This time last year, I lived an 8-hour drive away from my brother, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew. I got to see them a couple of times a year for few days – usually when Humming House was in Chicago, on Thanksgiving, and maybe Christmas or a summer trip to Nashville. When we moved to Louisville, I was thrilled because that brought the drive down to 5 hours, and I knew Ian and Andrea would be making frequent trips to town for Derby and Louisville games. So I figured I’d get to see them a few extra times a year – some more hang time with a few of my favorite people. Then life happened, which is to say a few twists and turns led to a most unexpected change in plans for Ian and Andrea and the kids, and in October Ian started up a new, amazing job at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. That brought the potential travel distance between us down to one measly hour. When they decided to move to Louisville instead of Lexington (with Ian commuting), the travel distance from our front door to theirs diminished to a meager 20 minutes.
Things are coming together with our move to Louisville in a way I never anticipated. I love being in town with two of my closest friends from high school, my aunt and uncle and our game nights, and only a hop-skip away from another close friend who lives in Cincinnati. I’m so close to Nashville that I can still carry on with HH without much difficulty. I love our “new” city, our location, Javi’s job. But having my bro and his fam in town rounds out this move in the most perfect way. Get ready for adventures in the #mccrodlife…
Of course, the first week after Ian and Andrea and the kids moved in I had to leave on a 2-week tour, so I haven’t been able to soak up much fam time yet. But the first week they were in town my parents came up from Nashville and we had a full weekend of fall activities. We spent two days traipsing around Louisville finding the festivals and fall-related action, ending with a trip to Huber’s Farm in Indiana to pick pumpkins.
Fall festivals are CROWDED. Or maybe we just picked the two most packed festivals to visit in Louisville. I remember going to Huber’s as a kid – even in college – and it was a relaxing experience. We’d hop on a wagon with a group of people and head out to the pumpkin patch and lazily take photos and scoop up our favorite pumpkin…I have vivid memories of having a nice afternoon in the country. Woe betide the person looking for a relaxing trip to Huber’s these days…
Hubers in college! Freshman year I think.
2004 or 2005…crazy! notice: we are the only ones in the patch
We arrived and it felt like a theme park. There was a band going, employees directing parking lot traffic, thousands of people milling around; it was pretty chaotic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Huber’s. Good for them for expanding their business and for getting people to spend some time together OUTSIDE. I was just expecting a bit of a different scene…especially while toting around a couple of kiddos. Luckily, Ian found the kid-friendly version of the farm over near the Hubers restaurant (which is a totally different part of Hubers Farm that either didn’t exist when I was a kid or wasn’t on my radar). They had pony rides, bouncy castles, and a nice tree next to a lake that Javi was able to retreat under until we all were seated in the restaurant for dinner.
The restaurant was the perfect end to a slightly turbulent afternoon. Javier’s favorite restaurant back in Nashville was Monell’s, a family-style, southern-cooking, comfort-food haven with the best fried chicken and banana pudding in town. Huber’s restaurant was almost exactly the same style, so we were thrilled to find the Louisville (well, Starlight IN) analog. The food was amazing and the kiddos were happy, which meant everyone was happy. We may not have gotten around to picking out a pumpkin in a field, but pony rides trump wagon rides any day in Gia’s opinion, and let’s be real…at a fall festival, it’s the kiddos’ opinions that really matter.
Javier was very excited about that fried chicken