An orange sun rises above the trees on the Kentucky horizon as I sit in the back seat of a rented hybrid traveling home with my fiancee and her parents.
We have just spent two days visiting my soon-to-be sister-in law in Lexington, Ky., a city known for horses, whiskey and Wildcats, two of which I believe are sins to be big fans of.
It was a wonderful trip. We spent Easter at my fiancee’s sister’s church and then had a nice brunch. I tried a hot brown, which is an open-faced sandwich that contains enough meat to raise your cholesterol faster than a batting average on HGH.
After brunch, we visited the grave of Seattle Slew, which turned out not to be a grunge band, but rather a horse and a rather famous one at that. The brother of Mr. Ed, I believe. To tell the truth, I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m not really into horses.
My fiancee’s sister is, though. She works on one of the Lexington horse farms as a blood stock agent, which is a fancy term for an equine escort service. Think “Seabiscuit” meets “Fiddler on the Roof.” Or, better yet, don’t think about it all. It’s for the best. Believe me.
The highlight of the weekend, though, might have been finding out that my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s red-headed roommate (hello there, hyphen police) owns a copy of “The Warriors,” which quite possibly is one of the best worst movies ever.
The plot of the movies is this: Guys in vests from Coney Island battle clowns in pinstripes with baseball bats, roller-skating dudes in suspenders, and the sleazy brother from “Twin Peaks.” It really does not get any better than that.
I probably needed sleep, but I stayed up much too late watching “The Warriors” instead. “Can you dig it?”
All in all, it was a successful trip. Alas, even successful trips must end and now we’re heading home.
The orange sun still is rising, but it’s not making it much warmer. The outside temperature is 31 degrees Fahrenheit. You just can’t escape the northern Illinois cold, which followed us down to Kentucky like a lost mutt. It snowed last night, and it looks as if someone sprinkled baby powder on the hills we’re driving through.
I grew up in hills much like these in southern Indiana. My brother and I used to drive around those hills on weekends back in the days when gas was 80 cents a gallon. Up one hill, down another, while hanging out with some hamburgers, some French fries, and some good tunes. Nothing in front of us but our whole lives.
We never had a destination. We just drove. It didn’t really matter where we went. It’s a whole lot easier to have new experiences when you’re not sure where you’re going. It’s when you know what’s ahead of you at all times that life becomes routine and new experiences get buried with Seattle Slew, which, again, is not a grunge band.
If anything, this trip to Kentucky reminded me that life is about those new experiences.
Just on this trip, I got to see a famous horse’s grave, I tried a new sandwich that quite possibly reduced my life expectancy by 15 minutes, and I watched an awesome movie, from which I gained a new-found respect for guys in vests from Coney Island.
And all because I decided to accompany my fiancee and her parents to Lexington.
After skirting around Cincinnati, we reach Indiana just as the now-yellow sun reaches the point where it’s probably unsafe for me to keep looking up at it. Which is just as well because it’s time to look forward.
There’s a sign ahead that says “Welcome to Batesville.” Sounds somewhat frightening in a Hitchcockian kind of way. Batesville. Bates Motel. Same difference. In any case, I’ve never been here before. Who knows what adventures await?