Thursday, April 5, 2012

Honey, We're Home!

Warning! Lots of vacation photos!

After an uneventful and perfectly paced series of flights, we got home late Sunday night and hit the floor running! Which I was able to do and which delights me more than you can possibly imagine! Me. Hitting the floor running. Me. Yes, me! I never thought I'd ever be able to do that again. Thank you greens! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! When we got to Louisville, we quickly found a Whole Foods store and stocked me up with greens!

We had such a fantastic vacation this year! Really, I can't remember a vacation where I've felt as good - not in 5 or 6 years at least. I'm so happy about that. I didn't have to take rest breaks while everyone else was having fun. How wonderful! So we had a pretty jam-packed stretch of days. We'd leave the hotel in the morning and usually wouldn't get back until late in the evening.

We found this Tim Horton's in Columbus while we were there for a lacrosse game. Nora LOVED Tim Horton's when she visited here so that's where we stopped for lunch before the game. Interesting to note that this Tim Horton's was a little more up-scale than the ones I'm familiar with.  There was a fireplace and very nice, modern lounge chairs. Swanky. That's Nora (Luke's girlfriend) and Crombie (Arden's girlfriend, who was visiting from Saskatoon) in front of Timmy's. They joined us for the road trip to and from the game. We had a lot of fun with them.

We watched two lacrosse games and since Luke (#10) wasn't playing, we watched some practices. Luke is cleared to play - he's recovered from his concussion - but he and his coach have decided to "red shirt" him, meaning he won't play this year but will play a full season next year. And since Luke had planned on going back for a semester next year anyway to complete a second degree, he'll just stay for a full year instead. While it's hard to not be out there on the field right now, I know he's looking forward to getting in a full season next year. That's Luke at the far left in the t-shirt instead of a jersey.

While Bellarmine had disappointing loss to Ohio State they came aggravatingly close to winning against Fairfield. It was tied up until Fairfield scored in the last seconds of the game. Natch.

After the game parents, players, and friends went to Shenanigans, the local pub that the boys typically congregate at, for drinks and to secure a spot to watch the big basketball game. It was crazy to be in Louisville for the Final Four game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville!  A match between the two rivals hadn't happened at this level since sometime in the 70's.  Exciting!  University of Kentucky won the game and, this past Tuesday, beat Kansas to win the whole thing.

A loving father and son moment outside of Shenanigans. And Arden, of course, who is like a son to us.

The weather was fantastic while we were there. It was unseasonably warm for there, too. Spring was about a month ahead of time. In fact, it was more like summer! Hot days, warm evenings. What's not to love about that?!

I was a bit disappointed that we had missed most of the magnolia blooms but, on the other hand, we saw so many other beautiful blooming trees that we hadn't seen before.

Louisville having a French history means there are fleur de lis everywhere. I love that!

We found some nice eateries. NamNam Cafe, a newish Vietnamese eatery, was very, VERY good.  Ingredients were, as much as possible, locally sourced, and were fresh, organic, and wonderfully prepared.  And inexpensive, too. This is the Vietnamese sub that Myles had. All of our food was good and beautifully presented. Go there if you're ever in Louisville!

We had a very fun night, across the river in New Albany, Indiana at a Cuban restaurant called Habana Blues in the Market area. We mostly ordered many tapas and shared them guided by an excellent waiter. Our table was outside in a little bricked terrace area with a big fountain in the middle. Lovely and fun! Luke, Nora, and Arden were with us.

While Kevin and I waited for Luke to get his hair cut, Kevin and I stopped for a drink and a bit at O'Shea's Irish Pub. How nice to sit outside along Baxter Street (an extension of Bardstown Road all of which is much like our Broadway but longer and with a whole lot more pubs and restaurants) in a pretty courtyard ... again with a nice, big fountain.

Bellarmine University is such a pretty little campus and is in the beautiful Highlands area of the city.  The house Luke, Arden, Myles, and Cam rent is less than half a block from campus! They don't know how easy they have it! The photo of their house isn't a fair indication of the area they live in. The area is just so lovely. Even the small houses usually look charming and on the some of the streets the houses are positively grand! They're also a short distance from Bardstown Road, which is the best place for restaurants, bars, and shopping.

Luke's house above. This is the house right next door. The neighbours are very nice and very good to the boys. As you can see, blooms were abundant!

Kevin took some time to get together with his fish nerd friend, who just happens to live in Louisville and another fish nerd friend from Europe just happened to be visiting, too. Kevin was thrilled.  I was able to get to one of the two quilting shops I had hoped to visit and I came away with a little bit of fabric and some much coveted Aurifil thread. Now I can see what the buzz is all about.

Nora, Luke's girlfriend, usually has track practice while Luke has lacrosse practice so we were able to see them both doing their thang!  Nora does high jump and hurdles. She badly bruised her ankle while high jumping on the day we were watching and then she had to spend some time icing her ankle. She was able to compete in the meet in Cincinnati the following weekend and did very well, too ... with a 2nd place in high jump.

This is the first time we've been to Louisville since Jack, Luke's coach, died. We really missed seeing him there. It was nice to see the many dedications to him around the lacrosse field and the poster of him in the locker room.

Here's Luke's locker and a poster of him on the wall, too.

We had some time on Sunday with Luke and Nora before we had to leave for the airport so we took them downtown to see the 21C Hotel. They're not far from downtown and yet they've never seen it! Here we are playing with the falling letters.

In this photo you can better see how when you see us with the falling letters you are just seeing our reflections. It's fascinating to watch the letters fall and gather on our heads and limbs. See how they're caught on Luke's outstretched arms?

I was definitely not ready to come home. If you ever get the chance to visit Louisville, Kentucky, DO! I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it.
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