Does that sound negative? I’m sure I didn’t mean it that way… but this is going to be a very long post (with lots of pictures). My mom and sister were planning a trip to Kentucky to visit their two best friends (also a mother and daughter) and they invited me and Madison to tag along. Since they have both been out there a few times, they also gave me the authority to plan a few things to do while we were out there. That was probably a bad idea for them, but it worked out great for me! We did get to do a LOT of stuff and we did have a really good time.
Since my parents live in Kansas, we headed up there on Thursday afternoon, then left for Kentucky Friday morning. On the way, we stopped at Whiteman AFB in Missouri, which is where I used to live. I told my mom, if you all get to visit your best friends, surely we can stop and visit one of mine? It wasn’t too far out of the way… and we got to eat lunch at one of my all time favorite resturants, Oriental Cuisine. I left my camera in the car, but lucky my good friend Stacy not only took pictures, but also emailed them to me! She has five adorable kids now, and Madison absolutely LOVED playing with them – even though she didn’t remember who they were. We moved away from Missouri when she was two.
On Saturday, we continued the trip to Louisville and on Sunday we went to the Louisville Slugger Museum, which – to my great surprise – was very fun. They have a gigantic baseball bat out front that you can take a picture with, and each visitor gets a free mini bat.
Monday we went to visit the state capitol in Frankfort, which was about an hour drive. That takes our state capitol count up to eight! Not too shabby. The inside was actually closed for Memorial Day but we knocked on the door and a security guard let us in to look around. Madison said that he probably let us in because she’s so cute, but it could have been that he’s never seen a four year old so excited to visit the capitol…
We also took a tour of the Rebecca Ruth Candy Company, which was featured on the Food Network. They are famous for their bourbon balls, but I did not like them. I did try to refrain from spitting mine out since Madison and my sister already had.
Then in the afternoon, we drove to Shaker Village for lunch. It is a very neat place, kind of Colonial Williamsburg like, and if you are into that sort of stuff and in the area, I would recommend a visit. Definitely bring money for the gift shop. It was really neat.
On Tuesday, I went to King’s Island (without Madison). I saw them on the Travel Channel and have been wanting to go for so long. I know Madison would have really enjoyed it, but without Matt or my mom along to help with her, I didn’t think I should bring her. She is still too short for almost everything thing there, but we had an awesome time and I would bring her back someday if she likes rollercoasters (like me). It was about a 2 hour drive from Louisville, but definitely worth it. It was sprinkling most of the day and the kids up there were still in school, so it wasn’t busy at all and we had a great time.
On Wednesday, we went to the Kentucky Derby Museum and toured Churchill Downs. Horses are not really my thing, but the tour was neat. And Madison read a sign while we were there! I was so proud of her – I didn’t prompt her or anything. It only said “No food or drink” but she read it on her own, then said “Mom come here! I can read this sign! I know the word no and the word or, and I sounded out food and drink!” She was so excited and I was so excited.
Thursday was our last day and we crammed it full – we went to Schimpff’s Candy Store, Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, the Louisville Glassworks, and the Waterfront Park. I loved Schimpff’s. They make red hot candy, and if you go in at the right time, you can watch them make it and taste one while it’s still warm – and they are so good. I am already hoping they ship to Japan because my tin is almost gone. They were featured on the History Channel on Modern Marvels.
Lynn’s Paradise Cafe was featured on the Food Network on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. You are going to think all I do is watch TV, but I didn’t even know about these last two until they told us. I do love Throwdown with Bobby Flay though. I ordered the Kentucky something Scramble, which is what they made for the show and it was SOOOOOO good. Looked disgusting, but it was really tasty.
The other two places, the Glassworks and the Waterfront Park were okay. Fun, but I’d skip them next time. I thought Madison would like the glassblowing more, but maybe she was a little burnt out by the time we got there. And she was probably all sugared up from the candy store. I spent more money on candy on this trip than anything else I think… except gas, but let’s not go there…
I think I can safely say I’ve done Louisville.
Now be honest – you thought that was the end didn’t you? Nope. On the way home, we also stopped at the Arch in Saint Louis. Not sure what I expected there but it didn’t live up to my expectations. To get to the top, you ride in tiny little pods. Then when you get up to the top, you can look out the window. That’s it. And it was so full of sweaty people and general stinkiness, I was ready to go as soon as I peeked out one window. I am glad I did it, but I don’t think I need to do it again. Ever.
And now I’m done. And you can understand why this was a great trip, but also the longest. trip. of. my. life.
PS – you can review the rest of the picture from my trip (all 248 items!) at Flickr.