Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Weekend and Idol

Well, we had a fantastic weekend in Lexington, Kentucky. We left early on Thursday from BWI, landing in Louisville (Loo-uh-vull). We rented a car and headed out. We had planned to stop on the way at Woodford Reserve Distillery (Woodford is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby). They have a "Picnic on the Porch" lunch, which we thought we'd check out before taking a tour. Given my penchant for pickiness, I wasn't sure I'd find something I liked, so we stopped for a snack on the way there. For the snack, I had my first White Castle burgers! While they were no Five Guys burgers, they were pretty tasty. I can see why they became Harold & Kumar's objects of obsession. The tour of Woodford was great. We got too see a brief film of the history of bourbon in America, the fermenting tanks, and the distilling machines ("machines" plural - Woodford is triple distilled). Then we saw where it is loaded into the casks, which are rolled to the aging house (it's aged 6-8 years), then the building where it is bottled and labeled. Finally, we went back up to the main house where we got to taste a sample. Naturally, since Chrissy doesn't drink (though she did try a tiny sip), I got two samples! :-) We left Woodford to head back to our hotel. Just next door to the hotel was Malone's Steakhouse. Malone's is one of Tom Horan's Top Ten Steakhouses in America. It is a reputation that is well deserved. The food and service were amazing. I started with the fried mozzarella appetizer (little balls, rather than sticks, of cheese in panko bread crumbs, thick marinara). For the main course, I had the Kobe NY Strip. This was my first experience with Kobe beef and it was delicious. Though, I think I should have gone with the Filet Mignon. The steak came with a house salad (no dressing, natch) and 1 side (the 1-lb. baked potato). Did I mention that I added the lobster tail on the side? Wash it all down with a glass of Fat Bastard Cab and you got yourself a damn tasty meal.

Friday, we met up with our friend Dianna (from Ohio) and made our rounds at the various horse facilities in Lexington. I don't even remember it all (though Chrissy remembers every detail), but it was great. We saw Derby winners (Smarty Jones), Preakness winners (Bernardini), and Belmont winners (Point Given). We saw movie stars (Popcorn Deelites - one of the horses who played Seabiscuit in the movie) and famous sires (Dynaformer - who was Barbaro's father). We actually got to witness a breeding, which was a little weird, but very interesting. We got to see Stormello, who was one of the main reasons we went to Kentucky. We finished up the day going to Old Friends, a home for retired thoroughbreds. We got to get a tour from the President and founder, Michael Blowen! He was a newspaper movie critic until he heard about Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, who got shuffled around until he was killed in a slaughterhouse in Japan in 2002. He then decided to open a "retirement home" for thoroughbred horses. It was very sad to hear about the shape some of these horses were in when they came in, but they are all happy, healthy and very much loved now!

Well, this has taken the better part of my lunch. Since Idol has their whole Idol Gives Back thing tonight, and the elimination show isn't until tomorrow night, I'll wait on the recap of the show until tonight or tomorrow. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me...

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