21C is a museum hotel located on Main Street in downtown Louisville. It easy to spot...just keep one eye open for a giant golden statue of David and then look down. Sitting at the bar inside 21C gives you a lovely view of brilliant bronzed buttcrack. Here...let me give you a visual...
The weekend Shana visited for Blue's first birthday, we stopped in for a quick browse of 21C's art collection, which is free to the public and open 24 hours a day. Apparently, it also rotates with art among the other 2 21C hotels, located in Cincinnati and Bentonville, Arkansas. Yes, I said Bentonville. Are you paying attention, Tami? Traci? Belinda? And most importantly...husbands? Blue had just learned to walk so Neal had his hands full while Shana and I perused the gallery. I briefly mentioned wanting to spend a night there and off we went, to dinner or the Slugger Museum or whatever was next on the agenda.
One week later, I got an email saying that we had one night with the Got Art? package at 21C. Happy Anniversary! Indeed. We made arrangements with Big Mama and Nana Anna to watch Blue for the night (which, for the record, was going to be a first and I think the only person not nervous about the evening was Blue) and booked the glassblowing session included in the package.
Last Saturday, after a dizzying 2 hours at the family-run pumpkin patch, we dropped off Blue, threw Big Mama a couple of deuces, and hit the road. And we waited for the call begging us to come back. It never came. This is a testament not only to Blue's resiliency, but also Big Mama's and Nana Anna's resolve. I give them a lot of credit for saying, "OK, we got this. You kids go have fun." But as Neal put it so succinctly later in the evening (and after a flight of bourbon), we were not coming back. Under any circumstances. They would learn what it was to be grandmothers. Fortunately, we had already met our quota of ER visits earlier in the month so it had to go smoothly.
A quick check-in to our 2nd floor loft-like room (with 2 windows that looked directly out onto Main Street, where we later saw a horse-drawn carriage lit to look like Cinderella's ride and a traveling bar that was propelled by the participants pedaling while they drank...WHAT? Shana, we are so doing that next time)...
And it was time to stroll around the corner to our glassblowing session at Flame Run Gallery on Market Street. This was such a treat that I'm going to dedicate a separate post to reviewing the adventure, but this is how we blow...
Glassblowing ended around 5:30 and our dinner reservations weren't until 8:30. What to do for 3 hours?? Oh wait. Drink. Yeah, that sounds right. So back to 21C we headed...straight to the bar inside Proof on Main, the restaurant at 21C (which is a great foodie spot in its own right, even if you pass on the glass and the room service and the unlimited HGTV).
And now for some 21C art. Not suitable for viewing with 5th grade boys or any men with whom you may share a cubicle wall.
There are also giant penguins. The bright red water fowel are a staple at 21C and they tend to migrate throughout the day. (Understandably so...they are astonishingly lightweight.) It is said that the staff moves them about, from one floor to another and sometimes into guests' rooms. We found this guy chilling in the gallery.
All of this and we still had 90 minutes to waste before dinner. Neal has started geocaching through an app on his phone. He usually remembers to stop and look for caches whenever we are out and about. As it turned out, there was a cache in the hotel. In the men's restroom, to be exact. The urinal is a giant waterfall with a 1-way mirror looking out into the hallway of the hotel. Women will catch a glimpse of the mirror, stop to adjust hair and makeup and be none the wiser that a man is just on the other side with flesh in hand, and would be peeing on her shoes were it not for the glass.
I said, "act like you're peeing" and this is what I get. All class, all the time.
Now it was time to go change for dinner, do the hair, the makeup, the exchange of gifts, and be on our way. Do we know how to kill 3 hours or what? Dinner was at Vincenzo's, which I will review later. On the way back, we saw 2 bats nested on the Humana building columns and several horse-drawn carriages, but nothing could draw us away from the promise of cable and a comfortable bed with just the 2 of us in it. We fell asleep to the hum and lights of HGTV and yet another episode of House Hunters.
Our Got Art? package included a voucher for breakfast the next morning at Proof on Main. One bagel and lox and an eggs benedict later, we were ready to face the day...
If you are in the Louisville, Cincy or Bentonville area (and they are adding a 4th location in Lexington, KY soon), I all-caps, underscore four times RECOMMEND 21C for a night or 2 or 5. The staff is helpful and friendly, the beds are soft, the decor is unexpected, and there is an espresso maker in the rooms. There are ways to incorporate art and fun into everyday life and 21C has mastered them.