I'd hope to get the continuation up a little faster than this but I've been enjoying a bout of laziness and Blogger has been a right pain in the arse, not letting me upload pictures. Still, better late than never! (edit: Blogger is still being fruitbatting difficult so I decided heck with the pics. When it wants to play nice again, I'll post them then - Edit-Edit - Finally, I have pictures! Yippeeee!)

SO. I left off having survived (barely) Mammoth Cave. After walking on jelly legs back to the truck, we headed to the next stop of the day – Kentucky Down Under. What’s that you ask? Oh, another CAVE tour (yes, as a matter of fact, I AM a glutton for punishment. Thanks for asking.). Also, it’s a little park where you can pet Kangaroos, Wallaby, etc. It was fun. The kangaroos were sweet.

After the Roos, we got to feed some lambs (which took all of three seconds as those little buggers can out-chug any college freshman I’ve ever seen).

The Kookaburra birds weren’t laughing for us (I was disappointed) and it was Hot. Bloody, have-we-somehow-entered-the-7th-circle-of-Hell?! HOT.

I’m super-sensitive to heat (I know… and I live in Texas. It’s a cosmic joke). Knowing this, I would normally have a hat and make sure to stay carefully hydrated. I didn’t bring a hat, because I didn’t expect the heat, and I hydrated my butt off but apparently the cave tours put me in the negative. I got a little (a Lot) overheated.

SO. I spent the drive back to Georgetown practicing my deep-breathing-hold-down-the-heat-stroke-vomit technique with all the air conditioner vents trained on my face, while occasionally spurting water over my head. Poor Mr. Clean took pity on me (and the leather seats) and tried really hard not to hit all the bumps in the road, while Vrooming home as quickly as possible. In his defense, everyone else was going the same speed. I guess the nice Kentucky Highway Patrolman just thought our truck was the prettiest little thang he ever saw and wanted to get a closer look-see.

Ever get a speeding ticket with kids in the back seat? While your wife is trying not to yark all over the place? I don’t recommend it. Once we were back on the road, Shaggy announced he was appointing himself as the Official Speedometer Watcher. Mr. Clean gets mad props for not dumping him off on the side of the highway. Indeed, the only thing he said, through clenched teeth, was… “Do Not Talk About This, Ever.”

Heh. Guess, it’s good he doesn’t often read my blog. Cousin Neese, however, does. But I KNOW she’s going to ignore the fidgeting temptations she’s now feeling and will NOT call Mr. Clean to give him a hard time. (I know it’d be such fun, but really… he’ll hide all my coffee or something equally horrific if he knew I blabbed.)

Tuesday dawned a little less early but just as bright and we loaded up for Bardstown, KY. Another bit of a drive but worth it. They have a set of really neat Civil War museums and a reconstructed town. I loved seeing the looks on my spawnlings’ faces when they saw the size of a house an entire family would live in. It’s always entertaining to see that moment of understanding, that sudden appreciation for what they do have.

I missed half of the Women of the Civil War museum. It was upstairs and stairs were no longer my friends. At this point, I could not traverse more than one or two stairs (with a little assistance) and had learned my own lesson about taking little things for granted. Toilets now provided a whole new level of difficulty for me – having to enact the squat-and-fall technique to sit on one. Lots of fun! Shaggy, upon eavesdropping on my toilet difficulty comment to Mr. Clean, felt it necessary to point out that there are handicapped toilets available, with railings. Heh. Heh. He’s soooo funny.

After Bardstown, we headed up the lo-o-o-ong and winding road to one of my favorite little places in the woods. We visit it every time we’re in Kentucky and I would highly recommend it if you have spawnlings in tow who like to start every drive with a healthy argument – Maker’s Mark Distillery. Yipppeeee, it was ALCOHOL time!

Well, not AT the distillery as it’s located in a dry county (go figure) but you can buy some and then get schnockered later!

Seriously, folks – if you’re ever in this area of Kentucky (near Bardstown, just south of Lexington), go to
Maker’s Mark. It’s truly a lovely place and one of the most unique distilleries I’ve ever seen. Plus, Hello-o-o-o-o, it’s Maker’s Mark – the best bourbon around.

Wednesday was a day of leisure and new things. Before we left Texas, I agreed to do something I’ve never done before – meet an online person in real life. Woooooooo. A little… not scary, but strange – in a good way.
DebR and I agreed to meet at the Barnes & Noble in Lexington for a little book shopping and coffee. After a brief intro to my gang, I made them leave to go find their own fun (not wanting to give DebR a chance to blog about my heathens and their antics). I’m kidding – they were actually quite good, as they normally are in public (under the threat of death if they aren’t). But still.

The boys gone, Deb and I settled in with a couple of hours of book conversation (and buying!) and some good coffee. It was a lot of fun!! I really, Really enjoyed meeting her and the conversation flowed so easily. It was like we’d known each other for years. Plus! She did not LAUGH at me when I had to use the squat-and-fall technique in order to sit down for coffee. And really… I would have laughed at me. She’s SO PRETTY. We read a lot of the same books but enough different ones that we each had something new to point out to the other. I LOVE this as I’m always looking out for new authors to add to my current list that I can’t keep up with. It’s that glutton for punishment thing again. *grin*

Before my boys showed back up, we took a couple of pictures with
Joshilyn Jackson’s – Between, Georgia – as we initially met through her blog. Thank dog she remembered her camera as I had forgotten mine. I really hope to meet up with her again the next time I’m in Kentucky… or any time she makes it down to Texas. It was that much fun.

I’m going to try and short-list the rest of our journey, because this is long (and possibly boring).

We left Thursday morning and headed to Fort Knox to check out their Patton Museum. I live with boys. They do war museums. Mr. Clean watches the movie, Patton, every time it comes on. I’ll get my girly trip one of these days (?). Really, it ended up being fun and they had an interesting exhibit about Elvis in the Army. And a lot of tanks. And guns. And more tanks. And uniforms. And then something that … well, it kinda creeped me out.

They had a statue head of Sadaam, from the Sadaam-on-a-horse monument in Iraq… along with pictures of it being blown up and falling down. I guess it gave me the squicks because you don’t normally expect to see something so recent (and ongoing) in a museum. That, along with various examples of IEDs and Insurgent artillery, was a bit surreal. There was, however, a very nice (and damn cute) soldier who talked to the boys in detail about the tanks and some of the difficulties they ran into over there (he’d just gotten back). It was the highlight of the day, talking to that soldier. Doodlebug was beside himself with the glee. And I had No idea how sophisticated the imaging systems on tanks were. Very cool.

After Fort Knox, we headed over to Bowling Green, KY – home of the Corvette. Did I mention I have boys? While the guys squeed all over the place at the cars, I meh’d and followed behind, my muscles still contracted so much it felt like I was walking on wooden pegs. If you have boys like I do – go there. They’ll love you forever. The only moment of angst occurred when Shaggy found they’d sold out of their shot glasses (his collection of choice). I felt really bad about that and will have to see if I can’t get one online as a retroactive souvenir.

After leaving the gods of Car Design behind and steeling ourselves for the drive home, I convinced Mr. Clean that Starbucks would be advantageous for him. He’d be driving, ya know… and he’d need to stay awake… and I was twitchy from all the Guy Stuff. As I am Spoiled Rotten, he took pity on me and bought coffee.

We were forced, FORCED I tell you, to find another one in Jackson, Tennessee after the Spawnling McBickerfests pushed me over the edge and I had a conniption the likes I hope to not see again any time soon. It was at that time I informed Shaggy that the entire trip had been a Test, to see if we could possibly take him (and maybe even Doodlebug) overseas. And he had FAILED because if we’d been on a plane and I’d had to listen to the hours upon hours of his teenagery angst-ridden hormonal bitchery… I would have embraced my vertigo like a long-lost lover and THROWN myself out the emergency exit without a parachute. And it would have made me HAPPY to do so.

Lots of potty breaks and one spare tire later (thanks Big John in somewhere Tennessee? Arkansas?), we finally arrived back home late Friday morning and promptly fell into whatever furniture was nearby for much needed naps.

We had a lot of fun but damn, it is so nice to be HOME.

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2 Responses
  1. Deb R Says:

    It was WAY fun to meet you! I'd love to get together again!

    I wish Blogger would play nice about you posting pics from your trip. Rotten BloggerBastards!

  2. dragonfly Says:

    Hey... you're on Blogger too. And you have pictures up. Come on... give me the secret password, will ya?

    I emailed the Rotten BloggerBastards (again) and told them to get it together already or the hoards of people posting about it on Blogger Help are going to have a lynching. *grin*

    And yes, we MUST get together again!