Category Archives: Kentucky

Update: 28 in 28

So today marks the three month mark since turning 28. I thought it would be a good time to revisit my 28 in 28 list to see how I’m doing!

Here’s the update!

1. Get Christmas cards out on time! (I get kind of close every year!)
2. Visit one new place each month.
August: Gruene, TX
September: Bardstown, KY
October: West End, Dallas, TX
3. Sign up / walk for Alzheimers Walk. (Completed)
4. Let’s go for 12 crafty projects. (0/12)
5. Start a private blog for my niece. (In Progress)
6. Save money.
7. Get this wardrobe together. (In Progress)
8. Revisit music scene. (It’s coming up – look at the schedule!)
9. Run 5k.
10. Get blog to 6,000 views per month.
11. Hike Enchanted Rock.
12. Try one new recipe per month. (3/12)
August: Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Brisket
September: Chicken Enchiladas
October: Broccoli Rice Casserole
13. Organize recipe book.
14. Find a new, more challenging job.
15. Lose 10 pounds.
16. Start etsy shop and sell some photos.
18. Send one 12 handwritten notes per month. (Check your mailboxes.) (1/12)
19. Get a dog or pet (I’m going to say sea monkey’s count).
20. Buy a watch.
21. Get a new phone. (Completed)
22. Find and attend one Texas antique car show. (Completed)
23. Do something out of the ordinary, on a whim.
24. Write one children’s book.
25. Go horseback riding / visit a ranch.
26. Go canoeing / kayaking.
27. Keep on traveling!
28. Focus on me. (In Progress)

Bardstown, Kentucky

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).

Louisville Slugger 2008

An absolute must stop in Louisville is the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. If you are looking for it, you really can’t miss it. There is the replica of Babe Ruth’s bat (68,000 lbs, 120 feet tall). There are also home plates and bats honoring legends in the game of baseball on the sidewalk. It’s kind of neat just to walk around and take it all in before you get into the factory and museum itself.

The company was started back in the early 1800’s by the Hillerich family, originally from Germany. In the 1860’s they moved to Louisville and opened a woodworking shop and soon had a group of employees. In the 1880’s the Hillerich’s oldest son, “Bud” became an apprentice in the shop. Did I mention he was also an amateur baseball player? Bud soon started making his own bats as well as bats for some of his teammates. “AH!”.

Legend has it the first professional bat was made for Pete Browning in 1884 who played on Louisville’s professional team, The Eclipse. The story goes that after Browning received the new bat, he had three hits and was nicknamed, “The Louisville Slugger”. Although there has been a lot of questions concerning the correct history of how the bat came about, one thing if for certain – they’re apparently doing something right and the Louisville Slugger Factory is still the name in baseball bats today. One of their most popular features is that amateur players can purchase the bat model of their favorite baseball player. What kid wouldn’t want to do that?!

Today, the factory also makes aluminum and composite bats for adult baseball, youth and softball. Well rounded I would day. They have also teamed up to make bionic gloves for baseball, softball, hockey and gardening. Technology is crazy isn’t it?! And if all that still isn’t enough, the Louisville Slugger is also the home of the World’s Largest Baseball Bat.

What can you expect when you go to check this out? Now, I took this tour a few years ago but I remember it being quite extensive and as a baseball lover you really try to take in every single thing. For starters, they have this HUGE wall with the signatures of the players as you can see them on the bats. Go on, find your favorites!

In another area, a baseball field is set up with players and bats waiting to be taken up to the plate. You can even pretend you are playing yourself.

Or you can loose yourself in the giant glove.

For me, the best part of the tour was when they brought us through the factory and showed us how the bats are made. If I remember correctly, we couldn’t take pictures of this part of the tour (hence I don’t have any) but it’s just a better reason for you to go check it out yourself! There are also videos, a gift shop and the best part is at the end of the tour, you receive a free miniature bat to take home for yourself. How fun is that?! I still have mine for personal protection, if I ever need it!
The factory was a lot of fun to visit and I would definitely recommend it. It’s also in a great part of town just to walk around and see the sights!
For more info on the tour, check out the Louisville Slugger website.