"It just feels good to be home," says the photographer, who's introducing Dannielynn to his folks

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 02, 2007 12:15 PM

Larry Birkhead has taken his Bahamas-born, 7-month-old daughter Dannielynn to meet his family in Kentucky, saying he is looking forward to making the introductions.

“It just feels good to be home,” the L.A.-based photographer, 35, said Tuesday after stepping off a private jet and greeting journalists and fellow photographers who’d been waiting for him alongside a fence at the Louisville airport, the Associated Press reports.

The trip on Tuesday marked the first time Dannielynn, whose mother is the late Anna Nicole Smith, had been out of the Bahamas. Besides introducing the infant to his folks, Birkhead said he anticipated that he’d “relax and horse around.”

Among his plans, he said, were to attend Friday’s Barnstable Brown party, an exclusive, star-studded gala on the eve of his hometown’s Kentucky Derby. It was at this gathering that he and Smith first met in 2004, while he was working as a freelance photographer. (Birkhead, a Kentucky native, graduated from the University of Louisville in 1999.)

Upon landing, the proud papa – dressed in a dark T-shirt and jeans, and shielding his daughter from view with a jacket – said Dannielynn had had an easy flight. “She did great,” Birkhead said.

As he spoke to the press, others were seen unloading various baby gear off the plane and into the back of an SUV, though Birkhead stated that he’s unsure if he and Dannielynn will remain in Louisville.

Birkhead’s plane was actually chartered by TV’s Access Hollywood, to transport its reporting team back out of the Bahamas, the AP reports. “We were excited to take them to a happy homecoming in Louisville,” the show said in a statement.

Meanwhile, as Birkhead’s social plans take shape in Louisville, legal maneuvering continues over the $500 million estate of Smith’s late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, who died in 1995. It remains unclear how much, if any, Dannielynn might inherit and whether her guardian would have access to the fortune.