Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hayrides: One of the Best Things of Life

Sunshine, walking, love: some of the best things in life are free.

A new roof, new flooring, and new windows throughout The House: some of the other best things in life are super expensive.

I should know: we've spent the past two months getting a new roof, new flooring, and new windows, which have been great but also pricey. With all those costly projects done, the next pricey thing on our list was redoing the bathroom.

Mr. Wonderful and I are famous for agreeing to start a DIY project, but even more famous for disagreeing on how to complete a project.

Enter the hayride.

Hayrides exist on the best-things-in-life-spectrum somewhere between walking in the free sunshine and redoing your roof for a humongo hefty price tag. Rather than spend another day roaming home improvement stores to compare and contrast tile, sinks, and facet fixtures that we would never agree on anyway (He likes the gray one; I like the leopard print one), we opted to ditch the DIY bathroom reconnaissance and get into the season by going on a hayride.

"What's so great about a hayride?" my spouse said bouncing our DD (Dear Daughter) on his knee.
"You go on a hayride to get bumped, jostled, and get hay in your hair."
He cocked his head. "Like I said: what's so great about a hayride?"

This hayride reached paramount importance when I realized that neither Mr. Wonderful nor our DD had experienced a hayride. There was only one thing to do.

Jump on a wagon, have a tractor pull us through a cornfield, and drape myself in a pumpkin.

Okay, so there wasn't one but several things to do. And in the picture below, that's not a pumpkin but a gooseneck gourd, which was lovely and funny at the same time. That's my kind of squash.

Most importantly, Mr.Wonderful and DD experienced an awesome, cheap hayride full of bumps, jostling, and hay in our hair. We laughed the whole time. After stopping the tractor in a grassy field full of gourds, the tractor driver announced that we could pick out our own pumpkin. My heart sank. Mr. Wonderful and I couldn't agree on anything at the home improvement store, how were we going to pick out a pumpkin for our family? 

I surveyed the hundreds of pumpkins in the field and bit my lip. "Which pumpkin... do you want?"
"The orange one," he said with a smile.  I gave him a high five and we let DD pick it out.

WOW. If choosing bathroom tile, faucets, and fixtures were this easy The House would have been completely redone six months after we bought it! Needless to say, before we venture out again to shop for new bathroom accoutrements, I'm taking all of us on a hayride because we can agree that some of the best things in life are cheap.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Doing the Bourbon Trail

“How do you want your Bourbon?”
“Straight up.”
“Girl, you know what you’re doing?”
“Oh. Yes.”

As most of the planet knows, I’m a wine drinker—through and through. I could drink—and have drunk—wine morning, noon, and night. But I am not an I-drink-wine-only snob. Indeed, I imbibe other beverages like water and Bourbon. Although I never drink water and Bourbon together.

Needing a break from the month-long roof work that was done on The House, Mr. Wonderful, our DD, and I took off on an adventure: exploring Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. Admittedly we did it not for our little DD, but for him and me. But she came along anyway and drew in coloring books, while we sipped Bourbon here, there, and everywhere. 

For those of you wondering what makes Bourbon, “Bourbon” the U.S. government decided that it must contain at least 51% corn mash, be aged in new barrels, and when drunk, put hair on your chest. All the Bourbons we drank fit that description.

We visited several distilleries beginning with Maker’s Mark, the popular Bourbon with the white, red, and black label. The distillery’s campus is uniformly beautiful with all the buildings painted in white, red, and black. Even the gardens were lush in white, red, and black plants. Don’t ask me how they did the black plants. But when they choose a theme, they really carry it. All. The way. Through. 

Bourbon is aged in barrels which are stored in a facility called a rickhouse, and the one at Maker’s Maker was stunning. The glass flowered ceiling was made by the same artist who decorated the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, minus the fountains because... water and Bourbon don't mix.

We also toured Woodford Reserve and its limestone buildings were as was as stunning as its Bourbon was delicious. Now that distillery is a personal favorite for both architecture and Bourbon flavor.

We had a fabulous guide and tour at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which makes the best Bourbon of them all: Pappy Van Winkle. 

We didn’t taste the Pappy, but we discovered a new beverage: Bourbon Cream. It’s like Baileys Irish Cream but creamier, smoother, and so much better because it doesn’t mix water with Bourbon. Be forewarned: this Bourbon Cream is my new go-to hospitality gift, after dinner drink, and favorite ingredient in an adult root beer float! De-lish!

We had a great time touring the Bourbon Trail. It was fun, delicious, and gave us the break we needed before embarking on our next little home-improvement project: redoing the whole bathroom. Maybe I can survive this latest project, if I have a glass of Bourbon Cream. Or two. Thank you, Bourbon Trail! To My Old Kentucky Home!