Just before Suzanne moved to Kentucky in 2001, she was chatting with someone on a plane and when he asked where she lived she said, “California for now, but in just a few weeks I’ll be moving to Louisville, Kentucky”. Not knowing any better, she pronounced it “Lewie-ville, Kentucky”. The very nice man turned to her and said, “I think they call it Loo-uh-vuhl.”
The kind stranger on the plane was right. It’s not pronounced Lewie-ville. And it’s definitely not pronounced Lewis-ville. It’s pronounced Loo-uh-vuhl. In order to say it correctly you kind of have to swallow the “vuhl”. Go ahead, say it aloud a few times: Loo…uh…vuhl. Loo…uh…vuhl. There, if we’ve done nothing else for you through this blog, we’ve at least taught you how to correctly pronounce the name of Kentucky’s largest city: Loo-uh-vuhl.
When last we wrote we were heading east out of Missouri across southern Illinois and Indiana, heading straight for Louisville, Kentucky. To answer a few unanswered questions from last time: No, we did not reunite with Jody and crop top girl. And no, we did not have to buy bigger clothes (at least not yet) to compensate for all of the eating we did in Missouri. We did, however, find a bar in Louisville that was apparently named after one of our dogs: Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.
Of course we took pictures of anything and everything that had the words “Molly” and “Malone” on it and then we asked if they sold t-shirts. They only had a few in stock but they told us to come back the next day and visit the Celtic store next door which sold a lot more of their merchandise. So we did and now we both have “Molly Malone” t-shirts and know where to buy more Molly Malone swag when we need it. Don’t worry, Wylie, we’ll find something named after you before this trip is over.
Kevin was actually only in Louisville for a short period of time. He flew out a few days after we arrived so he could attend a bachelor party in Oregon for our friend Josh. Before he left he made sure Suzanne and the dogs were situated comfortably in an RV park where they could hunker down for a few days. There weren’t many options though. We spent the first night at Deam Lake State Recreation Area in Indiana, which was beautiful but remote. We were able to back the RV right up to the lake, which is obviously ideal, but it was way outside of the city and only a few of the few hundred spots were taken, making it feel a bit isolated for a gal and her dogs. Suzanne opted for the Louisville Metro KOA, which wasn’t much more than an asphalt parking lot, but it was close to downtown and she had a very nice RV neighbor who happened to be from Seattle!
While Suzanne was in Louisville she enjoyed visiting people and places that meant something to her when she lived there. She and her friend Joe met for breakfast one morning at The Blue Dog Cafe, where they often met when Suzanne lived in Louisville. She was a horse carriage driver at the time, which meant lots of afternoon and evening shifts. She met Joe one morning in a coffee shop while doing some writing and they have been friends ever since. She saw Joe a few times during this trip and finally had a chance to meet his beautiful daughter, Natasha, and the newest member of the family, Joe’s adorable grandson Ellis.
Suzanne was also looking to do a little running while she was in town and discovered that The Color Run was happening that Sunday morning. She heard about The Color Run a few months back when it was taking place in Seattle but she wasn’t able to participate. So she headed over to packet pick-up at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville the night before the race and signed herself up. What’s The Color Run, you ask? It’s a 5K where everyone is supposed to wear a white t-shirt and along the route there are color stations where volunteers douse the participants with colored powder. Suzanne still isn’t exactly sure what the powder consists of, but according to The Color Run’s website: “All products are 100% natural and safe. You can eat the stuff if you’d like (we have tried it and don’t suggest it, it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste).” Suzanne didn’t try to eat it so she can’t vouch for its taste, but she did have a great time running a random race with 8,000 strangers while a few hundred other random strangers threw colored powder at her. And really, she’ll look for any excuse to rock a side ponytail, colored powder or no colored powder. It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
You’ve heard enough about what Suzanne was doing, we should also tell you what Kevin was doing during this time. While Kevin was in Oregon he — wait a minute — isn’t there some sort of ‘man code’ where what happens in Oregon stays in Oregon? We really can’t talk about what Kevin did while he was in Oregon or what happened at the bachelor party. All you need to know is that he arrived back in Louisville late one evening with money in his pocket, which is surprising since they went to a casino (twice!) and we left the next morning for Ohio. He was tired and slightly hungover but otherwise none the worse for wear.
Ohio wasn’t originally on the list of states to visit but we put it on the list because we wanted to see our friends Steve and Julia. Kevin met Steve several years ago when they were both into dirt biking (yes, that’s right ladies, he’s smart and outdoorsy). The two hit it off right away and a lifelong friendship was born. Kevin and Steve were roommates at some point, Steve helped Kevin remodel our current house, the two have done some great backpacking trips together and Steve made a very smart decision when he proposed to his girlfriend, Julia. We’re both big fans. Steve and Julia are now married and they have a beautiful daughter named Emma. When they offered to let us park in their driveway we knew we were re-routing through Ohio.
Steve and Julia live on a farm in Camden, Ohio and their closest neighbor happens to be a llama. The llama’s job is to protect the sheep from coyotes. For some reason the llama got a little feisty when he saw Molly and Wylie. We can’t figure out if he thought the dogs were a threat or if he thought Wylie was one of his sheep and was worried that Wylie had escaped from the pasture. We can see the resemblance: a sheep is round, white and fluffy; Wylie is round, white and fluffy. However, we assured the llama that all was well and he was doing a fine job and had not misplaced one of his sheep.
When we left Ohio we headed back west into Indiana. But before we left we were given a delicious care package. Farm-to-table restaurants may be all the rage now in some parts of the country, but when we left Camden we were given a farm-to-RV care package. Among the delicious items in our care package were organic carrots, garlic, tomatoes and basil from the farm, as well as eggs from their free-range chickens. Thank you Steve and Julia!
The drive to Indianapolis was an easy one. We headed west on I-70 for a short time and then Kevin went out that night with a few friends and former co-workers. We had planned to stay in Indianapolis only one night but we were comfortable at the overflow lot for the Indiana State Fairgrounds and decided to stay one more. The state fair was just about to start when we rolled into town and we enjoyed hearing from our neighbors about the upcoming shows for their rabbits, pigs and other animals. When we left one morning before the fair had even officially gotten underway they just couldn’t understand it. “You’re leaving, now!?”
From Indianapolis we headed north to Chicago where we rendezvoused with the infamous Ken Mooney. We’ll pick up there in our next blog post. We’re still a little bit behind with our blogging because we’ve been too busy living the dream to take time to write every day, but we’ll get to it eventually. For now we would like to leave you with this scene we discovered outside a church in Ohio. We like to call him “underwear bicycle man”. And again, this was outside a church, in rural Ohio, and it was a mannequin on a bicycle wearing nothing but his unmentionables. We’ll see you on down the road.