transform vacant lots into a pop-up beer garden, outdoor cafe, and event space for community gatherings.  It's a really neat space to hang out with friends and enjoy the rotating list of entertainment.  It's cozy with plenty of benches, picnic tables, chairs and even a fire pit! Come at night to see the pretty lights, it feels like you're hanging out at your friend's back yard (a really cool friend, and a really cool back yard).  Events going on there this weekend:

Walden Theatre Benefit and Costume Party
  • 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Food, beer, costume contest, face painting, bake sale, silent auction, etc. 
  • 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. | Billy Goat Strut: Add Ky flavors to New Orleans Jazz and you got beautiful Bourbon Jazz. 
  • 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. | OKDeejay Dance Party!
Louisville Fried Chicken Throw Down
  • 3 p.m - 6:30 p.m. | The first fried chicken competition with winners for best chicken and best side getting $500 each.  Admission is free, $3 to taste the chicken and $2 for the sides. Participating restaurants: Milkwood, Loop 22, Sway, Zanzabar, Galt House, Bourbons Bistro, Roux, Wiltshire, Against the Grain and Four Pegs. 
Bioneers Conference After Party
  • 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. | Kentucky Shakespeare's reading of Macbeth, DJs and drinks after. 
Other things going on around town:

18th Century Market Fair at Locust Grove
Saturday - Sunday, 10/25  - 10/26| 10 - 4:30 p.m.
561 Blankenbaker Lane
Adults $8, Children $4.
Come experience 18th century entertainment, food, drinks and purchase replica items from that era.  Speak with early Americans and Native Americans and watch a mock battle for America's independence.

Halloween in Brown Park
Saturday, 10/25 | 11 p.m. - 2 p.m. (Trick or Treat 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.)
Brown Park, 3940 Grandview Ave
A free family event that brought over 2,000 people last year.  There'll be: games, hayrides, a petting zoo, a fire truck, inflatables, entertainment, trick-or-treating, and much more. I saw photos from last year and it seems like a great event for family with kids.

11th Annual Bardstown Bound Boo Fest
Saturday, 10/25 | 2 - 6 p.m.
Baxter Avenue, Bardstown Road, and the Douglass Loop
Businesses and restaurants in the highlands are offering specials, tasting and special events to attract visitors to the area.  The last Bardstown Bound event we went to was a dud since not many businesses participated.  But because it's also a Halloween celebration, it might be a little more festive and worth checking out.

*Bonus: El Camino FREE Pig Roast and Movie Night
Sundays | 10 pm - 2:00 a.m.
1314 Bardstown Road
If you want to squeeze the most out of your weekend and still have the energy, head over to the new and trendy El Camino for some free food. I don't know what to expect but free is good food to me. I had their food and enjoyed it, the atmosphere and decor is especially cool. If you can't make it this week, come back another time. they have it every Sunday.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Plans - All About Boats and Beers

The Belle of Louisville is turning the big 1-0-0 this year and a big celebration is currently going on to commemorate this milestone at the Festival of Riverboats.  So this weekend it's all about the Belle, the river and riverboats.

Sure, there are some other stuff going around town, but they're all small potatoes comparing to this week long celebration.  After all, it's only once in a life time that we celebrate a 100th birthday for a familiar Louisville's favorite.  Daily there will be a wide range of bands playing music at several stages, artisan showcase, food and beverage.  There's also the Belle's Bourbon Landing, an award winning structure/tent (?) that's suppose to be cool to check out.  The celebration started Tuesday but all the major stuff are going on this weekend.

Detailed information are available on their website, but here's the condensed version:

  • Dates: Tuesday, 10/14 - Sunday, 10/19
  • Time: Fri/Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Louisville Waterfront Park
  • Parking:  The lots in the park are free but remember you now have to pay for metered street parking on Saturday, free after 6 p.m.  Free valet parking for your bikes!

River Cruises

Several types of cruises are offered this whole week, check here for a complete list.  You can get tickets online. 

A Century of River Commerce: River Industry Display Boats
Tuesday - Sunday: all day
11 river boats will be parked along the river with hands on activities, a knot tying area, river lore storytellers, dam model, and free tours.  

Courier-Journal Balloon Glow (weather dependent)
Friday, 10/17, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Balloon glows are always pretty, probably prettier against the backdrop of the Ohio River.

The Belle's Big Birthday Bash
Saturday, 10/18
A parade of boats down the Ohio River, narrated by Mark Twain, 1:15 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. Fireworks 9 p.m. - 10 p.m..  

Riverboat Racing
Friday, Spirit of Peoria vs. River Queen @ 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, Belle of Louisville vs. Belle of Cincinnati vs. american Queen @ 3 p.m.

Steamboat Days - Southern Indiana
Friday 10/17 - Sunday 10/19
Walk across the Big Fourth Bridge to  for an extended celebration in Jeffersonville.  There'll be arts, crafts, music, food and also a Kids Fun Zone (Fri/Sat: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) and storytelling. Complete list of events here.


If the River is not your thing there are three more events that would be interesting to check out:

This was @ Bardstown
Friday, 10/17, 4 - 10 p.m.
Louisville Slugger Field
, 401 East Main Street
, 40202
$5 admission includes a souvenir cup. Designated drivers get free admission. Beer (12oz) and wine (4-5 oz) samples are $1.
A great event for beer lover (so you probably won't find me here).  A lot of beer, wine and a few bourbon vendors will be there for you to sample their goods.  Food from several local restaurants will also be available for purchase.

Glendale, Ky
Glendale Crossing Festival
Saturday, 10/18, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., parade at 10 a.m.
Glendale, KY

If you're not tired of festivals yet from the marathon last week, head south on I-65 to an artsy/antique town of Glendale (around 1 hour S. of Louisville) for a festival that will host around 500 art, craft and food booths.  The town is small but cute mostly lined with antique shops and a very good restaurant, the Whistle Stop.  It should be a huge event and a fun excursion out of town.

Berheim Forest
Berheim ColorFest
Saturday, 10/18, 9 a.m. -5 p.m. & Sunday, 10/19, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
2499 Clermont Rd, Clermont, KY 40110
$5/car, $10/van
For the nature lover, head to Berheim for their festival that includes unique arts and craft vendors, foods, kids friendly activities that revolves around nature, a pumpkin launch, hayride, etc..  You'll also get to see the beautiful fall plants and foliage.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Scenic Starlight Indiana By Bike

We did the Harvest Home Coming Bicycle Tour a few weeks ago and found a new scenic bike route. It was a beautiful day for a ride in the country but those rolling hills were killer for the first 10 miles or so, killing my resolve to do 40 miles really quick. I ended up doing only 25 miles and my husband got his exercise in by looping me.  

It was a great way to see the back roads of Indiana, lots of scenic views, beautiful wild flowers, rustic farm life and apple orchards. The event itself though should be a miss (unless you want want to support the Harvest Homecoming Festival).  Instead of paying $35 for the ride, which covers only a pizza lunch and drinks, just get a map or download the GSP from that website and do the loop yourself.  You can do the 25 miles, 40 miles, or 64 miles.  I'm not sure where you can park, we parked at the Forest Discovery Center.  It's a museum so check to make sure you can park.  It's a huge parking lot and I don't think it should be a problem.

If you’re in an okay shape, just take it slow (and know it'll get better), you’ll have an enjoyable but a bit challenging ride.
I’m hoping to come back on another pretty fall day and redeem myself by completing that 40 mile loop after all. 

Start at the Forest Discovery Center (533 Louis Smith Rd, Borden, IN 47106)


If you have time after biking, head over to Huber’s Farm and do some apple or pumpkin picking, grab lunch and a drink and enjoy the outdoor concerts.

Wanderlust - Balancing Extremes

Guidebook is my thing. 
I have a bad case of wanderlust today, probably brought on by the change in the season and the 1,300+ photos from a honeymoon long ago.  Suddenly, I long to be lost in a foreign city, to see and to experience new things for the first time.

Wanderlust comes and goes for me, easily and temporary appeased by a short trip out of town or an excursion somewhere new, but it never truly goes away.  I jump on every opportunity to travel, for a short trip or a long adventure.  Some people can travel once or twice and get it out of their system, I can't.  It's as much a part of me as my dark graying hair and short stature.

Why am I really writing this? I guess I want to share my love of travel with others and encourage more people to get out of their comfort zone and explore what the world has to offer.  It’s very easy and very tempting to put ourselves in an insular bubble, confined by the comfort of familiarity and secured by beliefs reinforced by likeminded friends and family.  It can be dangerous and frankly, very boring.  Travel challenges our world views and allows us to look at ourselves and our world from a different perspective.  It’s a chance to see ourselves as part of humanity.

Grand Canyon, USA
Those majestic mountains in the distance, the grand canyons of the West, the vast blue oceans and even the ruins of Rome and Great Wall of China, although claimed by a single nation or state, are really all parts of our shared human experience and history.  We owe it to ourselves to see the world, a unique wonder of the universe, and it belongs to us all.

We all have reasons why we can't travel.  When we're young, you have all the time in the world, but no money.  As a working professional, we might have a little bit of money but no time.  Take longer trips in far off places when you’re young, time is your friend.  A little money goes a long way in developing countries and you can rough and tough through it.  It’s okay to take shorter trips when you’re older, you’ll appreciate each and every day more when you know time is not on your side.  

Traveling is all about balancing between two extremes.  Spend money but also be financially responsible, opt for a shorter trip or skip that designer bag and fancy meals to save money.  Throw caution and your maps to the wind and explore, but plan and research first your destination and surrounding so you can be prepared for anything. Be friendly and talk to strangers but don’t be na├»ve or too trusting of everyone you meet.  Be spontaneous, do something risky and different, but don’t forget to bring a trusty friend, like your common sense.

I’ve been very lucky and had many opportunities to travel. If I had to do it again, I would spend a year in another country, study abroad for an extended period and do backpack trips across the continents.  I had a false sense of obligation and duty back then.  But thinking back, I wonder if it was more out of fear of the unknown.  So if you’re young and in college, don’t let anything be your excuse, just do it.  When you’re older, your life is no longer just about you, opportunities to travel are hindered by responsibilities and obligations.

The world is a book and those who stay in one place only read only one chapter, you end up missing out on a big chunk of that big wonderful story.  Start on that next chapter and see what story that book can tell you.

Excuse all the ramblings, I really just want to share these photos :) Photo creds to Frank B.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekend Plans - Festivals Galore

Fall is synonymous with festivals.  This weekend especially, almost every neighborhood is hosting one version or another of a fall festival.  You can expect to see the stables: music, food, beer, arts and crafts, family friendly activities and neighborhood specific celebration.  Three different versions of Octoberfest are also happening around town, a Porktoberfest, a Dogtoberfest and even a Barktoberfest.

While my husband is out enduring his own brand of torture via the Bourbon Chase, a 200 miles relay race along Kentucky's Bourbon Trail, I'll be the smarter of us two and enjoy the festivities with the kids!

Highlands & Nearby Areas

Farmington's Harvest Fest
Friday - Sunday, 10/10 - 10/12 | Time not listed
3033 Bardstown Road (By Sullivan University) 
  • $20/car on Friday, which includes food trucks, bluegrass music and craft brews. Bring chairs and picnic blankets 
  • $10/car on Saturday, re-enactments of famous Civil War battles all day and an interactive camp for kids.  It's all about history today. 
  • $5/car on Sunday, it's full fall fest mode.  Antiques and unique market today along with Abraham Lincoln.  You can also do a house tour.  

Butchertown Porktoberfest at Copper & Kings
Friday, 10/10 | 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Copper and Kings Distillery, 1111 E. Washington St
It's a celebration of fall and pork. The event features a cooking competition between local restaurants.  The event is free to enter but you buy tickets to sample the foods. There's also live music, local brews and cocktails.

Belknap Fall Festival
Friday, 10/10 | 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. &  Saturday 10/11| 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Douglass Loop

Food, live music, drinks and 50 artist vendors

Cylouvia in the Highlands
Sunday, 10/12 | 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Douglass Loop to East Broadway (3 miles)
Bring out your bikes, stroller, skates, pets and love ones for a stroll or ride right in the middle of hip and happening Bardstown Road.  The streets are close this day and you get the control of the road.  Great time to check out local eats, shops and make new friends. Stop by Comfy Cow on Eastern Parkway for some ice cream, grab an iceberg from 2 different Hiene Bros, and maybe check out some new restaurants, like El Camino, Joy Luck or El Luchador Tacos.

Kosair Charities Fall Fest 2014
Sunday, 10/12 | 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
982 Eastern Parkway
Not really in the Highlands, but close enough!  Come celebrate their 90th anniversary with music from every decade and the usually festival fares. The charity is all about kids so expect a lot of kids friendly activities.

The World's Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo
October 3-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26 & 30, 2014 | Starts at 5 p.m., last entry at 8:30 p.m.
$5 for members, $7.50 for non-members (available at Meijer stores only)
A fun Halloween party for the kids to dress up, trick-or-treat (11 and under), see pumpkin lanterns, take photos with fair tale characters and super heros.

South and Southwest
Jackolantern Spectacular
Thursday 10/9 - 11/2 | door opens at 6 p.m., show: 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Iroquois Amphitheater
$9 - $12
You'll be amazed at the 5,000 artistically carved pumpkins lighting up a darken 1/4 mil trail around Iroquois Park.  Beautiful work of art, you'll ooh and ahh all the way.

Southwest Community Festival at Sun Valley Park
Saturday, 10/11 | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
6505 Bethany Lane

Tucked in the far corner of Dixie Highway is one of the largest community events in Louisville.  Expect live music, 100+ booths and vendors, a car and motorcycle show, free games and inflatables for kids and age specific tents.

West Louisville
Portland Art and Heritage Fair
Saturday, 10/12 | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Various locations but navigate to 2215 Portland Ave.
A festival I'm personally interested in because it's a celebration of a historic city (it's older than Louisville) that many often neglect and afraid to venture to.  A lot of efforts are going into revitalizing the area and I'm excited to see how it'll transform Portland. Come see the Art Show at Historic Marine Hospital (the only surviving one in the entire nation), do crafts with Good Garbage, tour the Portland Locks, view the photography at Nelligan Hall, visit the Portland Museum and check out craft vendors at the new Tim Faulkner Gallery.

East Louisville
Tom Sawyer State Park Fall Fest
Saturday, 10/11 | 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, 3000 Freys Hill Road
The event includes hayrides, bonfire and s'mores, music, a children's play area, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, etc.

Fall Festival at Foxhollow Farm
Saturday, 10/11 | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Foxhollow Farm, Crestwood, Ky

A fall festival at an actual farm, featuring live music, hayrides, pumpkins, carnival games, obstacle course, and farm fresh food.  The farm is really neat too so a great opportunity to check it out.

Out of Town
Harvest Homecoming Festival
10/4 - 10/12/2014 | 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (time varies)
New Albany, Indiana; between State, Third, Main and Spring Street 
I've been hearing about this festival for a while and can't wait to check it out this week.  It's a huge festival and just across the river.  A celebration of Southern Indiana, this includes a week's worth of activities and events.  You can get a complete list from their website.  This week, 10/9/2014 is when the vendors, foods, and crafts booths will be out in full festival style.  Close to the river front, you can enjoy a car show, live music and a party tent.

LaGrange Railroad & Bluegrass Festival
Friday 10/10, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m & Saturday 10/11, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Courthouse Square, Langrange, Ky
The highlight of this festival are railroads related activities and lots of bluegrass bands.  Fun things to expect: a farmer's market, kiddie train rides, a cowboy gun fight, bluegrass workshops and of course food and vendors.

Bardstown's Arts, Crafts & Antique Fair
Sat 10/11: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. & Sunday 10/12: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Bardstown, KY
Southern food, music, entertainment and over 200 art and craft vendors in beautiful Bardstown, KY that's less than an hour away.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekend Plans - St. James and Harvest Festival

I've missed my deadline and goal to have Weekend Plans info out by Thursday night again! But here are a few things going on around town this weekend that are worth a look. Dress warm, it'll be a little cooler this weekend, especially in the morning and evening.

St. James Art Show
Friday- Sunday: 10/3, 10/4, 10/5 | Fri & Sat: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sun: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
1387 S. Fourth Street.  It covers 4 square blocks, between 3rd, 6th, Magnolia Ave., and
Belgravia Ct.
Fall would not be official without the influx of over 750 art vendors from around the U.S. to historic Old Louisville.  The event is great for art lovers, window shoppers, old Louisville enthusiast or anyone looking to for a nice stroll on the weekend.  You'll find handmade crafts, jewelries, photography, sculptures and everything in between.  The prices are a little pricey but many time you can find unique pieces for the homes and gifts for love ones. You can find some things as cheap as $5 or art pieces costing a few hundred.  Even if you don't plan to buy anything, it's a great event for a stroll and enjoy the beautiful Victorian houses.

The Conrad-Caldwell Kid's Crafting Zone
Friday - Sunday: 10/3-10/5, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
1402 St. James Ct. $ 

St. James might be fun for the kids for a little bit but after a few blocks they'll get bore quick! Head to the Conrad Caldwell House, also by St. James, for some kids friendly activities.  They include face painting, caricatures, pumpkin painting, and other crafting projects.  There's a cost involved, but they didn't list how much.

Un-Fair 2014
Friday - Sunday; 10/3 - 10/5
Behind Magnolia Bar, 1398 S. 2nd Street.

If you've been to St. James too many time and want something different.  Try the Un-Fair instead it's a smaller art fair that features local artists, music and booze.  I've never been but intend to check it out to see what it's all about.

The World's Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo
October 3-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26 & 30, 2014 | Starts at 5 p.m., last entry at 8:30 p.m.
$5 for members, $7.50 for non-members (available at Meijer stores only)
A fun Halloween party for the kids to dress up, trick-or-treat (11 and under), see pumpkin lanterns, take photos with fair tale characters and super heros.

ReSurfaced: Instrument of Hip Hop
Saturday, 10/4 | 3 p.m. - 11 p.m.
615 West Main Street
I recently found out about this pop-up plaza and it looks really neat.  The idea is to temporarily transform vacant lots into a pop-up beer garden, outdoor cafe, and event space for community gatherings, entertainment and other activities (yoga, movie night).  Abandon structures and buildings take away from the aesthetic of a growing city and could take years to develop.  ReSurfaced wants to show cheap and creative ways to use these spaces.  Events are planned 9/19 - 10/215 at the current abandon lot on Main.  Thursday - Sunday each week.  Instrument of  Hip Hop is tomorrow but check out their website for future events.

Louder than Life Festival
Sat & Sun, 10/4 - 10/5
2050 River Road
$64.50/day or $109.50 for two days

I usually don't include things that cost too much money but this event sounds cool.  Over 30 bands will be performing, including Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Judas Priest, etc.  The event will also feature gourmet fan food, craft beers, bourbon, camping, etc.

Harvest Homecoming Festival
10/4 - 10/12/2014 | 11:30 a.m.
New Albany, Indiana; between State, Third, Main and Spring Street (Around the bottom of the new Big Four Bridge). 
I've been hearing about this festival for a while and can't wait to check it out this week and next.  It's a celebration of Southern Indiana that includes a week's worth of activities and events.  You can get a complete list from their website.  But this weekend is the kick off with a parade at 11:30 a.m. and an idol audition (1736 E. Main Street at 3 p.m.)  If you're in the area tomorrow, check out the Schimpffs Candy Museum and grab lunch there. Next week, 10/9/2014 is when the vendors, foods, and crafts booths will be out in full festival style.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Taste of Innovation Recap

The Taste of Innovation event last night was definitely worth the big bucks.  The event took place in Millionaire’s Row, where the rich (or just big spenders) and famous view the races in comfort.  The atmosphere was lively with a great mix of young and old, many friendly smiling faces and interesting IdealFestival attendees. Over 30 booths set up around the room to offer small samples of food, alcoholic drinks (whiskey, wine and bourbon), desserts, free giveaways and coffee.

Hungry and eager, I was originally disappointed at the small sample sizes offered by the first few booths.  Half way through the night, I was glad the samples were small and actually skipped or split those that were too big.  There were too many items to try and it was easy to get full quick.  I could barely breathe by the end of the night and only went back for seconds at two booths.

The samples offered were beautifully decorated and especially made for the event. Many were delicious, others more interesting than tasty.

Overall, a beautiful event that’s great for date night or a girls’ night out.  You can dress up (or go casual), sample delicious foods, hang out on the comfy couches and take in all the creativity flowing throughout the night.

We had to strategize for last night :).  Here are some tips for next year’s event:
  • Come on time, many booths clean up or run out by 7:40 p.m.
  • Start at one booth and make your way around, so you don’t miss out any
  • Skip the big items and come back later, you don’t want to get full too early
  • Water and non-alcoholic drinks  are in the desert room
  • Grab a gift bag in the desert room to keep the free giveaways
  • Several restaurants offer great coupons, so don’t forget to check their tables
  • Talk to the chefs and learn about your food, it makes for a more enjoyable experience