Friday, April 4, 2014

Birthday Celebrations

My birthday was last week and I had a grand time celebrating with my family who came out to party!  I try to not work on my birthday and instead get out to do something fun.  This year we deviated from having a specific plan and toured various sights through KY & TN so brace yourself for picture & story overload.  :D

M&D came to town and we had a good time around the house, visited Hancock's for some birthday fabric of course, enjoyed our time together and went to dinner at Max's where the cheesecake was delicious!
gift: awesome new wine glasses

Friday we headed to Louisville to pick up J and went out to explore.  I have the Roadside America app which lists all of the strange/unusual/quirky places near you and used that while we walked around downtown.  

bat: baseball style
bat: vampire style

After lunch at a great local grill we found: the world's largest bats, a plaque commemorating Louisville as the birthplace of the song 'Happy Birthday', some giant statues at the riverfront and a golden replica of Michelangelo's David.

not sure why this is here….

Then we toured the Evan Williams Experience - the newest stop on the Bourbon Trail.  Learned about Evan Williams who was a major player in the early KY bourbon making story.  We also got to taste some of their bourbon which is really the best part of course.

We stayed near Fort Knox (where we couldn't visit the gold-sadly), and on Saturday we were up and headed to Jim Beam Distillery to get in our fix of the Bourbon Trail.  As this was the actual distillery, the tour was more involved in the process and we even got to help make some bourbon by adding in some of the grain mix and then helping to bottle the finish product.  :)  Then it was through more scenic KY countryside to Mammoth Cave.  

It was incredible!  If you haven't ever been - put it on your list now! To think there are 400 miles of tunnels and passages that make up the cave system- wow.  Every time we walked by another path or level on our tour, J kept staying someone had been down that path, someone had explored that area already.  People back in the 1800s used to write their names on the ceiling using candles for a unique experience and the marks are still there.  Parts of the cave were just so huge - tall ceilings, wide passages and some were tiny and twisty but it was all fantastic.
into the cave!
candle writing on the ceiling

That's where the KY portion of the celebrations ended as we drove down to Nashville for the night.  We visited a modern speakeasy (thanks J!) for some proper cocktails which were awesome.  The next day we toured the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson.  Pretty house, the grounds were expansive and he managed to accomplish so many things in his life.  Congress, Senator, raised race horses, dealt in land, took care of many children, President, War hero from the Battle of New Orleans, etc.  How did they manage to do all of that back then you ask? J summed it up nicely by saying: 'they didn't have the internet!'  So, so true.
Grave of Andrew & Rachel Jackson
To cap off the night we went to the hockey game- Predators vs. Capitals!  We had super close seats and it was fun to supper the Caps -even in the other teams arena.  An exciting game as the Caps are in the hunt for a wild card spot in the playoffs, and it went to overtime and a shoot out!  Sadly, the Caps lost, but it was a great time.
A perfect way to start this next year off right and fully embracing my word of 2014: CELEBRATE!

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