Loo-uh-vil, Kentucky – Lonely Planet’s top tourist destination for 2013

louisvillestreetJuly 19, 2013

Drove through the night. It took just over 10 hours to get from Toronto to Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Drove through Michigan, Ohio. Saw Cincinnati lit up in the night and was impressed by its size and beauty.

I’m at Heine Brother’s, a popular coffee shop chain, sipping an iced cappuccino. The smallest size could be considered a large in Toronto. The cafe connects to Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville’s oldest independent bookstore. A lovely little store, it’s literally crammed full with books. I browsed through some of the local writers’ books, and was interested to see a shelf dedicated to stories about the ghosts that haunted Louisville. I was intrigued. Several of the books were by the same writer, David Domine, who was considered an authority – he even did guided tours. I couldn’t resist reading about the ghosts roaming through “the spookiest Victorian neighbourhood in the nation,” and paid $21.95 for his book Ghosts of Old Louisville.

atwoodbooksondaatjebooksI searched for books by Canadian writers and found that they carried a few titles by Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. You can, however, go online to their website and order most of the books you would find in Toronto.

Oddly enough, the first book that caught my eye when I walked into the bookstore was The Impossible State: North Korea Past and Present by Victor Cha. It was placed right by the entrance and impossible to miss.

louisvillestreetLonely Planet named Louisville its top tourist destination for 2013. I didn’t know that when I agreed to visit. We were here to attend the first ever Pokécon – a convention dedicated to my daughter’s beloved Pokémon. It didn’t take long though to see that Louisville was a beautiful place, worthy of Lonely Planet’s title.

Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC

Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC

Fourth Street Civil Rights Sit-in Demonstration Site

Fourth Street Civil Rights Sit-in Demonstration Site

Thomas Merton; monk, poet, critic, and writer

Thomas Merton; monk, poet, critic, and writer

Fourth Street Live

Fourth Street Live

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby

Houses across the street from Churchill Downs

Houses across the street from Churchill Downs

Louisville hosted the first ever Pokecon

Louisville hosted the first ever Pokecon

Fans dressed up to attend Pokecon

Fans dressed up to attend Pokecon

Carmichael's Bookstore

Carmichael’s Bookstore