Friday, January 31, 2014

Sochi Dreaming: Catch the 2014 Olympics Coverage at These Sports Bars in Louisville

The 2014 Winter Olympics will take place from February 7 to 23 in the Russian city of Sochi. During this time, over 5,000 athletes and team members from 85 countries will be competing for 98 sets of medals. The medal events include 15 different specialties from the seven official categories of Winter Olympic sports, including skiing, skating, ice hockey, curling, luge, biathlon and bobsleigh events. Not everybody has the free time and discretionary income to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. If you’re looking to catch the action from home, there are a number of great venues where you can do just that. Here are three of the best sports bars in Louisville where you can cheer on your favorite American Olympic athletes with your family and friends.

An ESPN Favorite: The Sports and Social Club

ESPN Magazine recently listed The Sports and Social Club as number 21 out of the “29 Greatest Sports Bars in the Known Universe” in a recent article that looked at the great sports bars around the world. This facility serves lunch and dinner, and has an eclectic nightlife, making it an ideal place to take in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Their ultimate sports viewing room is equipped with a pair of giant, hundred-inch high definition projectors with full, booming digital surround sound. This bar also features live entertainment, bowling alleys and The Eagle, a private party room with every variety of modern amenities necessary for a great party.

Take the Family to Bungalow Joe's Bar and Grill

An excellent choice to take in the 2014 Winter Olympics is Bungalow Joe's Bar and Grill. This is another Louisville sports destination that has received excellent reviews, featuring 23 high definition televisions. Bungalow Joe's is a bar that is friendly to families, even offering free food for kids on Wednesdays when a parent purchases an entree. Fridays and Saturdays offer live music and karaoke. They have over a dozen different draft beers to choose from, as well as more than fifty different types of craft brews. For those who wish to enjoy different types of fine beer while taking in the Olympics, Bungalow Joe's offers membership in their beer club as well as a VIP program that gives gift certificates for signing up and points that result in a loyalty gift certificates.

Watch the Games at Buffalo Wild Wings

One of the best franchises to catch the 2014 Winter Olympics is Buffalo Wild Wings, located at 4600 Shelbyville Road in Louisville, Kentucky. This establishment offers domestic, import and craft beer on tap. They boast that their bartenders are trained in the art of serving beer correctly, including the perfect pours, garnishes and appropriate glasses, maximizing the flavor of the brew. Buffalo Wild Wings specializes in boneless and traditional chicken wings with five different types of seasonings and 16 different types of sauces, ranging from mild to blazing hot. They have more than thirty high-definition televisions that allow you to catch all the action.

As with most big sporting events, the Winter Olympics are best enjoyed in a social setting with friends and family, quality beverages and delicious food. All three of these sports bars cater specifically to sports fans, featuring dozens of high definition televisions, excellent food and drinks as well as a friendly atmosphere and comfortable ambiance.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It’s That Time Again…What’s Happening This Groundhog Day in Louisville?

Though its American roots are in Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day is one of those quirky holidays that everyone approaches from a different angle. Whether it’s screening classic cinema, holding celebrations among aficionados, or using the event as an excuse for a very unusual office party, Louisville is full of creative ways for citizens to mark the day.

A Celebration With Roots

Originating in Europe, Groundhog Day emerged out of medieval prognostication – the practice of making weather predictions based on observation of natural phenomena. The observation of whether or not a creature who pokes his head out of his hole sees his shadow becomes a predictor, on Groundhog Day, for whether or not winter will stretch on for 6 more weeks. The first groundhog was probably a bear or a badger, though when the German settlers to Pennsylvania brought along their traditions to the New World, the groundhog became the animal to observe on February 2nd.

Nuts about Groundhogs? Join the Club

While 20,000 people flock to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day to witness Phil the groundhog poking his head out of his burrow, Louisville has traditionally been able to muster a fraction of that number together to commemorate, and celebrate, the occasion. The Louisville chapter of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club is known as the "Bluegrass Chapter".

This year marks the 36th annual Groundhog Day Celebration: last year, 280 people gathered to mark the day. This year, the event won't take place as usual because, according to club leader Kevin Ryan, "we can't compete with the Super Bowl" which is also that same weekend.

A Movie to Watch, Over and Over and Over Again

Another annual Louisville Groundhog Day tradition is the screening of the classic Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day. Last year the film played at a midnight screening at Baxter Avenue Theatre. Those who attend year after year may take delight in the deja vu they experience: in the film, a Punxsutawney weatherman relives the exact same day, again and again. It's too soon to know whether the Baxter will be showing Groundhog Day again in 2014, but visit their website to find out more about their midnight screenings of other cult classics at

"Marty": a Southern Punxsutawney Phil?

An informal celebration will take place at Martco, where "Marty" the groundhog has been the unofficial resident mascot for the past few seasons. The adorable little furball comes and sits on a window ledge, enjoying bananas and trail mix offered to him by staff. This year, says marketing manager Libbie Martin, "You can count on us having a big celebration around here on Groundhog Day next year...hopefully he will come out and celebrate with us; I know we will have some of his favorite trail mix ready for him." 

The rich history and lore behind Groundhog Day combined with Louisville residents' sense of fun will make Groundhog Day a great reason to get out and about. Just like the groundhog who emerges from hibernation in early February, partygoers, movie fans, and even the workers at Martco all look forward to the portent of spring that Groundhog Day brings. While Punxsutawney Phil will never be overshadowed, in Louisville, anyhow, "Marty" and his Kentucky kin are the groundhogs of repute--as are the weatherman locals who will be keeping their eyes on the prognosticating marmots this February 2.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Kids on the Block? 3 Ways to Help Your Kids Make Friends When They're New to Louisville

Have kids? Then as you know, after moving to a new city and new neighborhood, children may have a hard time adjusting and establishing new friendships. Here are a few great ways to help them get started on the right foot in a new environment.

Sign Them Up for a Regular Extracurricular Activity

You're killing two birds with one stone with an extracurricular activity—you're getting the kids off the couch and active for one to two hours at a time, and also enabling them to have natural interaction with other kids their age in a setting ripe for bonding. What are your child's biggest interests? Whether it's arts and crafts, taking care of animals, or building houses out of Lego, there are lots of potential avenues where your child can participate as a volunteer on a regular basis in a setting they feel passionate about. Team sports are a good idea, because it helps develop their physical skills as well as gives them enough space such that Mom and Dad aren't standing over their shoulder monitoring them at every moment.

Louisville community centers, such as Sun Valley, offer all sorts of activities, from children's archery to Tae Kwon Do, on a weekly basis. Their open fitness rooms offer everything from scrapbooking, to basketball and line dancing, and kids of all different ages can attend. What's most important is that your child can find a positive area where they can interact with others—younger and older—to develop friendships important to their emotional maturity.

Arrange Play Dates Through Their School Network

If you've arrived in the new city intent on participating in school activities via the Parent Advisory Committee, getting to know other parents and arranging consequent play dates with your children and the children of other parents isn't a bad idea. You'll get to build your own network within the city as well as encourage your child to make new friends from their school. As a side benefit, getting a rehash of "what really happened" that day in school never hurts.

It's About Interacting With Others

The important thing to realize is that friendships ultimately can't be forced. For your children, it's about setting them up for success in non-threatening environments that allow them to interact with others in a real, non-digital setting to grow their social skills and social network. It can be as simple as time at the school playground; all you’ll have to do is take them there and let them play with other kids after school for half an hour, or give your child the permission and gentle encouragement to play with the neighbor's son in your backyard.

If your child is shy, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t socialize. They'll gradually get used to meeting new people if they have been socialized to do so on a regular basis. Remember, the unlikeliest friendships have cropped up in all sorts of places. What's important is that on some level, you have your children real listening and speaking skills that will give them a positive launching pad off which they can develop their own friendships.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Follow These Rules for Decorating Your Investment Property and Do It Right the First Time

If you've ever owned an investment property, you'll know that re-decorating between tenancies can be a major hassle, as well as a major drain on the budget. But if you're smart about decorating your property right the first time, you'll seriously cut down on the work you have to do and the money you have to spend every time you have to find new tenants. Here are some basic rules to follow to help you protect your investment and attract the right renters.

Consider What Type of Renter Your Want to Attract

What sort of renter are you looking for? Whether you're hoping to attract students, young professionals, or families, your property should be decorated accordingly. Students can be easier to attract, but usually have a lower rental budget, and move in and out often. Young professionals can be great renters, but in order to attract them, you'll have to create a much higher-end rental space. Consider the pros and cons of each renter and decorate your place to attract whichever demographic suits you best.

Demonstrate the Real Potential of the Space

Even if you're not planning on renting your investment property fully furnished, adding furnishings when you stage the property can really help people to see the full potential of the space. You can also look beyond the furniture and add other elements to your space that show its real potential. Want to accentuate the elegance of a formal dining space? Set the table as you would for a formal occasion. Want to show that an office nook would make a comfortable work environment? Set up the area as you would a real home office. Proper staging can help you rent the property quicker to a higher-quality tenant, and could even help you rent the property for a higher price.

Make Good Color (and Paint) Choices

As a general rule, tenants prefer neutral colors in rental spaces. But don't make the mistake of thinking that "neutral" simply means "white." For many people, white walls make a space feel cold, boring, and institutional. So when you're painting, opt instead for warmer neutral tones like off-whites and pale yellows. And when you're choosing paint, it's also a good idea to look for higher-durability paints that contain latex or acrylic. That way, you won't have to completely repaint your property every time you want to rent it out.

Think About Short-Term and Long-Term Investments

Cheaper furnishings may be easier to afford in the short-term, but could end up hurting you in the long term. If you want your investment property to have longevity, think about durable furnishings like hardwood floors and high-quality countertops. You may end up paying more up front, but you'll avoid having to fix or replace these items between every tenancy.

Louisville is a great place to own an investment property. There are plenty of renters of all descriptions looking for a great place to live. If you're smart about how you set up your Louisville investment property, you can attract great renters and protect your investment at the same time.

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - !

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Check out These Five Iconic Concerts Elvis Held in Louisville in Honor of the King’s Birthday

As the new year rolls around, there's another date approaching that has some Louisville residents "all shook up."

Every January 8th, Elvis Presley fans around the world remember the King's birthday. For Elvis lovers in Louisville, there's plenty to reminisce about. The King of Rock and Roll made many stops in Louisville throughout his career, playing sold-out shows and singing his way into the history of Louisville and the hearts of its residents. As we remember the King's birthday this year, let's take a look at the five concerts Elvis played here that have stood the test of time.

1956 at the Jefferson County Armory: A New Superstar Appears on the Scene

Although Elvis Presley's first official Louisville concert was held in 1956 at the Jefferson County Armory (which is now known as the Louisville Gardens), he had actually played in Louisville before. In 1955, prior to his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and his break into stardom, Elvis had played a private function at Louisville's Rialto Theater, appearing third on the bill. A year later Elvis headlined this sold-out show at the Armory, which has been preserved in part by silent video footage.

1971 at Freedom Hall: The King Returns

In part because of family connections, Elvis returned several times to Louisville throughout his career. Elvis' grandparents, Jesse and Vera Presley, lived in South Louisville - and whenever the King came to town he made sure to visit them. His next performance in Louisville wouldn't come again until 1971, however, when he played these three dates at Freedom Hall.

1974 at Freedom Hall: "They Can't Stop Lovin' Elvis"

Elvis would return once again to Freedom Hall in 1974. A newspaper review from 1974 with the headline "They Can't Stop Lovin' Elvis" said that "About 20,000 Presleyites turned out for the rock 'n roll king's return to Louisville after four years. A majority of those were squirming, squeaking, heart-clutching women - young and old. Just the thought of him or the mention of his name evoked squeals of adoration."

1976 at Freedom Hall: "Still Their King"

Two years later Elvis was back at Freedom Hall again for another memorable performance. As Elvis' career approached its final years, one newspaper review from the Louisville Courier-journal with the headline "Still Their King" said that Elvis was once again greeted with "moans and screams of ecstasy" from fans as he took the stage.

1977 at Freedom Hall: A Final Farewell

1977 would mark Elvis' final appearance at Freedom Hall and his final visit to Louisville. Elvis appeared in his final Louisville concert on May 21st, and three months later, passed away. His legacy, however, remains strong in Louisville to this day.

These five performances mark all of Elvis' official appearances in Louisville. However, Elvis may have visited Louisville at other times to see his grandparents, and local legend also claims that Elvis even once held an unannounced performance at Louisville's Colonial Gardens. For any Presley fan who had a chance to witness Elvis at any of these performances, the experience has been a memorable or even life-changing event, and each of these concerts has marked a special piece of Louisville history for rock 'n roll fans.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Breath of Fresh Air: Incredible Hikes in Jefferson Memorial Forest

Just outside Louisville, Kentucky, the largest urban forest in the United States, Jefferson Memorial Forest, awaits hikers and nature lovers. The more than 6,000 acres of forested trails are managed as a memorial to U.S. veterans, inviting people to step out of the hustle and bustle of the city and contemplate the beauty of this great country.

Great Walks, Accessible to Everyone

The network of well-maintained trails in the Jefferson Memorial Forest range from really easy to strenuous. As an introduction, The Tulip Trail, at just a third of a mile, is paved and wheelchair accessible, and offers a perfect way for mobility-impaired and elderly folks to enjoy the beauty of nature. Other hikes for the entire family are the Caperton Swamp loop, at just less than a mile, and the Beargrass Creek path, a popular destination for guided night hikes, including the fabulously romantic candlelit Valentine's hike. Couples might also try the Kulmer Beach Trail that leads to a series of beaches along the Ohio River. Even on short excursions, a wonderful variety of topography will open up for a pleasant and refreshing experience.

Ramping It Up a Notch: Fresh Air Workouts

Want to work up a sweat? The Siltstone trail leads walkers up and down a series of inclines to a ridge that offers panoramic views of Louisville. At 6.7 miles, it's extendable to 10 miles with the addition of the Scotts Gap Loop. The Blue Trail is another hike billed at “moderate” that has intermediate moments, including some steep ascents and descents, if a more intense workout is what you're after. The trail leads through open hardwood forests. The Yellow Loop Trail also offers challenges to more experienced hikers, with two serious climbs along its strenuous 8.9 mile route.

Group Excursions Bring Sociability and Learning

Aside from the very special Valentine's event, evening hikes are very popular at Jefferson Memorial Forest. The Louisville Hiking Meetup organizes hikes to Wallace Lake, where they light campfires and roast marshmallows before heading back to the Welcome Center by 11:30 PM. Another sociable outing is the "Howl at the Moon" dog walks that happen all summer long. Dogs need to be on leashes and have up-to-date vaccination records. Led by forest staff, the hikes are a great way to meet other dog owners and share tips about adventuring in the wild with four-legged friends. Beginner and intermediate hikers can also enjoy free, guided hikes on the last Saturday of every month. The volunteers who run these excursions are full of knowledge of the forest’s natural history, and will help you uncover fossils and hone your orienteering skills.

If you are looking for something different to do and enjoy getting out and stretching your legs, the Jefferson Memorial Forest is for you. A park with plenty of free educational opportunities, this beautifully maintained recreation area has a variety of options for visitors. The guided hikes are designed to bring people together, whether it's couples out for a romantic stroll or dog lovers wanting to head for the hills in packs. The crisp air, and the lovely views by the river, lake, and on the high ridges, will reward visitors willing to step out of the concrete jungle and into the pristine forest. 

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Get Your Blood Pumping With AMSOIL Arenacross - In Louisville for Two Nights Only!

Living in Louisville, Kentucky, you're not short on opportunities for fun and engaging events. You may, however, be interested in experiencing an exhilarating event that will get your blood pumping. If you happen to be a motorcycle fan, the AMSOIL Arenacross is just the event for you. The event will be held on January 18th and 19th at Freedom Hall. An experience that will free all of your inhibitions, AMSOIL Arenacross in Louisville is a premier sporting event of enclosed off-road motorcycle racing on unique man-made dirt tracks.

Ricky Carmichael: A Success in Motocross

Inspiring kids and teens alike who aspire to become successful racers, Ricky Carmichael is likely one of the most well-known names and success stories in the industry. Born in Clearwater, Florida, Carmichael endeavored in a successful amateur career in motorsport before joining the Kawasaki team in 1997. His many wins and unrelenting career in the industry have given him an illustrious and sought-after name, which many young racers look up to.

Aspiring motocross racers who look up to Ricky Carmichael, who has been nicknamed the GOAT for "Greatest of All Time"—will be overjoyed to attend AMSOIL Arenacross in Louisville this year. This event features Ricky Carmichael himself in the Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, which was established in its first year of running in 2013. This program sets out to build an official feeder system for Monster Energy Supercross, and, ultimately, to ensure that aspiring teens of the sport will showcase their talents at AMOSIL Arenacross.

New Playing Ground for AMSOIL Arenacross

Last year AMSOIL Arenacross introduced a new competition format that has been carried through to the 2014 season. This new format includes Main Events during each competition that pay in points, and the added inversion rule brings a wild card to the second main event. On this night, anywhere from zero to eight, or even the entire 16-rider field, will have their gates inverted before the final race of the evening. The championship will be given towards the overall total. The Race of the Championship commences thereafter, which is a race towards the gold amongst the top ten riders after the conclusion of the first six rounds. The scores of the top ten riders are restarted, allowing each racer to battle on new playing ground for the AMSOIL Arenacross title.

If you're an aspiring motocross racer or simply someone who enjoys being a part of the blood pumping action, pick up your tickets for Louisville's AMSOIL Arenacross event on January 18th and 19th. The first show will commence at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 18th, and you will have a second opportunity to enjoy the action on Sunday, January 19th at noon. Tickets range from $20 to $30 dollars for adults on Saturday, and tickets for children from ages 2 to 12 are only $5. General admission for Sunday's event is $5 for children and $10 for adults. 

About the Author:  Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!