This week has surely been a busy one, and though I had intended to post at least two recipes this week, it just didn’t happen. So, instead of posting a recipe today, I decided to sit down and right a life post that I’ve been meaning to put out there for a few weeks now.
After spending the summer in New Jersey and taking advantage of every weekend during our 11 weeks there, transitioning back into normal weekends has been a bit difficult. You see, when we were away, there were no house projects to take care of on the weekends, no grass to cut, fewer homework assignments to complete, and our weekends were pretty free. This left us so much time to explore our surroundings, which led to many memorable adventures. Though I was so happy to return to our home, I soon began to miss our weekend adventures together.
And the crazy thing is, it’s not like we’ve explored our surroundings to the fullest. There are plenty of uncharted areas to visit and weekend trips to take around here. It’s just that when you live somewhere and have a million other things going on, it seems like it’s harder to allow yourself to hit that pause button and abandon your routine on one of the few precious free days you have.
Kentucky is quite a beautiful state and there are so many unique things to do here. Touring bourbon distilleries, catching a horse race at Churchill Downs or Keeneland, exploring Mammoth Cave National Park and Red River Gorge, eating at any of the various amazing restaurants (particularly in Louisville), and chatting with local farmers at the numerous farmers’ markets around the state are the first few that come to mind.
So the weekend before school started, we decided to leave our housework behind and spend our Saturday doing some fun Kentucky things. We started our day by traveling to Lexington to visit their farmers’ market, which had just gotten a write-up in Southern Living for its unique selection. My favorite find by far was a flower stand there that had a stunning assortment of dahlias. I am obsessed with dahlias. My wedding bouquet had several of the café-au-lait variety and our long dining table was adorned with them. They make my heart happy, which is funny because I never really considered myself much of a flower person before I found them.
Anyway, after picking up a bundle of dahlias, some veggies, and pineapple tea, we headed back home. The thing is, there are several bourbon distilleries between Lexington and Louisville and prior to this weekend, I had only ever visited Buffalo Trace. We talked about how it might be fun to stop and then decided to venture off the highway and go look at Woodford Reserve. I had always heard that Woodford’s property was beautiful, but the beauty started long before we arrived at the distillery’s grounds.
Minutes after we got off the highway, we were in picturesque horse country. Think rolling hills of lush, green grass, black wooden fences, large estates and stables, and lots of beautiful horses in between. That is true Kentucky to me. After driving on winding roads for about 20 minutes, we arrived at the distillery. The property is breathtaking, with several very old buildings, beautifully landscaped surroundings, and quite an impressive visitor’s center.
The tour was wonderful and ended with two samples of bourbon and a chocolate truffle. Even though I’m not a straight bourbon drinker, I could live amongst the scents of the distillation process. We ended our stop with a trip to the gift shop. Bourbon distillery gift shops are the best! I’ve picked up candles at both Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve that last forever and have a rich vanilla scent. Fun glassware, bourbon balls, and home goods made with staves are always sure to be found.
Our Kentucky day ended with an evening at a local music festival. Landon’s band was playing later in the evening, so we showed up a bit early and enjoyed some tasty food from some of the fantastic Louisville foodtrucks, a few cold drinks (bourbon slushies, anyone?), and listened to several of the sets. Louisville has a great music scene, and events like this one happen pretty frequently.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t help but think what a perfectly Kentucky day we had had and knew that I just had to share it with you all! It’s been a month since we’ve had a weekend quite that exciting, but we’re headed out to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival tomorrow, which is sure to include good food, cold drinks, and live music, so I suspect we have another good one ahead.
Happy weekend to you, friends! Back to regularly scheduled programming next week.