February is my least favorite month of the year, and usually the only nice thing I can say about it is at least it is the shortest month of the year. However, this year, Jay and I planned a few fun day trips, so those cold weeks were a little more bearable.
The first getaway we took was technically overnight, but we normally just spend an afternoon there. We headed to Shaker Village, which is one of my favorite spots in Central Kentucky. While it is only about 30-45 minutes from Lexington, it feels distinctly different. One of my favorite things to do there is just walk around and soak in the simplicity of the structures against the vast rolling Central Kentucky hills.
While there is a decent amount to see in the village, I prefer to go for events and wander around before or after the event. Unless you have a fascination of Shaker history or really like museums, there’s only so much you can look at before it all starts looking the same, or maybe that’s just me. I’d say a couple hours is enough time to fully explore the village. However, Shaker Village has lots of great events throughout the year. We went for the Bee My Honey brunch, which was one of their Fresh Food Adventures and featured honey dishes paired with Old Forester bourbon cocktails. The Christmas Tea is always one of my favorite holiday events, and Jay and I have already talked about heading back for the Well Crafted Brews and Bands Festival and a day hike with Annabelle.
The second getaway we took was to the happening town of Loretto, KY. Unless you’ve been to the Maker's Mark Distillery, you probably haven’t heard of it. We headed to the distillery because Jay’s ambassador barrel was ready. Maker’s Mark has an ambassador program that is free to join, and when you join, they engrave your name into a bourbon barrel and when your barrel is ready, you can pick up a specially labeled bottle of bourbon from your barrel. There are a few other perks that come with it too, such as invitations to special events.
Anyways, we headed to the distillery to pick up a couple of bottles from Jay’s barrel. We took a wrong turn and ended up driving the last few miles on a one lane gravel road, but the views were spectacular. I’ve been on several distillery tours, and many take a more general approach to the bourbon making process. I found that this distillery tour was much more focused on the specifics of Maker's Mark. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the Dale Chihuly glass ceiling juxtaposed against the rustic bourbon barrels. It is always fun to go to a distillery because it just feels so Kentucky.
It's always nice to get away and disconnect, even if just for an afternoon.