Last fall, we decided to go crazy and drive 10 hours each way to Louisville over a weekend with a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old.
No, really we wanted to be there because my aunt and uncle had just moved there, and the family was gathering to celebrate my grandpa’s 90th birthday. He is a total inspiration in his life and we wanted to be a part of that celebration.
We headed out on Thursday, and broke up the trip by staying the night in St. Louis (a 6 hour drive).
Of course, we didn’t decide this until the last minute, so Wednesday night, there we were, trying to book an Airbnb that would fit all four of us. We stayed the night with an eclectic guy who was renovating his historic brownstone-type building. He was into Renaissance re-enactments, video games and his mandolin. I was petrified the kids were going to break something in his house, but we survived. He even made us breakfast in the morning, which was sweet.
After that, we stopped briefly at the St. Louise Zoo, which is free, and totally makes it worth popping in to see a tiger or two.
It was cool and first thing in the morning, so a lot of the animals were out and about, which was really fun. Then we made the rest of the way to my uncle’s house.
We enjoyed dinner together with the family, and after the kids settled down in the basement, we watched a video my aunt had put together chronicling my grandpa’s life. It started from before he met my grandma when he served in the Foreign Service in Israel and Jordan, to when he met her in Greece, to the little house they settled in in Miami (when my mom was born!), to another house in Miami and the appearance of my uncle and then my aunt, to another move to north Florida where he worked for the state tax commission, then finally through retirement in St. Augustine, and the little Victorian house that he and my grandma built, where he still lives today. It was a meaningful time to celebrate his life and our family.
And then my uncle showed us Megan Trainor’s “All About the Bass” video.
The next day we took a picnic to the Ohio River near downtown, where an old railroad bridge is now a pedestrian walkway.
We walked across to Indiana, enjoying the crisp fall weather. (Well, some of us walked. Until my aunt and uncle rode up on this bike contraption.)
There was a playground by where we had lunch, so the kids enjoyed that. (And grandma and grandpa, right?)
We then headed to Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held, checked out the museum and toured the grounds.
After that, it was time to head home for a birthday dinner for Grandpa!
The next morning, we packed up early and headed back home. It was a long drive, and the baby screamed most of the last hour, but we made it. And while we were there for just one full day, it was well worth it.