A Travellerspoint blog

April 2016

Bardstown, Kentucky

29-30 April 2016

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Maple Hill Manor is an adorable B&B tucked in to the countryside about thirty minutes away from Bardstown, Kentucky. The area is also known as one of the most beautiful small towns in America and was our home base for Curt’s birthday weekend.
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We originally intended to be on the motorcycles but the Mother Nature took a swift kick to our plans. So Friday we drove the 2 hours, 45 minutes to the manor and turned around and left again. In the run up before Derby week in Kentucky there is always something going on. For Bardstown that is cocktail week. The owner of the Maple Hill Manor also owned another B&B in town called the Bourbon Manor and there were having a tasting of 1792 bourbon and tapas at their bar called the bunghole.
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It was a small group but a nice casual atmosphere with tasty snacks, an amazing goodie bag and a amazing cocktail called the peach mint julep. We also got to meet several locals and another couple that we would see several other times throughout the weekend. We left the bar rather early because the Maple Hill Manor promised desserts were provided from 6-9. It was a berry pie to rival my favorite Village Inn!!!
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Saturday of course started with breakfast called “between the sheets”. It was seasoned scrambled eggs in a puff pastry with sausage, potato, fruit and a waffle.
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We set off completely full to the Heaven Hill Distillery. The gift shop is really neat because in the center it looks like someone created half a huge barrel you could climb in. We later find out that is the tasting room. Heaven Hill is the longest family run distillery and we were taken over to their rick house (warehouse).
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There are millions of gallons of bourbon all perfectly balanced in the warehouse. They mention that the bourbon that is aged for a longer period will be partially empty due to evaporation. They call this portion of the bourbon the angels share.
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They now make their bourbon in Louisville and store in Bardstown. This is because years ago there was a fire. They had no place to make their bourbon so the other distilleries like Makers Mark and Jim Beam actually let them use their facilities. After the tasting and a bourbon ball we moved on to eating again.
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Lunch was at the Talbot Tavern, a building that has been there since I think 1792. I got the hot brown and Curt the chicken fried steak with dessert of berry cobbler for me and bread pudding for Curt. Our original intention with the trip was to get as many distilleries from the bourbon trail completed however the cocktail week threw us for a loop.
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We walked around the down town shops a bit before moving to our next drinks:)
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Last night we had heard there was a cocktail tasting from 2-4 and for $25 you got to sample 15 drinks. In the fall Bardstown has a bourbon festival and this competition was to see which cocktail would be featured as the drink during that festival. Everyone got a “bunghole” (the stopper in the bourbon barrel) which was used to vote for your favorite drink. The drinks were not so small and by the end we were best friends with the couple from Pennsylvania we had seen around town.
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Curt’s friend from the Army, Steve and his wife, Saskia live not far away and met us in town for dinner. We hit the Talbot Tavern again, first for another drink and then for dinner. We had a great time catching up and enjoying the live music. By the end of the night we could barely shovel down the pecan pie the Maple Hill Manor had out for us.
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Posted by ErinDriver 08:07 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Grand Old Opry

16 April 2016

sunny

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Curt and I had our ninth anniversary this week so we decided to celebrate with an overnight stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville and a visit to the Grand Old Opry. The resort is huge with its own ponds, fountains, waterfalls and garden inside. It is so beautiful that everyone wants to stay here and at check in the line was longer than a roller coaster at Disney World. We may have missed the show if we waited in line so we went to the thai place down the road instead. After filling up on pad thai and changing in their bathroom we headed back to the hotel.
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The whole point in staying there was to walk to and from the Opry. We had plenty of time to get our obligatory photos with the guitars out front. At that time of day the sun was low and shining right in our faces which explains why it may appear that we just at something sour.
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The show was two hours broken in to 30 minute segments. Between each one we got to hear plenty of commercials about Dollar General, Humana, Cracker Barrel and the Johnny Cash museum. But it was a great experience to sit on those comfy bench seats and catch a performance where country music was made famous.
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Vince Gill was the main headline and he did a song for the recently passed away Merle Haggard.

Posted by ErinDriver 09:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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