Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thunderbird Blue....

Monday, our 3rd day of our 3 day weekend began innocently enough.  There were high clouds, but it was almost balmy outside.  Our plan for this day was to drive into Louisville for the day to have lunch at a local brew pub, take in a few of the sites, and finish with a visit to Trader Joe's.

Soon after I evacuated the "black" tank in our water bay (getting full after 10 days) we slid into the soft leather bucket seats of the T-Bird and headed northwest to Louisville which is about 85 miles away.  The drive out Highway 210 to Highway 61 over to I-65 up to our destination was uneventful, but quite beautiful as the sun came peaking through the clouds lighting up the fall colors along our route.  There is a lot of limestone in this part of the country and the juxtaposition of stark limestone walls with the fall colors was quite striking.

We arrived in Louisville around 12:15 and headed for the visitor's center on Main Street to get the lay of the land.  As it turned out there was a highly recommended brew pub just a few blocks away, and also quite near some local attractions, so we found a parking garage around the corner and parked the 'Bird.  We went directly to the Bluegrass Brewing Company located right next door to the parking garage and were shown upstairs to a table where we quickly scanned their craft beer offerings.....our eyes settled on Dark Star Porter, and we ordered two pints along with a Rueben Sandwich for TLE and Fish Tacos for me.  The Porter was yummy, and the Fish Tacos with their special green salsa were delicious.  We shared a pint of their Bourbon Stout, which has this interesting smokey Bourbon taste.....very smooth.  YELP reviews gave this place 3.5 out of 5 stars, but we would give it a 4.5!  Great, fresh, robust pub food with very good micro brews.

After lunch we walked down to the Ohio River and snapped this picture of the oldest operating paddle wheel boat on the Ohio River, Belle of Louisville, with the Clark Bridge in the back ground, named for William Clark of "Lewis and Clark" fame.

Next we walked a few blocks to the Louisville Slugger factory/museum, also on Main Street. For every kid who has grown up around baseball, and has owned at least one Louisville Slugger bats, if not many more, this was a must see for me.  Amazingly the factory, which turns out 1.8 million bats a year including custom made bats for many, many major league baseball players going back to Honus Wagner, is only 3,000 square feet.  Years ago the bats made made by master lathe operators who shaped each bat to the major league player's specifications.  Each bat would take about 30 minutes to be shaped.  It would take an entire day for fill a 12 bat order for one major league player.  Now they are made on computerized lathes that shape each bat in 30 seconds, and it takes a little over 6 minutes to fill an order

As we toured the museum prior to the factory tour I zoned in on two bats that were of interest to me.....one display of one of the three bats Joe DiMaggio used during his 56 game hitting streak, a record which still stands to this day.

And, of course, one of the bats used by Babe Ruth in his then record setting year of 1927 when he hit 60 home runs in a 154 game schedule.  Of course, we all know that record was broken in 1961 by Roger Maris when he hit 61 homers in 163 games.

The museum and the 30 minute tour are fascinating, and I would recommend them to anyone.

As we left the museum I took this picture of this old town area where most of buildings have been renovated, and re-purposed, or are in the process of renovation.  It is a very nice part of town to take a leisurely stroll.  We headed back to the parking garage to fetch the 'Bird and head over to Trader Joe's, and then back home.

The drive back south on I-65 was pleasant, and very sunny as most of the clouds had now disappeared.  Just as we were exiting the Interstate at Elizabethtown on to Highway 61 the radio suddenly went dead, the cruise control shut off, the A/C died, and the windows would not go up and  down.  The car still ran, but had no pep.  I pulled over in a small business parking lot and turned the car off, then tried to restart it, but the battery was almost dead, and struggled to turn over the engine.....RATS!!!  Based on the symptoms I believed the alternator had crapped out on us, and the engine had been running off the battery for a few miles.  So, we called AAA who sent a flatbed tow truck over right away.  While we were waiting we called Hertz and Enterprise to try and rent a car to drive the last 40 miles home, but at almost 5pm they were both out of cars! Hmmmmm?!!  Eddie, the tow truck operator was very efficient and quickly delivered us to Bob Swope Ford a few miles away.   He had a "Jumper Box" that we hooked to the battery in the trunk, and the car started right up, the radio came on, etc.  I then moved the 'Bird into position to be pulled on to the flat bed.  That the car started right up with enough juice, and ran normally leads me to believe my diagnosis of a bad alternator is correct.  At Swope Ford we met Justin, a 20 something service writer, who also tried calling Hertz and Enterprise hoping his sway would get us a vehicle maybe being held in reserve, but he struck out.  The service department by this time was closing as it was close to 6pm, and their only loaner was being used by another customer.  Initially Justin was offering to drive us back to Campbellsville, but then Steve Warren, the used car manager, came over and offered to let us use one of the used cars on the lot as long as we would bring it back the next day.  Whew!! We, of course agreed, signed a temporary "rental" agreement (there is no charge), and headed home to await the news of what is wrong with our Thunderbird and how much it will set us back to ransom it from the service department on Tuesday.  We are praying it is something simple like the alternator, which I am 99% sure it is.  

So we sit around 10am on Tuesday awaiting news of our car.  We'll have to leave within a couple of hours to make the round trip to Elizabethtown, and Swope Ford, to retrieve our car, and get back in time to start our 5:30pm shift at Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.