For those of you who don't know, Rick Pitino coaches the Louisville men's basketball team. And coached our Boston Celtics for a while. And my mom just loves Louisville basketball and Rick Pitino. Random title for a blog, I know.
So....how is everyone doing? We got some pretty good weather here for our week in Louisville. I really didn't know what to expect from this town, but I can safely say it is one of the few places I really just wish we had some extra time in. Just a wealth of things to see and do, and we barely scratched the surface. But, here's what the week looked like....
Our drive from Columbus was pretty short, so once we got settled in, most of us headed to get groceries to fill our full sized fridges for the week. On Tuesday morning, I brought Austin to the theatre for his weekly piano tuning during load in. The boys and m'am did a promo at the Hard Rock Cafe, which by all accounts was one of the more successful and fun promos they have done in quite a while (picture above). I wish had hadn't missed it, but that didn't stop me from heading to the Hard Rock anyway to get yet another pin for my collection. After walking around a bit, I headed back to the hotel to chill before opening night. We arrived at the theatre as always for orientation, and let me tell you....not only is the Kentucky Center For The Performing Arts a marvel of modern architecture from the outside, the theatre itself was stunning (pictures above). And the crowd LOVED IT. They were attentive, appreciative and loud. Gotta love it. Following the opening performance, we were invited to the Bluegrass Brewing Company for our opening party, and to sample the beer they made especially for us, Jam Session Ale (picture above). It was a great laid back party, and a nice way to celebrate with the cast.
Wednesday morning marked the day I had been waiting for for quite a while....Amy's arrival in Louisville! She came in early that morning amidst a snow storm. And later that afternoon, she, Jam and I headed to the Highland area of Louisville. After a stop at a couple of guitar shops, we had an amazing lunch at Tom & Chee; a grilled cheese restaurant. They even had grilled cheese donut sandwiches....MMMMMMMMMM....I didn't have one, but what I DID have was fantastic. We made a stop at Why Louisville, a little curiosities shop, and got some souvenirs. Then, back to the hotel for me to prepare to go on as Sam! I had about a day's notice, which was great because Amy had never seen me play that role, and I was able to get her tickets. The crowd was pretty amazing that night, and it felt great to be welcomed so warmly.
Thursday was Valentine's Day, and Amy and I had a really pleasant day walking around Old Louisville and taking pictures of the gorgeous houses that surrounded this historic district. Then it was off to dinner at this elegant Italian restaurant, Vincenzo's. Amazing food, impeccable service and an old world feel inside a more modern decor, it made for a fantastic Valentine's dinner.
On Friday, a large group of us including Amy, Ben, Lizzie, Corey, James (along with his wife Tara and their adorable son Sam), Billy, Rosie, David Sonneborn and I headed to one the coolest places I have ever been: the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. We had so much fun walking around and seeing how they go through the process of making bats, and all of the memorabilia they have. I got to handle and swing game-used bats....Mickey Mantle for my mother, and that of Red Sox DH David Ortiz for myself. And if that wasn't great enough, I stepped into the batting cage using the Ted Williams model bat. It had been about 2 years since I had stepped into a cage, but I guess the muscle memory is still there. I hit every pitch. We even got Ben to step in and take some swings. He had a ton of fun, and even smacked a couple! Which is pretty awesome considering he had never hit a baseball before! After the museum, we headed to do a little browsing at an antique store while we waited to be seated at Toast on Market. A quaint and busy little place, but we clearly caught them at a bad time. They were busy, my food was cold and they were running out of everything. When they said they had run out of TOAST....it really just became comical. It was a great day though, and it was really nice for Amy and I to get to spend some quality time with Ben and Lizzie. I love those two.
Saturday morning came early, and Amy and I took a cab out to see Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby! Hard to believe that this May will mark the 139th year; so much history in that building, and so many elegant animals have run on that track. Now, horse racing really isn't my thing, but you HAVE to appreciate being in a place like that. I'm glad we didn't miss it. The museum was quite nice too, and it was a pleasant way to start the day before heading to do two shows. That night, the two of us and Corey headed to the historic Galt House Hotel, and the largest bourbon bar in the world, Jockey Silks. You can't be on the bourbon trail and not sample some local flavor, after all.
I am writing you from the bus as we make our way to Cincinnati this afternoon. I said goodbye to Amy as we headed out, and she is on her way back to Florida....but, she'll be back in Memphis! So, it won't be too long!
I am looking forward to the next city, and to explore yet another city I've never been to! Along with the great sights we saw in Louisville this week, I received a DVD of my show, Walkin' The Line. I have posted quite a few videos on YouTube, so please check them out! Below, you will find links to a couple of my favorites, but please watch the rest!
That's about it for now, but I will be back in another week with news from Da Nati! Have a great week, everyone!