Louisville, Looavul, Looeyville

21 Aug

Helen and I MISSED each other!  We hadn’t seen each other for over a month,  #DreamFlatmate #withdrawals. So, when Helen got invited to perform at the Midwest Queer Comedy Festival — and neither of us had ever been to Kentucky — we used it as an excuse to meet up. (we’re coming for you all 50 states). 


Horsing around.


Helen booked us in a fancy hotel ❤ And it became (very) apparent during our stay that Kentucky is obsessed with horses. It’s your classic chicken and the egg conundrum: What came first? Kentucky’s obsession with horses, or the Derby? 

At breakfast, we played “how many horses are in this room?” A woman who worked there saw us playing and wanted to join in. Altogether, we counted 30+ horses in one room. That’s a lot of horsepower. 

After whinnying and dining*, we went for a walk and noticed that there was a sign on a small theatre door that said “Closed. President’s in town.” Which president, we wondered. The president of the theater?

Close, but not quite…

*The author gets to re-write the order of events.

Donald’s entourage


Donald’s security detail gave it away. And while we weren’t excited about being in the presence of such a vile person, we didn’t mind being in the presence of such BEAUTIFUL, powerful men in very strapping and sleek uniforms. Helen and I almost couldn’t look away.  

Even the bike cops who made us feel like we were on a sitcom pulled up next to us and said, “Would you look at those guys? Mmmm. Mmm.”  

We lingered outside for a bit longer, conflicted about whether we actually wanted to see Trump.  Neither of us had ever seen a sitting president, but also —  EW!  He’s the worst.  But the thing was we literally had no other plans — our only plan all day was to enjoy each other’s company.   So, we kept staying “for the people watching”.  But wouldn’t it be crazy if….

Okay, so it turned out, that this event was a Republican fundraiser, and we got to watch the rich people going inside while we judged them about what they chose to spend their money on.

And almost as an act of rebellion, we went to grab coffee at a steal — we paid $.40 more for triple the coffee, high-fived, and ran back outside so as not to miss the Trump celebrity sighting, but rumor had it that this was a decoy hotel.

Helen and I were 50% sure that we were in the right place. We imagined that the exact same thing was happening at another hotel nearby and laughed at the thought of another police dog sniffing around for bombs to make sure that the other hotel was safe.

While waiting around, the news asked to interview us, and Helen coached me from the sidelines. At the end of the interview, we practiced for some shameless promotion. The interviewer asked:

“Anything else you’d like to say?”

I winked at Helen, “I’m in town for the Midwest Queer Comedy Festival!” 

(nailed it!)


TV credit, local Kentucky news.


The journalist told us it was going to be a while until a potential Trumps sighting — as the journalist had a direct line with the White House (super impressive)–  so we had time to kill and chose to dip into a Mexican joint for a bit of a refresh and to watch his Kentucky speech on TV.


Hail to the drinks.


In the end, we didn’t see Trump, but he WAS at the hotel, and it was a really interesting experience. But contrary to his online presence, he kept a low profile the entire time and went in and out of the back entrance. Apparently, they’d set up a tunnel through the hotel so no one got a glimpse of him.

At one point, we met a security guy at the same hotel who told us to come back later to take a tour, which we did. And then Helen and I continued our day and talked about the interesting experience. We grabbed our Bourbon Trail passports and tried to get as many stamps as we could gather.


Art museum on the Bourbon trail – thanks for the recommendation, Patrick!


This paragraph’s for us:  That night, we took a picture of a sign, which was how people knew we were tourists. We changed that picture to our phone background…and promptly changed it again in the morning.   #jellyfish #noadifferentone #STILLMATCHING  “Ever tried.  Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Samuel Beckett  

The next day, we Ubered to the Kentucky State Fair where we kept with the matching themes (always) and got some matching pins from a skeptical woman.  And upon seeing the size of the fair, we thanked our lucky stars that we’d thought to wear sneakers. It wasn’t the only thing that was huge though, check out the fruits and vegetables!


Fat Cabbage– Flabbage


The largest cabbage had won $8, but the winner was a pumpkin that weighed over 1,000 lbs and had won a dollar for each pound. #WinnerWinnerPumpkinDinner

Keeping with the food theme, we checked out some decorated cakes that were really fun to peruse. The cakes had won awards too, but they’d been sitting out for so long they’d started mold; not for consumption.

And after seeing the inedible desserts we made it our MISSION to find derby pie (famous in Louisville).


“Do you have anything that is not fried?”


But in the midst of Operation: Derby Pie, we found other cool things to do like walk through a corn maze (a maize maze), watch dogs perform tricks, and of course, watch horses prance.

It had taken a while to find the horses because we got wrong directions on how to get there (from a guy who worked at the fair, mind you). But, in the end, the woman at the door let us straight into the VIP seating. Wahoo!  We ended up sitting next to a woman whose granddaughter was in the show and won 4th place.  Interesting.  Although the competition…event? wasn’t the most intuitive; So we left with both a lot of questions, and, more importantly, enjoyable visual stimulation.



The fair itself was mostly indoors, had lots of things to see, and was full of (literal) pigs. It was the most pigs I’d ever been around. But there were lots of other animals, too, including this overly friendly, adorable goat.  It was here that I wondered…Does Pennsylvania have their own State Fair??


Nice to bleat you.


After seeing the animals, we got our annual checkups from the Kentucky State Fair as there were healthcare events like skin cancer screenings.  Helen and I were most excited for this: “You can tell we’re two people who don’t have health insurance.”



2 sweet thangs


The fair took a lot out of us, so the next day, we slept in, BUT it was also the day Taylor Swift’s new album came out!  Lover!  We laid on the comfy bed #luxury and listened to her entire album before going into the aforementioned horse room to have the famous Brown’s hotel breakfast.



As tasty as it is bad for you.


Besides being the day of Tay Tay’s album release, it was also the first day of the Midwest Queer Comedy Festival AND THE DAY VICTORIA WAS COMING TO TOWN!!


3 best friends


While Helen practiced her set, Victoria and I had a blast lounging and catching up.

We got to the show and watched Helen kill it, as she does. 





Unfortunately, I had to duck out early to catch my flight back to Pittsburgh, but when I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been cancelled, so I raced back to the show to get BONUS TIME WITH HELEN AND VICTORIA!

The three of us hung out all night, and they let me crash in their hotel room (thank you!!), and Victoria ordered us champagne and non-fried derby pie. I was SO thankful but also thought it was hilarious that it was right under my nose the whole time. Victoria is so generous and great at creating magic.

I snuck out in the middle of the night, whispering goodbye to my best friends, before anyone fully woke up, and crept out to catch my 6am flight, thankful that:

“In a world of ceaseless change, it can be gratifying to know that some things remain forever the same.”  J. Maarten Troost
I’m talkin’ about best friendship.


Until next time,


Best friends fairever!

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