Friday, December 21, 2012

#326 Loving Louisville

Last weekend I attended the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. I have driven by Louisville probably 100 times and have always thought it looked like a nice place to visit. I was right!

Here are just some of the daily highlights from my trip:

  • Walking down 4th Street listening to Christmas music on large speakers on every street corner. I walked and sang out loud and enjoyed the sights. Which included…
  • Seeing Karch Kiraly walk past me. He is a commentator for ESPN and worked the NCAA matches. I met him at a beach tournament in my 20s and he’s still got it.
  • Seeing all the other tall men and women walking around. I was amazed at how many tall women I saw around town. That were my age and probably have daughters playing volleyball now. I even had an usher at the Yum! Center ask me if my daughter was playing in the tournament.
  • Watching great volleyball matches that night – the semifinals pairing Michigan vs. Texas and Penn St. vs. Oregon. Although the Big 10 did not fare well…

  • Touring Churchill Downs on a beautiful, sunny day.
  • Having a funny elevator meeting with a cute guy: I was headed to Churchill Downs and a tall, cute guy got on the hotel elevator while I was on my way downstairs. We chatted about the previous day’s matches and the doors opened so I followed him out. I took about four steps and realized it was not the floor I wanted. I laughed and said, “This isn’t my floor!” and got back on the elevator. Whoops!
  • Meeting Phil and Michelle at Yafa Café (a Mediterranean restaurant on 4th Street) for a late lunch. There’s nothing like enjoying a great meal al fresco with great friends (and on a beautiful, sunny day). They also enjoyed some hookah. I did not partake.
  • Meeting Phil and Michelle’s friends (Terry and Kelly, David and Sarah) and having another great meal at El Mundo.

  • Seeing Diana: A Celebration at the Frazier History Museum. Very cool! I was mostly struck by seeing her childhood memorabilia. She had things that I had growing up – a diary, ceramic animals, scrapbooks. Looking at all of those things and reading about her early life really humanized her (although she always came across as very down to earth anyway) and made me conscious of the fact that deep down we’re all pretty much the same despite her fame and fortune.
  • Driving to the Zappos/6PM outlet!! Michelle called me after I was done with the Diana exhibit and said they were driving to the outlet in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. At first I said no (I certainly don’t need any more shoes). A minute later I called her back and they picked me up across from the statue of David. (Yowza!) I walked out with four pairs of shoes for $90. Everything was an additional 70 percent off!! My shoes ranged from $6 to $38 (and that pair was originally $158).
  • Dinner at Troll Pub Under The Bridge. There is a very cool pub on Washington Street across from the Yum! Center. Local, great food (I had the shepherd’s pie) and you can’t beat the location. Michelle and Phil’s Indy friends Alicia and Matt joined us for dinner and the championship match.
  • Seeing the women’s volleyball championship match. It was a quick one (Texas won in three straight sets) but was still fun. The sweepers were a sight to see and I got to see Karch again. And Kerri Walsh-Jennings was there too. I missed her autograph session (busy eating at the Troll) but got to see her at a halftime presentation. Another tall woman out there at 6’3”!

Overall I loved Louisville and plan to go back soon! 

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