Babies, Burgers, Baseball, and Bourbon: An Ordinary Afternoon in Louisville

Before we went to the Madonna concert, Chris and I wanted to meet up with some old friends and explore Main St. in downtown Louisville.  What I thought might be an afternoon in the tourist traps ended up being a great time!

Burgers and Baby
We arrived in Louisville around 11:30, so we wanted to meet up with one of my sorority sisters for lunch.  She highly suggested Sidebar, a pub known for it’s bourbon, beer, and burgers.  

After our drive and checking in, we were ready for some burgers!!
 
I hadn't seen Annie in about 15 years, so it was great to catch up!
For lunch I ate the Hung Jury.  It was one of the best burgers I had in quite some time!

I was too busy taking pictures with Gideon to take pics of my lunch.  He highly approved of the zucchini fries !
After catching up, it was time for Gideon to take a nap and time for us to walk off the burgers.  So we headed down Main St. in search of ways to occupy our afternoon.

Baseball
As we started to walk down Main St., I noticed bronze bat and home plate statues lined the street.     
I was really excited to find Stan the Man's bat and plate statue!  Once a Cardinals fan, always a Cardinals fan!
A few blocks later, we bumped into the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  My baseball loving heart was so excited to see how bats were made and wanted a taste of America’s pastime during the off season.
It was hard to miss the world's largest bat outside the factory.  It was modeled after Babe Ruth's bat.
For $14, one can learn how tree trunks are turned into bats.

The tour is extremely informative!  I really liked being able to see each step in the process and being able to hold the bats during each stage of the manufacturing process.

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures on the factory tour, but I was able to snap this pic from the window in front of the factory. 
At the end of the tour, each guest got a complimentary miniature bat! 
Outside the factory tour, we had a great time looking for our favorite players on the signature wall. 

I was really excited to find Ozzie Smith's signature!
After our tour of the factory floor, we caught the 15-minute Heart of the Game movie.  Visitors can also purchase custom bats or they out the bats in the batting cages after the tour.  I highly recommend baseball fans and woodworking junkies visit the factory.  

We were a little tired so we headed back to the hotel. On the way we came upon the Evan Williams Bourbon experience. 

Bourbon
Personally, I’m not a bourbon fan.  However Chris enjoys the stuff, so we stopped at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience to learn how bourbon is made and have a sample of their finest.

I'm not a fan of bourbon, but I thought this two story bourbon fountain was lots of fun!
For $12, we stepped back into Kentucky history and learned how the bourbon industry has shaped the Louisville area.  The movies were a little cheesy, but informative.
Evan Williams only distills one barrel of bourbon in this facility per day, so we learned about the distilling process through a movie and light up signs.

At the end of the tour, we were treated to a bourbon tasting in the Mad Men tasting room.

I'm still not a bourbon fan, but Chris enjoyed his samples. The did give us some chocolate bourbon balls that were divine!
Warning:  At the end of the tour there is a tourist trap gift shop where visitors can buy a $149 bottle of bourbon.  We settled for a less expensive bottle and two tasting glasses.
If you are looking to plan a trip on the bourbon trail, be sure to grab a Bourbon Trail Passport in the lobby of the tour.  If you visit nine of the distilleries you get a free t-shirt!
While I would have liked to see some live distilling action, the experience was fun and educational.  I highly recommend picking up some chocolate bourbon balls in the gift shop.   After our tours, it was time for a disco nap before Madonna!

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