Family, Humor, Travel

BBQ, Big Brown and Burgoo

When you have a family you dearly love that lives far, far away, you will do anything, ANYTHING to see them.
You will brave busy, crowded airports.
You will drive hundreds of miles on lonesome stretches of road.
You will put up with terrible weather, illness, and destitution to feel their hug or hear their voice.
This has been our life for the past eight years.
Since my parents moved away, first to a town over three hours away, then to a town 11 hours away.
Desperate to see each other and have the kids be close to them and know them, we all have sacrificed to get time together. It wasn’t until this past year that we realized an easy way to get in a visit with “Mamie” and “Papa” was to meet them in a city halfway between our cities.
This halfway point for us happens to be Louisville, Kentucky.
A city we had never really been to before.
Oh yes, I had driven through it but never stayed there or explored the area.
Was that ever a huge mistake.
Louisville is absolutely beautiful, the people were so unbelievably friendly and the weather was gorgeous.

Surprising the girls with Mamie and Papa


Meeting at our hotel in Louisville.
We actually kept it a secret from Ellie.
Two reasons-
1- when you tell a five-year-old about something exciting coming up, said five-year-old will ask every single hour of every day when said the exciting event will be happening.
When do we see Mamie and Papa?
Is it today?
Is it tomorrow?
Is it the day after this day?
Is it on the day I go to school?
Is it on the day I play soccer?
Is it in a long time or a short time?
Will I still be five when I see them?
Will I get presents?
Do they know I am in kindergarten?
Do they know my teacher’s name?
Do they know I like ice cream?
Got it?
and 2- see above.
Ella giving Mamie love

The girls are all over my parents the entire weekend.
Maybe my husband and I were too…

So here is the thing…..
I forgot to take pictures of the most important thing.
Besides fellowship with family.
The food.
Because in the south, food is a “thing”.
The main attraction, if you will.
Yes, I know, food is a “thing” in the Midwest too but in the south, it’s a “THING”.


Mark's Feed Store in Louisville

This place.
My mom did some research on places to see, visit, do and eat before she left home.
This you need to know: my mom is like the travel/attraction/restaurant pundit of the family.
When you are going out to eat, ignore Zagat and email my mom.
I am not kidding.
Seriously, I will give you her email address.
She basically planned every single family trip for us growing up, all by herself.
No AAA, no travel agent and this was back in the day of …..gasp….no Internet.
She would send her homing pigeons (aka the Mobil Guide) to areas unknown and would come up with the coolest restaurants, the prettiest gardens and the hotels without the bed bugs.
My mom is tha bomb in many ways but especially as it pertains to travel.

So when she emailed me a list of places to must see a few days before, I was not disappointed.
Mark’s Feed Store is a Louisville staple and the food is Kentucky at its best.
One word:

It’s this amazing stew with what I think was BBQ shredded meat.
Sooooo good.
We got a small bowl and shared it around the table.
Next time, I think we will each get our own.

I do want to mention this, the manager of the restaurant came up to our table and asked how our meal was, which isn’t at all unusual.
But he told us that the server told him this was our first visit and he started telling us all about his restaurant of which he was so proud, which I loved.
Steven Spielberg and Lady Gaga had eaten there among other celebrities.
Then he tells us that we all get free dessert!!!!
AND a bottle of BBQ sauce to take home!!!


Cool architecture in Louisville

Downtown Louisville is full of history and is just plain cool.
This building was being held up by these metal bars.
I swear this was the only building like this in Louisville.
The whole town is not falling down.
I promise.


Anna and Ella looking at the Louisville Slugger museum

On our way to the Louisville Slugger Museum!


Baseballs bats at Louisville Slugger Museum


That’s a lot of baseball bats.
Louisville Slugger Museum
If you are ever in the area, I totally recommend this museum and the tour.
The smells alone of the wood in the bat tour are worth it.
Bat tour.
That sounded all mysterious and Batman-like.

Moving along…..


Churchill Downs Louisville


Churchill Downs.
Home of the Kentucky Derby.
Inside Churchill Downs in Louisville


The smells.
Not the horse smells.
But the smells of importance.
I could feel the presence of the horses and jockey’s who had graced these halls.
Beautiful Churchill Downs

I wanted to buy a horse after being here.

Churchill Downs Louisville Kentucky

OK, so time to fill you in on a little inside joke.
But it is bathroom humor.
So if that isn’t your thang, just skip to the bottom of the post.
Trust me, you won’t miss anything.

the mud at Churchill Downs in Louisville

So a few years ago we were at my parents, I think, that part is kind of fuzzy.
Anyway, my dad had gone to the bathroom.
And when he came out of the bathroom (with the sports section AND the results of the Derby under his arm) he announced this, “BIG BROWN WON THE DERBY!!!”
Now, we knew what he meant LITERALLY (Big Brown was an actual horse who did indeed win the Derby) but when someone comes out of the bathroom and says, “BIG BROWN WON THE DERBY”…… well that is just pretty funny.

I might have laughed so hard I snorted.
And tinkled a little.
Snorted AND tinkled a little.

My feet at Churchill Downs in Louisville

Standing in the winner’s circle.
Because I am a winner too.
Yeah, I am!

So we are going back for sure.
Next time we are heading to Lexington as well because horseys.
Oh and two things I wanted to experience in Louisville that we didn’t get a chance to were :

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

The above is NOTHING like Big Brown above.
Those who didn’t skip down to miss the potty humor will know what I am talking about.


Bourbon is a Kentucky staple so I was sad I didn’t get to experience a mint julep while down there.
Yes, I know I can make one at home.
But I wanted a Kentucky mint julep.
So a reason to go back!
Besides the friendly people and beautiful scenery and horseys, of course…….


6 thoughts on “BBQ, Big Brown and Burgoo”

  1. Getting Lucky in Kentucky!!! (I just needed to say that). I too have spent many a many many many drives through Louisville in my life en route to IL and if we ever stopped, it was for White Castles. White Castles. The closest White Castle to where I live is Corbin, Kentucky. Okay, you needed to know that. But anywhoo. Going to Kentucky now. Join me for a Mint Julep?!


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