To be honest, I tend not to tell people that I moved to Kentucky; I emphasize that I live in Louisville, which people back home might not remember is in the Bluegrass State. Growing up in suburban Chicago, mention of Kentucky conjured images of horses and hillbillies in our grade school minds. Even on my first trip to Lexington at age 12, all I saw were the horses.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Louisville is not really like the rest of Kentucky. I can understand this, because suburban Chicago is not like most of the rest of the state of Illinois. Louisville is a mid-sized city with much more diversity than the rest of the state. In our urban neighborhood, we enjoy many ethnic restaurants; there is a downtown with museums, theaters and skyscrapers; several of the parks around the city, including Cherokee Park right outside our front door, were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same man who designed Central Park (yes, the one in New York.)
However, it seems once you get outside the Gene Snyder expressway, you enter “Kentucky.”
This morning, on the first day of spring, I ventured out into Kentucky with Nick, who is on spring break from the dental school. We decided to explore Beckley Creek Park and the Louisville Loop. And the truth is, Kentucky is a beautiful place to be if you love being outdoors, which we do.
I wouldn’t be telling the whole story if I didn’t include that we did see some horses…but no hill folk.