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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XI, October 6-8, 2017

LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XI, October 6-8, 2017

Old Jun 6, 17, 10:35 pm
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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XI, October 6-8, 2017

Dates are set, October 6-8, 2017, for another LEX gathering, to visit Keeneland, horse farms, and bourbon distilleries and enjoy some southern food and hospitality. There may even be a free Bourbon Trail T-shirt involved!

This is Keeneland opening weekend. There is also a home UK football game Saturday, so things will be crowded.

I know that I am disappointing some folks who could only come a different weekend, sorry.

This schedule is to be altered as time goes on.

EVOLVING TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Nothing is mandatory during the whole weekend of course. Do what you like. I would appreciate a general heads-up on things you are doing in case reservations or food procurement is involved. Restaurants get testy if there are no-shows on Keeneland weekends.

THURSDAY

1. Some folks arrive, including me.
2. Probably beers back at the hotel or maybe Beer Trappe or Country Boy (see below).
3. Waffle House or similar for late-night munchies. EDIT: Waffle House no more. Sniff.

FRIDAY

1. Most people arrive.
2. Keeneland at 1 pm?
3. Bourbon tours (see above, or on your own)
4. Lunch undefined
5. Dinner/beers at West Sixth Brewing ?
6. Drinks/pub?
7. Afterparty at 4 Pts or other host hotel?

SATURDAY

1. POSSIBLE:

Morning visit to an Icelandic horse farm, run by a high school friend of mine and her daughter. Between LEX and Louisville. See training, babies, etc. http://www.lettleikiicelandics.com It is about 25 miles past Four Roses, so the trip could be combined somehow.
2. Keeneland. 1:05 pm. Many people go for 2-3 hours, but there are about 9 races, 30 minutes apart.
3. Evening potluck reception at parents of toomanybooks and makersmark, within New Circle Rd. on the east side of town, maybe 20 minutes from Keeneland. 4:30-6:30 pm. Please bring a bottle of wine, some beer, a dessert, chips/guac, etc. I am thinking I will get hot dogs/burgers/brats and we can grill, and maybe cold cuts for sandwiches.
4. Or go out to dinner. Various possibilities.
5. Drinks?
6. Afterparty at 4 Pts or other host hotel?

SUNDAY

1. Brunch at Stella's (see below). 8:45 am.
2. Maybe Icelandic horses today
3. Barrel House Distilling? (5 minutes from Stella's)
4. Keeneland 1 pm?. LEX is across the street. Depart directly.
5. And/or another bourbon tour?.

OVERVIEW

For those not familiar, what we have done in the past is:

1. Go to Keeneland (one of the most beautiful racetracks in the world) (http://www.keeneland.com) including breakfast on the backstretch
2. Hit a couple nice restaurants during the weekend
3. Consume some adult beverages, perhaps at Country Boy (http://countryboybrewing.com) or the Beer Trappe (http://www.thebeertrappe.com/)
4. Visit a horse farm or two
5. Tour one or more bourbon distilleries on the KY Bourbon Trail (http://kybourbontrail.com), including the newer Craft Bourbon Trail. "Smithsonian" magazine has listed the KY Bourbon trail as a Top Ten tourist activity in the US.
6. Have a Saturday eve potluck party/reception at my (and makersmark's) parents' house.
7. Dinner somewhere like City Barbecue (http://www.citybbq.com), Columbia's Steakhouse, Village Idiot, or other fine establishment.

Or maybe somewhere else for a KY specialty like a Hot Brown. Top 10 Hot Brown competition 2016:

http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/...n-in-kentucky/

A plate with toast, sliced turkey, sometimes sliced country ham, Mornay sauce, generally cheddar cheese sauce, a couple strips of bacon, some sliced tomato, a bit of Parmesan/Romano cheese, baked in the oven. A "heart-attack-on-a-plate." Fantastic, one of the world's best comfort foods.



(There is not as much cheese on there as it appears!)

8. Try other KY specialties, such as beer cheese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_cheese_(spread). Others are discussed here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_Kentucky)
9. We always have Sunday brunch at Stella's (www.stellaskentuckydeli.com), for real southern fare including Bourbon Ball Coffee, genuine southern biscuits and gravy, locally fresh-ground grits with cheese, unparalleled tomato bisque, etc. They made the "Top 10 KY Hot Brown" list linked above. Below a pic of my breakfast at Stella's, Oct. 2016. Free refills on the bisque, biscuits, egg strata, and grits!



This will be reserved for 8:45 am.
10. Some folks go to Keeneland again, with LEX conveniently across the street for a last-second departure.

Other things to visit in the area:

1. Shakertown, the restored Shaker community outside LEX: http://shakervillageky.org/
2. Mary Todd Lincoln's girlhood home. Future president courted her there: http://www.mtlhouse.org/
3. Ashland, grand home of Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser": http://henryclay.org/
4. Hiking, perhaps at Red River Gorge: http://www.redrivergorge.com/trails.html
5. KY has one of the best state parks systems in the country: http://parks.ky.gov/
6. Berea College, where there is no tuition and the students work for their education; great restaurant: https://www.berea.edu/
7. Kentucky Donut Trail: http://www.eatkentucky.com/category/ky-donut-trail/

AIRLINES SERVING LEX: http://www.bluegrassairport.com/airlines.html

If you cannot get award space or a good fare into LEX, keep trying. At least on AA, it opens up often.

WN NOW FLIES TO CVG. As I write there are many $49 fares ex-MDW.

There is an airline club at LEX, with access for the following:

AA Admirals Club
DL Sky Club
UA Red Carpet Club
"Day Passes," presumably Priority Pass (?) and maybe for anyone. Perhaps also free for military.

Other airports to consider (all easy access via interstate, ~3 hours max):

SDF, CMH, CVG, DAY, CRW, IND

Lexington is very easy to get around, but you'll need to have a car or share with someone. Taxis are available, but expensive and time-consuming to wait for. They have Uber in LEX. Recent quote per driver for normal charges: approx 80 cents a mile plus 16 cents a minute. The airport tends to be a bit expensive to fly into/out of, but Avios redemptions work well for cities like ORD, DFW, CLT, or wherever you can get a nonstop flight. Or you can fly into one of the alternate airports given above and rent a car; some beautiful scenery along the way. Happy to maintain a list of possible carpools in this thread; see Post #2 . bk3day scored a nice UA bump out of LEX a few years ago, as did iris30 on AA. Those planes can get quite crowded during Keeneland.

Party Central has historically been at the SPG 4 Points, a category 2 Starwood hotel on the north side of town.

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpo...ropertyID=1263

Low redemptions (3K-4K a night), near I-64/I-75 intersection, and a Waffle House across the street for those 1:30 am munchies. EDIT: Waffle House is closed. There is redemption availability normally.

However, reports from April 2017 are that it is slipping. So maybe we should consider somewhere else. Recommendations invited.

There is a new Staybridge Suites that might be better. It was a Pointsbreak for 5000 IHG points in April 2016, an enormous bargain even before the free hot buffet breakfast. If that offer recurs, I think we should switch there. They even have a patio with barbeque grill we can use.

Other nearby options that come to mind are Embassy Suites, Fairfield Inn, LaQuinta, Knights Inn, Marriott Griffin Gate (I think the only LEX "resort" on Hotwire/Priceline), Quality Inn, and Clarion.

Any spot in LEX to any other is only about 20 minutes driving max, so where you stay is not 100% important.

Youtube channel for Lexington, with some nice material:
Bourbon news from the Lexington "Herald-Leader": http://www.kentucky.com/1354/

Please post if you are definite, maybe, or can't but want to consider another time.

ATTENDING/Likely

cocobird
HPN-HRL
krazykanuck
MSPeconomist
Psyduck1
rxgeek + 1
Santander
toomanybooks
Zorak

MAYBE

GrizShel
youseeme


CANNOT MAKE IT, or unlikely

ElmhurstNick
flyerbeek
Governator
mattp1987

Last edited by toomanybooks; Oct 1, 17 at 5:09 pm
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:56 pm
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I'm in. There is a decent DL fare for IAH-CVG (direct!, I forgot this route existed) for that weekend.

Looking forward to a repeat trip to Ethereal Brewing, and hitting the distilleries. ^ I remember last April a few of us freezing outside of Four Roses waiting for it to open the the 9am tour, or whatever stupidly early time it was for a bourbon tour and tasting
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Old Jun 6, 17, 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
I'm in. There is a decent DL fare for IAH-CVG (direct!, I forgot this route existed) for that weekend.

Looking forward to a repeat trip to Ethereal Brewing, and hitting the distilleries. ^ I remember last April a few of us freezing outside of Four Roses waiting for it to open the the 9am tour, or whatever stupidly early time it was for a bourbon tour and tasting
Sounds good!

Remember WN now flies to CVG, in case that is an option for you. Most of October right now has $49 flights MDW-CVG and v.v., for example.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 11:45 pm
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Remember WN now flies to CVG, in case that is an option for you. Most of October right now has $49 flights MDW-CVG and v.v., for example.
Yeah... no... I looked and flying WN would cost ~$150-200 more than DL, plus would require 1 or 2 stops in each direction from HOU, vs a direct flight from IAH. No bueno.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:51 pm
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Last edited by Sweet Willie; Jun 19, 17 at 12:01 pm Reason: quote reduction
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Old Jun 8, 17, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
rxgeek
+1?
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Old Jun 8, 17, 9:34 pm
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I hit the last two in a row and totally enjoyed it, unfortunately will have to miss this one. The Mrs. and I will be doing some leaf peeping up in New England. Have a good time and I'll try to catch you spring '18.

FWIW and not to sidetrack this discussion, I'm taking a few days in Louisville KY, Sep 6-8 to do some bourbon touring from the other end of the trail and to see Garrison Keillor show. If anyone cares to join, PM me or something.
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Old Jun 10, 17, 5:23 am
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Bourbon gummy bears:

https://www.sugarfina.com/shop/bourbon-bears/
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Old Jun 15, 17, 6:51 pm
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I'll have to miss this one. We have a wedding in DAY the next weekend, and I don't think I can convince the Mrs. to come to that part of the country two weekends in a row or burn a week of leave to stay there in between. I do plan to be back some day though...maybe Spring 2018.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by mattp1987 View Post
I'll have to miss this one. We have a wedding in DAY the next weekend, and I don't think I can convince the Mrs. to come to that part of the country two weekends in a row or burn a week of leave to stay there in between. I do plan to be back some day though...maybe Spring 2018.
Sorry to hear. Maybe next April.

But there are worse parts of the country than Ohio/KY to spend 8-9 days in.
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Old Jun 18, 17, 4:19 pm
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I'm in! Avios Flights to CVG & reservations at 4Pts.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by HPN-HRL View Post
I'm in! Avios Flights to CVG & reservations at 4Pts.
See you then, if not at the eclipse!
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Old Jun 21, 17, 5:04 pm
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Not sure yet, but hope to go this time.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Not sure yet, but hope to go this time.
Hope to see you.
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Old Jun 25, 17, 5:57 pm
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Can't commit yet, but definitely interested!
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