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March Madness Kentucky Style: Visit Lexington

March Madness Kentucky Style

It’s March Madness – that’s college basketball season to the rest of the world – and there is no place in the world better for lovers of college basketball than Lexington, Kentucky!   Kentucky fans “bleed blue” and Lexington, home of The University of Kentucky (and this year’s unbeaten 36-0 Kentucky Wildcats), is the perfect place to celebrate the college basketball season. This time of year you can’t turn around in town without seeing “Big Blue” and “Cats” specials everywhere.

So here is your guide for the best places to gear up, eat up, drink up, and soak up some Kentucky Big Blue Madness!!! 

  1. Head to North Limestone Donuts and get a donut.  You’ll find it at 575 N. Limestone St.  Try the Maple Bacon or the Long John Calipari.  Just because.  If donuts aren’t your thing, then enjoy the best coffee and company you’ve ever had at Third St. Stuff at 257 N. Limestone. This funky hangout is full of friendly people and there will surely be a wildcat special on the menu.
  1. Get your Kentucky Gear. Personally I always like to shop local and my favorite little shop is High St. Fly at 887 E High St.  It’s got great Unique Kentucky T-shirts and gear that nobody else has! Walk across the street and visit The Morris Book Shop (“MoBoSho”) for their knowledgeable friendly staff and all kinds of books including an entire section of Kentucky books. WHile there be sure to pick up the latest copy of our local STORY Magazine.  This well made publication will entertain and inform you.  Every edition is a great read. Get a copy of this year’s Kentucky Basketball Yearbook to be sure you have all your information about each player on the Kentucky roster. The Cat’s Paws is a local paper dedicated to information just about the wildcats.
  1.  Take a Tour of The Joe Craft Center: (If you can arrange for one.) This 30 million dollar facility is the practice and training home for the University of Kentucky Men’s and Women’s basketball teams.  It is really something to see. You generally have to get somebody local and “in the know” to arrange this but if you have a connection – get ready to be amazed.  You will see how the basketball players experience life at UK as student-athletes, and if you are very lucky, you might get a peek into the office of the top cat, John Calipari.  Alternatively, you can take a tour of the University of Kentucky and it’s beautiful campus.  You won’t be disappointed
  1. Rupp Arena: Get your picture taken on the original floor of Rupp Arena. If you pull into the Hyatt Hotel valet parking you can run inside the front revolving doors of Rupp Arena and Lexington Convention Center.  Just beyond the box office is the original floor of Rupp Arena. This is a great photo opportunity for anyone wanting their picture next to the Rupp Floor. You can’t actually get into the arena when there isn’t an event scheduled – but this is close.
  1. Have lunch at The Square. Right across from Rupp Arena you can enjoy lots of downtown eateries. You’ll be in the heart of Lexington which provides lots of downtown shopping for wildcat fans! My favorites are Pies and Pints, Saul Good (get the chicken and waffles) and Shakespere and Co. (Try their flowering tea and crepes! ). For the largest piece of pizza you have ever had, head around the corner to N. Mill St. to Goodfellas Pizza.
  1. Settle in to Watch the Game. Kentucky Basketball consumes this town. So where are you going to watch it? Don’t watch the game alone in your hotel room. If you are lucky enough to be in town for a home game try to get tickets. if you aren’t able to (every game sells out) watching with a crowd of fellow fans is always easy. If you are younger, you might head to The Tin Roof (303 S. Limestone) or Two Keys Tavern (333 S.Limestone).  Less rowdy fans might want to check out the Kentucky Theater (214 E Main St.) which shows games free of charge on the Big Screen.

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Swim with Marine Iguanas, Galapagos, Islands:

One of the most amazing experiences I have ever had was in the Galapagos Islands. The Marine iguana is truly one of the strangest animals. Seeing these cold blooded creatures come in at the end of the day swimming into shore and piling onto the rocks is something I will never forget. Seeing one swim by me was such a shock. It’s hard to believe these animals can swim. I even watched them leap from a cliff into the ocean. Everything about the Galapagos Islands makes for an amazing family experience but be sure to add meeting these marine iguanas to your bucket list!


Walk on the outside of the Auckland Sky Tower: 100 Family Travel Experiences

Walk on the outside of  the Auckland Sky Tower:

My ten year old is a daredevil. When he saw this opportunity he begged us go. My husband doesn’t like heights but we all said we’d give it a try.  This activity is terrifying and exhilarating!  I felt quite safe (as I triple checked the harness straps) but there is still something that doesn’t seem quite right about leaning off the side of a 192 meter tower! They run you through a series of activities as you make your way around the edge, like walking to the edge or leaning off forwards and backwards .  As we grew more accustomed to the experience of being outside at extreme height, some of us become more brave.  We spent about an hour outside circling the building on a metal grated walkway with no handrails. They take lots of pictures too. In addition to the sky walk you can take the fast route down to the street.  The Sky Tower offers an option to jump off the side and descend to the sidewalk below! Very memorable and kids will love it!!!



Urban Surfing in Munich:

Urban Surfing in Munich

Every day right in the middle of  Munich, Germany you can find surfers hitting the waves – just venture into the city’s Englischer Garten. The Eisbach river, home to the world’s best known river surf spot, has a huge stationary wave where surfers jump in taking turns on the wave.  Up to 100 surfers a day hop in the river where the water temperature typically runs about 15 degree celsius (59 degree Farenheit!). It is quite a show to see.  Our kids had learned to surf in Australia but this wave was above any of our  ability.  But it was so much fun to watch!


Creep through the Catacombs under Paris

#80 Creep through the Catacombs under Paris:

Under the streets of Paris you can find the ossuaries of 6 million people. The twisty tunnels lined with skeletons and bones stacked in various patterns is both haunting and beautiful. One must remember that it is not a theme park or haunted house but truly a burial ground and should be treated with respect. The sheer number of skeletons is hard to comprehend and the history of the place is fascinating. This is not an activity for small children or those who get easily frightened – as it can be scary.  But my kids were amazed and we all went away thinking it was one of the most interesting places we had ever been.


Get a fish Massage in Bali:

#82 Get a fish Massage in Bali:

There are lots of different styles of massages out there and in Ubud, Bali it isn’t expensive to take some time to relax. Massages are cheap and available everywhere but one of the strangest massage opportunities we saw was the fish massage. A fish massage consists of submerging your feet in a giant tank filled with tiny little fish that eat the dead skin from you feet and lower legs. Your whole family can sit together and laugh as the fish tickle your toes. It’s strange and amusing. Your legs do feel good afterwards and we all had fun. (Be warned it is important you learn about the health standards of this, as there are risks and concerns associated with it).

We had the opportunity to try a natural version of this in Borneo in a local river with larger versions of fish. It was much more intimidating and if a certain type of catfish snuck up it hurt. I’ll stick with typical tank massage with tank filter in the future.