Getting into the spirit in Louisville

“Lewisville,” “Looeyville,” “Looavull,” “Looaville,” and “Luhvull.”  However you pronounce it, I like it. Our family did not visit Louisville when I was growing up. We ate pizza all over the Midwest (my father co-owned a pizza restaurant in Newburgh), but I don’t recall ever visiting the largest city in the Commonwealth for a piece of pie or any other reason.

Today, my family finds many reasons to visit Louisville. We were afforded one of these opportunities last weekend when we holed up there for “Christmas at the Galt House.”

The Galt House hotel is massive, with 1,290 rooms, including 650 suites — great for families. In recent years, the owners have invested more than $70 million in the hotel, also adding a beautiful $4 million conservatory connecting its towers.

In the hotel’s Rivue Restaurant, our sons liked dining in a revolving room — there are two! The swanky restaurant and lounge bears no trace to the former Flagship Room, decorated like a Spanish ship.

New to the property is the Down One Bourbon Bar, located at Third and W. Main streets. I attended a bourbon tasting on the evolution of the spirit from corn whisky to small batch, single barrel, like John E. Fitzgerald’s Larceny Bourbon, aged for 12 years, and made with wheat as the secondary grain.

The highlight is the KaLightoscope Attraction — massive luminaries handcrafted by Chinese artisans from Zigon, China. The Christmas Village showcase displays feature three-dozen restored animated characters from downtown Louisville’s old Stewart’s Department Store.  Maxwell and Jackson soared across rooftops in Santa’s sleigh in front of a green wall.

Holiday festivities at the Galt House include a dinner show, The Colors of the Season, featuring regional talent by a Nashville-based production company.

When the fun is done, what I like best about visiting Louisville is the short drive home.

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