Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kentucky Vacation

I had an extra airline ticket to use and Jim's parents came into town for about two weeks. This all added up to the perfect set up for a long weekend vacation for Jim and I.
We decided to head to Kentucky since that was a state that neither of us have been to. Our first stop, and one I didn't get pictures of, was to the Louisville Slugger museum. Jim got to swing Mickey Mantel's personal bat and we saw how baseball bats were made. It was a really fun tour. Our next stop was to Churchill Downs. It was a huge, palace like place. It was very beautiful.
In the midst of our little travels, I did get to try Derby Pie. It has chocolate and nuts in it, kind of like a pecan pie.
We were able to visit the Louisville Temple. It was beautiful, but what I liked best was how friendly everyone inside was. We were chatted up at every opportunity.
We couldn't have missed Mammoth Cave. We descended 280 stairs through narrow and twisting rocks. It was a little intimidating at first, but it was beautiful.
I was environmentally friendly and had my shoes scrubbed so I wouldn't transfer bat diseases. This was a precaution they take because I wore these shoes in Jewel Cave a few months before. It was neat to see the differences of the two caves.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the Lexington Food tour we took. I know Jim had his doubts, but he ended up loving it just as much as I did. We went to 7 different local restaurants and were taught a little history as we toured around.
Our fist stop was to Alfalfa's. We had fresh buckwheat blueberry pancakes topped with a homemade blackberry syrup. Wow, soooooo good. If we had stayed here one more day I would have gone back for a full breakfast.
At our second stop we were given a taste of a favorite local soda. It is called Ale 8 1 (a late one). It is kind of gingery, but pretty good. The locals said it is all the rage at the little country church parties.
I forgot the name of this restaurant, but it was very fancy and the chef passed around his cook book. We had fried green tomatoes - which Jim ate and enjoyed, Black Eyed Peas made into croutons, and the most delicious deviled eggs we have ever had.
At this local hang out we had black bean and ham soup, which you could spice up with some lime tequila if you wanted. We stuck to the sour cream and onion add-ons.
The soup came with fried corn sticks and jalapeno butter.......mmmm so warm and delicious.
Here we had bread pudding infused with Bourbon. We weren't too sure how potent the Bourbon was, so we at a few bites to taste it, but didn't eat it all........just in case. :)
These guys are part Italian and part Spanish and decided to get together and make Pasta. They supply local restaurants, work with Chef's to make signature pasta flavors and sell their product at an open air market.
We had their red pepper pasta with a cheese sauce and chicken bites. This was Jim's favorite meal. It was really good. I loved the different flavor and the freshness of the pasta.
Our last stop was another fine dinning restaurant. We had a red pepper and lobster polenta, with a crispy outside topped with a small prawn and sweet Bourbon sauce. It was soooo fun to try something I would never order. And it was very, very good. I didn't have a favorite, I just enjoyed being able to try so many different foods.
We had a great time in Kentucky, it was a beautiful state. And in the end, though we loved our vacation, we were excited to get back too........
our turkeys at home.
Thanks Mom and Pops Atkinson for watching our kids!

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