I really wanted to be able to follow suit and rate this tour a 5 like so many others, but I just can't. Yes, Leslie was super friendly and upbeat ... a great representative for the city of Louisville. Yes, it was fun to try the different tastes of Louisville. I know that I would not have tried so many bourbon flavors, nor would I have tried some of the foods if I had not taken the tour. Yes, we were driven around the city and I didn't have to think about traffic or parking. The main problem is that many/most of the stops were simply "please spend your tourist dollars here" stops. Quite frankly, I started to feel apprehensive about the rest of the tour after the first few stops -- a Edison "museum", a quirky shop in NuLu, and the bakery. The Edison place had a sign with clearly stated entrance fees, so I did not feel comfortable with "looking around" when we didn't seem expected and I was sure that our tour fee didn't cover entrance to this site. After, we were dropped in the quirky shop and the bakery while Leslie did food taste pick-up runs. While it is a good way to maximize time, the shop/bakery weren't very large and I started to feel uncomfortable loitering in them while waiting for the bus to return when I didn't find anything of interest to purchase. I know that I was not the only person to feel discomfort with these shopping stops because by the time we hit either the chocolate place or the artist place the other passengers stated that they felt like "lambs being led to the slaughter." The chocolate place would have been fine if we told about it, but given 10-15 minutes to explore the immediate area instead of waiting in one tiny store while avoiding eye contact with the owner and hoping to see the bus drive by the window. The artist stop was just plain uncomfortable. First of all art is very subjective. Second, while this artist may be well known in the area, none of us knew her. Third, her main subject matter was "Derby Divas" ... if you are not into the derby, you probably won't be into this artist. Last item ... tours will differ from the description on the website and reviews. We did not experience the Benedictine sandwich or the historic confectionery. Not a huge problem, but Leslie specifically mentioned the confectionery and some special candy called a "Schmidt???" (or something like that) twice during the tour, so it seemed odd that we didn't end up going there. Bottom line, this was not the worst tour ever, but it also wasn't the best. I would recommend it because of Leslie and the food/bourbon tasting, but with a warning about the uncomfortable shopping stops.
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