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Kentucky Trip Report

Friday, May 8th, 2009

We went to Kentucky for the opening weekend of Keeneland, which was the first weekend of April. Somehow over a month has passed since the trip, so I’m going to try to recount it now. I’ve also posted the Kentucky photo album.

We left home on Thursday morning, hoping to make it to Kentucky by dinnertime. The trip is about 8 hours, but with Maddie it seems to take at least 10. We usually drive as long as she will let us, stop for food, and then drive as long as she will let us again. She typically does fairly well for the first part of the trip. This time, she slept for a few hours in the morning. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch where Maddie was the star of the show.

After lunch, we ran into some awful fog. Visibility was so bad that it was difficult to see the car in front of us. This persisted for several miles, and then it was smooth sailing after that. Maddie did pretty well until around the time we got to Kentucky. We stopped at the Kentucky Welcome Center to stretch her baby legs. She liked walking around the picnic area.

Meanwhile, Melissa and Jason were touring Mammoth Cave, which is neat but in the middle of nowhere. I was amused that their bus driver said, “Well. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that we’re under a tornado warning. The good news is that we’re about to go into a cave!” Ha! We hope to tour Mammoth Cave someday.

We had dinner with Gabe’s family and did some visiting before heading back to the hotel for Maddie’s bedtime. When we visited in November, we tried having Maddie sleep for a little bit at Gabe’s parents’ house before going to the hotel, but that doesn’t work real well for her these days. We stayed at the Hyatt attached to Rupp Arena which was neat, even if we didn’t get to see the inside of the coliseum. We did make a discovery while strolling around the shops in the hotel. The art gallery had a featured artist that did scroll saw art similar to Gabe’s parents. In fact, one of the portraits had been cut from one of Mick’s patterns! Gabe’s parents were interested to hear about that and actually may provide more portraits for the gallery by “the original artist” at some point.

Friday was opening day at Keeneland. The weather wasn’t great, but it was better than the last time we went to Keeneland. It was chilly and windy. We stayed inside most of the time, but we did go out to watch several of the races. We had a great time! Gabe’s mom and Dylan went with us as well as Melissa and Jason. We did really well this time and actually cashed quite a few tickets, including Gabe’s first trifecta (well, it was my first, too)! That was very cool. Melissa had some great luck as well – she cashed over half of her tickets, amazingly. Jason was not quite so fortunate and did not cash a single one of his bets.

After a day at the track, we went out to dinner with Melissa and Jason at Joseph Beth Cafe. Jason enjoyed his first hot brown, and Gabe’s meal was tasty. Unfortunately, Melissa and I got quiches and they were lukewarm. Turns out that lukewarm quiche is not very tasty. After dinner, we visited Artique which is a local chain of art galleries. Gabe’s parents have some of their work displayed in some of them now. We were in the super pricey side of Artique with fancy glass sculptures and vases and such. I held on tight to Maddie and made sure we weren’t within kicking distance of anything breakable – it was a bit scary to even walk into the shop. They have signs all over the place that basically say, “you break it, you buy it.” While we were in the shop, a lady knocked off a large glass vase off of one of the display pedestals. We saw her standing next to the register looking absolutely sick when we were leaving the shop. Yikes! We peeked at the price tag of a much smaller vase, and that one was $700. Who knows how much a larger, showcased item was priced! I’m glad that it didn’t happen to us – scary!

We went back to the hotel, put Maddie to bed, and played a little Tichu with Melissa and Jason. Maddie didn’t want us to have too much fun and only let us play a few hands.

On Saturday, we spent time with Gabe’s family at his parents’ house while Melissa and Jason went to the Kentucky Horse Park. In the evening, we treated Mick and Debbie to a birthday dinner at DeSha’s, which was very close to our hotel. Maddie was a bit restless during dinner, so the two of us went for a walk around the neighboring park. Mostly, I think she was a tired baby as she was ready for bed right after dinner and slept long enough for us to play a complete game of Tichu with Melissa and Jason.

We woke up bright and early (well, not too early) and headed back to North Carolina on Sunday morning. We managed to coordinate a lunch at Cracker Barrel with Melissa and Jason about halfway through the trip. Maddie did pretty well, but we did have to make a few extra stops in the second half of the trip.

The Sunday Somethings, April 5

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Other participants: Audrey

Something that made me smile this week: Cashing a winning trifecta ticket at Keeneland on Friday!

Something I’m thinking: The drive back from Lexington is REALLY long. Maddie does pretty well until what should be the last two hours of the trip. We had to make a few extra stops both times in the final legs of the trip.

Something I am hoping: That our team can raise a bunch of money for the National MS Society. Please visit us here:

Something happening around the house: The cleaners did their monthly thing on Tuesday. Since we left for Kentucky on Thursday morning, the house is still (mostly) clean! It’s amazing to me how quickly that the house’s condition can go downhill after the cleaners sometimes. I guess I should say MOST times.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Book Thief while I was in Kentucky. I am not sure what I am going to read next.

Something tasty I ate this week: We treated Gabe’s parents to a meal at deSha’s in Lexington last night. My french onion soup, filet mignon and mushrooms were quite tasty.

Something Maddie did this week: Maddie witnessed her first horse racing events at Keeneland!

Something I struggled with this week: I didn’t have any major struggles this week, except for a seminar about baby and toddler illnesses and injuries. The seminar was intended to alleviate stress and anxiety about common accidents and sicknesses. I think that it elevated my worries instead! It’s amazing that any of us ever made it to adulthood.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I have been talking to several mortgage lenders, and we are proceeding with refinancing our mortgages. I am a little nervous about the appraisal in today’s market. Some exciting things have been happening with my fundraising goals as well. We have several small businesses offering to help us raise money! I posted about the deal with Catherine Keene Photography. I will be posting two more deals with Whimsical Cookies and ShambroLa Wood Art.

Something I’m looking forward to next week: Maddie is transitioning to the toddler classroom this week, and we have a playdate next weekend at the Museum of Life and Science.

Something I captured: Fast horsies on Friday!

The Sunday Somethings, March 29

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

It’s time again for The Sunday Somethings! Let us know if you want to join us, and we’ll to link to you. Be sure to check out Audrey‘s blog for her installment this week.

Something that made me smile this week: This morning when we had our friends visit spur of the moment for pancakes and a playdate! Fun!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about some of my answers to the Facebook “Pick 5″ questions…

Something I am hoping: That Maddie’s sleep issues earlier this week were related to her new second tooth! The tooth finally broke through the skin yesterday. I think it has been bothering her for almost 2 weeks.

Something happening around the house: Maddie is napping, Gabe is getting ready to watch some basketball, and I need to pay the bills.

Something I’m reading: I’ve been reading board books mostly this week. Maddie has been showing a greater interest in books this week! Favorites include Guess How Much I Love You, That’s Not My Lion…, That’s Not My Puppy…, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I might have read a few pages of The Book Thief for book club.

Something tasty I ate this week: I treated myself to some yummy mint Premium M&Ms. I tried some of the other flavors, but mint chocolate is still my favorite.

Something Maddie did this week: While I was getting ready for work one morning, Maddie fell and bonked her head on a door frame. Daddy picked her up and comforted her. Usually she wants Mommy in these situations, and I went over to comfort her and she held on tight to Daddy! This is the first time that she shunned me to prefer her Daddy. It hurt my feelings a little bit, but it’s good for her to want her Daddy sometimes, too! She continues to call him “dada” but almost never calls me “mama.” Lately, she has been waking up and saying, “dada!” with a huge smile. It’s no secret that she still prefers me most of the time, but she sure loves her Daddy.

Something I struggled with this week: Sleep, but what else is new?

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve contacted a few mortgage companies to get quotes for refinancing. Hopefully, we can get this process started soon as I think it will be worth it! I’ve been creating spreadsheets to compare our various options. For the ongoing goal of “make meals for people,” I’m making dinner for friends tonight with a new baby, and I arranged to deliver two more meals to another family this week.

Something I’m looking forward to next week: Our trip to Kentucky to visit Gabe’s family and see some horse racing.

Something I captured: More fun in the sun!

Our upcoming trips!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

We have added a few trips to our list for this year. We’re planning to visit Gabe’s family in Kentucky for the opening weekend at Keeneland in April. We missed opening weekend last year since Maddie was so young, so we are glad we can make it this year. In September, we are going on a cruise to New England and Canada with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. Since our Alaskan Cruise, we have been interested in taking future cruises. We are very excited for the opportunity to take Maddie on her first cruise. We’re working on a few more travel plans and hope to have more to post soon!

Thanksgiving in Kentucky

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

As I’m sitting here in the hotel in Atlanta, I figured I should probably catch up with my trip report for our Thanksgiving trip to Kentucky to visit with Gabe’s family. Originally, we had planned to split the drive to and from Kentucky into two days, both ways. We changed our plans at the last minute to leave a bit earlier on Tuesday and drive the entire distance. The last time we went a longer distance was Atlanta in August, and we had decided to not do that again for a while! We heard that snow and ice was predicted for our halfway point in West Virginia, so we wanted to avoid possible weather complications. We were nervous about spending that much time in the car with Maddie! The worst part was arriving in Kentucky (and then back home) after Maddie spent the majority of the day sleeping. We were ready to hit the sack, but Maddie was ready to play! She did pretty well on the way to Kentucky, though she did get fed up with being in the car about 2 hours away from Lexington. We ended up stopping at Kohl’s for an hour or so to go shopping. Maddie slept the rest of the way after that. She experienced her first snow on the ground when we stopped at the Cracker Barrel for dinner in West Virginia.

We arrived around 11pm on Tuesday night and spent the night at Gabe’s parents’ house. We visited with Gabe’s parents, sister, nephew, cousin, cousin’s boyfriend and kids, and step-brother for the next 3 days. Thanksgiving dinner was tasty with lots of turkey, ham, green beans, stuffing, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and a variety of pies. YUM! I think that we need more holidays that are all about the food. We played some games: Pictionary, TriBond, and Trivial Pursuit. We had a nice time visiting with family!

We decided to make the entire trip back on Saturday, as Maddie gave us confidence on the way to Kentucky. We were motivated to have all day Sunday to recover as well. We stopped by Gabe’s parents’ craft fair at Keeneland before leaving town. It was neat to finally see one of their booths! I think they were happy to show off their granddaughter to some of their friends.

The drive back was mostly uneventful, though we did run into quite a bit of snow. I felt like I was driving warp speed through a star field. Maddie is turning into quite the little traveler. She was a very good baby and slept the majority of the trip. Gabe spent a little time in the backseat entertaining her and feeding her Cheerios for maybe an hour or two after we stopped at a rest area. That kept her happy until we stopped for dinner at a random Italian restaurant that our GPS found for us. Unfortunately, the Italian restaurant was NOT very tasty. Oh well, so much for discovering a hidden gem in Pilot Mountain.

We arrived at home around 11pm, and Maddie was wide awake and ready to play. I loved watching her when we got home as she was so excited to see her things again. She kept looking at random things in the house…the fireplace, the animals on the plant ledge, the bookshelves, the foyer…and smiling the biggest smiles. She was so happy to be home sweet home.

Trip reports updated

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

I’ve finally updated some trip reports. It seems that I have been quite neglectful in making these updates! Updates include Thanksgiving in Kentucky, Atlanta Christmas, Kentucky Christmas, Keeneland Opening Weekend, Family, Love, and Poker in Vegas, Donovan & Cynthia’s Wedding Weekend, and Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta (a new one!). We are currently sorting through photos for both the wedding weekend and Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully, we will have these photos posted soon.

Photos from Kentucky and more!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Horses and SnowAprilWe didn’t take very many exciting photos from our trip this past weekend. We drove to Kentucky on Thursday afternoon and returned home on Sunday night. The weather wasn’t great, though it was kinda fun to see snow. We drove through some flurries on both Thursday and Sunday and saw quite a bit of the white, fluffy stuff on Friday. (more…)

Keeneland next year

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Added Keeneland Opening Weekend trip report. We are planning to visit Gabe’s family and see the horse racing during Keeneland’s opening weekend.

Kentucky trip report updated

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Updated Kentucky Horse Racing trip report.

Kentucky photos

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Added Kentucky Family and Horse Racing photos.