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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Belle of Louisville

Happy Anniversary Weekend to me and Matt!
Happy Anniversary Weekend to me and Matt!
Happy Anniversary Weekend to us!
Happy Anniversary Weekend to us!

Sometimes I cannot believe how quickly time passes. Seems like just last week Matt and I were saying our vows in front of our family and friends. Yet, here we are a year later.
A year!
Wow!

Can you believe it has been a year?
And what a wonderful year it has been!
This time last year we were at the Pennyrile State Park here in KY.
It was the hottest day of many years past. Over a 100 degrees plus hot sun. This year, the high is only 74. Go figure! Why couldn't we of had today's temperature then?

I remember everything about this week last year so vividly....
We got married, we chit chatted with everyone for a little while and then we finished packing and headed out. We made it to Mt Juliet, TN right after 9 PM. I remember the time because I had wanted a late dinner at Panera but they had just closed. I had to settle for drive through Wendy's. We then continued on to Knoxville, TN where we spent our first night as husband and wife in a cheap and CLEAN hotel we had booked through Hotels.com knowing we would only be there about 8 hours to sleep. And that's exactly what we did. Although now that I am thinking about it, not sure we were even there 8 hours. We were so excited to continue on to Charleston, SC. We grabbed a quick breakfast at Burger King where I tried my very first frappuccino. It was with this very first drink that I became obsessed with these things. (It was memorial weekend and Burger King had them for $1. I must have drank like four of them over a three day period.) Once we arrived in Charleston, we checked into our very nice and inexpensive hotel and took a nap. We were pooped!
Then the sightseeing and 'fine' dinning began. :)
We spent 3 days and 2 nights there before taking a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas.

This year, we are saving our money for a week long cruise later in the year so we had decided to stay home for our anniversary weekend.

Yesterday, we went on the Belle of Louisville for the first time and then walked around downtown Louisville .

It is the oldest steamboat in the United States and the second oldest in the world!
And now we can say we have been on it.
I wanted on this ship opposed to the other one because it was built 99 years ago.
Such history! 

You can see how big it is compared to the Spirit of Jefferson.
Amazing how it is still operational after almost 100 years!
 Don't touch the water though. They had this sign posted on the dock near the boat.
Yuck!

We were on the steamboat for the lunch and sightseeing cruise.
This was the Belle of Louisville's first trip of the year. I had no idea when we booked. Guess it made our trip even more special.
I had booked our cruise the day before and since I had tickets which stated pre-booked boarding passes, I didn't think we had to go get additional tickets. We got in line for the boat and our ticket stubs were removed, we took our picture, and then when up to the second floor to find our table. The lady at the eating area asked for our tickets and to see our arm bands. We didn't have either so she sent us back down to get our actual tickets and arm bands. Annoying - yes. But she did apologize when we came back. We thought we would have issues at the ticket counter since we no longer had the stubs to our tickets, but amazingly, we had no issues.

Once seated at our table it was time depart. 
Per National Guard instructions, you have a quick 1 minute informative brief and then the ship starts moving and lunch is served.
Lunch was buffet style and consisted of fried chicken, ham, roast beef, rolls, green beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw. Decent food. Nothing to write home about. I only liked the fried chicken. The mac and cheese and green beans didn't taste good to me.
If I cruise with them again, I will not pay extra for the food. I would have preferred to buy food from the concession stand.

The boat travels a whopping 8 miles an hour.
 It passes a few interesting spots and then turns around before getting to Six Mile Island.
You mostly pass homes and industrial areas. Don't expect to see anything amazing.
I had read reviews on tripadvisor.com and people complained about the views. Or lack of views I guess I should say. This is not the steamboat's fault. People also complained there was no commentary about what you were passing. There is though. He just doesn't say anything when you are passing nothing worth mentioning. When the guy isn't talking, music is playing. He seemed to like Taylor Swift - we heard several of her songs. I like her so I was okay with this.

Doesn't downtown Louisville look beautiful?
At least from a distance it does.
On the Indiana side, you can see the second largest working clock in the World.
I think we were told it is over 100 years.
Coming back to our boat's parking spot, we turned around before going to this damn which is where the Falls of the Ohio is located.
We got to see the Wold's tallest baseball bat.
(If you have never been here, I highly recommend the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.)
Overall, I enjoyed the Belle of Louisville.
I wouldn't mind doing the sight seeing tour on the Spirt of Jefferson to see the differences of an almost 100 year boat compared to a steamboat built in 1989.

I am going to leave you with two neat pictures I took while we walked around downtown:
 
Matt should be awake soon - I am in charge of making breakfast today. He made it yesterday. :)



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