We couldn't resist squeezing in another quick weekend with Dan, Marlene and the gang from Mali Mish. They are staying in Louisville and we planned to meet up in Lexington, Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground. Even though Lexington is a mere two hours away, I have never stopped for a visit. After a quick taste of what the Bluegrass section of Kentucky offers, I am glad we did. Lexington is known for horses, bourbon and the University of Kentucky basketball program. We hit two out of three this weekend and a return trip is guaranteed.
I have always wanted to check out the horse farms in the Bluegrass section of the state. To say they were impressive would be an understatement. The endless black fences, the limestone walls and the gorgeous homes make for a nice countryside drive. It is all about the horses on these estates. I should have taken some photos but I was busy looking for a restaurant with Dan and Marlene in tow. We did not want to tour bourbon distilleries on an empty stomach.
The food in Kentucky is a bit on the heavy side. There is no mistaking the fact that you are in the South. Luckily Dan likes to eat too. The classic Louisville dish that I sampled while in nearby Lexington is the Kentucky Hot Brown. It is basically an open faced turkey sandwich topped with Mornay sauce, cheese and bacon. My version also had ham. It looks like a heart attack on a plate but I enjoyed every bite. This particular manifestation pictured below was the third version that Dan has sampled while visiting Kentucky.
|Lucy wanted to know the password on the jukebox|
|Lucy and Mila did not care whether the Poor Boy was a great burger. They just wanted to goof around.|
By the time we returned to the campground, it was late so we did not light up a fire. Instead, the girls hung out in the Troutstream for a bit. The next morning we planned on visiting some bourbon distilleries. With six kids between the two couples, it made for an interesting experience. The nice thing about having six kids on a tour for adults who need a drink is that you can always count on one to misbehave at any given moment. All kidding aside, the kids did well on the tours. We hit a small operation and a large operation. Our first visit was to Four Roses Distillery. Then we visited the mass production facility for Wild Turkey. What a study in contrasts. Four Roses looked like something straight out of Napa while the Wild Turkey facility looked a bit like Auschwitz. Having said that both tours were enjoyable. Melizza is not accustomed to taking the hard stuff straight. Her facial expressions are priceless. I will leave it to Dan to educate you about the production of bourbon on his blog. There are at least seven distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and you must have at least 51% corn mash for the product to be considered bourbon. Suffice it to say that this part of Kentucky produces the best bourbon in the world.
|Dan and I convinced the girls to watch Napoleon Dynamite with us. We bribed them with popcorn.|
|So sweet holding hands|
|Jack enjoyed this tour except for the fermentation smell|
|Finally we got a taste|
|A little on the strong side for Melizza. She prefers the Bourbon Slushie as compared to straight up.|
|The new fifty million dollar production facility|
|Cornmeal Fried Oysters at Wallace Station in Versailles, Kentucky. My favorite restaurant on the trip. The Hot Brown Burger was mighty tasty as well.|
|Wild Turkey Fermentation|
|Me and my baby of Four Roses|
|Just breathe Melizza|
On Saturday night, we returned to the Kentucky Horse Park Campground and lit up a fire. Dan and I spent more time in front of the fire than the rest of the crew. The kids came out to roast some marshmallows and Melizza and Marlene hung out with for a while. It had rained earlier and the kids wanted to play inside. The highlight of the evening for me was hanging out with Jack later that night. He brought out his Macbook and introduced Dan to his favorite cartoon "The Regular Show". We watched an episode in front of the fire. Dan and I seem to have the same sense of humor as an eleven year old. After Jack tapped out, Dan and I watched the Croatia episode of No Reservations fueled by a warm fire and India Pale Ale. I can honestly say that it was the first time I have watched streaming videos in front of a fire. This campground had great WiFi. We had a good time and laughed late into the night.
The Kentucky Horse Park Campground was a pleasant place to stay. There are about 300 water and electric sites. It has the feel of a private park but it is officially a state park and priced accordingly. Since it is adjacent to the Kentucky Horse Park, it is a bit more refined than a typical state park. They have a nice pool, tennis courts and an arcade. I imagine that this place is packed in the summer. On this trip, we were there for the final day of the season for many of the attractions at the Kentucky Horse Park.
On Sunday, we visited the Kentucky Horse Park. It is part museum and part showcase of all things equestrian. The highlight for the kids was the horseback riding. Lucy got the little pony ride around the ring while Jack and Ethan went on a longer ride.
|Happy Little Cowgirl|
|Maggie liked the dog to squirrel ratio during our stay|
|Mali Mish and Troutstream. The only game in town for Airstream bloggers with half Asian kids.|
|Ethan on his first big horse|
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Ethan performed his Gagnam Style dance in front of a camera crew that happened to be visiting from Korea. They filmed him performing his dance and followed him around for a while to film him. They were making a documentary about horses and tourism. What are the odds that a Korean film crew would be at the Kentucky Horse Park and spot Ethan? Maybe he will become a teen idol in Seoul. Hopefully, they were not from Pyongyang.
It was sad to leave our new friends today. Our families get along well together. Hopefully, we will meet up in the near future. Perhaps we will visit them in Florida before they head back west. Dan has proposed an Albuquerque Baloon Festival reuinion. I hope we can make that happen. As for Lexington, we'll be back next year.