Olmstead, Craft Beer and THE Derby: Louisville, KY

View of Louisville from Indiana

Once again, I feel like I should just write every blog post with a header that says: "Sorry I'm a jerk and don't post when I'm busy living so that I can have stuff for y'all to read about" but at the same time, I feel like the people who would be reading this would understand. Get over it and go devour your life a little.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I went to Louisville, KY a few weeks ago to see my friend Chelsea. I went to spend some major girl time with her before I started my new job and I was SHOCKED at how much I LOVE Louisville. I've been before, a lot when I was little and a few years ago for Derby (but let's face it, I was semi-black out the majority of that trip), but I never got to see the best parts of town. Thanks to Chelsea, I was able to see most of Louisville's coolest sites, and not the cheesy ones you would think of like the Slugger museum. 

Garage Bar
The first day I got there it was pretty late in the afternoon (got stuck in a rain storm after I left a bridal shower) but I still managed to make it in 6 hours from Atlanta. May or may not have been driving like a bat straight out of hell but meh...the road was summoning me. The drive on the way up is beautiful. I went through Nashville and passed all sorts of cliffs, waterfalls, and lakes. If you're looking for a good drive, this is one of them. I am not a good person to have in the car for more than 4 hours at a time however so by the time I got to Chelsea's house, her little doll house was very welcoming. She is known for being a shabby chic goddess so I wasn't surprised to find her living in this adorable little section of town in a pink shotgun house with peonies out front. Uh, can I move in?! 

We hugged it out and she gave me the tour and we hit up Garage Bar in NuLou (I totally could have just butchered how locals spell it but it's basically this little revamped section of town) for dinner. We split a sausage and broccoli pizza that was pretty amazing and she introduced me to this amazing lavender lemonade with vodka. If I hadn't already ordered another really good local IPA, I'd have gotten crunk off my ass on those. Coolest part, this place has glow in the dark ping pong tables at night and benches that look like hedges (they're really astroturf so my inner white trash felt pretty happy about that too). 
The next day we went to the church where she works and I got to meet all the amazing people she works with and has made a surrogate family out of. I have to give it to them, I've never met more welcoming people and a cooler group of parents. Living in Atlanta where everybody's pretty career driven, I don't see babies/toddlers that often, but Louisville boasts some pretty sick moms and kids alike. I wanted to take all the hipster babies home with me...but I didn't. All those laws about crossing state lines with minors. Pish tosh. Anyway, we had lunch after church at this place called Eiderdown. I almost can't even tell you about it. ZOMG all I'm going to say is there are bacon bits IN their burgers. Just. Go. We spent the rest of the afternoon antiquing and driving around looking at the different neighborhoods and parks-I was stunned at the amount of statues around that city, absolutely amazing. 
We went to this awesome little antique store called YesterNook that is in a re-purposed funeral home (which most would think was creepy but it worked for what it was). I ended up finding two end tables, sterling silver salt and pepper shakers and a matching lighter (they all look like the mugs in 'The Santa Clause' when Tim Allen is pouring himself hot cocoa in the sleigh), several coke trays for Charley, and a few other small things. If you're looking for fun and affordable antiques, Louisville > Atlanta. I noticed almost everything is cheaper there. We spent the rest of the night hanging with some of Chelsea's friends. She made the most amazing Caesar salad on the planet. I tried recreating it last week...let's just say Charley and I ended up eating Doritos for dinner instead. Later that night, the Chelsea and I and two of her wonderful friends drove over the river to Indiana to see the city at night where we also saw a racoon do business getting into the park's trash can. 
Monday, we woke up and went for a walk in Cherokee Park (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead) and went shopping in NuLou. Chelsea took me to this little place called Scout-AMAZING jewelry, scarves, Hobo bags, art...it's just really neat. I ended up buying myself the softest scarf on the planet for only $22! We also went to Please and Thank You, a little coffee bar that had one of the top 10 best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had...and a super fun barista that had a harmonica tattooed on her bicep.

There's another shop called Why Lou? and it has all this crazy/kitschy Louisville paraphernalia. I got a silver plated mint julep glass and Chelsea surprised me with a t.shirt that had the Belle of Louisville (a famous riverboat because I'm a transpo nerd) on it and a fleur de lis sticker for the adventure wagon which I can now proudly say is on my back right window. The store also had a mannequin of the KFC Colonel who was actually wearing the original suit. No you can't touch it. 

That night we had dinner at this place called The Silver Dollar. It's very new urbanist cantina and the staff was really nice. The ribs however, caused me to wish I owned stock in Tums...are they a publicly traded company? I should look into who owns them. Moving on! They said the ribs weren't spicy...3 words: The bitches lied. I cried my way through them and about 4 beers. 
Real women don't use a napkin til the job's done.
The next morning, Chelsea had to be at work early and I needed to go pick up the tables I had bought at YesterNook. She directed me to go get breakfast at Nord's Bakery and if I wanted a coffee, Sunegros which is next door to Nord's. I bypassed the coffee since I don't drink it but I've heard that place is voted one of the top 15 coffee places in the country. Nord's on the other hand...it got real real. I got a Boston Creme that pretty much changed my life. There was a cute little old man behind me in line that was getting his weekly box of donuts and I was in such a good mood, I bought his order too. Thank god for easy pay it forward moments when restaurants have card minimums.
Overall, Louisville was an awesome trip and I can't wait to go back. If you ever get a chance to go on an East Coast road trip, Louisville should definitely be one of your stops. I will have another post coming soon about what Charley and I did in Key West and another about some of the estate sales we've been hitting up recently. Keep checking in and thanks again for forgiving me for being a completely neglectful poop sometimes.


  1. I am SO offended that it took you so long to post. KIDDING! If I wasn't the size of an elephant right now I would climb in your hobo bag and go on an adventure with you somewhere. Again, you've made me jealous of your trip. I've never been to Louisville, but now I WANT to go...yesterday! Since that's not possible, I'm just going to sit over here and live vicariously through you for a little bit longer. Can't wait to read about Key West.

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