Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Great Road Trip of 2017-Part 2

Part 1 is HERE.

So we rose early since we needed to cover a lot of miles on Day Two.
But first it was off to the free breakfast in the area in the office of the motel.

So we go in and approach the breakfast "offerings" counter.
There is coffee(and lots of it, unfortunately I don't drink that).  There was an empty jug of fake orange juice(at least that's what the Walmart label on it said).  Another almost empty jug of Walmart milk.  A two tiered display rack with 4, count 'em 4 slices of cheap white bread(bet it was Walmart's version of Wonder Bread), 1 slice on each piece of the display rack.  There was a toaster but I didn't see any butter/margarine or jellies/jams.  There was also one of those acrylic cereal holders with about 1/4 full of some sort of raisin bran cereal.  And a couple of wrapped danish pastries you find in a gas station convenience store.
Just a lavish feast of offerings, right?
I wish I had brought my camera to breakfast to get a photo of this piss poor excuse for a breakfast..

Let me mention here that this motel wasn't owned by the company(Days Inn or Knights Inn)and was owned/run my folks from India.  Not that I have anything against immigrants from India or anywhere else and certainly nothing against anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur and buy an old run down motel in an attempt to make a living and garner their version of the American Dream.
I only mention that because you'll see a pattern emerging later on in this saga. ;-)

So hubs hit the coffee and took one of those cellophane wrapped Danish.  I put some cereal in a bowl and poured some milk on it and lifted a spoon full to my mouth.
And the milk was actually HOT!  Not room temperature but like it had been heated in a microwave(which there was no microwave to be seen there).
And the raisins in the cereal(Gosh, I HOPE they were raisins!)were like pebbles-rock hard.
But I ate the cereal anyway and hoped I didn't break a tooth.

So we packed up and hit the road right after so called "breakfast" as we had a stop Hubs wanted to make while we were in Frankfort Kentucky.  A few miles and a few turns later we were at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

This place is a massive complex of old buildings, new buildings and barrel warehouses.
There was a short orientation/presentation before the actual tour which we sat through.  The guide said Buffalo Trace(a recent name for this distillery, previous ones being George T. Stagg and O.F.C. aka Old Fire Copper)was named for the Great Buffalo Trace that use to be a feature of this area along the banks of the Kentucky River.

The buffalo wore a great path through this area hundreds of years back as their herds migrated westward as European settlement drove them from the eastern parts of America.  As pioneers started moving westward from Virginia and the other seaboard colonies some set up in this area of wilderness due to the fertile bottom soil and the good quality of water in the rivers and streams.  These pioneers soon found they could grow a good quality of wheat crop here and the limestone filtered water made for a high quality of liquor.

The guide then talked about how distilling spirits has been going on here since the 1700's and claims to be oldest continuously operating distillery in the country(though Burks' distillery who now produce Maker's Mark Bourbon claim the Guinness Record title as Burks' has records going back to 1805). Then he said 2 brothers from Virginia, Willis and Hancock Lee started a distillery on this spot in 1775  and named the area "Leestown" way before it became Frankfort.

At this, I turned to Hubs and whispered, "You know, I'm probably related to those Lee boys.".
And later that night in the hotel room I went ancestor hunting and yep, they are my 12th cousins 5 x removed. lol

So as we are sitting listening to this distillery tour guide's my stomach starts flip flopping.  Not a good sign.

Then we all were walked over to the barrel houses or the warehouses where the barrels of bourbon are aged.

It was already almost 90 Degrees outside of Frankfort KY but these dark barrel houses were nice and cool still and I didn't want to leave them.

Too bad it was the beginning of the trip and there is no way we could fit one of those barrels in the car. lol

Hmmm, an experimental blend on Hold for the Master Distiller to tinker around with(or drink)lol.......

Then it was over to the production room were the bottles were capped, labeled and boxed to shipping.  It was a very small building and we just slipped our way among the stations where employees were working.

I found that very odd that first off, the workers would want strange folks wandering through their small workspace and secondly that the company would allow this!  No other distillery we have ever been too before has done this.
Cases of Finished product stacked in that room.  See how cramped it was and they allowed pictures to be taken.

Here the tour guide is showing a display of different products they make and some sort of display of special horse commemorative tops they made for some reason that people collected on a piece of charred barrel(that was the whole set-you could buy them per piece or buy this display piece with the whole set?).  I think that was what he was talking about but I was feeling clammy and nauseous at this point and was trying to stay upright and I wasn't fully listening and just wanted to go find a bathroom. ;-)

After the tour we were all force marched in the heat taken to the second floor of the original distillery building to the tasting bar.

Bourbon and Vodka at 10 am ish?  Why not!

After 4 shots of bourbon(I did a hard pass on the vodka)my stomach seemed to settle down a bit.

Then it was downstairs into the gift shop
 Many MANY different t-shirts to buy on display.

Hubs got that one on the right in this photo with all the surnames of the Master Distillers over the years.

At this point in time (July 2017)Pappy Van Winkle had died and Buffalo Trace was making some version of his whiskey under a licensing agreement so they had Pappy merchandise too.

But for us it was mostly to look.  
Hubs bought some bourbon(of course)and that t-shirt.

As for souvenirs I didn't buy any"thing" to take home.....though those buffalo stuffed animals were cute.
And there were some photo ops too.........

Do I look less than thrilled in this photo or what?

Hubs pretending to break into the "liquor jail" where they kept all the very expensive/old bourbon.

Another visitor offered to take our photo together.
I did manage a smile in this one as the 4 shots from the tasting bar were starting to "hit" me.....

A replica of the water tower outside with merch on it.

And a gratuitous shot of a book with a bowtie Dr. Spo would love to have............

I found something in the freezer case near the door for myself.
There was frozen chocolate bars/truffles made with bourbon.
Next to that was ice cream made with bourbon and that's what I bought.
So I took my bourbon ball ice cream out to the car, turned on the a/c full blast and savored that small piece of heavenly delight.

And between the bourbon tasting back in the building and consuming my little cup of ice cream with liquor in it my stomach felt much better.
Honestly, I believe all that liquor after drinking spoiled milk for breakfast at the motel kept me from food poisoning or any other sort of gastric distress that was setting in.

And Hubs said after eating the ice cream I immediately nodded off in the car for a good hour.  I guess I can't hold my liquor no matter the form it comes in. lolz

When I woke up(or Hubs punched me because I was snoring)this is where we were..........

Somewhere outside of Louisville.

I had to look up what this building was that said "Yum!" on it.  It's the sports arena in Louisville.

The rest of Day 2 coming up next time.



  1. My goodness! Hot milk! As you were feeling sick, I wanted to yell at you to get some alcohol in yourself. The bourbon ice cream sounds good even though I have never had bourbon.
    Thankfully, you were not sick.

  2. Love the picture of you with the ice cream! So glad your tummy was feeling better.
    If I ever get to do my cross country trip, I'll skip that hotel and breakfast. But I want to see mammoth cave in KY.

    1. I am deathly afraid of caverns(childhood trauma thing)so I'd wait for you outside of the cave. lol

    2. I'm sorry. My husband gets claustrophobic too, even the mission space ride at disney bothers him. Fear of heights is my problem. We drove the length of the blue ridge parkway one year, and some of those dropoffs about got me. ;)

  3. I believe I might enjoy a cup of likkered up ice cream. Those hotel "breakfasts" are pretty iffy things.


  4. In my opinion, Wheatley is the best vodka made in the USA. At first the only place you could buy it, was at the distillery and it was worth the drive the Frankfort.

  5. You look so happy with your ice cream. I have noticed many motels are not owned or run by Indian or Pakistani, it is like a nitch. They don't understand many American customs in the places I have stayed. But the people are always very nice.


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