Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Iron Horse Half Marathon, and the road trip east...

A few months back, we signed hubby up to run the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Kentucky. It was rated one of the most beautiful runs in the country, and me, being a lover of that part of the world, was already intrigued. Hubs needed another state to add to his list of whatever crazy half runners club he's in, so we drove the nail in. Up until a day or two before, we were ready to back
out and take the loss, after all, renovating has taken its toll on our millions (ha!) and we were exhausted. A nice fall break at home seemed like a good idea. But then, we realized, we DID need to get away for a bit from the dust and hard hats and we HAD already paid for the most of the trip, so we decided "it was on!" and the kids yelled and packed their bags and i loaded up the cooler with food for a week of eating on the go, and off we went.
 We crossed into Missoui right after daylight took over the world. 
 The LEGO castros were along for the trip as well. They don't complain much or eat us out of house and home, so we invited them. 
The welcome center had a giant Nikon camera inside! It was really really cool, especially for the einsteins, who had never been in a dark room (cool door!), and probably never will, the way film is going out like a VHS tape.
It also had a gorgeous walking trail, so decided to stretch our legs. 
(sidenotes: yes, we dress alike sometimes. We are THAT family. and yes, we stop a LOT on our road trips. It's more fun that way!)

 The next stop: World's biggest fork!
 We also saw the "giant paper cup", but the kids hated it, called it ghetto, and wouldn't even let me count it as a roadside oddity. 
We made it to St. Louis and saw the Gateway Arch. This was actually a really good feeling for me. Hubby and i had stopped here on our way to his first major surgery 2 years ago alone.  I was scared, and nervous, and I promised us both that one day we would return here with our two beautiful babies and we'd see the arch all together, all healthy, all happy. The 4 piece nuggets. 
and here we are.
 and the LEGO Fam as well. 
 Due to the government shutdown, all national parks were closed, including this one, so we didn't get to go up inside again, but secretly, i could go the rest of my life without doing THAT again, so putting it off was a little bit okay for me. ;)

 St Louis was just as beautiful as we had left it, without the flooding waters. 

Our next welcome center was for Indiana.
Nothing special, but we hit the toe of it, anyway. ;)

we hopped back onto the road, and made it to our home for the night in Louisville. Got the BEST price EVER for the Galt House Hotel on and the kids LOVED it!

 It had the cutest aviaries inside. ♥
 ...and a touch screen game...
 ...and mirrored ceilings that amused the man and i while they chased fish...
 ...and comfy bedbug free beds.
The next morning we explored a little bit before moving on.

Of course, when in Louisville, you have to go to the Louisville Slugger Factory
Tell them I sent you! They'll have no idea who you're talking about, but it might be funny...

super nice historian that runs this place. SUPER nice. But....
 In to Kentucky we go!

 We picked up J's race packet and headed to one of their sponsor's stores, John's Run/Walk Shop. I had wanted to get hubs a shirt from there, because, well, JOHN! 
They didn't have any (?!?), but they gave us some brooks shoelaces and a hat with their logo on it. We never met "the" John, but we met two more Johns that were working there, and one of them told us about a ferry a little ways away.
A FERRY, folks!!
So of course, I put on my roadtrip momma voice, and Im all "pile in the car, kids! We're gonna take our van for a ride on a boat!!" and they were all like "uhhh, okay, mom."
(anyone want to join me on a roadtrip?? Its like having a bus tour with one of those really really enthusiastic tour guides you want to strangle after hour 001, but....)
Anyway, so Valley View Ferry.

 The guy running it?
(he would totally be my sub if I got sick on your bus tour and couldn't guide you)
he let the kids drive, let us ask him a kazillion dumb questions, and took these ever-so-flattering pics of the powerhorse and I!

 When we crossed into the "other side of the river", it was a little duelling banjos. Like condemned houses and  overgrown buildings. It was still beautiful, but we didn't get far before we decided we wanted back on the ferry before it's last swim, and getting stuck with no place to stay.

 We took a scenic drive to the hotel, and rested for the early morning race!
The little town of Midway was alive and packed with people! The race had sold out months beforehand, and i could see why they wouldnt open it to any more people.  
We dropped daddy off at the starting line and explored for the perfect spot to cheer him off.
And, boy, did we find it. 
Thats the einsteins down there on the right. The folks next to them were so super nice helping us up the slippery embankment! 
Can you find Waldo? John?
He's dead center. White hat. Blue shirt. 
 Good luck, baby!!

Here we are at the finish stretch. 

 By the way, THIS BOOK and several others like it. 
Keep your kids' minds going beyond ipods. Seriously.
Get 'em. I buy them every chance I get. Even a Halloween one!
 Here he comes!

He insipres me every. single. day.
Even on his worst, slowest race days, he inspires me.
Who can fight cancer and come back running?
Captain Awesome can!
Go, baby go!!

 we had a nice chat with jeff galloway, father of all things running.

After a scenic drive down the boubon trail, we found ourselves at the Kentucky Horse Park

 This was an interesting place to visit.
If you love horses, you'd be in heaven. They were everywhere you turned. 

 I would probably have had more fun at the distilleries, but when in Rome...

We hit the road back to Louisville for my favorite part of the trip.

It really was spectacular.
If there were one within 6 hours of home, I'd go. 
Seriously, look at this.  
There were over 5000 carved pumpkins on display along this forest path. It changes every couple days since the pumpkins start to "melt", and they make new ones. We had missed the Wizard of Oz ones already (waaaahhh!), but we LOVED it.
It was really dark when we went, but my lens is FABULOUS <---- a="" but="" can="" high="" in="" it="" p="" say="" so="" stunning="" t="" tell="" that="" voice="" was="" you="">

 a couple instagram pics from Ems...

 We went back to the Galt House for our stay. We got the same rate, which is lower than the motel 6 we stayed at in Lexington!

 In Indiana, we stopped at a newly discovered cave. Okay, so newly means they discovered it in like 2010, but just opened to the public this summer!

Children of the corn

Every weekend, archaeologists are still working to uncover what kinds of animals were here in this cave, some dating back to the ice age!!
Half way through, you hop aboard a boat that takes you through the second half of the cave. 
Word of warning though, if you can't handle LOTS and LOTS of stairs, choose another cave. It's so worth it to go, but we had an elderly lady on our tour group that almost passed out.

They're not making the kids do push-ups, they're just looking down into the waterway. (this time, anyway)
 We bought a bag of pan through in the gold mine spring outside.

 The kids each made out like bandits with their bags of emeralds and gems, and on the road we went again!

 We ALWAYS have to stop at Bass Pro when we hit Springfield.
It's just a must.

And around dinner time, we reached home.
What a long, wonderful trip it's been. 
I love these crazy family peoples of mine.
They put up with so much from me.

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  1. Love the lego family. I use to live in Lexington. I live an hour away now. I love all the pictures that you took,

  2. I delightful trip! Thank you for sharing it with us!


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