Katie & Nico’s Engagement
A Short History of Our Whirlwind Louisville, KY Weekend…
When I read the schedule that Katie made for us, I said that not even Princess Diana, bless her, had she still been living, could have fulfilled this program…but somehow we did and it was truly delightful. Thank you, Katie!
Almost the first thing we did upon being picked up at the airport on Friday, August 22nd, was to visit Churchill Downs (spectacular) where FR and Nico reserved the Aristides Room for the rehearsal dinner day and evening (next May 22nd) It’ll be complete with races, betting, food and drinks for 50 people!!! This is the room next to the one visited by Queen Elizabeth, who, we were told, never smiled or waved to the greeting crowd. We, unlike the Queen, are really going to party! Forget just about the wedding day—this is going to be a wedding weekend! Maybe even a week!
The young couple gave us a whirlwind tour of Louisville and we saw some beautiful parks and old mansions, and then were ushered to see Garden Court, the beautiful Louisville Seminary, where the bridal reception will be held. Gorgeous grounds! Several of us “out-of-towners” who will be attending the festivities will be staying in a hotel on the reception grounds.
Our first evening in Louisville, Felipe took us out to dinner at Avalon, a lovely upscale restaurant in Bardstown—a neat area with interesting little shops and restaurants. The dinner party included the parents of the groom, the groom-to-be, his fiancée and her mother, and also Elizabeth, Katie’s sister from North Carolina and her friend, Lauren. It was a most enjoyable evening—nothing like hanging around young people with good food and drinks.
Everything went super nicely over the Louisville, KY Engagement weekend, thanks to Katie and her mother, Lera, a sweet, fun, and lively gal. (I had met her only once before and felt most welcomed). The engagement party, held in the garden of Katie’s childhood home on Daisy Lane, went off without a hitch. Lera’s wedding dress and veil were on a mannequin, making the festive occasion quite special. We met many of their relatives and friends and Katie’s 91 year old Nanny. Everyone had a lovely time.
The menu consisted of: fried sesame chicken wings, two kinds of potato salad: one of them was a German potato salad made by Nanny, baked beans, devilled eggs, baked ham tea sandwiches, a cucumber and sour cream dish, zucchini-chocolate chip tiny muffins, and a chocolate cake. There were several types of beer, Pinot Grigio wine, and a Bourbon cocktail that Nico made with pineapple juice that could knock you out of your socks and to the moon, which his mother didn’t taste because FR did.
Everyone that saw Katie open her gift from us liked it. Most especially the bride-to-be said she loved our present, and Nico thanked us for our presence. Gotta love that boy Katie’s engaged to—he has manners—and everyone in KY seems to be crazy about him—they couldn’t ALL have lied to us. So we didn’t do such a bad job after all! Katie was the belle of the ball, and Lera, a most charming hostess.
Saturday, the day of the engagement party, Katie took us to Lera’s friends spread: Debbie Foley’s Silver Brook Stable—a beautiful horse farm—where we saw some new-born colts, and some outrageously beautiful horses with names to match. Debbie and Lera have been friends since grade school. After the party we went to the KY Fair to watch Debbie come in 3rd riding Callaway’s Karla, Joann Griffin’s horse, in the 5 Gaiter Class at the World Championship Horse Show. We met Joann and her husband Joe after the race to congratulate them.
The KY FAIR Horse Show was wonderful—even more than we bargained for because Katie’s brother Jack McCray is the assistant trainer to the winning horse, Breaking News, in that class. So it was an exciting evening. Katie always gives away a trophy at the show in honor of her great-grandfather, but this year she gave that honor to her visiting sister Elizabeth from NC give it away. Very admirable thing to do.
Sunday morning eleven of us guests had breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and then most got on their way. Felipe, Nico, Katie, and I toured downtown and went to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. It was neat seeing the presidents who had signed baseballs.
Then while FR and Nico had a drink at Ramsi’s Café on the World, Katie and I ducked into Carmichael’s Bookstore and a neat used book store called, All Booked Up, where I found two leather-bound treasures signed by Gail Godwin—perfect condition and unread. We joined the boys for more drinks and “Madame Toussand’s Empanada” appetizer, which is filled to overflowing with London Broil, Kentucky Kenny’s sharp cheese, portabella mushrooms and onions, baked inside a homemade ajean bread and drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil! Indeed, we did. Then it was off to pick up Aline (AKA Nanny) and dinner at Lera’s for barbeque pork, green beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and leftover cake!
The “begaged ones” took off at 5 am on Monday, but Felipe and I spent the day with Lera shopping. We had lunch at this cute, funky restaurant that was on the Food Channel, called Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. Great Bloody Mary’s! We ate spinach salads—mine with Gorgonzola, tomatoes, bacon, and hard cooked eggs—the others had the same by with Gouda and toasted pecans—all had the poppy seed vinaigrette. Yummy!
Here are some of the shops we visited: Mission Jewelry (Fine Art), Crazy Daisy (Antique Mall), Caffeine Gallery, (Karen Hartsough, the artist gave Katie and Nico a beautiful frame she created), Celia’s, The Hadley Pottery Co., (Yes! Felipe bought me two beautiful plates! The Red Tree, and numerous others.
Lera dropped us at the airport around 4 pm, so for now, Arriverdeci, Louisville till next springtime and the nuptials.