Louisville, Kentucky

Perhaps one day, I’ll have cute titles for my posts. That may also be the day I also post consistently… so maybe that’s not happening anytime soon.

You’re probably wondering “Hmm, so what’s in Kentucky outside of derby season, sis?”

Here’s 5 Things You (Yes, You!) Can Do In Louisville, KY:

  1. Go to Museums! Louisville has so many fantastic museums you can visit including: Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville Slugger Museum, Science Center, Muhammad Ali Center, 21c, Conrad-Caldwell House Museum… A lot of museums.
  2. Visit Churchill Downs! The renowned race track that hosts the famous Kentucky Derby. What to do outside of derby season? Unsure! I didn’t go, but I hear it can get rowddyyyyy, and fun 🙂
  3. Visit Louisville Waterfront Park! Lots of things to do here in the great outdoors, located right by downtown Louisville. You can even cross the Bridge into Indiana via a series of bridges that will take you from Kentucky to its bordering state. One of them is a walking bridge, over the river that divides the two locations. You can also take the Belle of Louisville to travel down the Ohio River. Skip the pre-dining events for the Belle, though.
  4. Go Distillery Hopping! Kentucky is known for the derby… but it’s also known for Whiskey Row and the Bourbon Trail. Even if you aren’t a bourbon enthusiast, learning about the history of alcohol, and tasting it, is very very cool.
  5. EAT!!! The hub of UPS is local to Louisville, which means… Louisville gets fresher food than most places since most routes go through KY. And with a cute food scene… definitely take advantage of eating at some fan favs. The food will not disappoint.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Okay, but why did you go, especially outside of derby season?”

10/10 badge icon, all future identification pics must look great too

I never told y’all my remote job is based out of Louisville? Which, btdubs, is pronounced “Lou-uh-vuhl.” I def felt like a local pronouncing it correctly and stuff. Spent a whole 8 days, 7 nights as follows: wake up, get ready, go to work, kiki with my chain of command, cry in the work bathroom, cry at my desk, go back to the hotel, eat food, sleep. Rinse and repeat (well, from M – F). Saturday, I just drank all day, self-moped, and ate a whole lot of food.

But let’s back it up a little to fully appreciate the rise and fall and my week in Kentucky.

The story starts a bit over a year ago when I decided to switch from in-house pharma to in-house healthtech. That is a whole other story/drama/complaint/saga in and of itself. As y’all know, I’m Maryland based, so being able to be remote, or find a Maryland-based job (but also still being remote, lol) definitely sat high on the top of my list for jobs. The culture switch was honestly shocking, like someone dumped me in freezing water. It absolutely took a whole while for me to finally start warming up. For anyone who has had the [pick one: sad/unfortunate/fortunate/honorable/joyful] opportunity to hear the work saga x career crisis x drama… you’ll know how rough that transition was.

And then to top it off… I’m remote, away from my managers and colleagues (like, duh, what did I think would happen choosing a company outside of my state and being remote?) So career crisis also felt like professional development crisis. ALL DURING A PANDEROSA WITH MS COVID. LOVE!!!

When the opportunity to visit Louisville arose, I absolutely jumped on it. I was giddy! Excited! Then I got covid. And had a string of bad luck in Montreal. Then that luck carried over… Into Louisville.

First 3 outfits I tried… boob issues because what is the beef between boobs and buttons? This dress… great… until I sat. And the crinkles STAYED.

I started off my first day in-office with several wardrobe issues and an IT issue. Natural response? Cry! But everything was able to be fixed. Didn’t do much on Monday because, well, there was nobody in office. Got lunch with my manager and found an isolated work cubby (crying in private is so much better than crying at your actual cubicle) to finish my day.

It’s the type of cry that starts off because you’re frustrated and can’t seem to verbalize your words. Where you feel people are blaming you for events that are outside of your own control. The cry that begins behind your throat, growing bigger and drier as you start grasping for your breath.

In plain words, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It felt like something shattered inside of me that I‘ll never get back. And it was tough already verbalizing this, but I can’t seem to verbalize the deeper feeling inside. But I suppose that’s for another time, hmm?

Cheered myself up at Proof on Main, because food always makes me happy. I don’t mind doing things alone, but I really did feel lonely after such a mentally tough day, and then just going out to eat on my own. But the octopus??? Best thing I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, would not endure another tough day just to end it with super amazing food. I want my cake and I want to eat it, too! Back to this octopus though… perfectly charred, melt in your mouth, tossed in some pesto and lime… Best octopus I have ever eaten in my whole entire life, and ya girl LOVES octopus. And it’s connected to the 21c hotel, which has a museum inside of it! My lil dose of culture in the 5 minutes it took me to walk to and from the bathroom hah.

You’d think the second day would be better… My laptop decided to stop working. And this follows my laptop breaking the week before, too. AND we were moving work stations. This time, I cried in the bathroom. Four times. And once at my new station. By the end of the day, I really started feeling better because I had been chatting with my chain of command and met some people in office. But then, we had a little group meeting, where I felt absolutely and positively horrrriibbbllleeeee. I was sitting there and I felt stupid and I couldn’t even figure out how to even feel better or become more of a value add.

It was the type of cry where you genuinely feel you won’t amount to anything and you’ll just be stuck in your situation, forever.

I make rash decisions when I’m absolutely upset and feel utterly devoid of all future hope. Almost really quit. Almost called up old connections to help me get placed elsewhere. Like I said, I felt horrible; stuck in the middle of a dark tunnel with nowhere to go.

I might have felt lonely the day before eating out alone, but I felt hopelessly lonely on that second day, eating out alone (again). But hey, at least Louisville was killing it with the food. Day 2, went to Seviche, and had some amazing chimichurri sauce. Words cannot explain how everything in the dish went together so perfectly. I’m not a mashed potato girl, but goshdarn, it was really hitting the spot. The steak was good, not the best I’ve ever had, but something about the steak with that chimichurri sauce… Match made in heaven. Heaven! And the avocado ice cream? Genius. The avocado-lemon-chocolate truffle combo? Mmhmm.

By day 3… I was definitely chanting to myself in the mirror “Honestly, it can’t get much worse :)))))))))).” While, mentally, I felt better, because I decided to do makeup and curl my hair… My direct supervisor said something funny… while I was drinking a green smoothie… and I spit it out in his supervisor’s office. Yes, I cried. Stayed to myself all day, except when I was running around looking for blankets because I was so cold?? I found some.

look good, feel good, fake it til you make it, or whatever they say

OF COURSE, I got to treat myself, and this time I went to La Bodeguita de Mima, and had what is possibly the strongest pina colada I have ever had. I couldn’t even finish it! The food was good, but what really made the restaurant was the atmosphere. I couldn’t explain it, but I really did feel as if I was in a Cuban bodega sippin’ on drinks. The “escape” really felt nice.

Luckily, by day 4, I had completely given up on having even an okay day at work. I went in. Did work. Got lunch with a coworker and had a therapeutic rant session part 1. And left early so I can go to Old Forester and the Repeal with my team.

While no pics were taken (I didn’t want to come off as being a weirdo, so I didn’t take pics. I really was just trying to survive), I did feel a smidge better, just being able to hang with my supervisors and… observe. Old Forester was fascinating to visit — it was the first bottled bourbon, and because of the Dr backed marketing, it was also one of the few alcohols that were allowed during the prohibition, as medicine! Work depression? Go get your Rx for bourbon, and the doctor knew just what I needed, because I really was feeling a bit better. Repeal is an amazing steakhouse. Absolutely try the NY Strip. It’s grilled over some oak and… *chef’s kiss.* It won’t disappoint.

Day 5… I wasn’t even planning on coming in, but my supervisor scheduled a meeting, so I felt I should go in person, considering I was in proximity and all. I came in, did the meeting, and left. I actually got lunch with a coworker, who is also a foodie! I also had a therapeutic session part 2. I really had a lot to get off of my chest, hah. But, I really was feeling better by the end of the work week.

I was superrrr excited to go on the Belle of Louisville for a Bluegrass and Bourbon dinner and then tour on the Ohio River. Y’all… Not me stumbling onto old people’s heaven!! Not me also being the only single person there, either! I barely ate (the food sucked) and then I went upstairs to the boat deck to sit and enjoy the views of water, the bridge, and Indiana. Hated the pre-dinner portion. Didn’t hate the boat tour. Would do it (the tour) again, but with a friend, partaking in shenanigans.

By the weekend, I was utterly exhausted. Drained. Fatigued. I wanted to go out and visit the museums and hang out by the water. I wanted to go try out more restaurants. I just wanted to enjoy myself outside. But I found enjoyment in staying at the hotel and starting, and finishing, The Lincoln Lawyer (TV series), while eating food and drinking.

By that Sunday? I was ready to go home. And home was much needed by then.

The week had started off hopeful just for it to turn hopeless. And I’m definitely a person who likes to sit in the sadness for a bit before shaking it off — but it’s always easier said than done. Each day felt mentally more challenging than the last. I wish I had that aha! moment that would have changed my whole life, that moment you see on TV when the protagonist decided to take fate in their own hands. While I definitely felt like I reclaimed that journey, it surely was not as profound as I wish it was — but hey, that’s life.

All in all, it was an okay week. A lot of reflecting, but also a lot of food, and whew was it GOODT! Of course, I’ll be back, but that week surely did put a whole lot into perspective.