Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kentucky Vacation pt 4

Tuesday we were off again for more site-seeing. First we went to a monastery known for it's fruitcake. We thought there would be a tour but when we got there we found out there was a gift shop! Most of the area was blocked off with signs for Monks only but we did get to look into their chapel and walk around a bit. I got a fruitcake for my Dad. (He said they went a little too heavy on the bourbon.) We also got some flavored whipped honey that was very tasty at dinner that night! I found a wonderful book for the boys that will become something I start giving in baby shower gifts. It's called What is God Like by Marie-Agnes Gaudrat (not to be confused by a book by the same title and different author) and I really love it!

This is the gift shop and room with a video about the monks.

This is the chapel area that is mostly open to the public.

A rare shot of me, the self-appointed photographer. Yes, proof that I was there. I stepped outside to get some photos while everyone else watched the video. I met a man there for the conference who was also taking photos so I offered to take his photo for him and he returned the favor!

I later snapped this shot of him heading off to pray.

This sign made me wonder if we were in the right place for my boys!
Can Nathan and Evan be silent?

After the monastery, we went to Maker's Mark to see how bourbon was made.

The grounds were very pretty!

Since I know so much about alcohol, I would say this is a photo of something shiny! :-)

Very cool barrel I photographed while the guide was describing the shiny thing above...must be why I don't remember what that did. (The free bourbon was AFTER the tour and no I did not have any!)

Once the bourbon is bottled, they hand-dip each bottle in red wax as a signature of the Maker's Mark brand. Random bottles are over dipped and sent out with regular shipments as a special collector's item.

Very cool room where the bourbon is stored for aging before bottled.

Back home we relaxed for a little while...

And then we hit the pool!

Nathan did really well in the water and enjoyed floating around.
Evan took to water right away! I was reminded how much I don't like water.

Maybe a little too adventurous?
Evan loved "jumping" off the side into Daddy's arms and did it over and over.

A great dive by Andrew!

A friendly game of water frisbee.

Even Nathan got involved!

Back at the house, a tired hug for Grandma Great!

Nathan and Andrew were still pretty inseparable.

James spent the evening showing Shelby and Michael card tricks, while Nathan and Andrew played together and Evan loved on the balloons.

This was his favorite orange one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vacationing in Kentucky Pt 3

So, on Monday we went to Shaker Village for the day. Last year when my sister and I were trying to think of a good place to go for my Mom's 70th birthday trip, James came up with the idea of the Shaker Village in Kentucky. It seemed the perfect place to take my Mom - something she could really enjoy. What we did not count on was the rising airline tickets. So, we changed our plans and spent the vacation in Winter Park, Colorado. (That's a blog posting for another day when I finally get through this trip!)

Everyone was disappointed and curious about the Shaker Village, so when we decided we would make the trip to Kentucky, I asked if we could spend a day at Shaker Village to see if it would have been a worthy trip. It is only an hour drive from Jim's house so off we went on Monday!

Now, I didn't know much of anything about the Shakers - I mean who can keep them all straight when you have Shakers, Quakers and Amish. Sounds more like an illness than a way of life. So, not only did we enjoy walking around the Village, but we learned a lot. Shakers were a group of people who got together and agreed that they all believed the same things religiously and they felt they could have a better life if they all pooled their resources and lived and worked together for the good of the community. So I guess you could say they were kind of Hippies of the 1800's.

The end result was is a beautiful area that has been preserved on lots of acres with lots of buildings. Walking through out the area we got a real feel for the simpler life, a time before technology and a place of community. So, here's a brief view of what we saw...

This is the building we purchased our tickets for the walking tour. It is also the gift shop that has a real country store feel to it. Wished I'd had more money to spend - so many wonderful handmade items to see.

The boys found a basket of hats and could not resist trying them on. I love this photo - they look like little Amish boys! :-)

Another favorite photo of mine from the day. This was a little window/display area in the shop. I caught the kitty napping and just loved the scene it created.

Shakers were known for their rock fences - wonder if they were Irish?!? These fences were really lovely and covered the whole area.

This is the building we spent the most time in. It was the Centre Family building and offered scenes of everyday life for a Shaker. The rooms recreated the places Shakers would spend their time.

A typical bedroom. Rooms were set up for women and men to be separate. Even married couples kind of gave up their own space to live more as a community.

Schooling was done by the Shakers themselves. This was a typical classroom.

In the basement we considered where to go next...

Their kitchen!

Grandma Palmer helps the boys try their hand at stitching.

Being a detail person, I loved these kinds of things I found all over the Village. Check out their nifty gadget to keep the windows open! There were lots of clever things like this to see.

The Infirmary

A group shot! Unfortunately Shelby had a dentist appointment that day and could not join us.

I loved their stairways! There were several buildings that had the most beautiful stairways that lended themselves to wonderful photos.

Not only did the Shakers make and do everything their community needed, but they also had a farm and animals to use for their food. This is still a working farm and provides the food served in the restaurants available in the Village.

Evan wanted to share his snack!

Some of the buildings offered demonstrations of daily events.

Not sure I'm ready to give up my modern life, but it sure was a beautiful place to visit!