Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Road Trip

I should start this post by saying that my mom let me take her Canon Rebel on our 10 day trip. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I was able to get so many great photos! I have MAJOR camera envy right now.

So, as I said before, it all started in Kentucky. After Ryan's wedding, we drove through Trappist, KY to visit a monastery that Thomas Merton inhabited for several years. The church was beautiful. Very traditional, Catholic architecture with amazing acoustics and several outside meditation spots.

There were many monks walking around, which was interesting to see. They wore the same brown robes that you see in the movies (Monte Python being the movie I happen to be thinking of...) but instead of brown rope sandals, they all wore Chacos or some form of outdoor sandal. I guess you can't hold to every historical dress code standard...

We then traveled about 2 hours to the Woodford Reserve Distillery.

We toured the bourbon factory, learning about the process of making bourbon from the grains... the shot glass.

Scott and I's favorite part was walking into the aging room...

I have never smelled something so wonderfully earthy, old, and aged, but at the same time, sweet, rich, and bold. The smell of that old rock building consumed by stacks of white oak barrels housing the ever aging barley and corn was WONDERFUL.

After our visit, we drove into Shaker Village, where we stayed for 2 1/2 days. Shaker Village is pretty much as it sounds: a renovated/restored village that Shakers used to inhabit. The Shakers owned about 3,000 acres and the land included restored blacksmith buildings, craft shops, furniture shops, dormitories, and barns. We stayed at the Inn at Shaker Village in a very nice room and enjoyed dinner at the on site restaurant, serving food that was grown on site!

The next few days included a long hike to a STUNNING waterfall...

So.... camera tip for those who are learning the ins and outs of exposure, aperture, shutter speed, etc. (myself included in this bunch) When taking pictures of moving water, if you slow down the shutter speed to about 1/4 or 1/8 and hold the camera VERY still, the water turns out looking like floating clouds of fog over the rocks! Very cool effect!

...attending a lecture on "Shaker Agriculture"...

This was our teacher for the Ag lecture.... he was an interesting fellow, but very knowledgeable and funny.

...purchasing a few things at the craft store, and really, just enjoying the beautiful rolling hills and observing the farm animals on site.

The first thing Scott and I noticed was how Q-U-I-E-T it was.... almost eerily quiet. The still and quiet combined with the Tempur-Pedic mattress on our bed resulted in some GOOD sleep.

From Shaker Village, we ventured down to Nashville, TN, and stayed with Scott's college friend, Natalie. God bless her, she also served as our chauffeur and tour guide for the next two days. The first night, she took us to a honky-tonk in downtown Nashville where we enjoyed some good live music and....

...I swing danced with a complete stranger. Those of you who know me know that I do NOT like to dance, much less in public, even more less with someone I do not know. However, it was actually really fun! I found that my very minimal swing dance skills were became quite good with a leader who absolutely knew what he was doing! My goodness, that man could dance!! It was SO fun and I dare say I would do it again....

The next day we went back into downtown and visited a print shop, which I was so intrigued by!

The print shop still uses antique printing techniques and every poster they make is hand printed, hand inked, hand carved.... wow. I was very impressed. The uniqueness was amplified by the fact that two posters of the same design had slightly different coloring, proving the fact that the inks were all hand mixed applied just before printing. We hopped across the street for ice cream...

...then headed over the the Parthenon!

It is the only exact replica of the actual Parthenon that resides in Greece. We then drove to see Dave Ramsey give his radio show-LIVE!

I realize that not everyone knows Dave Ramsey, but he is a financial advisor with a pretty well known talk radio show and book. Scott's dad introduced us to his radio program and we have since become fans. We got to meet him and talk to him for a few minutes, got one of our books signed, and a photo taken :-) We then ventured down to a vineyard owned by Kix Dunn of Brooks and Dunn. The Tennessee landscape was quilted with rows and rows of grape vines, with the building lined with rows and rows of newly bottled wine. My favorite, of little surprise to me, was the raspberry dessert wine. Yum.

The day ended with dinner at Cafe Loveless. If you want authentic, Southern cooking, you must go here. The macaroni and cheese was creamy and rich, the biscuits were flaky but dense, the meat was served in portions that would feed 4, and I'm sure the dessert was killer! (I had absolutely no room left to even think about the dessert.)

From Tennessee, we ventured to Siloam Springs, AR, where we attended the wedding of Ben and Meredith, two of Scott's close college friends. The wedding was just beautiful and the weather could not have been more perfect for the outdoor event. Of coarse, I took a billion pictures and captured some good ones! I love taking candid photos; the results are always the most pure, the faces the most honest. I love it :-)

Scott got to do some wood-working in his friend, Austin's, wood shop. It was very large with lots of good equipment!

We visited our friend, Travis', organic farm and ate lunch made up of his produce!

Scott was an usher in the wedding. Doesn't he look good?!

Our week ended with a trip to Dallas to see Scott's sister and her husband for Memorial Day. Trey grilled some amazing dry-rub ribs and Stefanie made some excellent corn on the cob and potato salad--YUM.

Stef and Trey's dog, Jack :-)

Back in Houston, I have started school again--full force. They have no mercy. But, again, I am trying to keep a positive outlook on the whole thing. I will admit that my first day back was rough, to say the least. I was in a bad mood all day and just, well, stressed. Next week will be better though :-) I will MAKE it better!

Next stop: Levi's graduation.



Ashton said...

I enjoyed the pics and captions; I liked looking at them on Facebook, but everything came together when you explained them further! :-) Glad ya'll got to have your little road trip! Good luck with school-- keep pluggin!

Katie Claire said...

Looks like you had fun friend! Glad you enjoyed my home-state :)

Go to and look at refurbished Canon Rebels... they sell them just the body, and body with lens.