Central Kentucky Daytrips

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 view from a backroad en route to Loretto, Kentucky. 

The view from a backroad en route to Loretto, Kentucky. 

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. 

 
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Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in elementary school was just the best! I loved picking out my box of Valentine cards, carefully tearing down the perforated lines of the card stock, selecting which card I would give to my closest friends and secret crush, and taping a piece of chocolate on each one. I loved decorating my shoe box that would become my Valentine mailbox and making crafts out of pink and red construction paper and doilies. I loved looking through all of my cards during my afternoon ride home on the school bus. Seriously, it was one of the best days of the year! Then middle school happened, and Valentine's Day became one of my least favorite days. It became a stressful holiday where I had to think about romance or worse - the lack of romance in my life, depending on the year. Although I've been fortunate enough to have the BEST Valentine the past few years, it still stresses me out. Candlelight dining and the pressure to make the evening feel special is just too much for me.

Around this time every year, Jay and I hesitantly look at each other and agree to not exchange gifts. Inevitably, he'll surprise me with flowers, and I'll make him a sweet treat. We'll decide to do something together because that is way more fun than receiving heart-shaped jewelry. A couple of years ago, I happened to be in San Antonio for a work event that ended on Friday, so Jay flew up and joined me for the rest of the Valentine's weekend. We rode bikes to missions along the river, ate well, and enjoyed the 75 degree weather. It was the best!

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This year, we have less time to get away and are planning a longer trip for later in the year, so we're heading to one of my favorite places in Central Kentucky - Shaker Village! We are spending the night, going to brunch, and if the weather cooperates, hiking and exploring the village in the afternoon. It should be just long enough to feel like a mini-getaway.

If you haven't been to Shaker Village recently, it has seriously gotten cool. There are so many events I want to go to in the next few months, from beer and bourbon tastings to concerts to yoga and paddle boarding. We're heading to the Bee My Honey Brunch, which couldn't be more perfect for us with brunch fare, honey, and bourbon.

One thing that I do like to do on Valentine's Day is have a festive outfit. Since it falls in the middle of winter, little red dresses and pink skirts are out of the question in Kentucky. Because we're having a casual Valentine's Day, I'm all about being comfortable and wearing practical clothing. Here's what I'll be packing for our weekend...

Sweater    Blouse    Jeans    Nail Polish    Bracelet    Flats

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Valentine's Day! Some people love the romance and others prefer to pass on celebrating. What will you be up to?

Cheers!

Laura