Friday, June 02, 2006

The Lowdown on Louisville

Louisville is the understudy city for this conference - it was meant to be in New Orleans, a much more enticing destination before recent meteorological events. Louisville is perfectly servicable for a conference, with a nice convention center, connected by overhead pedestrian tunnels to many nice hotels (particularly convenient this rainy morning). Downtown is small, clean, and walkable, with many restaurants. Fortunately the food is moderately priced and quite good. There are many international veterinarians at the conference, and I'm sure they are a little disappointed to be in such a small city. At least they are seeing perhaps a more typical part of America than one of the big cities. Its the "Old South, not the Deep South," Enricka's friend Johnathan told her. The accent is subtle and charming.

Not many non-veterinary spouses at this conference. Just not enough locally to go do and see for four days, other than go the the Derby, the Louisville Slugger museum, and drink bourbon.

Yesterday I got to venture out and see a little of Kentucky beyond the 4 square city blocks around the convention. Some former neighbors of ours have moved back home to Kentucky and live 20 minutes from here. They are a really nice family, and their two little girls have turned into tall teenagers. The oldest, Kelly, picked me up with her boyfriend. Our hotel is right on the Ohio river, but unfortunately they built a freeway on the riverbank, so the view is ugly, industrial, and noisy. But driving out to the house, the river is much prettier, and the landscape rolling and pastoral, with many horse farms and open wooden fences (so different than Texas, which is all barbed wire and privacy fences). My friends' new home is in a subdivision with no fences at all, and on very rolling terrain, with a creek going across their front lawn. They have a basement, providing ample storage and another cozy hangout for the teenagers.

They fed me a homecooked meal and we got caught up on each other's lives. They really are a lovely family, and I wish they were still in Texas, though they are obviously very happy to be back home. Kelly and Jeff generously drove me back, too. I got to listen to Hip-hop going and Country music coming back.

The line at Starbuck's was 30 people deep this morning but worth it, for that delicious reliably authentic Latte. Also, I got the last scone!

We are having a good time, hobnobbing and learning from the veterinary medical elite. A Kentucky barbecue is planned for tonight, and after a long day tomorrow, we'll head home.


Daisy said...

My grandmother is from Kentucky, and my mom was born there and spent a lot of time there - Paducah - but I haven't been since I was a child. I'd love to go visit - it sounds so lovely. Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's books?

EdamameMommy said...

I am so laughing at you because you obviously had LOTS of time to use lots of words about a whole lotta nuthin' in that post. Fences and conference, Jenn, you've got way better material for the ol' blog at home. I'm sure they miss you too. Any cadeavor heads or snakes in the hotel you can loop into these reports for heaven's sakes?!!?!

Leah said...

Great comment Edamamemommy...LOL Good thing there hasn't been any snakes at work. We wouldn't know what to do.

Daddy said...

Aaw it wasn't that bad.....the river was snaking along wasn't it?

paula said...

Steph - you make me grin, you really do... so funny!!! XXX

Jennifer said...

Sinda, Kentucky is very beautiful, especially today - sunny cool and breezy, unlike Texas. I brought a Barbara Kindsolver book but haven't had time to read it. The only one of hers I've read is The Poisonwood Bible.

Steph, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy my travel writing. I was trying to mix up the usual snake-and-bodily-fluid talk.

Lisa said...

hahaha: "the river was snaking along wasn't it?". Good one! Hey, Jenn, I think you could work some sort of a snake reference into every post. Some of them could be hidden or hard to find. It would be fun!

Jess said...

Did you know they have chocolate sandwiches in Spain? When my senora told me that I thought of your family - I thought, "Oh, man, Anna and Colin would LOVE a CHOCOLATE "bocadillo" or sandwich!

Well, like your sister said, sounds lot you're really enjoying Kentucky. I laughed out loud when I read your comment about the music in the car. Pretty funny!

I hope you are learning a lot at your conference! :)