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Over Labor Day weekend, we headed north to Kentucky to visit Sy’s dad and stepmom. The Kentucky countryside is beautiful. It reminds me of a cross between Virginia and Vermont. While we were visiting, we all got to play tourist in the Bourbon Capital of the World – Bardstown, Kentucky.
Our first stop was the town square. Talk about a historical district. Many of the buildings reminded me of the ones that I saw in Portsmouth, NH. Bardstown is one of the first cities in Kentucky, settled in the late 1700’s. The following buildings all surrounded the courthouse in the town square. Let’s check out some of these buildings.
The Old Talbot Tavern was built in 1779. If these walls could talk they would tell you that they’ve seen the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone. Rumor has it that there are bullet holes in one of the rooms upstairs, shot by Jesse James. It’s also apparently haunted. I don’t need to find that one out for myself.
This is the closest that you will ever see me as a Southern Belle.
A view looking down the street from the Courthouse.
The town is scattered with historical markers. There were at 4-5 just on one side of the courthouse. Here is one of them:
Here is another historical item.
There was a mannequin placed in the front of the boat. He also had a full beer in an inappropriate pose. We came to the conclusion that even the mannequin didn’t belong in the boat. I guess it makes you pay attention and we shouldn’t be surprised the beer was still full considering it’s a bourbon town.
On another note, just down the street is the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral. This area was heavily migrated by Catholic Americans after the Revolutionary War. It is one of the first four archdiocese in the United States. Sy’s stepmom brought us in and we received a free historical tour by a very nice lady. The Cathedral is massive and holds such an abundance of history. There are paintings from Italy that are hundreds and hundreds of years old (and wanted by many museums). Once inside you will also see numerous columns which help to support the church. The bottom of one is held in a glass case so you can really see how the column sits after being there for hundreds of years. When she was telling us, all I could think of was how kids must love sitting there to see something different during church service.
In the opposite direction of the Basilica, you will find My Old Kentucky Home. It is actually a home that was visited by Stephen Foster (he wrote the Kentucky State Song. You would’ve heard it if you’ve watched the Kentucky Derby). You can tour the mansion and the gardens during the day. (You cannot take photos inside the home, hence I don’t have any.) The property and the home were beautiful. The home was built between 1795 and 1818. It is an authentic “Southern” home, as I would call it. Most of the items within the home are original including the all of the piano’s keys and original law books and first editions. My favorite piece was a leather trunk. It was beautiful. If I find one, I will be a happy, happy woman. There was also a maple baby’s crib (definitely wouldn’t meet today’s safety standards) and a formal chair with a hole under the cushion. Yep, it was a “toilet”. Note to self: look under cushions when buying antique chairs.
Our final stop was for lunch at Mammy’s Kitchen. Prime Southern Food.
Appetizer: Fried Green Tomatoes
When in the South, you’ve got to try something new. I don’t typically like tomatoes or fried food but these weren’t bad. The tomatoes could’ve been a sliced a little thicker.
Meal: Bourbon Marinated Chicken Breast Sandwich with onion rings.
Since we didn’t swing by a Bourbon factory, I had to do with what was available.
The sandwich was actually fantastic and the bourbon marinade was delicious!
Sy had a Reuben sandwich. He says it was #*%&@)! good!… He liked it.
Bardstown is quite the touristy town. Be sure to check it out and if you can swing by a Bourbon Factory and let me know how it was (if you remember).