Road Trip Day 1 – Racetracks and Santa Claus

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Road Trip 2011 started off with a bang! Day One took us across multiple state borders (5 states in all — Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri), down many highways, and on only a few wrong turns.

We began the day in Findlay, Ohio, and headed south down to Louisville, Kentucky, where we visited Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. I've been a fan of horses since I was very young, and I was mildly obsessed with horse racing for a few years in middle school. So, for me, a visit to Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby has been run for 137 years, was really exciting.

We took a behind-the-scenes tour of the racetrack, and then had time to explore the Kentucky Derby Museum, which, considering its compact size, is actually pretty great. It's colorful, informative, and interactive — all good traits for a museum to have. Even if you don't like horses or racing very much, I think this museum would still be fun.

Here are a few photos from Churchill Downs:

From Louisville, it was on to St. Louis, Missouri, via quite a few states. But, along the way, we couldn't ignore the signs for Santa Claus, Indiana. Yes, you've got it — a Christmas-themed town in the Midwest! We obviously had to stop and drive around this odd little town, posing with a few Santa statues and giggling like mad at the absurdity of all the Santa-themed shops and the twinkle lights strung up in August. My favorite part though? The police cruisers announcing the “Santa Claus Police.”

After a long day of driving, we finally arrived in St. Louis to see the city all lit up at night. Hopefully fun adventures await us here tomorrow!

Each day, I'll be cutting together a quick video to show you what we've been up to. Here's Day 1:

What do you think? Did we use our first day well?

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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