Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 Road Trip, Day 6 - Down to the Wire

We're already planning our next trip back to Kentucky.  Not only does Jude want to see Isaac again, but we've found about twenty other places to visit, just by reading the highway signs while driving to our planned trips.  We've crammed in as much as we could, and took it literally to the Derby wire.

First up - Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace.

This National Park has a short film, a small exhibit, and then it's off to the main attraction - the Birthplace Memorial.

Look familiar?  It is strikingly similar to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  For the record, this building was there first.  The cornerstone was laid in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt, and the building dedicated by President Taft in 1911.  The DC building wasn't begun until 1914.

 Matthew showed off what he learned about architecture, telling us what identified the columns as Doric style, and why the architect would have chosen the simplicity of this style instead of the more elaborate Ionic or Corinthian styles.

We also visited the nearby "Sinking Spring," which gave its name to the farmstead.

 As we were eating lunch, we discussed what to visit in the afternoon.  The original plan was to visit a fort surveyed by George Washington, but in the end, it was Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, that won the debate.

I promise, Damien was happy to be there -- he just wasn't happy with the position of the sun.

Admission to the Derby Museum includes a tour of Churchill Downs.

The Paddock.  Only the Derby itself has more than 13 horses in the lineup; during the rest of the year,, the extra stalls are used to train horses to become accustomed to the noise and chaos that surrounds a race.

The Grandstand

Our guide had great timing...we got out to the track just in time to see an afternoon race.

After the tour, we wandered the museum. Celia was enthralled by the Derby hats...

...while Jude and Damien couldn't figure out how American Pharoah and his jockey got in.

 We got to see the Derby Trophy (loaned by a former winner), along with the Preakness cup and Belmont platter that Triple Crown winners receive.

Tomorrow we head back out on the road. We'll continue our journey through Lincoln's childhood and visit the Lincoln Boyhood Home Memorial, and visit a nearby town named for a special jolly elf. 

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