Bourbon — betting — and beer!! State number 22, Kentucky — and my college roommate, Carolyn! — showed us a great time. We came just in time for the Keeneland Spring Meet, and made a stop at the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery.
Woodford Reserve was beautiful. The whole drive in from the highway was full of rolling, green hills, winding fences, and gorgeous horse farms. Our tour guide was great and we got to see the mash room, their huge copper pot stills, and the building that houses thousands of barrels and aging bourbon.
Next — we were off to the races!! Keeneland was a cool mix of very casually-dressed people who go there just to bet (and know the whole science and method behind it) and dressed-up and half-drunk people who were just happy to be there and drink Keeneland Breezes. We lucked out with gorgeous weather, but Carolyn and I both lost nominal amounts of money betting on the horses with the biggest butts.
We also found time for visit a few breweries (West Sixth and Mirror Twin). Mirror Twin had a Cinnamon Toast Crunch beer that was so delicious, it made us very thankful we bring growlers on trips like these! Our last day brought with it a hike at Red River Gorge. Driving through the Gorge was gorge-ous (see what I did there!?) but the hike itself — Indian Staircase — proved to be too difficult/fear-inducing/athletic for everybody but Matt.
Kentucky impressed us, entertained us, and fed us well!!
I ALMOST forgot about our very fast and very WET trip to Louisiana! We visited New Orleans in August, adding the leg onto our last Minnesota visit for about $40 extra per ticket. We had a sweet Air BnB, lots of recommendations, and were excited to drink our way down Bourbon Street!
That was… until the torrential rains started the second we landed. Very long story short, most roads were totally underwater because pumps weren’t working. We ended up on a grassy median in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rivers of water. We couldn’t get to our Air BnB because the roads were closed… and we were all but stranded.
So, we changed in the car and did what we do best… found a BREWERY!! In our two days in Louisiana, we visited with my sorority sister, Ella, and stuffed our faces with beignets.
We also wanted to take a bayou tour, but didn’t want to pay $60 for an ultra-touristy one close to New Orleans. So we drove about an hour away to Houma, had some po boys, and took a tour with Annie Miller’s Son’s Marsh and Swamp Tours. We highly recommend them! The guy who took us on the tour had been doing it for decades and called the alligators by name up to the boat.
Before we left, we made it up to Baton Rouge for Matt to run the LSU track, and he ended up meeting the insanely nice Senior Associate Athletic Director. He showed us all around the inside facility and gave us a preview of the new track they were putting in at the time.
We loved our very rainy stay in Louisiana, but never made it to Bourbon Street. I think that means we’re due for a trip back!!
The third state we visited together, and really our first “vacation”, was a quick trip to Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law! They live near Tampa and basically always have impeccable weather.
AND THEY HAVE A BOAT!! So we got to enjoy the sunshine and walk around on some little islands. I’ve visited plenty of times before, so it was fun showing Matt around the area.
Our visit to Tampa cost us $180 each round trip for flights. A good deal, but before we learned the tricks to getting them for really cheap. This was really the trip that sparked our idea to visit all 50 together!
I visited Anclote Brewing a few years ago, but this trip, Matt got to run a track!
Thanks for reading about our latest adventure!!
You can check out our full list of breweries and tracks in every state we’ve visited.
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-Devin and Matt