Kentucky

Monday April 9, 2012

We arrived at Roger’s and Dee’s home last night and were shown the guest room where we would be sleeping for the next few nights.  Our plan was to see a few sights in Louisville, visit Maker’s Mark distillery in Loreto, perhaps visit Bardstown, visit with my brother and his family and head out again.  We figured three or four days.  Between my family and my clients, that turned into a week.

Today we visited and toured the famous Louisville Slugger factory in Louisville.  It was very interesting, but they did not allow photos in the plant.  The history was very interesting.  It seems they began making bats for MLB in 1884 and are still doing that more than 120 years later.  The first bats were made on a manual lathe and took about 30 minutes to make.  They are now made on a computerized automatic lathe and take roughly 30 seconds to make.  This link takes you to a short history of the company.  http://www.slugger.com/story/history.html.

I don't what I said, but I know I shouldn't have said it.

Tonight we had what I would call a dining experience as opposed to just a meal.  Roger, Dee, Lucy and I went to a restaurant called Asiatique on Bardstown Rd in Louisville.  I am not going to write anymore about it here because I intend to write a food blog within the next few days and include it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today, the four of us headed for a town south of Bardstown called Loreto.  It is the home of the Maker’s Mark distillery.  There are lots of distilleries in this area, but Maker’s Mark is unique amount them and produces a fine bourbon which happens to be the favorite of Lucy’s friend Barbara.  We promises Barbara that we would attempt to go to the distillery and bring her a bottle direct from the source.  And so we did.

You might wonder why Kentucky makes so much of the world’s bourbon.  Well it is the water.

Kentucky sits on a limestone and shale shelf over a massive underground lake.  The water from the natural springs fed by this lake is special. It flows through limestone, which makes it high in magnesium and calcium—minerals that also contribute to the magnificence of the state’s racehorses— and low in iron. These characteristics are good for fermentation and for the eventual flavor of the bourbon whiskey. And that is why the Maker’s Mark distillery is where it is.  It sits on the same property containing a natural lake fed by these very springs and is the source of the water used to make the bourbon.  The wheat and corn are grown within 100 miles of the distillery and the barley comes from Pennsylvania.  Maker’s Mark is aged only six years because the wheat used is called red wheat and breaks down too much if aged too long.  It also helps to give Maker’s Mark it’s unique flavor.  

Anyway we toured the entire facility and ended at a tasting room, where we tasted the three products produced here.  Regular Maker’s Mark, 90 proof, The new Maker’s 46, 94 proof, and clear, unpaged Maker’s Mark, 130 proof.  The clear one is not sold anywhere but the distillery.  I actually found it to have an interesting taste, not harsh like you would expect a 130 proof whiskey to be.  My favorite was the Maker’s 46.  One of the unique things about this bourbon is the signature red wax seal on every bottle.  Each bottle is still hand dipped in this red wax.  Lucy and I bought some bottles and were allowed to do the dipping ourselves.  

After this tour we headed back to Bardstown to have a meal at the Old Talbott Tavern.  This is a historical place of business that was established in 1779 and has been a tavern, restaurant and Inn ever since.  Abraham Lincoln and his parents, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Henry Clay, the inventor of steamboats John Fitch, environmentalist John James Audubon, songwriter Stephen Foster, and Jesse James, who is said to have been the cause of the bullet holes in the murals as he was drunk and shooting at imaginary butterflies, among other notables are on the list of guests who have stayed in the Inn and dined or drank in the tavern.  We had a very nice meal there, if unremarkable.  I had a bourbon with my meal and when I told him just to use the well bourbon, he told me that was Maker’s Mark.  I think the only standout part of my meal was the soup.  It was called a Kentucky Burgoo.  It turned out to be a chunky vegetable beef soup with a spicy, delicious broth.  Very enjoyable.

When we arrived back at the house, I checked my email and found that I had three jobs.  All of them were due by the beginning to mid next week.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I worked today while Lucy and Dee went out to do girl things. Manicures, pedicures, haircuts, and shopping.

Tonight we met with my brother Bob, his wife Ione, my niece Mikel and her husband Ed, my nephew Scott’s wife Tricia, Scott had to work.  Dee and Lucy and I were there, but Roger had to work. We met at a restaurant called Cheddar’s.  I had never heard of it but it seems to be a chain in these parts.  The food was very good, but the gathering was the highlight.  Lot’s of good conversation and catching up on old times.  Overall a very good night.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I worked again today while Lucy and Dee went shopping.  We had planned to take off today, but with 3 jobs to do and the assurance that we had not over stayed our welcome, we decided to stay until Saturday morning so I could work in comport.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I worked again today and finished one of the larger of the three jobs.

Tonight we had another, very different dining experience.  We went to a restaurant called Buca di Beppo.  It is a family style Italian restaurant.  The food was excellent and the atmosphere was fun.  I wanted spaghetti and meat balls and I can eat lots of spaghetti so I ignored the advice of both Dee and Roger to share the small serving. So Roger and I shared a large order.  The meat balls would have been better described as meat loaf and there were three of them along with a huge bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Roger and I ate roughly half of it and were both stuffed.  It took two boxed to take home the left overs.  Roger and I will be having spaghetti and meat balls for dinner on Saturday night as well.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We left Louisville today and headed for Zanesville, Ohio.  Zanesville happens to be the home of an RV park and it is close to a factory that makes baskets, which Lucy collects.  They are called Longaberger baskets.  One of Lucy’s baskets broke and we are going to get it repaired and to tour the factory.

Compared to West Virginia and Kentucky, Ohio is flat.  What we saw of it we saw through between the beats of our windshield wipers.  It rained for most of the drive today.

We arrived late to the park, set up and went to bed.  After a week in a bed in a house that did not move, it was an adjustment to get back to travel mode.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I worked again today, put the final touches on one job and completed another small job.  I have one more larger job to do, but I have until Thursday to finish it.  So we will be leaving here tomorrow headed for Philadelphia.  We will find a nice park there where I can work and we can spend some time seeing the historical sites.   

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