Westward Bound: LOO-A-VUL

20171228_133638.jpgWe wound our way through the width of Virginia and into the Appalachian Mountains descending from the heights of West Virginia into Kentucky.

We took turns throughout the day listening to Podcasts, coloring and playing Mario Odyssey, while the harnessed kitties wandered around the backseat exploring the world as it flashed by their windows.

We arrived in Louisville with 9.5 hours of our 25-hour trek down and after checking into our hotel, we headed into town for some dinner.

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Back in May 2016, we had the pleasure of visiting Louisville to celebrate our friend Billy’s third decade. On that particular trip we partook in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and found some great little spots that quickly become our Louisville favorites.

Our first stop was to one of those favorite places – Garage Bar – for some meatballs, butternut squash pizza and a glass of Special Selection Woodford Reserve on the rocks.

We would have enjoyed a game of outdoor ping pong, but it was bitterly cold on this post-Christmas eve, and so we settled for briskly walking down the street to a little cocktail lounge called Taj for a Christmas-sy bourbony cocktail.

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Full and sleepy, we called it a night, only to rise early in the morning to grab some Thursday brunch at Toast before visiting the Muhammad Ali Center.

Yes, Muhammad Ali was from Louisville. And a trip to the award-winning center is well worth your while.

We only had an hour and a half before check out and we barely made it through the three floors. In facts, there is a whole section we could have spent hours cozied up in leather lounge chairs watching the full reels of his fights.

IMG_20171228_133109_953.jpgI must admit, the center was far more of an emotional experience than I anticipated. The center guides visitors through Muhammad Ali’s rise as a young, dedicated, but somewhat troubled fighter to a champion and spiritual and cultural leader.

It transports you through the America’s tumultuous past and is inspiring to realize the powerful impact a single person can have on so many lives.

The center focuses on Ali’s core principles:┬áConfidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. We left the center feeling humbled, introspective, and inspired.

We returned to the hotel to scoop our four-legged companions and began the trek through Indiana and Illinois to Saint Louis, Missouri.

 

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