…of Journeys and Roots

Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Derby chic

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Hard to believe Derby Season has gone by already! Everything builds up to this grand event every year and the two weeks before Derby are a craze of charity events, balls and parties all about town. And then, in just 2 minutes, it is all over! This was my second time experiencing Derby and Mikes’ first time. Since he is not much of a crowd lover, I went to the Oaks (the race before the final – the more local go and show race at Churchill Downs) with my friend Anna from Southern Sirens. It was so much fun to say the least and I took advantage of this opportunity to take A LOT of pictures! Derby Day itself was spent at our friends house and their Derby Party. It was a great laid back event with delicious food, back porch sunning, good conversation and bourbon! Thanks Deb for hosting it!

So here goes – Derby 2014 viewed through my lens. Enjoy!

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Hope you had a great start to your week loved-ones! And don’t forget, life is a journey!

 

 

Happy Derby Day!

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Today is THE day in Kentucky – the day has come for the most famous two minutes in sports: it’s the day of the Kentucky Derby Race!

Mike and I are invited to a Derby party  and it will be our first Derby here in Kentucky together – actually it will be our first Derby together in general! Yesterday I went to the so called Oaks with my girl Anna from Southern Sirens, and we had a ball! We meet up with our dear friend Erica and enjoyed the wagering (betting on horses), Fair food, Lillies (red yummy vodka drinks), and hat viewing!

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I will write a Derby recap post very soon, were I will share more pics of my amazing fun time! For now – just a short Hello and Happy Derby y’all!

Have a great week-end loved one!

And don’t forget life is a journey – better enjoy the ride!

 

Sunbaked and smoked

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It was particularly hard to get back to reality today after the weekend of bliss Mike and I have had. It involved a sky full of Blue Angels and fireworks, dirt under our fingernails, happy chickens, the first sunburn of the season, shorts, a drive out to the countryside, a goat, 8 dogs, a cat, good food and a fire pit and shared laughs. Yes, all that and more!

This Saturday was the kick-off weekend of Pre-Derby madness and the Derby Festival here in Louisville – the so called Thunder over Louisville. For those of you that do not know what Derby is – you clearly have no clue – but I forgive you. Derby is the worlds best known horse race which takes place on the first week end in May. The two weeks prior to this event Louisville climaxes into madness one ball, charity event, party at a time. The beginning to this madness is marked by the so called Thunder over Louisville – which is, if you ask my environmentally friendly heart, absolute madness in itself! It consists of an ecologically speaking disastrous 6 hour flight show of military airplanes – led by the well known Blue Angels. And if this was not enough to exponentially multiply Louisville’s ecological footprint by a gazillion, it is followed by North Americas largest firework show that sends up 60 tones of fireworks into our atmosphere within a time frame of 28 minutes! I must admit it was impressive – (I really enjoyed it! Honestly!) but the overall frenzy and talks over 3 hour street-chaos stuck in your car on the way to and back from the event, convinced us to watch it from the comfort of our home on a live internet stream. Instead we spent our day digging up dirt in our garden and prepping the soil of our first ever vegetable garden! I am super excited! I will share more as soon as I begin planting!

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The weather was a dream and we had about 27 degree (Celsius that is), a lovely breeze and the strenuous chore in the garden made us sweat and get our first sunburned noses.

Sunday was equal parts get-it-done-day around the house as well as relaxing and taking naps out on our deck. We were also invited out to Shelbyville KY to a pot-luck (get together, eat together) at our friend Joanna’s house out in the country.

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She is a seamstress and cafe cook and lives on an acre of land that she shares with her three children, 8 dogs, cat, approximately 20 chickens, 3 guineas, a pig named Kevin Bacon and a goat named Agnes.

sunbacked_smoked_animals sunbacked_smoked_fire1sunbacked_smoked_KevinBacon_allWe were 11 adults and 2 kids to share food and the soothing presence of a crackling fire as the night filled with fun stories and laughs.

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We left wanting a goat, having a crush on the Kentucky countryside, smelling like smoked bacon and happiness in our hearts.

We are truly spoiled!

Have  great week loved ones – and don’t forget, life is a journey!

 

 

Enjoying the small things

patienceThings have been rather slow these days and it has taken me from anger to frustration to just giving up and letting go. And I think that is a lot better place to be at right now! Sometimes letting go is the only thing you can do when things just don’t go your way. And since I am a very impatient person, it’s definitely a learning process.

Becoming an American and settling in has been harder than I expected it to be. I have already expressed some of the issues I have encountered in a previous post. Some things have been figured out, thank god!  Like getting a phone – yeah nailed it! Thanks T-Mobile for being so easy going!  🙂 Or getting my new social security card and opening an account! But I am still without a debit card, the check I cashed and which represents all my savings will not clear before 9 days, meaning I have NO access to money what so ever. Meaning…I can’t buy a car, get insurance, or even look for a job because moving around has been limited. I am so gratefull for my family that patiently takes me where I need to go – so thanks a lot guys!! But without a car in the US you are basically a nobody – or so it feels! No way to get from A to B. I mean, I could bike…but it’s not that much of a biking city and places are rather far apart. I definitely feel like a spoiled European when it comes to public transportation!

Remember when I rambled about credit cards, and not getting one, but feeling lucky about the prospect of applying for a so called secured credit card? Well…let me tell you, it turned out to be harder here too. Because if you don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter how much money you deposit in your account, they will not issue you a secured credit card either! Grrrrr!! So yahhh…that’s gonna be fun buying anything from flights to online stuff I had planed on, with only a debit card. To be continued!

So instead of focusing on the fact that I can’t really do much until my check has cleared, I have decided to enjoy the small things and be grateful for the unexpected time on my hands!

Long walks in unexplored neighborhoods, fresh strawberries, time to do yoga in the morning and wake up slow, enjoying reading magazines on the front porch and enjoying the calm. Looking at cars and apartments online and figuring out where to drop an application. And breathe! Wow…breathing! Kinda awesome.

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Things that make it all worth while:

– Lovely notes from Kathy about all the things we will have to do in Kentucky.

– The cute faces of those dogs in the morning.

Mint Juleps!

But BEST of all?? My husbands Visa was granted today!!! He will join me in June! Looking forward to having you here dear!

Have a great day guys and don’t forget to breathe once and a while! Such a great feeling!

Late Sunday Lovin’ – Duuurbaaay and Mint Julep recipe

SONY DSCYou might have heard about it, but this past week big hats and pin stripes have found their way into daily life of Louisville, to celebrate this years most famous 2 minutes in sport: the Kentucky Derby! I was so excited about it, since I had never experienced such an event. Just to be clear, I did not actually attend the Derby itself, nor the Oaks – the local Lousiville Derby before the actual Derby – but did however experience some of the craziness around it. And that was …kinda somethin’!!

derbyfestival1On Friday my aunt took me along on her yearly volunteer job at the Derby Festival, a local food, rides and free live music festival that takes place in the week leading up to the Derby.photo (2) She volunteers as a runner each year – basically driving ‘rock stars around’ as she calls it. I was just going to join in on that chore and help her out if I could, and wanted to take the chance to get down to the water front and experience some of the Derby Festival. I had the BEST of times! Enjoying my first corn dog (a very southern thing – basically a sausage on a stick, coated in dough and deep fried), sipping on freshly made lemonade and enjoying local live bands at the water front. But ounce I came back to backstage from my little errands, the festival producer asked if I wanted to help sell merchandise for the bands. DSC03188Of course…why not!!! First job in Louisville – nailed it! It was fun! I got the sell shirts, CDs for two country bands, Greg Bates and Kix Brooks. I even got the chance to have my picture taken with Kix…I know…I am starting to sound reaaallyy country being all excite about that, but he is kind of a big shot in country music down here!

Anyhow…if you do ever end up spending time in Lousiville around Derby, make sure to hit up the Derby Festival down at the Waterfromt. It’s kinda cool! 😉

So yes…Saturday was THE day…Duuurbayyyy! We were invited to a Derby house party for great food and communal race watching on TV. derbyI cannot tell you how short those two minutes of race seamed after all the frenzy going on in Louisville leading up to that one short race! Really…that was it? Wow! I guess next year I will need to follow some of the qualifying races to get more of an impression. It was however a really fun little party and I got the opportunity to wear a truely outrageous hat! Worth it!!

It is tradition in Kentucky, especially around Derby, to sip on Mint Juleps. Since I am a HUGE Bourbon fan, I was excited to taste this mixed drink for the first time. I liked it very much and think it’s the ideal summer drink, so I though I would share the recipe! (Well at least one recipe, since the correct mixing procedure is very debated upon!)

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– Crush or muddle a few leaves of fresh mint and a small spoon of sugar at the bottom of a glass until the mixture resembles a paste. Add two tablespoons of water.

– Then fill your glass 2/3 with crushed ice, add bourbon and a shot of mint syrup.

– Stir until the drink seams well mixed. Add sugar to taste.

  Serve with a sprig of mint!

Cheers y’all and happy Mint Julep drinking!!

Life is a journey, spread those roots!

I am here! Finally in Louisville

Can you believe it…after my Chicago trip and a 5 hour drive, my cousin and I arrived in Louisville. Let me tell you I squeaked, laughed and yelled he should drive slow enough so I could take a picture. To say the least I was a wee bit excited!! Hello there new home town!

Louisville arriving

 

Since arriving here 4 days ago, I have battled the odds of immigration: jetlag, settling in, applying for a new social security card, opening a bank account to find out it would take 10 days before I would get my debit card and another 7 days before the money was transferred to the account. Dear Lord! And without a Louisville address you can’t even open an account! You gotta start somewhere!! Thank god I have a lovely family to help me out! Even getting a phone has proven to be quite a deal…without a debit card or working credit card with Louisville address – no phone. Bummer. Oh and if you haven’t lived in the US, you also do not have a credit score. And an insufficient credit history means no credit card. Bummer no.2. Luckily banks offer so called secured credit cards, that have a limit and are backed by putting down a certain amount of  cash. Not to mention that I still do not have a car and am therefore less than mobile! Thanks to my aunt Richena for helping me maneuver the craziness of all of this!

Louisville arriving 2There have of course been great first moments in Louisville as well: being in the loving surroundings of my dear family, living with my cousin and his wife, tasting amazing food, enjoying laughter, country music blasting out of the radio while being driven through the city by my cousins wife Kathy, discovering NuLu and its coffee shops, restaurant and antique stores.

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Tasting my first Mint Julep at the Garage Bar and buying a derby hat for the most famous 2 minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby coming up on Saturday!garagebar

Louisville you are beautiful!

 Life is a journey, starting to spread my roots in Louisville!