Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kentucky 2015

 The main reason we made a visit to Kentucky was for baseball and a concert. 
The game featured a minor league team from Lexington and the band was Royal Tailor. 

Jane chose this song to do her dance solo at Kids Fine Arts this past year. 

 It is rare when all four of us agree on music and in the case of Royal Tailor, even Elliot will sing along.

 Lexington is horse country. I had heard it was beautiful and that is an easy description. Rolling hills, impressive estates, the green, lush, manicured horse farms comprise a striking landscape. 

An early morning bike ride on Legacy Trail. 

The City of Firsts
On December 4, 1787, the Virginia Legislature established Danville
 as a Town in Virginia.
Danville became a part of the Commonwealth when
Kentucky became a
 state in 1792.

Danville, “The City of Firsts," was the location of the first Courthouse
 in Kentucky First U.S. Post Office west of the Alleghenies (1792),
 the first Capital of Kentucky (1785),
 In 1809, Danville's own Dr. Ephraim McDowell
 became the first physician in the world to
successfully remove an ovarian tumor.
His patient was Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford.

We found this "city of firsts" to be home to Boyle County Library.  The children's area had a play on castle, a real bunny and comfy red chair.  It made me want to have a six year-old again and live down the street, just so I could come for story-time.  

 In the back of the library there was a beautiful reading room. It reminded me of the libraries they show in movies.  Oak bookshelves lining the walls. Long tables with little lamps. I could have spent time there reading a book. 
Possibly the best library logo ever. 


A reconstruction of the First Permanent American Settlement in Kentucky. 
The reconstructed fort contains several log structures representing various aspects of military frontier life, including a militia blockhouse, a family blockhouse, several cabins demonstrating pioneer life, a blab school, the minister's cabin, and the leader's cabin.
The Mansion Museum is a Greek Revival home that contains American Civil War artifacts, a McIntosh gun collection, paintings, documents, music collections, Abraham Lincoln memorabilia and Native American artifacts.
The park also features the cabin where Abraham Lincoln's parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, were married.
The Osage orange tree located in the fort would be the National Champion but a split at the base of the tree disqualifies it.  No one knows how it came to be in the Fort.

A blacksmith was on hand and some men were preparing for a battle reenactment the next day. 
This man made brooms from hand. They had various functions.

One of the Restaurants we ate at was 
Ramseys Diner
Jane had a banana "dog"
Banana, peanut butter.

We took some time on Saturday to stop at a few garage sales. I joked about buying the head and placing it in the kids bed at night. 

Stocking up on ski. 

Enter your own caption here.

So many great finds in KY! We didn't bring this gem home with us. 

The Game: Lexington Legends VS Hickory Crawdads

 We loved the name of the teams in this league. Especially the Asheville Tourists. 

The night was sponsored by Asbury University.  Not surprising they have impressive equestrian programs.

The concert
One day I was talking about Royal Tailor and instead I said Taylor Swift.  I think it started out half joking or just my brain not functioning. Anyway it launched  a running gag leading up to the concert, where we would sometimes refer to them as Royal Tailor Swift.  So it was very amusing to us when Royal Tailor released a single that partially covered Taylor Swift's- Shake it off.
It made me wonder if they made a similar joke as a band. 
Jane posted this picture to instagram. She was ecstatic when Tauren Wells (singer) liked it.

It was very hot and the stage was small. Jane and I were to forgo the fireworks show and got right up front.
 I realized after about 20 minutes in, that maybe I was too old for front row. I did jump when prompted
(well I hopped) I also danced a little, but it was quite loud. Unfortunately the overall sound quality was not that great, ear plugs would have been welcomed.
   The band did their best with choreography and singing. Tauren moon-walked that was fun to watch.  

A  band picture from instagram . On the far left you can see Jane up front. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

South Manitou Anniversary Trip

Our  15 year Anniversary was celebrated in June on a small island in Northern Michigan. South Manitou Island is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The Ferry,
 Mishe-Mokwa takes about an hour to reach the island.

We shared the boat ride with about 20 boy scouts. We were hoping their campsite wasn't right next to ours.
Later we were very thankful for the boyscouts. 
Their motto "always be prepared" helped me to know who to ask once we realized we had left our rope.  Pesky chipmunks meant food items would not be safe if they were left on the ground. 
It was rustic camping. This meant no showers and vault toilets. 

Instead of each site having its own fire pit, a larger one is placed between campsites for sharing. It was around the shared fire pit we met up with some hikers.  Two of them had hiked the Appalachian trail.  The trail is a path of about 2,000 miles on the eastern side of the US. 
 Nathan and I had been discussing earlier that day if it would be all that great to hike the trail. I thought if the scenery doesn't change much and you aren't getting great views, it might be a lot of work without reward.  Talking to the seasoned hikers we met, you get the impression it has some great pay offs and it is indeed worth the venture. 
Apparently when you hike the trail you are given a special name, Nathan knew this and asked them what they were called. 
New Hampshire Mary- she had lived in New Hampshire at the time but currently resides in Whitehall and Billy Pilgrim a reference to Slaughter House Five - I have not read that book- his real name Steve.
 They also had a friend with them Larry. Larry  smoked a pipe and the day before he had put his pipe in his sweatshirt by mistake and a burned a whole in it. His friend gave him the name Pyro Larry. 

On our second day we had a few hours before the return boat ride. About 15 minutes in I realized we hadn't reapplied our bug spray. We decided it wasn't worth hiking back and continued on. At first we didn't notice it too much, but once our path headed into the woods I lamented not returning back for the spray.  Nathan captured a photo of my remedy. My cardigan is almost a mesh material which allowed me to see and protected the remaining bits of flesh from the merciless mosquitoes. I could still hear them buzzing in my ear which I felt was equally atrocious to my senses. 

South Manitou once supported a village and remnants of that community remain there today.  I was a little disturbed by the number of snakes that we would scare off the path as we walked. In Michigan encountering a poisonous snake is rare, having a fear of them on the island wasn't rational, but it still made my trekking through the woods a little less enjoyable. 

Our campsite didn't have access to potable water.  We actually were led to believe it would. Sleeping Bear is a National park and it seems logical that tidbit of information wouldn't take much effort to put on the website.  I  actually had called a couple of days beforehand to figure it out and I was told the website should be updated.  We found out later that the boy scout leaders also believed that there would be water. I felt empathy for them since they had to walk out to get enough water for twenty-two people.  The nearest location to get water from our site  was the ranger station. The station is where the boat drops you off when you first arrive.  It was a two mile hike- one way- just to get water.   A highlight of our trip occurred on one of our treks to retrieve water.  We both were tired and it wasn't as if the two mile walk back to our site was going to offer any new scenery to rally our spirits after a long day.  As we were filling up our water bottles we spotted the ranger hanging out near his ATV.  Reading our minds would have not been difficult, how nice it would be to get a ride back.  Nathan said he almost talked himself into asking, but we didn't.   It was at that moment the ranger approached us and offered us a ride back since he would be heading out near our site. 
  In my head I could compare it to a   1980's sitcom, the classic scene  would show a person illuminated and playing the hallelujah chorus in the background.   He joked that if anyone saw us we had to act injured or sick.  Ranger Micah was our hero for the moment. 
View from the lighthouse.  117 steps to the top. 

The remains of a shipwreck. 
Michigan has many lighthouses, I think more than other State.  Many are restored and maintained for tourism. They give us a window into the Great Lakes maritime history.  This visit to Manitou was only my second time touring the inside of one. I hope to get the opportunity to visit more. 

A great way to celebrate 15 years.  It helps to have the best travel partner along for the ride. Love my husband.