…of Journeys and Roots

Posts Tagged ‘Louisville’

Lately – Spring Happenings

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Lately we have been truely living spring! While it is moving closer to the Kentucky Derby – the most famous 2 minutes in sport – Louisville is full of festivals, parties, wide brimed hats and craziness. We are sort of keeping out of it – at least until now – and are enjoying the simple pleasures in life!

I have been all about town with my new camera and am absolutely loving it! The air warmed up and the Mighty Kindness Hoot festival in honour of Earth Day felt like a short glimpse at summer.

We have finally gotten the lawn mower back in motion (Mike fixed absolutely everything!) and I am excited to announce that we have started digging up dirt and landscaping for our very own vegetable garden. I will plant after Derby Day since this is what people say is safe to do around here (don’t want anything to freeze after all) – so I am getting super excited for next weekend in that perspective! I will write more about my planting activities as soon as everything is in the ground and I have more pictures to share than lumps of dirt!

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Our chickens are doing absolutely well – even if they have yet to understand how to use the ramp into their coop! I sometimes wonder.

The warmth and the sunny days have given us the opportunity to go on after-work patio dates, listen to outdoor concerts, enjoy food outdoors and plainly enjoy life to the fullest!

(Oh and not to forget  – Mike also made amazingly yummy pita bread himself – thanks Mike’s dad for the recipe!)

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Yeayy to spring and fun in the sun! Hope you all had a do-able Monday loved ones!

Have a great start to your week, and don’t forget: Life is a journey!

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!

 

 

A night at the races

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Last weekend, it was my cousins wife Kathy’s special day and her friend Heather had surprised her with tickets to Downs after Dark – horse races at night  – and those tickets where for millionaires row (some of the almost most expensive seats around)! So you can imagine how excited I was when Kathy and John asked me to come along!! (more…)

When I started feelin’ at home

MiracleAfter some kinda rough weeks here in Louisville, things have calmed down and I am finally enjoying this lovely city. My companion Julep (my scooter that is) has taken me down Bardstown Road to discover the Highlands, with its cute small shops, wide variety of people, restaurants and coffee shops. I have enjoyed a first solo shopping spree on a gorgeous summery day, walked the tree-shaded streets of St Matthews and searched for TO RENT signs by car with my cousin and his wife in Clifton and Crescent Hills. I have chatted with shop owners and have been welcomed to town – and yes – finally feel a little bit more at home.
Memorial-Day-weekend was full of fun happenings and has given me the time to discover and enjoy. And wow – what can I say I have actually started meeting people!

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My first dive into the city scene was on Saturday, when I decided to hit up the NO-GMO anti-Monsanto demonstration.

Since access to healthy food and organic lifestyle is close to my heart, it was a cause I definitely wanted to support. In case you are not familiar with the dangers genetically modified organisms and food hold, read more here . Coming from Austria, I have been spoiled with accessible organic pretty-much-anything and at a decent and affordable price. Not so here in the US! AND – if you actually want to avoid genetically modified foods, it can be quite hard, since such products do not need to be labeled. I have however come across a great App that will help you avoid these foods by scanning product barcodes called Buycott.

Protest1protest2smoothieLong story short, I went to the protest, had great fun and met some very nice people!! I even went for a drink with one of the girls from the protest Julie at Life Bar – a great organic smoothie place on Bardstown Road and was invited for a cook-out (grilling and eating out in the yard that is) by Erica, another girl from the protest. So hello Louisville! I have finally arrived!

 

Life is a journey – and sometimes it just takes longer to get to where you wanna be! Have a good one loved ones!

Sunday Lovin’: Brunch at Hillbilly Tea

Hillbilly3When I arrived here in Louisville, my family had given me a gift card for this local restaurant and tea joint in Downtown Louisville. Since this weekend is memorial-day-weekend, and we had a bit more time on our hands, John, Kathy and I headed out for brunch at Hillbilly Tea today. A.m.a.z.i.n.g breakfast food, lovely rustic interior, nice and friendly staff and I loved their iced tea. John and I had the “remedy” tea and Kathy had the “minty green”. So good I even bought their tea blend. Yum!

Hillbilly1Hillbilly2After Brunch, we drove to the Highlands and had a sneak peak at the car show that was going on on Baxter Avenue. Such cool rides, live bands and vendors! Plus I finally got the first glimpse of some Rockabily in Louisville! Also enjoyed strolling the neighborhood and discovering Louisville’s walkable neighborhood. More to come on my first Louisville adventures very soon, so stay tuned!

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Have a great day loved one!

Scoobadibadoo – Scooter!

SONY DSCAs you might know, it has been rather difficult getting a ride here in Louisville. First of all because my drivers license still is in the process of being transfered, and second of all because my account was useless, due to the fact that all my savings were on hold. Luckily I can tell you that the second issue has been resolved! Yes! I can finally access my account, have a working debit card and can finally start spending money! No, I will not go overboard with this newly gained liquidity…even though it can be somewhat tempting! Just kidding husband! 🙂

However the big news is – and the title of this post might actually have given it away  –  I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha Zuma scooter! Hurrraaayyy!!! And since Kentucky does not require a drivers license to drive a scooter, I can start rollin’ straight away – and have been the past two days!scooter2

As this is my first time on two wheels, motorized of course, I am still practicing and have not yet been driving on very busy roads. Mainly because I want to feel completely secure in my driving and secondly because as a scooter driver you basically feel like a car target all the time! Kinda scary without the known aluminum buffer around you to protect (a.k.a. car). But what regained freedom! I am now actually able to go shopping and can get from A to B without constantly asking for a lift! Greeeaaaat feeling!

Even though Kentucky does not require a helmet to drive a scooter – nor a motorcycle for that matter (crazy!!) – I opt for “drive safe and chic”! So I headed off to the nearest Harley Davidson store for a nice helmet. Two shops later I had to realize that the helmets were either pretty but were not available in my size, or fitting but boring. I therefore chose a simple white retro helmet and decided to embellish it myself. What do you think of my creation?

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I know – I am such a girly-girl – but a little bling don’t do no harm 🙂

selina scooterHappy mid-week loved ones! And don’t forget: enjoy your journey may it be small or big!

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!

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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!