Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Louisville Recap: Day Two

Day one of our Louisville trip was a success. We got to sip some bourbon and see the Kentucky countryside. Luckily we were able to set up the tent without a hitch, and just before the rain came...

So, what did I think of my first night officially camping? Not bad! Setting up the tent was pretty easy, as was inflating the air mattress. Keeping the air mattress inflated was a different story. Due to a hole in the mattress (that we didn't find until the last night) the air mattress would completely deflate after about three hours or so. So every couple hours we'd wake up on the stiff ground, get up, and inflate the mattress again. Not the most enjoyable experience, but we managed. All other aspects of camping were awesome! Outside, under the stars. The rain wasn't too bad and our campground was clean and fairly quiet. Plus we managed to get one of the more secluded spots in the campground, away from all the RVs and brood of children!

Day two started off bright at early. After our showers, we headed 30 minutes north to downtown Louisville. As planned we went to Proof on Main for breakfast.

Proof is the restaurant located in the 21c hotel. I think when Antoine and I go back to Louisville this is where we'll be staying. It's kind of pricey, but I think it's worth the price. 21c hotel is a boutique hotel that houses a fairly large museum full of contemporary art and a restaurant (Proof) that displays featured exhibits as well. Plans are in the works to put a 21c hotel in downtown Cincinnati (and in Austin, as well).

For breakfast at Proof I got the hazelnut french toast (pictured above)...YUM! Antoine got the biscuits and gravy which was also quite tasty!

After breakfast we explored the hotel's art museum. I was surprised by how extensive it was. There was an excellent blend of various types of art: interactive, pop art, photographs, black light, mixed media, etc.

Following our delicious breakfast and our tour of 21c's museum we made our way over to the Louisville Slugger museum just down the street.

We lucked out again (like at Maker's) and happened to be there on a day that bats were in production. It was an interesting tour and I think Antoine really enjoyed it!

Next up, the Belle of Louisville...
One of the last remaining original river steamboats still in operation. We took a sightseeing tour; they also offer lunch and dinner cruises (but I had read on trip advisor that the food wasn't very good).

It was a nice, fairly sunny evident from the sunburn I got while standing in line to board.

It was a relaxing two hour ride along the river. We managed to get two seats at the back of the boat under the shade. The sights, besides for the city skyline, weren't that great, but it was relaxing.

Louisville skyline

After the Belle of Louisville we started walking toward the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, the next stop on our list, when we spotted a sign at the Kentucky Center for a Swell Season concert that night. The price of tickets was a bit high, but as we were leaving we noticed this...

An Art-o-Mat! I had heard about these; old, retired cigarette machines that have been transformed into one-of-a-kind art machines. (Our conservator had told me about them, and mentioned that a fellow book artist in Cincinnati attempted to start up her own that sold one-of-a-kind miniature books, but sadly her attempts were unsuccessful).

Discovering this was probably my favorite unplanned happening of our trip! For $5 you could buy your own piece of art that came in a cigarette sized box! I, of course, could not pass this up!

We chose this little guy, listed as a lavendar scented Wee Monster by Anne Thalheimer. I think these Art-o-Mats are such a great idea. After pursuing their website, I discovered that that is the only art-o-mat in Kentucky and sadly enough, there's only one in Ohio (and it's not in Cincinnati)! I think Cincinnati really need to get one, so I can come buy some art every week!

Next up was the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. I think this might have been my favorite non-food related planned activity of our trip! The museum was cheap...$5 for adults and free to students (confession: Antoine and I still have our student ids and we use them to get student prices...we're bad people, I know!). Anyway, the museum has a cool gift shop filled with lots of goodies and two levels of exhibit space.

There were several exhibits involving glass, including glass sculptures, glass vessels, and... jewelry.

Then there was an additional exhibit of the handprinted art of Cricket Press. There were about 70+ handprinted gig-posters and art prints created by the duo at Cricket Press. I had never heard of them before, but immediately fell in love with their style!

These two were two of my favorites, although it was difficult to narrow it down with some many interesting prints! I wanted one so badly (and still do)!

After the Art and Craft museum we started walking down Main St. toward Glassworks (our next stop) when we saw a group of people gathered around this large disco ball thing...

It turned out to be part of the Louisville Science Center. We decided to pass on the Science Center (we had Glassworks on the mind), but we still had a little fun before leaving!

Too much fun!

By the time we made it to Glassworks they had already started their last tour of the day, but we were able to go into a room adjacent to the gift shop and view the glassblowing studio through a window. A couple of people were blowing glass vases while we were there and it was so fun to watch.

The gift shop was also pretty interesting, with a variety of glass items for sale, from earrings to sculptures! Beautiful and pricey!

After a long, hot day walking around Louisville, Antoine and I were ready to go back to the campground and relax on a blanket in the grass. Plus, by that time I had a major headache and was in desperate need of some Advil and a pudgy pie or two.

First up, Antoine made some pizza pudgy pies...yum!

Then some delicious blueberry pudgy pies...complete with powdered sugar!! Delicious, and a perfect way to end a great day!

Stayed tuned for Day Three tomorrow!

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