Sunday, July 13, 2014

Exploring Eastern Kentucky

We were able to get away for a few days to explore Eastern Kentucky. This was the first time any of our family had visited Kentucky. I don't consider that one has visited a state unless they get off the highway and do at least one activity in the state. This is the ninth state that Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood have explored. Timothy (24) decided to stay home and stick with his schedule at the day treatment program for brain injured adults that he attends. He is more comfortable with the routine they provide. Grandma came along with us on our adventure.

We started our adventure in Lexington. We stopped at the visitors center and got our bearings. They suggested that we visit the Lexington Cemetery to stretch our legs. Well, I guess everyone knows by now that I love cemeteries. Lexington Cemetery has won many awards and is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country. It did not disappoint. I saw headstone styles I haven't seen anywhere else. It was a great mixture of old and new. We also enjoyed the three ponds and wildlife spread throughout the cemetery.

I had never seen stained glass in a headstone before.
When we came to the Jewish section, we reviewed the Jewish custom of leaving stones at the grave instead of flowers. We visited the Star of Remembrance, which commemorates the 1.5 million children who lost their lives during the holocaust. There was a dish of stones to pick from and place on the memorial, and the children picked out a special stone to place. May we never have such a horrible repeat of history!

We settled into our motel and the kids burned off the rest of their energy at the pool. This became a nightly tradition.

The next day we explored the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. This 1800s Shaker community was the largest community in the nation. The buildings have been nicely redone, but there really were not enough interpreters. We really felt like we didn't learn very much new about the Shakers. The kids did enjoy getting to work with the carpenter on the wood turning lathe. Little Red Riding Hood also enjoyed the weaving area. She just loves all things crafty. We also had a nice game of croquet, although I don't think we were following the rules very well.

There are many limestone buildings in Kentucky.

In the same area as the Shaker Village, there was a riverboat ride. This was a gentle ride down the river and back. The kids hoped to see an abundance of wildlife, but we only saw a few turtles. It was relaxing all the same. 

The river was lined with cliffs of limestone. There was limestone all the way down to the water's edge.

We finished the evening off with a Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner eaten poolside and a trip to the Joseph-Beth bookstore, which is supposed to be one of the best in the nation. It was nicely laid out and the staff was very helpful. However, they didn't have any of the six mainstream books that I had circled in my copy of the Rainbow Resource catalog (tsk-tsk). However, I found a few treats to put in our first day of school box.

The next morning we decided to move onto another city. We decided to explore a free horse statue park before bidding farewell to Lexington.

What Characters!

We headed south to Corbin, Kentucky. This is the home of Colonel Sanders KFC. We did not eat at that original restaurant but drove by it on the way to our hotel. We spent the afternoon at Cumberland Falls State Park. I didn't get many pictures because we discovered that the battery was dead in my camera. My dear husband stood in the bathroom at an outlet recharging my camera for a few minutes so we could squeeze out a few photos. This was a really nice state park. The falls were lovely and the kids had a great time mining for gems.

Our last day we went to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area to see the abandoned Blue Heron coal mining town. We took the Big South Fork Scenic Railway  on a 14 mile round trip through the gorge into Blue Heron. It had a 1.5 layover  in which we were able to see the displays. Of course, my favorite was the schoolhouse. I also enjoyed walking on the trestle.

We had a great time and could have stayed at the park for longer. However, it was time to go home. We had a great getaway and now it is time to get back to the books. Yep, tomorrow starts our 2014-2015 school year!!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Happy back to school day! I enjoyed reading about your trip into Kentucky - it's a state we have not visited, so it was nice to get a little touristy peek :)

  2. Your little girl is looking very relaxed these days and very happy in all the photos. It's good to see you in some of the pictures. I can put a face to the name now!
    Love the selfie at the end!!

  3. Looks like a great trip! I like the idea of planning a get away that is not too far and exploring like that. Its so nice that your mom is able to travel with you!