#9 – Feeling Lucky in Kentucky (Plus #’s 27 & 3!)

Little did I know, back in the spring, when I started making my list and added, “visit my college girls at each of their houses” that, first of all, I would get to see ALL of them in one visit but more than that… that my visit to one of them would be for her… WEDDING!!!

But that’s just what happened! About 2 weeks ago, Kelly (ya know -my favorite of the college roommates ;)) married the nicest southern gentleman at their gorgeous home in Kentucky.  It was a beautifully sweet, country wedding and it was soooo much fun to be with my girls for a whole long weekend!  We don’t get to see each other very often now that we’re grown ups (Are we really grown ups??!!?) but as soon as we’re back together, it feels like we’ve never been apart.

We started out in Louisville. We got some new t-shirts.  We were given a free bottle of vodka at a wine shop! (People in Kentucky are niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!)  We headed to the country. We switched time zones unexpectedly. Some kids got hitched!  We danced! Oh man, did we dance!   We camped!!! (kinda) There were lots and lots and lots of laughs! No one can make me laugh like these girls. I’m so grateful that I met them back in the day, that they are still in my life and that we all were there for Kelly’s special day.  I was definitely feeling lucky in Kentucky! (Cheesy, I know.  But true!)

Meant to be…groom’s parents, bride’s parents, bride and groom…all married on same date.

Here comes the bride!

The Kiss!

Who doesn’t love drinking from a mason jar? Kelly and Mike did such an amazing job with all of the decor and set up!  They did everything themselves and it was beautiful!

Watching the first dance

My girls!

We couldn’t resist the t-shirts at the airport

These friends make me SO happy! (Never mind what my hair is doing. There was a STORM-A-BREWIN!)

What is happening here? Getting ready to enter a late night dance circle?? We were the last ones on the floor/lawn…

#27 -Here’s where we slept! Does this count as camping?? When the thing was parked right outside of Kelly’s house?? That might be cheating as a real camping experience but we’re gonna count it as completed for my list but only on a technicality because… there was a WILD ANIMAL! that slept inside there with us! Squeak! Squeak! (I still want a tent.)

The next day…

We made s’mores…

…and got four wheeler tours.

Congratulations Kelly and Mike! Lots of love to you both!  Can’t wait to come visit again!

PS- I went to a National Park in Kentucky too! (#3) But that’s a whole nother post…

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#1 – Passport for Dinner (plus #’s 10 & 13)

When do most people get their passports?  Probably before they’re 34, right? Probably because they’re going on a big trip…maybe to Europe, backpacking, or to some tropical island or maybe a cruise to lots of different places.  Well, I just got mine this summer and I promptly put it to goooood use…I went to Canada!  For dinner.  Nope, not to Niagara Falls, not Montreal.  Not for the weekend or even overnight.  To Frelighsburg.  For dinner. 4 or 5 hours, tops.  You do know where Frelighsburg is, don’t you?  Don’t worry.  I didn’t either/still don’t really.  What I do know is that it’s pretty close to my friend, MC’s lake house in Vermont and dinner in Canada was just one part of a super fun girls’ week on the lake this summer!

Last summer, I was the party pooper because, when dinner in Canada was suggested, I was the only one without her passport.  MC thought maybe we could just tell the border patrol officers that we’d be back real quick and they’d let me go without the passport, but I didn’t think that would work.  We briefly considered the hiding under a blanket in the trunk option but that may or may not have ended with getting arrested, so we nixed that idea too.  The only option was to apply for the passport and wait it out til this year.  So I did and after a little birth certificate confusion got straightened out, I was really happy when my passport finally came in the mail.  And I was even happier when we got to Vermont and I could put it to use! After we crossed the border, we went to a cute little bistro called 2 Clochers. (What does that mean?) We sat outside on their deck which was shaded by lots of trees and overlooked a little stream.  The menu was in French. (4 years of French in high school didn’t get me too far.) But it was tr`es bien(very good)!  Here’s how it went:

One mile to go!

I forgot to sign it. Then the officer asks MC, “So where you going tonight?” And she responds, “Canada.” Yep. There’s pretty much no other option at this point! She probably was not that impressed with or amused by us, but she did give us a good restaurant tip!

Oh yeah, Frelighsburg is in Quebec.

Checking out my first stamp. You have to ask for the stamp when you cross the border here. They don’t just automatically do it. Mine was the only passport out of 4 that she did. I needed a stamp to remember my first use!

#13 – I ordered something with tomatoes!!…

…I was not impressed. With the tomatoes! Once removed, the sandwich was pretty tasty!

Canadian beer > Canadian tomatoes

#10 – I got a lot of peaceful paddles in my kayak. See that mountain in the background? That’s Canada!

I wonder where I’ll take my passport next????

#23 – A Tour of My Own Backyard

OK.  So it wasn’t my actual backyard.  No tour needed there.  Walk out the door and you see the whole thing. It’s a tiny yard but I love it and I’m grateful for it because I love to be outside.  Lucky for me, there are lots of parks with hiking and biking trails and plenty of space for stretching out and exploring that are super close to home and feel just like part of my neighborhood.  Even luckier for me, my pal, Jenna, knows some of these trails like the back of her hand and way back in July, when it was summer play time, Jenna gave me a personal tour of Washington Crossing State Park.  Here’s the trail map:

Washington Crossing State Park

You can click it to see some details or I’ll just tell you a little bit about it.  There are about ten trails that crisscross and loop around each other.  There are horse trails and hiking trails and multi-use trails. Maybe you can mountain bike here? I don’t know.  There’s a nature center and camping and picnicking areas.  There’s even an outdoor theater where you can see plays and movies under the stars. (I haven’t done that though. Add it to the list? Maybe.) The park’s website says there are over 15 miles of moderate hiking trails in this area.  It’s definitely not the biggest park around here.  It’s downright small compared to some places I’ve been hiking, but I loved it just the same.  Maybe even more.  Why?  Because it’s home, it’s my backyard and because when you’re out in those woods, it’s not what people expect or think of when they think of New Jersey. Jenna and I talked a lot about traveling as we hiked that day and I got thinking about talking to people about my home when I’m not here.  I’ve traveled away to other states, as far away as Alaska, and people have actually cringed when I told them I live here. I blame TV.  Now I’m not gonna link to the Jersey Shore show anymore cause I’m sure these ladies aren’t helping much either (even though I completely admit to watching full day marathons!), but I’m just sayin, here’s another way to look at Jersey:Well, anyway that’s some of the stuff I like to look at around here…trees and green.  I’ll work on taking some better pictures, that’s #22.  You should also know that Jenna led the walk that day and didn’t need that map up there at all and I think we did about half of those trails in some combination, maybe more.  She just knew where to turn and connect them, to walk out on the road for a little bit and add an extra mile or two here and swing past the theater there and cleared the trail of logs and debris as we went and then looped back to where we started.  I think the total hike was around 7 miles.  PS- Jenna RAN that BEFORE she met me for the hike! Jenna, you’re AWESOME! Thanks for the tour! Where we going next?