road trip

The last state of our road trip was perhaps, the best – Kentucky.

Kentucky

My southern ancestry is from Kentucky and I was excited to explore this state.

Of course, no visit to Kentucky is complete without a visit to a very famous celebrity known for his famous ‘original’ chicken recipe.

Kentucky fried Chicken

We visited the cafe where it all began…

Sander's Cafe

Sander’s Cafe is on the National Register of Historic Places.  This is where he opened his first restaurant and shared his wonderful fried chicken.

small museum

There is a small museum attached to a working KFC restaurant.  Above, is the kitchen display at the museum.

After a lunch consisting of Kentucky Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes, we were on our way to the Kentucky Artisan Center, which featured crafts made by the people of this great state.

Then we were off to Lexington, “The Horse Capitol of the World”.  

Kentucky Derby

It was quite accidental that we timed our visit a few days before the Kentucky Derby.

But, we decided to explore the horse culture.  So, we took a tour of horse farms and a race track.  

road trip

On one of our first stops, we saw this 2-day old filly and her mother.  

road trip

She was very curious about us and came right over to the fence.  This little horse has no name and is known by her mother’s name ‘Orange Crush’ until she is about 2 years old, when she will get her own name.

Keeneland

We visited Keeneland, which is the world’s largest horse auction house and is also a race track.

horses running

We were fortunate to see some horses running.

jockeys

We saw the row of jockeys.

road trip

This is where I would need to go.  You only need a minimum of $2 to place a bet.

road trip

This is the winner’s circle, where I posed for this photo with my mom.

Now, we were off to see more horse farms.  

road trip

We were able to feed the young foals and their mothers on one farm while talking to one of the trainers.

This farm has two horses running in the Kentucky Derby this weekend.

Do you know what we fed the horses?

Peppermint candies!  

road trip

These young foals loved them.

road trip

I did learn some things that I didn’t know before.  This little brown foal, will eventually turn gray like its mama.

favorite horse

This was my favorite horse, who was a yearling.  

race horse

This 2-year old was just insured for $850,000 because this horse shows so much potential as a race horse.

road trip

Also on the farm, was another valuable animal.  Her name is ‘Nana’.  She is a companion for the racing thoroughbreds on the farm.

Nana helps to calm the skittish horses and travels with them.

The horse tour was so much fun and I highly recommend it.

road trip

After the tour, we headed from Lexington to Bardstown, which was recently voted one of the best small towns in America.

saguaro cactus

As we walked down the street, I was surprised to see a small saguaro cactus in front of a store front.

Evidently, there is someone in this small town that grows them in his greenhouse.

We stayed a bed & breakfast that used to be the county jail.

road trip

The rooms were very nice and we enjoyed a nice breakfast out in the courtyard.

road trip

The interesting part about this was that the gallows used to stand here.

After breakfast, we toured the actual jail cells.

road trip
road trip

This cell had some very hard bunks and a display of weapons that the inmates had made in the jail.

As we walked down the hall looking into the cells, I was scared to death by an occupant in one of the cells…

road trip

Okay, I admit that it was a somewhat fake looking inmate, but at first I thought he was real.

After leaving Bardstown, we decided to partake in another Kentucky tradition – bourbon.

Bourbon is made in Kentucky because of the large amount of limestone and how it flavors the water.

You can tour different bourbon distilleries on the ‘Bourbon Trail’.

We decided to tour Maker’s Mark bourbon distillery because of its close location to Bardstown.

road trip
road trip

We took the tour and learned about how bourbon is made.  

road trip
road trip
road trip

Toward the end of the tour, we participated in a tasting.

road trip

Now, I rarely drink and I have never tasted bourbon or whiskey.  But, I decided to have a taste.

road trip

And, after the tasting – I decided that it will probably be my last 😉

After our tour, it was time to start heading to the airport in Louisville for our trip home.

On our way, we decided to stop by a UPS store to mail home some of our souvenirs because we didn’t have room in our suitcases.

Well, I thought that our road trip adventure was over, but I was wrong.

You see, I had asked our GPS to guide us to the closest UPS Store and as we were driving down the road and all of a sudden we were standing at the gates of Fort Knox and showing our ID to the soldier on duty.

road trip

We were allowed to go through and went to the UPS Store.  

On our way out, we passed this street sign…

road trip

At the airport, we were greeted by roses…

road trip

A Dixieland band…

road trip

And nicely dressed girls, wearing hats, giving out bourbon balls…

road trip

With only two days to go until the Kentucky Derby, Louisville was pulling out all the stops to welcome people.

As I waited for our airplane to arrive, I was surprised to see countless passengers arrive with their hat boxes in hand.

road trip

Over 50% of the people we saw, were carrying hat boxes.  As many of you may already know, wearing fancy hats is a Derby tradition.

We did meet some people who had arrived from Michigan and St. Croix just to see the Derby in person.

While I will be watching the Kentucky Derby on television, I was happy to be able to experience a little bit of it.  

road trip

Please come back for a visit for my last road trip post.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
4 replies
  1. David Cristiani
    David Cristiani says:

    I've only crossed in that state several times, so thanks for the tour. So much pastoral, and yes, quite a horse culture. Each time there, definitely the south, just the upper south…more like Alabama than Ohio, yet so different than Alabama! The green gets me, as does how it is almost on par with our green in the weekly-cold/frost-ravaged Abq, though I'm much further south.

Comments are closed.