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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XIV, April 12-14, 2019

LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XIV, April 12-14, 2019

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Old Oct 10, 18, 9:28 am
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LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XIV, April 12-14, 2019

Dates are set, April 12-14, 2019, for our 14th 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 schedule is likely to be altered as time goes on. Different people want different things, or have already been on specific tours, so we do not run around as a group the whole weekend.

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.

Keeneland is a gorgeous racetrack, one of the best in the world. Owned by a charitable foundation, it is maintained beautifully. You can get very close to the horses, attend morning workouts, and see KY derby contenders. There is a track kitchen with southern breakfast offered to the public.

Admission is $5. For an additional $5, you can get a reserved seat under cover. Sometimes we do that, sometimes not. Someone will organize a group purchase if desired.

https://www.keeneland.com/

Bourbon is a US-only product, and about 95% is made in KY, mostly because the limestone-filtered water is perfect for it and the variable seasons/barometric pressure cause the aging product to expand into and be forced back out of the wood.

"Smithsonian" magazine has listed the KY Bourbon trail as a Top Ten tourist activity in the US.

.

THURSDAY

1. Some folks arrive, including me.
2. Probably beers back at the hotel or maybe Beer Trappe or Country Boy or Ethereal (see below).

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? They have picnic-style tables and there is a seafood takeout counter next door
6. Drinks/pub?
7. Afterparty at some hotel, maybe the Hyatt Regency downtown? I have Globalist, so maybe that will get us something.

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. Lettleiki Icelandics ? Icelandic Horses, Boarding, Shows and More 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. Not sure about the potluck/party at my parents', as in DOs past. Maybe.
4. Or go out to dinner. Various possibilities.
5. Drinks?
6. Afterparty at some hotel?

SUNDAY

1. Brunch at Stella's (see below). ~8:45 am.
2. Maybe Icelandic horses today
3. Usually go to Barrel House Distilling at 11 am (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) (Home Keeneland) including breakfast on the backstretch
2. Hit a couple nice restaurants during the weekend
3. Consume some adult beverages, perhaps at Country Boy (Country Boy Brewing) or the Beer Trappe, a Top 100 US beer bar (The Beer Trappe ? LEXINGTON?S FIRST CRAFT BEER STORE!) or Ethereal Brewing (Ethereal Brewing Co. Craft Brewing out of Lexington, KY). The last one has a nice outdoor deck and is next to a good ice cream parlor, pizza place, and excellent bourbon bar. One of my best high school friends is a part-owner of the Chevy Chase Inn, supposedly Lexington's oldest bar, where they have a private back patio and live music sometimes. And 2-for-1 on everything Wed/Fri/Sun at 5:30. Free chilidogs Saturday afternoon and a $1.50 Bloody Mary. (https://www.facebook.com/chevychaseinn/)
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.
6. 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.

https://www.brownhotel.com/dining/hot-brown

(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: (Cuisine of Kentucky - Wikipedia)
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.
This will be reserved for 8:45-9:00 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": Henry Clay - Henry Clay
4. Hiking, perhaps at Red River Gorge: Red River Gorge Online
5. KY has one of the best state parks systems in the country: Best Kentucky State Parks - State Parks - KY State Parks
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: This website is currently unavailable.

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

Alerted by krazycanuck, as of November 2017, the bar at LEX is now part of the Priority Pass network. $28 free per person per visit, it appears. That's almost 4 bourbon-barrel-aged beers at the bar! At that point you will not care if your flight is late.
https://www.prioritypass.com/en/loun...5-ec854aba7e77

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

WN NOW FLIES TO CVG, which as result has gone from one of the most expensive in the US to well down the list.

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

SDF and CVG are the closest.

Lexington is very easy to get around, but you'll need to have a car or share with someone. Public transportation is hopeless. It's not as much of a pain as usual to fly into one with an hour drive, since you'll likely have to rent a car anyway.

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 low-category BONVOY! hotel on the north side of town.

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

Low redemptions, near I-64/I-75 intersection. However, reports from 2017 are that it is slipping. But pretty inexpensive and OK.

PLEASE WEIGH IN ON HOTEL IDEAS.

I am thinking the Hyatt Regency downtown. As I said above, I am Globalist. If I reserve for you, you inherit my status. So that's free buffet breakfast

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/ke...exington/lexrl

HYATT REGENCY LEXINGTON
401 West High Street
Lexington, Kentucky, USA, 40507
Tel: +1 859 253 1234

Hyatt category 2. 8000 points. Can go OVER $300 all-in for cash at this time for full rooms on weekend nights. But I noticed a trick. If you stay over Sunday night, the proceeding nights drop by about $110 each. So play around if you are looking to pay cash. 4-night stay $162 plus tax for 2.

Free parking. Very nice buffet, including best biscuits/gravy I ever had at a standard hotel. Full-service Hilton is across the street. Other hotels not far. Walking distance to to plenty of restaurants/bars.

And the Hyatt bar has a bourbon slushy machine!

Any spot in LEX to any other is only about 20-25 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": Search Lexington Herald Leader

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

ATTENDING/Likely

bk3day
FlightTracker
FlyerBeek
Gone4Weeks +1
Governator
GrjApp
Herb687
HPN-HRL
johnrxman +1
makersmark
rxgeek +1
Santander
toomanybooks + parents + brother/SIL for part

MAYBE/INTERESTED

CANNOT MAKE IT, or unlikely




Last edited by toomanybooks; Mar 22, 19 at 2:02 pm
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Old Oct 10, 18, 9:28 am
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Old Oct 10, 18, 9:29 am
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Old Oct 10, 18, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Hi.

I’d like to get opinions on the best weekend to hold LEX DO XIV to accommodate the most people and to decide soon, allowing maximum time to plan and get flights if needed. The actual thread will follow once the dates are chosen.

Keeneland dates are April 5-26, 2019. (Friday to Friday). Easter is April 21, so I am ruling that out.

That leaves April 5-7 or 12-14 for a full weekend.

Please post your preference, if you have one. My own is 12-14, as it is likely to be a couple degrees warmer. Thanks.
I have no preference between April 5-7 and 12-14; I know that Governator will be in the area on the 11th and would therefore prefer 12-14. I can get to the area on Avios both Fridays, but cannot get back to NYC on either Sunday. Best I see so far is to fly on Sunday to PHL and then catch (SL)AMtrak from there.

My actual preference is to hold the Do over Easter weekend (April 19-21), as I could get there late Thursday and stay until Monday - but since this is off the table I will deal with whichever option gets chosen.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 11:46 am
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If people prefer Easter, I suppose we could do that. In past years there was always substantial objection to that weekend.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 3:03 pm
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I can actually come for the first weekend (Apr 5-7) and Easter weekend. I have a preference for Easter weekend too. Otherwise, I am out of the country for the middle one and cannot come.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 11:23 am
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Keeneland opening weekend is my preference, as I would like to go to the races.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 10:31 am
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The 12-14 weekend gets our vote,too. The following weekend also includes Passover as well as Easter.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 5:18 pm
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No preference. Not great odds that I can make it as I am aiming to get my house on the market later that month.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 9:49 pm
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Posting to register my interest, but I am indifferent between the weekend choices.

toomanybooks I thought of you this evening as I was at happy hour with my normal Monday beer crew and a random out of towner from Chicago sat down next to us and he was jokingly berated for not bringing some Zombie Dust for us!
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Old Oct 21, 18, 8:05 am
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12-14 April works best for me.

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Old Oct 22, 18, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerBeek View Post
12-14 April works best for me.

-FlyerBeek
Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Posting to register my interest, but I am indifferent between the weekend choices.

toomanybooks I thought of you this evening as I was at happy hour with my normal Monday beer crew and a random out of towner from Chicago sat down next to us and he was jokingly berated for not bringing some Zombie Dust for us!
Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick View Post
No preference. Not great odds that I can make it as I am aiming to get my house on the market later that month.
Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
The 12-14 weekend gets our vote,too. The following weekend also includes Passover as well as Easter.
Originally Posted by Santander View Post
Keeneland opening weekend is my preference, as I would like to go to the races.
Originally Posted by cocobird View Post
I can actually come for the first weekend (Apr 5-7) and Easter weekend. I have a preference for Easter weekend too. Otherwise, I am out of the country for the middle one and cannot come.
Originally Posted by HPN-HRL View Post
I have no preference between April 5-7 and 12-14; I know that Governator will be in the area on the 11th and would therefore prefer 12-14. I can get to the area on Avios both Fridays, but cannot get back to NYC on either Sunday. Best I see so far is to fly on Sunday to PHL and then catch (SL)AMtrak from there.

My actual preference is to hold the Do over Easter weekend (April 19-21), as I could get there late Thursday and stay until Monday - but since this is off the table I will deal with whichever option gets chosen.
Thanks to all for your input. Keep it coming.

Article in WAPO on LEX:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...-in-lexington/

Behind a paywall, but got in through anonymous/private browser window.
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Old Oct 22, 18, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post














Thanks to all for your input. Keep it coming.

Article in WAPO on LEX:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...-in-lexington/

Behind a paywall, but got in through anonymous/private browser window.
Update - I now have a slight preference for April 12-14 over April 5-7, so April 19-12 (Easter) >> April 12-14 > April 5-7. 95+% chance I come in any case, so maybe my preferences should be down-weighted?
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Old Oct 27, 18, 8:39 am
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Just a heads up for anyone contemplating a Hyatt Regency stay for the DO

Cash & Points are still available for all suggested dates but come Nov 1st the cash portion will be much higher.

Hoping to make whichever weekend is picked, I'm locked in with some spec ressies
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Old Oct 29, 18, 9:06 am
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On second thought, coming to the April Do is not practical for me. I would be jumping off a plane the day before (Easter weekend) or the day after (the first weekend) to get on an international flight. So my stated April preferences are no longer valid. Hope to see everyone at the October Do.
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