5 Different Cities + 3 Different States = 1 Wild Day! (KY-IN-OH) “DAY 285” – 4/15/11

April 18, 2011 - 10:23 pm - (IN-KY-OH-KY-OH) “DAY 285” - Week 42 - State 38

When I woke up today I said to myself... F&$K IT, if my money is running low and this trip might end soon, then I’m gonna go after each day like it is my last and not worry about the consequences of total financial ruin!

In case you aren’t all aware, the money I have left is all the money I have to life.  So, when it’s gone, my trip isn’t just over, I HAVE NOTHING!  I won’t even have money left to buy a pack of gum.

Plus, when this trip is over, I currently do not have anywhere to live.  So, funny enough, I’ll be more homeless when I get back to NJ, then I am on the road with nowhere to stay.   But, like I said, I can’t think about that if I am to enjoy the time I have left, so that’s why I said to myself... “F&%K IT!” to start my day.

My Hotel Room
Now, let’s get to what was a wild and action packed day.  The first part of my day started in my hotel room which was on the Kentucky/Indiana border (on the Ohio river).  Since I only had a few hours in my room, I made the most of it and got as much writing done as I could.

After I got done writing, I went to JB’s cafe and got some food because I had a $10 comp left.  Hey, being as broke as I am, I can’t let any free meal pass me by now. 😉  So, after grabbing the only meal I would eat all day long, I headed to Rooster mobile to get it going.

Traveling To Louisville, Kentucky
My first drive of the day (and there were many) was to Louisville, Kentucky where I was going to see the Louisville Slugger Museum.  This drive wasn’t far as it was just 15 minutes or so away. (If I had a raft, it would have only been like 3 miles.)

Anyway, when I pulled up to the museum, I knew I was at the right place because there was a huge Louisville Slugger bat right in front of the building. (It was massive.)  Knowing I was at the right place, I looked for a parking spot which I found right outside.

Louisville Slugger Museum
Just to set the scene, it was raining all day long no matter where I was.  So, when I walked up to the museum, I had to dodge the rain drops because the weather was starting to get bad.

Even though I was getting wet, I still took in the whole outside of the building and snapped photos of all the memorabilia they had positioned on the walls as you approached the entrance.

For example, they had a bunch of different statue like plaques that showed the bat a famous player used.  Then, at the bottom of it, there was a statue like home plate with a bunch of facts and stats about the player’s bat you were looking at.

Entering The Museum
When you enter the museum, there is a bunch of stuff you can do even if you do not purchase an actual ticket for the museum tour.  For example, there was a area where you could look at a bunch of bats that some of the greats used. (They called it the Bat Vault.)

Besides the Bat Vault, they had some current pro’s bats on display along with a little write up about them and their statistics.  I think I saw Joey Votto’s bat, Nick Swisher’s bat, and of course the one and only... Derek Jeter! 🙂

Batting Cages
Then, as I kept walking through the building, I saw an area where you could use the actual bat that different current and former MLB players used during their career. (It only cost $1 for 10 balls in the cages).  Not to mention, you got swing with any bat you wanted.

Since it was only a dollar, I had to get some swings in and the bat/bats I used were that of baseball’s best hitter Babe Ruth and of course... Jeter’s bat.  I had to get Jeter’s black bat and see what he swings with. 😉

Hitting In The Cages
Now, I only had 10 swings for a dollar, so I split it up the swings 5 a piece with each of the bats I had.  Truth be told, I hadn't hit a baseball in a long time, but I never missed a ball although I only got off 2 or 3 real good swings.

In case you were wondering, Babe’s bat was real heavy and Jeter’s was real light.  I guess I was that one bear that wanted poorage, but he just couldn’t find the right temperature.  Obviously, neither bat was the right one for me, but none-the-less, it was real cool to swing the Babe’s and Jete’s bats. 🙂

The Museum Tour
I’m not sure how much the tour cost because I just walked right in.  I couldn’t afford to pay the fee and I really wanted to see more, so I just walked right in and nobody said anything to me.  Hey, it’s not the way I want to get in but I have no other option right now.  🙁

I have so much more to write about this day that I’m just gonna give you a brief description of what the museum had to offer.  Here we go.  There was obviously a history lesson of the making of the bats, who made the first one, so on and so forth.

Then, there was a wall with all different types of bats they made over the years and who they made them for.  I personally liked looking at Joey D’s bat because he has the longest hit streak ever in baseball (56 games), so his bat must have been special! 😉

The last thing I will tell you about are the life-like statues they have on display right in the center of the museum.  Of course they had the Babe, so I had to get my picture with the great Bambino! (I actually took a few pictures of me and the Babe, he was the man!)

Leaving One Museum To Go To Another
After looking around the Louisville Slugger Museum for about an hour, I said good-bye to the Babe and left to check the greatest boxer’s museum of all time.  Or at least the greatest showman of his time and maybe all time, Muhammad Ali.

The Muhammad Ali Center
The reason the Muhammad Ali museum is in Louisville is because that where Ali’s was born.  Other than that, I don’t much else about his life (outside of all the boxing stuff) because I didn’t get look around the museum.

Here’s what happened.  After getting a parking spot and walking into the Center, I was the only one there, so it was impossible to get into the actual museum without paying the $9 entry fee. (No distractions when you're the only one there.) 😉

But, there was a few things you could look at in the lobby and the gift shop, so I took the poor man’s tour and only saw what was available in the free area’s of the building. 😉

Traveling To Lexington, KY
Before I got to the Slugger Museum, I talked with one of my best friend’s from home (Moose) about where I was and what I was doing.  I tell you this because Moose used to bet the ponies a lot and told me about a racetrack here in Kentucky (Keeneland) that had live racing going on today.

F.Y.I. - Church Hill Downs (where the Kentucky derby is held) was only 4 miles from where I was in Louisville, but they don’t have live racing for a few more weeks so it was off to Lexington which was only a hour and change away.

Since the ride wasn’t that far, I didn’t think it would be that bad.  But, the rain during some points of the drive were so terrible, it felt like my car was gonna get swept right of the road. (It was very windy too.)

Arriving At Keeneland
I knew I was close to the racetrack when I saw a sign for Man O’ War Blvd.  Well... it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, that is if you follow horse racing at all. (In case you are wondering, it was about 3:45 pm at this point in my day.)

Anyway, after getting a few pictures of the street outside of the race course, I found my way to a muddy parking spot which was a few hundred yards away from the grandstand area of the track. (That’s the area where you bet, watch the races, etc.)

The Rain Is Awful Now
On my walk up to the track, the rain and wind was so bad, I felt like I was in the “Wizard Of OZ”.  Auntie M, Auntie M! 😉 Really, it was so bad out that I had to take some pictures during the walk even though my camera was getting wet. (If you look at the pics you can see the umbrellas almost flying away.)

Keeneland Race Course
When I finally made it to the area where you had to pay to get in, I didn’t have to.  Either is was free today or since it was after the 5th race, they didn’t charge.  I didn’t care which one it was, I wasn’t asking any questions as I walked into the track.

One thing was for certain when I walked in, I could tell this wasn’t anything like the Meadowlands Racetrack that I’m used to going to back in NJ.  This place was gorgeous whereas the Meadowlands back in NJ is a place for degenerates to gamble at. 😉 (Right: Meadowlands)

The People Here Are Dressed To Impress!
It didn’t take me more than a few minutes to realize that almost everybody here (except me) was dressed like they were going to the prom!  Every guy had a jacket and tie on and every girl was wearing their Sunday's finest.  It was wild to see!

Not to mention, all the hats that were on display for everybody to look at. (The hat thing I was expecting, but the fact that everybody here was dressed like this was a wedding reception was just unreal.)

Also, there were a ton of girls in attendance looking great! 🙂 What can I tell ya, the horse track in Kentucky is the place to be on a Friday evening.  Nice!

Placing Some Bets
My plan before I got here (went over it with Moose) was to just bet $6 a race ($1 trifecta box) for the four races I would be there.  That way, the most I could loose was just $24 while still having a chance to hit something big.  Got it!

Well, that plan lasted for... well... it never lasted as the first race I was there I bet a $1 tri-box as well as $5 across the board (win, place, show) on the 3 horse.  I got window pressure.

F.Y.I. - Window pressure is when you go up to the betting window with a plan to bet one thing, but somehow you bet everything except what you wanted to bet.  I only had a minor window pressure because I at least bet the $1 tri-box too. 😉

Anyway, when the race ended, I didn’t win the trifecta but the 3 horse did take 2nd, so when it all said and done, I won $6 on that race.

All The Bets I Made
I could go into the play by play of all the racing bets I made, but long story short, after betting 4 races, I won $4.  The last race I bet I almost hit the trifecta but I was one horse away as my horses took 1st, 3rd, and 4th.  Ahhhh!  I would have won over $200!  Damn! (The horse that took first was 4-1 too.)

Meeting People Between Races
Since there is roughly 20 minutes to kill in between races, I took that time to meet as many people as could from Kentucky.  For one, I was interested on why everybody here was dressed so nice.?

So, after walking around the Grandstand for a little bit, I approached a group of younger people and asked them why they were dressed to impress?  They were real cool people and just told me that’s they how they do it here in Kentucky.

He (Derrick) then went on to say that everybody in Kentucky isn’t how they show them on TV. (Ya know, toothless playing the banjo or whisky jug.)  Although, he did say that does exist as well. 😉

Anyway, I hung out with that group of people for a race or so and then said good-bye to them as I still had a lot to see here at Keeneland.  To the group, it was really cool meeting all of you and good luck in life! 🙂

Meeting Another Group Of People
After leaving Derrick and friends, I headed to rail even though it was raining out to check out the horses before they raced. (I have always liked watching the horses run, it’s very peaceful to me.  Well... until I have money bet on them.) 😉

During the time that I was at the rail, I met 3 older guys who were real cool.  They told me they didn’t mind standing in the rain at the rail because it kept the wives away!  LOL (I love older guys humor, they are always bagging on the old ball and chain.) 🙂

Again, I hung out with these guys for a race or so before I moved on to meet more Kentuckians.  I could go on and on but basically I met a bunch of people while betting the races at Keeneland.

Leaving Keeneland Raceway
It was 5:45 pm when I finally left the track and headed back to the Rooster mobile.  Let me tell you this, I had a great time at the race track in Kentucky as it was unlike any other racing experience I have ever had.  Who know you could pick up a hot girl at the track?  That’s Kentucky horse racing for ya! 🙂

Traveling To Cincinnati, Ohio
My plan after Leaving Keeneland was to drive an hour and change north to Cincinnati so I could see a Reds baseball game.  The only problem... would the weather ruin that option?

So, as I was driving north toward Cincy, I listened to the Reds pre-game radio show so I could hear if the game was gonna be canceled.  The good news, as soon as I turned on that station, they said that it looked like the game would be played as there was a 3-4 hour window where the rain would let up.  Nice! 🙂

My timing was almost perfect as I pulled into Cincinnati around 7 pm.  I say almost perfect because first pitch was at 7:10 pm and since I still had to find a free parking spot as well as a free ticket, I figured I’d be a little late entering the game.

Finding A Parking Spot
Parking around the stadium was $17 at some places and $12 at others.  So, since I could afford to pay either way, I talked my way into a free spot at the $17 garage directly across the street from the stadium.  One down. 😉

Finding A Free Ticket
By the time I parked, left my car, and started walking to the stadium, it was already past game time.  So, I thought finding a free ticket, although it’s shitty out, would be hard.  Well, I was wrong because the first person I saw (who happened to be a security guard) had two tickets that he gave to me.  Thanks Dave!

Great American Ball Park
Now that I’m over 9 months into my trip and have seen many different venues, I can say that this is one of the nicest stadiums I have seen yet. (The only baseball stadium I can say I definitely liked better was Comerica Park in Detroit.)  Still, this was a cool ballpark with a rich history of baseball. 🙂

If I hadn’t already wrote 6 pages thus far and wasn’t currently sitting in bar, in a casino, in Wheeling, WV at 2:30 am, I would write a lot more about this stadium and all it had to offer, but as I just explained, I’m sitting in a bar, in a casino, in Wheeling, WV at 2:30 am.  LOL 😉

Seriously though, this stadium had a lot of cool things to see and do besides just watching a baseball game.  They had a bunch of statues out front, tons of huge pictures of current and formers players, as well as the Reds Hall of Fame. (It was closed by the time I got there though.)

Entering The Stadium
After hanging out front of the stadium in order to take pictures of everything, it was time to go because the game had already started.  So, I found a nice looking girl and asked her if she would take a picture of me out front of the Great American Ball Park.  She said yes (of course), so there I am (right) about to see my first Reds game live. 🙂

Then, once I got by security, it was time to check out almost every angle of the stadium.  I started in right, moved to left, walked the whole hallway circle, and then wound up in the last row of the last section behind home plate. (This makes for a good picture of any venue.) 😉

Finding A Seat
Now that I had almost every picture of Great American that I could need for the post I’m currently writing, it was time to find myself a seat for the game.  We all know by now (because I’ve proven it) that if you are by yourself and persistent... you can almost sit anywhere you want.

Well... tonight, anybody with any amount of people could have sat almost anywhere they wanted too because it was a terrible night out.  It wasn’t raining when the game started but the wind was blowing like mad and by the time the 5th inning rolled around... it was raining sideways it was so bad out!

My point is, since it was so easy to move around the ballpark tonight, I took that liberty to it’s fullest and sat in probably 10 different seats during the course of the game.

My favorite seat though was the front seat I sat in for most of the middle innings on the 3rd baseline. (I was 10 yards from Scott Rolen.)

The Game - Reds vs. Pirates
Tonight's game was between the Cincinnati Red and Pittsburgh Pirates.  It’s weird how things work out because I have seen a lot of Bucco baseball this year.  Just saying.

I saw them last season in Pittsburgh, I saw them twice (I think) in spring training (once for sure at their home park), and now here I am Cincy and they’re playing. (I wish I was a Pirate fan, actually... no I don’t!) 😉

Anyway, even though the Reds are good team this season, they didn’t show it because the Pirates jumped out on them early and never looked back.  I honestly think the Reds packed it in after they were down a few runs because the weather was so nasty.

The Weather Was Crazy
I don’t agree with mailing in a game, but I can say that during the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings of play, the weather was so awful, I think I saw a cat and dog fly by me in the stands! 😉

F.Y.I. - During these innings with Reds down a few runs and the rain picking up, many of the brave fans that even showed up decided to leave.  Me on the other hand, I wasn’t going anywhere.  Heck, where did I have to be? 😉

The Umpire
During this time, one of the guys in the stands knew the umpire Jim Joyce (I think that’s his name), so he called him over to talk to him.  Now, I’ve seen Jim Joyce before as he’s a pretty popular umpire (at least I think so), so I got behind him and had somebody snap a pic for me. (I wanted it with him, but the game started back up.)

Mascot Time
Also, during this stretch of innings, the mascot for the Reds (Mr. Redlegs) made an appearance in the stands.  Doing as I always do, I made my way over to where he was and got my picture taken with him. (I did get into an argument with a usher during this time, but I had one goal in mind, a pic with Mr. Redlegs and I got it!)

Making It To The End
I keep mentioning the weather because it really was that bad out, so the fact I stayed until the last pitch was an accomplishment as I was probably one of only a few thousand that was still there.  The only difference I’d assume is, the rest of the crowd were probably Reds fans. 😉

Jay Bruce HR Ball
Then, one of the last at bats of the game was Jay Bruce of Cincy.  I only mention this AB because he hit a long home run to dead centerfield (Cincy still lost 6-1).   Where this matters to me is nobody was able to get the ball as it was just sitting on the grass after the game ended.

So, I made my way over the centerfield area here you would have to hop a wall and run onto the centerfield grass to retrieve the ball.  Huh?  Is it worth possibly getting arrested for  a Jay Bruce HR ball?  I stood there for a few moments thinking and then a security guard walked up.

I then asked him if I could get the ball and he said no, but I could race him for it.  Is he serious or just baiting me?  So, I didn’t move but as soon as he turned around, a girl hopped the wall and raced him to the ball.  He did beat her to it and was surprised somebody even hopped the wall.

Since the girl had the guts to make that leap of faith, I thought the guard would hand her the ball, but he didn’t as he tossed it to a cop who was working on the field. (He didn’t lie I guess, you had to beat him to the ball!) 😉

Traveling Back To A Different Part Of Indiana
By the time I left the stadium and got back to my car, it was almost 10:30 pm.  Now what do I do?  I have nowhere to stay and nowhere to be?  So, I checked my GPS for casinos nearby and found one just 20 minutes away in Indiana. (A different casino than the one I was at this morning.)

The ride wasn’t far but as you are now well aware from this post, the rain had started back up and was coming down hard.  Still, I hopped out of my car while I still in Cincy and took a picture of Pete Rose Ave.

Hollywood Casino
It me a little longer than it should have, but I did make it to my destination which was the Hollywood Casino in Indiana.  But before I walked into the casino, I called Matt from Columbus, Ohio (week 3 friend) to see what he was doing on Saturday.

F.Y.I. - I called Matt because I checked my GPS and saw I would be driving right through his town on my way to West Virginia (which is my next state).  Also we have kept in contact with each other throughout my journey since I met him and Pratt.

Talking With Matt On The Phone
After speaking Matt for a little bit, he told me to stop by on my way to WV and that I could stay at his place if I needed to.  Perfect!  The only thing is he leaves for work Saturday morning by 10 am so I need to get to his place before then. (It’s two hours away.)

Now that I had a plan, I could either play poker for a little bit and then take a nap in my car or I could play all night long and then drive to Columbus totally exhausted.  Hmmm... this should be an easy decision.  Yep... I’m playing poker all night and then driving in the AM. 😉

Playing Poker All Night
Since I basically played poker for 6 hours in a limit game, there is a lot of poker stories I could tell but again, this post is so long that I will make this part brief.  My first session I bought in $85 and lost it.  I couldn’t win a hand!  Ahhh!

Then, I went to the ATM and took out the money my Mom deposited ($140).  I knew that this money was now or never time, so I put on my game face and went back to the poker room.

I bought in for $100 of the $140 and got to playing.  Long story short, I lost most it and then made a comeback to where I got it all back plus $55 of the $85 I lost earlier.  I still lost on the day, but it wasn’t as devastating as it could have been. 🙁

Traveling To Columbus, Ohio
Knowing the drive was 2 hours long and I had to be at Matt’s before 9:30 am, I decided not to even cut it close and left Hollywood Casino at 6:30 am. This was the perfect time to leave for two reasons. 1.) It was getting light out which was good.  And 2.) It gave me plenty of time to make it there on time.)

For this first time on this trip believe it or not, I was actually going to see the sun rise and not set.  I’m not a morning guy and I am a night owl so this does make sense. 😉  Still, it was nice to finally see the sun rise for the first time in a long time.

Arriving At Matt’s Place
As I pulled into Columbus, Ohio all I could think about was... how awesome is this?  I started my trip meeting Matt in week 3 as a stranger and now here I am 270 days later going back to his place as a good friend!  This is trip unbelievable!  I love America! 🙂

Anyway, since I last saw Matt he had moved to a new house. (Pratt moved to Chicago, so Matt got a new place.)  My point is, I had never been here, so Matt was waiting outside for me when I arrived.  It’s so cool to see Matt again! 🙂  This is wild!

Crashing After 24 Hours Of Activities
After giving me the tour of his new pad and letting me know where I could crash, Matt and I hung out for an hour or so talking about life before he had to leave for work.  He told me he’d be home around 5 pm which fine by me because I’ll probably still be sleeping.

So that’s it, that was my 24 hours day of non-stop activities.  I traveled though 3 states and 2 of them twice, I lived it up in 4 cities while hanging out in 5, and ended up at Matt’s house from week 3 in Columbus, Ohio.  Some things you can’t just make up! 😉

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dad says:

    There are so many cool things in this article, it’s tough to know where to begin and end. Let’s say you
    and the Babe, look like brothers. The ladies of Keeneland know how to fill a dress, The Reds got picked clean & Matt was home. I’m tired !!!!

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