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Impromptu LEX DO Oct 3, 2020 weekend [was LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XVI April 10-12]

Impromptu LEX DO Oct 3, 2020 weekend [was LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XVI April 10-12]

Old Oct 14, 19, 11:15 am
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Impromptu LEX DO Oct 3, 2020 weekend [was LEX Horse & Bourbon DO XVI April 10-12]

Dates are set, April 10-12, 2020 for our 16th gathering, to visit Keeneland, horse farms, and bourbon distilleries and enjoy some southern food and hospitality, including a lakeside party on Saturday afternoon. We also visit brewpubs and have the best ice cream in KY (bourbon honey is my favorite). Sometimes there are even MS opportunities at a convenient Officemax and/or good fuel reward opportunities at Kroger.

The schedule given below 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.

I did a poll and this, this specific weekend of the meet was preferred over the alternatives.

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.

https://www.keeneland.com/2020-spring-meet

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 with breakfast available, and see KY derby contenders. There is a track kitchen with classic southern breakfast available to the public. You may even meet a famous jockey or trainer.

Admission for the races 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. This may be more convenient this year, as you might have Friday off because of Easter.
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. A new little distillery next door has tours.
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:

1. 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. Potluck/party at home of my brother/SIL on a lake, as in DOs past. I will bring something like BBQ and request you bring beer, bottle of wine, dessert, chips/dip,...
4. May then go out to dinner/dessert place. Various possibilities.
5. Drinks?
6. Afterparty at some hotel?

SUNDAY

1. Brunch at Stella's (see below). ~9:00 am.
2. Usually go to Barrel House Distilling at 11 am (5 minutes from Stella's). Pizza, ice cream (http://www.crankandboom.com), brewpub, cidery in the same complex.
3. Keeneland 1 pm?. LEX is across the street. Depart directly.
4. And/or another bourbon tour?

MONDAY

Usually people depart Sunday, but the Easter holiday may allow you to stay another day. Open for suggestions.

TUESDAY

Likely my departure day.

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 an 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 pm. Free chili dogs 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, sometimes 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.
8. See "Cocaine Bear" (https://kyforky.com/blogs/journal/cocaine-bear)

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. Need to rouble-check that, as there was a report they have pulled out of the network. That's 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.

If you are flying in, check LEX, SDF, and CVG particularly, the latter two since you very well may want to rent a car anyway. Interstate all the way from those airports. Avios can work very well from PHL, ORD, CLT, and DFW to LEX. AA often offers reduced AAwards to/from LEX.

https://www.keeneland.com/2020-spring-meet

Other airports to consider (all easy access via interstate, ~3 hours max): CMH, DAY, CRW, IND.

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 an airport with an hour drive, since you'll likely have to rent a car anyway. Please post if you are driving in and can bring someone, or if you are looking for a ride.

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.

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.

Low redemptions (12.5K), 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.

In April 2019 I stayed at the Hyatt Regency downtown along with several others. As I said above, I am Globalist. If I reserve for you, you inherit my status. Best to set that up as far in advance as possible. So that's free buffet breakfast, late checkout, etc. Free parking for all Hyatt guests, as they use the giant Convention Center lot across the street.

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. As I write in early November 2019, , it's 8000 points vs. well over $200 if you stay Thurs-Sun. Stay over until Monday and it drops.

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

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

ElmhurstNick
HPN-HRL
rxgeek + 1
toomanybooks
Zorak


MAYBE/INTERESTED

Herb687

CANNOT MAKE IT, or unlikely

dhammer

Last edited by toomanybooks; Mar 6, 20 at 4:10 pm
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Old Oct 14, 19, 11:16 am
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:55 pm
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Last edited by toomanybooks; Nov 4, 19 at 9:42 am
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Old Nov 4, 19, 8:45 am
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One of these days I will make it to this DO. We're just arriving back from LHR a few days prior, and Passover overlaps. When it rains it pours (no pun intended).

dh
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Old Nov 9, 19, 6:16 pm
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I am officially in! Arriving LEX very late Thursday & departing Monday around noon. Options I am currently considering:
- I still have 4 or 5 KBT distilleries to visit (all near Louisville), so maybe drive out that way Friday AM and catch a few of those;
- As an addendum to the above, maybe head back to J's Liquors in Owensboro Friday afternoon (bourbon tasting starts at 1:00 central time);
- Friday night dinner in/near LEX (or near SDF or maybe even at Maker's Mark/Bardstown?) should work for me;
- Saturday: maybe a distillery nearby in the morning, maybe Keeneland and/or Icelandic horses in the afternoon, probably go early to help prep for the evening gathering;
- Sunday: the usual (Stella's/Ethereal/new cider place/Crank&Boom). I like the idea of dinner at Middle Fork if it is open.

Note that Keeneland will not be open on Sunday (Easter holiday).
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Old Nov 13, 19, 6:27 pm
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Mark me as probable for the Spring renewal of this great event.

Public service announcement to all: I'm seeing some decent F fares to CVG from numerous places. Mainly on AA. Availability is spotty but there are some flights where you can do West Coast to CVG sub-$300 OW.

And I think I saw a base fare of $20 from somewhere on Frontier!
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Old Nov 21, 19, 11:23 am
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AA one-way redemption to LEX 5000-5500 weekend of the DO.

AA one-way redemption to LEX 5000-5500 weekend of the DO.

ORD-LEX. Did not check return yet.

AA services LEX also from PHL, DFW, and CLT.

And who knows, maybe this rate applies from elsewhere.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Nov 21, 19 at 11:31 am
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Old Nov 23, 19, 1:49 pm
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After having to miss out the last couple of times, it is already not just on my calendar for this April, but ticketed - a good use of 27,500 SkyPesos, most of them from spending $25k on my DL Amex to get my MQD waiver for 2019. It's a free redeposit as DL Plat if a better cash deal comes up.

RDU-CVG arrives 11:30am Friday,
CVG-RDU departs 7am Monday

Haven't figured out a hotel or rental car yet.
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Old Nov 23, 19, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick View Post
After having to miss out the last couple of times, it is already not just on my calendar for this April, but ticketed - a good use of 27,500 SkyPesos, most of them from spending $25k on my DL Amex to get my MQD waiver for 2019. It's a free redeposit as DL Plat if a better cash deal comes up.

RDU-CVG arrives 11:30am Friday,
CVG-RDU departs 7am Monday

Haven't figured out a hotel or rental car yet.
Great, thanks. Invite your cousin to join us.

I can get you Globalist benefits at the Hyatt Regency.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 10:36 am
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Booked again at the Courtyard Marriott Lexington North, Fri-Mon. Very good location. Fri & Sat are 20,000 points and Sun is 17,500
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Old Nov 26, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
Booked again at the Courtyard Marriott Lexington North, Fri-Mon. Very good location. Fri & Sat are 20,000 points and Sun is 17,500
Excellent, thanks. Are your friends from CVG coming?
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Old Nov 30, 19, 10:29 am
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In LEX visiting dad for his 89th. Popped into Shake Shack to burn my monthly Amex Gold $10 credit.

What do I see but a bourbon-based milkshake?



Seriously good.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 2:17 pm
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Will be out of the country traveling, so will miss the spring meet-up.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:33 pm
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Win, Long time! Please send my regards to your Dad for a belated Happy Birthday and a hello to your mom as well. You could throw in a hello to Makers Mark as well. Iíll be traveling somewhere in April, donít know where yet, most probably Argentina. Hoping to hook up with you again soon.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by cocobird View Post
Will be out of the country traveling, so will miss the spring meet-up.
Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
Win, Long time! Please send my regards to your Dad for a belated Happy Birthday and a hello to your mom as well. You could throw in a hello to Makers Mark as well. Iíll be traveling somewhere in April, donít know where yet, most probably Argentina. Hoping to hook up with you again soon.
Thanks for the update. Hope to see y'all in the not-too-distant future.
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