When we landed in Kentucky, I noticed that the Kentucky themed shirts were printed with the words, "Get lucky in Kentucky." There was an outline of the state and a horseshoe. I imagine they were talking about horse races.
The three days we were there were packed. Connor's sister picked us up and we went to a Crackerbarrel where I ate catfish for the first time. I quite like catfish. We then went to his parents' house, which was built a bit before and after the American Civil War. It even has a name: Mount Lookout.
After visiting with his parents, we took a walk around the farm. I've always wanted to climb up one of those round hay bales, but never had the chance... until now! Connor was kind enough to show me the method of getting up. I'm a bit shorter than him, so it took me a few tries to get up. A few, rather undignified tries. Eventually I got up.
Being from California, most fire related things are off limits because everything is so dry. But that night, Connor's brother, Mason, and cousin, Keenan, came over and we had a bonfire. There isn't a good sense of scale in this photo, but the fire was much taller than me. Afterwards there was a discussion about fireworks. Fireworks were procured. Connor and I watched Mason and Keenan lean over the box, mutter to each other, then take some over to where we would launch them, mutter some more, ending with, "Good enough." It was an excellent night.
The next day I visited with people a bit more. But in the afternoon Mason, Keenan, Connor, and I went canoeing up the creek that is by their house. We paddled up, dragged the canoes over various obstacles, like cattle gates, until we couldn't go any further. Then we grounded the canoes and walked up the creek some more. We came upon crayfish battling. It was then that I realized that I was the only one with open toe shoes and there were lots of large crayfish around. I asked for a piggyback ride to safety.
On our way down I caught a few frogs and Mason pointed out buckeyes. I started to collect them and Connor asked, "Are you collecting them because they are pretty?" Me: "No, I want to throw them at Mason and Keenan. Is that ok?" Connor: "Yes." The mission was dubbed Operation Buck You In The Eye. After all the boys helped pull the canoes over the last cattle gate, Keenan and Mason got a better start than Connor and I, so he and I paddled like hell to catch up. After ramming their canoe with our own, we started hurling buckeyes at them. There will be a rematch in the future. But for now, Connor and I hold the upper hand.
We all smelled like frog afterwards, so showers were had before going out for dinner.
This is where we put in the canoes
The last full day in Kentucky, I met Connor's best friend Joe. We went to a Steak And Shake. (Another thing that isn't in California) Connor said it was "their" restaurant. I asked if they ever split milkshakes. We all laughed about how Joe liked the Strawberry, Connor like the "Nana" and when their straws touched they had a moment. We talked about life stuff well into the evening. Later on Connor said that it took having Joe and I in the same room to realize how similar we were.
On the way to the airport the next day, Mason was kind enough to take a Bourbon County jumping picture for me. This is the county where Bourbon was invented. (The liquor was named after the county) and I thought it was pretty neat that the creek that ran by Connor's parents house was used for the first Bourbon.
All in all, it was an excellent trip. I hope to go out again in the near future. It will have to wait, though. Today I arrived in New Zealand.