Monday, May 3, 2010
Roadtrippin' to Kentucky
On Thursday April 29th, 2010 I embarked on one of the greatest trips of my life. Six of my friends and I rented an RV and headed to Louisville, Kentucky to watch the first leg of the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby also known as "The Run for the Roses". The Kentucky Derby is known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports" and the attendance could back that statement up as Churchill Downs becomes a gigantic party.
The trip to Louisville took around 11 hours as we only stopped for gas. The RV ride down there got pretty rowdy, only to be followed by complete mayhem. Once we settled into our camp site we headed over to Louisville's hottest night spot: Fourth Street Live. Fourth Street Live is Louisville's premiere dining, entertainment, and retail destination situated in the heart of this historic town. We went to Fourth Street every night we were there and every night it got better. Fourth Street Live reminded me of a mini-bourbon street.
Thursday night we stumbled in and out of a few bars including Howl at the Moon, Makers Mark Bourbon House and Lounge, and Saddle Ridge. Howl at the Moon is a dueling piano bar that kept us dancing with old classics and new favorites. I knew Howl at the Moon was a good time as I visited one of their many locations down in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm a sucker for live music, so I loved this venue especially because the pianist take requests.
We left the Howl at the Moon to check out what other bars Fourth Street had to offer us. We went to Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge for a few drinks. This place seemed a little too classy for us at the time, but being in bourbon country- we had to check it out. This place had a very chic and sexy vibe going down. One couldn't help but notice the beautiful wood bar outlined in marble and back lit with soft white lighting. The bar was stocked with over 60 Kentucky distilled bourbons that made any bourbon connoisseur's mouth water.
Saddle Ridge was our next destination as we hopped around fourth street. Boasting the wildest staff in town with a western ambiance, Saddle Ridge was quite the place to party as patrons danced to their favorite rock, country, and top 40 tracks. We ended up at Saddle Ridge every night as the late night dance party was hard to beat. Just remember if random cowboys start a fight, don't try to break it up because you will also get thrown out (sorry Matt).
The night probably should have ended there, but my buddy Matt and I thought we'd take advantage of late night bar hours due to derby weekend. The bars were still open for another couple hours as Louisville allows their bar to stay open till 6:30 on derby weekend. Since Matt was kicked out of Fourth Street Live for the night, we started walking around town to find our next spot. We made friends with a native "louisviller" who brought us to this bar down the street. He brought us to this bar/strip club which we didn't stay at very long considering the girl on stage looked like the girl from the precious movie.
We continued to our next bar which was another strip club. This strip club wasn't AS bad as the first one, but still a sad excuse for a strip club. I'll be the first to admit that strip clubs aren't my scene, but GET IT TOGETHER KENTUCKY. The night ended with trips to both White Castle and McDonalds--clearly a drunk decision that I regret.
Friday was a beautiful day as my friends didn't allow me to sleep past 10am. We got out the grill and began our tailgate party which lasted the whole weekend. Beer Pong, Corn Hole, and Flip Cup were just some of the games we played.
After tailgating all day, we headed back to Fourth Street Live for some more debauchery. This time we started at The Pub which was an authentic British pub that offered good energy and some delicious BBQ fries. The waitress seemed a bit stunned as we ordered 4 car bombs, 4 shots of Jameson, and 4 beers for 4 people. We also ordered these fries which were topped with cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce. AMAZING.
We then ended up back at Saddle Ridge for the second night. We only stayed a few hours as everyone was beat from the day. This might have been an early night, getting to bed around 4. The flea market/RV park that we stayed at offered some delicious pork butt that proved to great ending to a great night.
We woke up on Saturday and Derby day was upon us. It was raining, but that didn't stop the party as everyone was so pumped for today's festivities. We started with some Patron Citronge and OJ and egg sandwiches. We then moved into drinking games and running keg stands. We headed the derby where the madness was really taking place.
The rain can sometimes ruin events, but I think it enhanced our derby experience. Yeah, it would have been cool to get dressed up and be civilized but getting dirty was just too much fun. Activities such as mud wrestling wouldn't have happened if the rain didn't come, so i'm glad it did. Our tickets were for the infield which is the rowdy party in the center of the track.
While getting rowdy at the track, I enjoyed some classic Kentucky Derby staples such as the Mint Julep and a deep fried turkey leg. Although the turkey leg might have gotten me sick, it was heavenly. Although my bets didn't work out and I ruined some clothes- the derby turned out to be an incredible experience. I think the Kentucky Derby will be a yearly thing! Next time I just have to watch out for flying beer cans which are meant to those daring to make the port-a-potty run.
Saturday night started off with some more drinking games and a small bonfire in the RV parking lot. We went to a another strip club called the Marquee Lounge, which was just as bad as the all the other strip clubs we've gone too thus far. WHY do we still go to these strip clubs when the girls are gross!? O yeah, the girls we were with wanted to go...weird right? As we were about to leave, a special guest walked on staged as the music blasted. A friend of mine thought she could put on a better show as we started to strip. After she fished her pole dancing, we headed out to Fourth Street Live where it wasn't sketchy.
We started off in the street as the DJ played some good tunes. We took the party upstairs to Saddle River as the rest of our friends were there. We started an epic dance party that lasted till early morning hours. I'm pretty sure a photographer on www.pubclub.com will have some pictures of us as he took 10493029403 pictures of the pure insanity.
Fourth Street Live and the Kentucky Derby reminded me of Spring Break without the beach and nicer people. It was wild and worth every penny. I can't wait to do it again next year!