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     For the Married Folk The (a.k.a, “I Do’s”):

    Marriage is all about almost tireless planning but is worth it: from the ceremony, to cohabitation, to kids to growing old with the person you managed to convince to go on a second date. Plan ahead for fun ideas and deals and surprise the love of your life each with neat new idea that gets you away from the home, could be romantic and exciting and takes you back to the days when a first date was scary yet exciting but you can now take the one(s) you love in your life that make your life the real fairy-tale.

    "Fleur De Licious", Downtown Louisville’s Fine Dining Week:

    The event will be held from May 13 – May 21, 2011. Downtown’s finest restaurants will offer a special menu with a choice of an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert for $35 per person. Price does not include tax, gratuity or beverages. This promotion is being held in conjunction with Hometown Tourist Month, visit for more information. For a listing of participating restaurants and menus, visit or call (502) 583-1671.

    Jonathan at Gratz Park:

    A road trip to Lexington will bring couples to the romantic restaurant Jonathan at Gratz Park. Chef Jonathan Lundy features farm-fresh Kentucky ingredients like heirloom tomatoes, wildflower honey and Bibb lettuce.  Salmon hot-smoked in house with bourbon barrel wood brings unique flavor to the Hot Smoked Salmon Chop Salad, and Maker’s Mark’s finest adds intense flavor to the red-eye gravy served with Lundy’s Coffee Seared Pork Chops. While much of Lundy’s menu builds on culinary traditions, he also breaks the mold with inventive twists on Southern flavor, like the Country Ham Potstickers with bourbon soy dipping sauce; Foie Gras Bread Pudding and Kentucky Ale-battered Shrimp Corn Dogs with wedge salad.

    The Meridian Cafe:

    Unfortunately, triple-clicking your heels and repeating "there's no place like home" isn't exactly reliable transportation. Instead, point those ruby slippers to The Meridian Cafe, where the cozy atmosphere, friendly faces, and handmade fare will make you feel right at home. Savor the satisfying tastes of a home-cooked breakfast when you pay $10 for $20 worth food and drinks at this St Matthews eatery. Warm up to new twists on old favorites, like French toast made with thick-sliced brioche, cooked with vanilla custard, and dressed with house-made mascarpone cheese and basil-blueberry syrup. Take advantage of the nice weather and snack on a hearty panini at one of the garden picnic tables. Come before 11 a.m. and enjoy a plate of scones with your meal. There may be no place like home, but The Meridian comes pretty close.

    KaZoing!  Party & Play:

    Your daughter is already the consummate tea party hostess, serving imaginary Earl Grey to her dolls with grace and polish. Your master of make-believe will get to act as guest of honor at a gathering as delightful as she is: Pay $20 and take your little one to a mother-and-daughter Princess tea party at KaZoing! Party & Play. Fantasies will become reality when she plays dress up; gets her hair, makeup, and nails done; and settles in for tea, juice, and cookies with all her favorite princesses -- including Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White. Your daughter will also receive a special coloring book to fill with the autographs of her royal dining companions. The enchanting event will only last an afternoon, but the memories will last a lifetime.

    Italian Dinner at The Brown Hotel:

    Authentic Italian Food and Wine Featured at Five-Course Dinner and Book Signing With Esquire Food and Travel Correspondent on May 12.  

    The Brown Hotel will welcome Esquire magazine’s food and travel correspondent John Mariani for a special five-course dinner and book signing. The dinner will showcase traditional Italian cuisine with wine pairings in honor of Mariani’s new book, "How Italian Food Conquered the World."  The price to attend is $65 per person, and personalized copies of Mariani’s book are available for purchase at the list price of $25. Seating is limited, so please call (502) 736-2996 to make a reservation.

    Ooh La La! Bakery Celebrates Derby with Specialty Chocolates and Goodies:

    The creative team at Ooh La La! Bakery introduces the following specialty chocolates and goodies for Derby, at its retail bakery and dessert boutique, 1841 Plantside Drive. The new confections are perfect for Derby Dessert Boxes and gifts. Derby Party Dessert Bar Catering is also available.  “The new Derby confections were a big hit at the Taste of Derby Festival,” said Anastasia Weis Cullen, owner. “We also offer an excellent assortment of pastries, Viennoiseries, muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, crumb cakes, and biscotti, perfect for a delicious Derby brunch.” Orders for pick-up can be made by calling 502-499-1575.

    Ooh La La! Bakery is Louisville’s first and only nut free bakery. All baked goods are made by hand, from scratch, with fresh ingredients free of artificial preservatives and additives wherever possible. We are Kentucky Proud and strive to support our local farmers and producers by using local produce and Kentucky Proud products as much as possible. Conveniently located in the Bluegrass Industrial Park, Ooh La La! Bakery offers delicious breakfast items, baked goods and desserts along with Java Brewing Co. coffee, Elmwood Inn Tea, and Rooibee Red Tea. Daily vegan, gluten free and sugar free specials are also featured. Corporate catering, gift baskets, and specialty cake decorating services are available. Retail hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am-noon. Visit us on Facebook or at for more information.

    A Massage at "A Breath of Serenity":

    Last V-Day, your convenience store greeting card and cheaply made teddy bear landed you in the doghouse. This year, impress your sweetie with something more personal: a romantic, hour-long couples' massage at A Breath of Serenity. Pick your pleasure from Serenity's variety of massage styles: from Swedish, sports, and deep-tissue, to pregnancy and myofascial (you can even upgrade to hot stone treatment). Four full-time massage therapists are on staff to provide the most serene and soothing massage possible -- customized perfectly for you and yours. More than just 60 minutes of tactile bliss, your session also includes rich Godiva chocolates and stunning, fragrant roses -- making this package a treat for all your senses. Enjoy the benefits of a more personal touch.

    The Great Outdoors:

    Just because you can't jet set to Miami Beach or Cancun for spring break, doesn't mean you have to stay grounded here. Zip on down to Cave City, Kentucky and for less than $50 you can reach new heights on a 1.5-hour zip line tour at Mammoth Cave Adventures. This 60-acre farm and world-class eco-adventure site is the first in the state, offering five zip lines, two skybridges, and countless breathtaking views. Soar through Mammoth Cave's lush forests while learning about the surrounding trees, wildlife, and ecosystem from certified instructors. Adventurous kids can get in on the action at the children's zip line course. And with all your high-flying fun captured in action photos, you'll leave with a much better souvenir than a sunburn and sandy shorts.

    Childhood boredom is the leading cause of broken vases, finger-painted walls, and vandalized Barbie dream houses. Channel the energies of youth with today's outdoor fun to Kentucky Action Park in Cave City, Kentucky. Choose between the following options:

    Covered with view-blurring slides and scenic rides, Kentucky Action Park entertains families with both fast-paced and picturesque attractions. 

    Adventure-seeking families or chrono-displaced cowboys can mount up for a one-hour trail ride atop a well-trained steed from the Jesse James Riding Stables. Riders depart from one of the largest riding stables in Kentucky, where an experienced guide leads the group into the countryside valley, giving riders an up-close experience of breathtaking scenery much more powerful than panoramic paint-by-Greek-letter views. Horseback hotshots as young as 2 years old can blaze the dusty trail.

    Experience the buzz of zooming thrills and competitive play with the 20-ticket attraction pass, good toward the alpine slide, putt-putt golf, single and double go-karts, bumper boats and cars, rock-wall sessions, chair lift, and the Trampoline Thing. 

    Adventurous sled pilots can zip down the tree-covered mountainside on the alpine slide, a quarter-mile channel filled with twists and turns, or channel inner rams on land and water with rollicking bumper rides. 

    Circus bears untrained in the art of dance are often the least popular big-top attraction, falling somewhere between the bearded lady and a slice of stale rye bread on a pedestal. 


    Ensure an appearance in the spotlight at Arthur Murray Dance Studio here in Louisville you can get two private lessons and one group dance class.  A panel of certified instructors is ready and waiting to instruct students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your three lessons, or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness-seeker looking for a fun new way to get in ship shape. Stick to a stately waltz, spice up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, the lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits. 

    Photo:  (Kit & Hope Helton, Dominican Republic)

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    About Kit Helton

    Average single guy who has been able to lead an above average life. Originally from New Orleans and arrived in Louisville after 10 years via Chicago in 2005. Currently residing near Churchill Downs with my dog, Dixie. Owner of a catering company for over a decade and published cookbook author, I am lucky to return to the Food & Dining as well as Arts beats for

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