Sunday, April 10, 2022

Kentucky Bourbon Tour 2022

Our besties Casey and Rachel invited us on a trip to Kentucky to visit a few distilleries. I couldn't care less about bourbon, or really alcohol in general, but I never want to miss the chance to take a vacation with Meezy and our friends! Our first stop was Angel's Envy where we learned their history, saw the distilling and bottling process, and ended with a tasting. I don't like the taste of bourbon, but I took my sips and quickly switched to the chocolates!

We had dinner at Jack Fry's in Louisville. The parking sucks but the food was fantastic! We stayed at The Brown Hotel. It's got an old-world vibe, but it was nice enough. The next morning our first stop was at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles. The tour was cool because the buildings are super old and they actually still roll the barrels! 

Up next was the Buffalo Trace Distillery. By this point I really didn't need to hear any more history or details about how the bourbon was made, but the tour was still fun, the gift shop was great, and the tasting was my favorite. They had Bourbon Cream and Root Beer! Now you're speaking my language. 

This experience was the favorite for our group because after the tasting, each of us was allowed to buy the (rare) Blanton's at retail price. Not that I knew this before Meezy told me, but apparently it's hard to find, especially in the DFW area, and if you do find it, the price is super marked up. 

Next up was a stop to the Bulleit Distilling Co to grab a drink and check out their gift shop.

We ended the day with a meal at OBC in Lexington. They have a ridiculously expansive Bourbon selection, but the food was underwhelming. Meezy and Casey tried Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year but decided they like Eagle Reserve and Willett better. Glad they figured that out before splurging for a bottle!

Meezy and I had a flight home the next morning and our friends started their road trip back to DFW with all the booze! It was quite the haul.

I really didn't expect to have a blast on a trip centered about Bourbon, but I wouldn't mind doing it again in the future. I've already gifted a few bottles to clients and they've been happy about it! I guess it depends on how long it takes to get through the rest of these!

Side Yard Remodel

We decided it was time to revamp our side yard. The playground had a lot of wear and tear and our kids had pretty much outgrown it. The area under the trampoline was never able to grow grass, so we were basically just trying to cover it up. The entire space was very large, but the playground took up most of it and prevented any other activities from happening. Here is a before pic:

We initially thought we'd install a sport court, but I wouldn't be able to get exactly what I wanted because of the width limitations, and we'd probably have to cut down a tree. Since the cost was going to be super high, we decided it wasn't worth it to pay that much for something that wasn't ideal. The backup plan was to turf the whole area and install a putting green. We interviewed a few companies and chose Synthetic Grass Pros. We went to their office to test the turf options. They have a section beside their building with all the different types, so we took the kids, took off our shoes, and walked on all of them! We decided on "St Augustine Soft."

First the playground had to go, then the trampoline was relocated to our backyard, and then all the grass was dug up. They removed the first layer of dirt, leveled the yard, and then put down a layer of crushed rock. 

Then they started installing the turf and putting green. After install, they threw down a bunch of sand to weigh it down, to keep the turf blades standing up, and to hide any seams. It took about a week to complete. 

The finished product is breathtaking! It's really beautiful, it feels good to walk or run on, and it's totally safe for Zoey.

It's nice to have a large, flat expanse for playing sports and so that Zoey can run around. The putting green was a fun addition and provides some novelty when friends are over. It wasn't a cheap project, but we're happy with not needing to mow it and not worrying about grass not growing in some areas.

Dutch Turns Ten

My oldest hit the double digits! Dutch turned 10 in February and asked to invite a few friends to go ice skating. There were no professionals in the group, so it was fairly comical for us to watch. They had a great time, though, and enjoyed pizza, dessert, and games at our house after. 

Over the past year, Dutch has gone to weekly coding classes. He's doing pretty well and seems to enjoy it. He also made the Lone Star team at school (only a few fourth graders did), which is somewhat of an academic decathlon team. He has 1-2 meetings a week and will compete in May. We're very proud of him! He continues to be an avid reader, often getting through multiple multi-hundred page books each week. His bedroom is filled to the brim with books and he gets mad when he doesn't have something new to read! He enjoys the daily Wordle, Marvel movies, the game Terraria, riding his bike, and playing catch with Meezy. We recently got him a smart watch that lets him communicate with us and tracks his location, so he's able to be a little more independent.  

He's a little OCD with his bedsheets, doesn't like to see a mess on the floor or counter not being cleaned up quickly, wears his pants up too high, likes a hoodie no matter how warm it is outside, gets frustrated if his hair isn't sitting flat, often gets impatient with his little brother, loves Zoey like crazy, is very affectionate and loving to his parents, has good manners, stays up super late and sleeps in late, and does very well in school. We love the young man he's becoming!