Sunday, September 29, 2013

Country Girl Farm

The last stop in Kentucky before flying out - a B'n'B Farm off the interstate. This place was fantastic and really rounded out our trip to the south. The lady who runs it was so nice and personable. She was "always a country girl at heart" and finally moved out to the country (from Connecticut) to start her dream. She was great, the space was great, and this experience really locked in my feelings about everyone we met in Tennessee and Kentucky.

People were so nice, genuine and proud of where they're from. When you asked a question, people took the time to answer and help. It was more than good service from someone merely getting paid to be cordial and do their job. More like, we all live on this planet, let's share ideas and help one another out. Many people seemed genuinely interested in our journey, where we might go next, etc. It was really really a refreshing change.

Back to the farm. I'm so glad I got to squeeze in some farm work after a lovely home-cooked breakfast and before having to hit the road. It reminded me of going to my grandparent's farm every summer growing up- great memories.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bourbon in Kentucky 2

Bardstown, Loretto, etc.
A friend had recently toured Kentucky, specifically the Bourbon Trail, and he gave us some tips. Though we are not regular Maker's Mark drinkers, he told us we could dip our own bottles in wax at the Maker' Distillery, so we needed to stop by. We were there for a dip, a sandwich and off to the next one in 30 minutes or less. Actually it would have been cool to tour this one, because it is so huge. In fact, the parking lot reminded us of Disneyland, lots of tourists, shuttles, people, buildings, groups, etc. Anyway- we bought 2 bottles, and each dipped our own. Mine turned out kinda lame, but at least I brought mine home and look forward to drinking it. The husby's turned out super cool and drippy, but we had to kill that bottle on our trip..
Afterward, we went to Willet, we had heard so many good things. This is a small batch distillery, very different from Buffalo Trace, even though it looked huge to us. We took the tour.
One of the many warehouses on the premises where the barrels age


I loved how worn and raw these buildings were


Bourbon in Kentucky

Part of the reason to go to Kentucky (a huge part) was to check out the Bourbon Trail. Assuming that hitting up a few distilleries would be similar to wine-tasting in California, I quickly learned that I was mistaken. We had to drive several hours between distilleries in Kentucky. Perhaps it was because we had specific ones we wanted to see and tour, and this covered half the state!
We started out close to Lexington, Kentucky. First stop was Four Roses, which was great, though brief. Bought some glasses, enjoyed a taste, and moved on. The next day, another hour or so from Lexington (in a different direction from 4 Roses), we took a tour at Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace is probably our favorite Bourbon to drink at home, so it was definitely worth getting up early for the tour! Interesting, large, historic, tasty..

The bottling of Pappy Van Winkle. Expensive, I can only assume fantastic.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I did NOT get enough time in this city! First of all, we lost an hour (that we didn't really factor in). And we had to leave to get to our dinner reservations, and almost miss them due to traffic. I just never factored in traffic in the south (like I do any time I go anywhere in Los Angeles). As a result, we had a short and sweet visit. We know we must return, and the traffic-enduced reroute resulted in us seeing lots of farms and backroad country we would never have seen otherwise. So all in all, not a bad trip. But only an introduction.
Watermelon, radish and goat cheese salad. Apparently a known paring,
as this was not the first time I saw it on a menu in the south.
It was delicious!
We ate at a restaurant called Hillbilly Tea, which I found on Eater. I didn't realize that almost all of the restaurants close between lunch and dinner (from 3-5) and that those were the hours we would be there! Anyway- our awesome waiter suggested a few things to see with our 3 hours, and we had a great time!

The new-ish pedestrian walking bridge..
Will take you all the way to Indiana when it's finished!
Our friends (and our new friend the waiter, let's call him Robert) suggested going to the 21C Museum Hotel. Not only are there art galleries in the bottom floor of the hotel, but the bathroom has a one way mirror in it. You can pee, watching the public, and they can't see you! How exciting!
Then there was THIS exhibit! An outdoor exhibit, you could probably easily miss if you didn't know to look for it. It was these three drums, located in an outdoor corridor, that blew smoke rings at random intervals (around 4-7 seconds apart). I could have watched this for hours. It might have been the coolest thing I've ever seen. Seriously, I dig stuff like this.


And what trip to Louisville would be complete without checking out the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory? I wish we had had more time.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


We just got back from a great vacation to parts of the country I have never visited. At least- that was the excuse to go! And I'm so glad we did.
We visited Nashville, Tennessee, a handful of places in Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, then flew to a music festival outside of Denver, Colorado. I am still trying to catch up on rest. But what a great trip! Adventure, music, art, old friends, new friends, farms, storms, distilleries, coffee houses, smoke rings and new jeans!

Nashville alone I could dedicate a week to. We saw some antique art deco cars, ate barbecue, met several really nice locals, tried the new hip restaurant, experienced Air BnB for the first time, watched an awesome bluegrass jam session, visited an old school print house, country music historical buildings, went to the house that jack (white) built, met other out-of-towners music fans, learned a new phrase: Brazilbilly...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Repeat, this time with salmon

TJ's salmon, green beans with Marcona almonds, and cilantro lime basmati rice

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chicken, greens and green beans with marcona almonds

Sometimes swinging by trader joes, grabbing what looks good at the moment, then pretending you know what you're doing with all the ingredients actually works!