After very much deliberation, we chose Cincinnati to be our destination for our anniversary trip this year!
Instead of doing gifts, we prefer going somewhere together to celebrate. For our first year, we went to Niagara Falls and for the second year, we went to Cleveland. It definitely feels like we have almost tapped out all the closer cities so we need to go farther and farther for somewhere we haven't been before. But this is one of my favourite traditions of ours and I don't want to stop any time soon. Mike is such a wonderful travel partner and we both truly enjoy the longer car rides together.
Cincinnati is about 7 hours away by car but our first stop was Louisville so it took a couple extra hours. We left at 4:30 in the morning and arrived around 2pm. The original plan was to leave at 6 but I can never sleep before a big day so I was up at 2am even after going to bed at midnight. I skyped my grandparents while getting ready (there's a 6 hour difference so it was 8am in Poland) and they suggested I wake Mike up as soon as I am ready so that we can hit the road early. And that I did! I hid Mike's phone so he couldn't check the time and told him it was time for him to wake up and get ready. Mean wife or efficient wife? He wasn't mad, and we beat some of the Detroit morning traffic so I think it was a good decision. Thanks Dziadek!
I was so excited to see Kentucky! I have driven through in the past but never stopped to take in the sights. I love to explore and see as many new places as possible so this was a nice treat.
Louisville was such a beautiful city with gorgeous older buildings. We don't have too many nice historical buildings in my local city so I went a little picture crazy. I have a thing for architecture. If I could do things over, I may choose to be an architect as a career.
I also quickly learned Louisville is not pronounced Loo-ee-ville, but Loo-uh-vul by the locals. They make it sound like just two syllables. We spent a while practicing but now I know.
Mike was so excited to see the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory, where the most famous baseball bats are produced. We took a tour of the factory and museum where they went over the history of bats and then saw them being made. We got to go right into the area where the wood was cut and painted. It was so cool! And that giant bat in front was amazing.
About 10 minutes away from the bat factory was my favourite part of our trip -- the Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held. I was so excited to see the location of one of the biggest sporting events attended by some of the most important celebrities! They had a little museum section where you can see (and try on) some fancy hats, the jockeys' uniforms and a great movie that covers some history and what the day of the derby looks like. We saw where the horses stay and of course, the track. The tour guide was super nice and knowledgeable. It's such a grand-feeling place and exceeded my expectations! I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area. I'd love to go to see an actual race one day. Bucket list!
After the Churchill Downs, we drove through the University of Louisville campus to see where the baseball and basketball teams play. They are in the same conference as Mike's favourite team, UNC, so he wanted to check out the school.
At the end of our super long and busy day, we stopped for dinner at a popular student restaurant, called Griff's. While there, Mike spotted a couple basketball players that he recognized as rivals of UNC. I, of course, had no idea but they were Terry Rozier and Mangok Mathiang. Apparently Rozier is set to play in the NBA this year! We were too shy to ask for a photo but it was exciting nevertheless.
Since this is already really long, let's stop here for now. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!