Earlier this month, Anderson had a work event in Lexington, Kentucky and I went along with him. Because I will travel literally anywhere. We knew very little about the area, but after doing some research (I LOVE researching places to visit!) found out that there are a lot of horse farms in Lexington. It’s actually the horse capital of the world! That’s awesome if you like horses. I don’t. They’ve always freaked me out, and I’m just not a fan. It’s something about their eyes I think? Ha!! Oh, and there’s also lots of basketball hoopla in Lexington. But as you could probably guess, that’s not really our thing either. :) So I had to dig a little deeper and find some more obscure things to see and do while we were there. And we found some good ones! I’m telling you, if you look hard enough there’s always an adventure out there!
One of our favorite stops was The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. We liked it so much we want to stay at the former Shaker village if we’re ever in the area again! There’s a quaint inn on the 3,000 acre property and the rooms, suites and cottages are decorated in traditional or modern country style. So cute! It’s like a step back in time. There’s also a farm-to-table restaurant, a nature preserve, a history museum, and a small farm. Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, bike rentals, and paddle boat rides. We had dinner at the restaurant, and it was our favorite meal of the trip!
On our way to the village I asked Anderson to take me to Castle Post, a medieval-style castle completely enclosed by a stone wall with turrets on a huge 50-acre estate. For decades the castle was a mysterious sight on the side of the road with no one at home. In the 1960s, a couple traveled to Europe and loved all the castles so much they had to have their own. So they bought property in Kentucky’s horse farm country and started slowly building. But the project took so long that the castle was still unfinished when the couple divorced years later. Ultimately, a “For Sale” sign was put on the front gate and for decades, people called the number on the sign to ask about the still-unfinished castle. No one ever answered the phone. Many years later an investor tracked down the owner, bought the castle, and turned it in to a hotel. Now named Castle Post, it offers 10 luxury rooms and suites, and is available for weddings and special occasions. Weird story, right? I had to see it.
We were in town on July 4th, so that morning we went to downtown Lexington and enjoyed the patriotic festivities! They shut down streets and had vendors and concert stages everywhere. It eventually started to rain though, so we wandered into 21c Museum Hotel Lexington, a boutique hotel that also houses a contemporary art museum. We took our time walking through the museum and loved each piece more than the last. It was a beautiful gallery, and we spent a lot longer inside than I expected. So long that we were dying for some lunch when we left. We walked a few blocks down to a restaurant I’d read about online, Shakespeare and Company. It’s a perfectly kitsch Victorian era themed restaurant based in the United Arab Emirates that (strangely!) has a location in downtown Lexington. The restaurant is know for it’s diverse menu of international fare, elegant French desserts, homemade gourmet chocolates, and Victorian decor. And boy did they commit to the Victorian themed decor! We sat on facing vintage tufted couches to eat. Needless to say, I loved it. :)
While we were in town we drove for miles and miles just looking at all the beautiful horse farms outlined in black fence on rolling green hills. And took a million pictures. I couldn’t get enough. What is it about a change of scenery that really opens our eyes to the beauty around us? We live in an amazing place, (AT THE BEACH!) and I get so used to the same views that I forget to appreciate them sometimes. Travel always reminds me of that!