And They’re Off …


Our first stop this morning was the Civil War Battlefield of “The Battle of Franklin” at the Carnton Plantation.  When you go back and consider the tragedy that war was for our country in the amount of human life that it cost us, it’s too sad to think about.  But then again, it also made us who we are as a country today.  We won’t ever go back to the terrible injustices of treating people differently because of the color of their skin or because of the way they look.  We learned our lesson during those tragic days.

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Since it was our first time in “The South,” we wondered how a tour would be … would it be too confederate, would we feel uncomfortable?  We were a little hesitant but we figured, “we’re here, we might as well go.”  It turned out that our tour guide was amazingly un-biased and she gave us a tour of the house and the property that just told the story of the battle at Franklin, Kentucky that day.  It was one of the war’s worst battles, and the people who lived on the Carnton Farm saw it all happen right in front of their eyes.  They became an instant hospital, caring for the fallen soldiers, and burying them right then and there on their farm.  As we peered out the windows from their second story bedrooms, you could certainly feel the sadness of that day, and at the same time, give honor to all those who fought and died on both sides of the battlefield, because, after all, they were all Americans.

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This is the first “Civil War Site” that we have been to and it was very moving.  Sad and tragic and yet they did a beautiful job at honoring all those who fell during those terrible years.

As we continued our road trip, I was so curious about the stone walls along the side of roads that we kept seeing for miles and miles and miles.  I kept telling the gang, “this looks like what I imagine Ireland to look like, with the short hand-stacked stone walls.”  I’ve never been to Ireland but it really looked like all those pictures we see in movies and on postcards.

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We finally saw a “Historic Site” monument sign and we stopped to read what it said.  Well, you’re never gonna believe it!  These walls are called “The Rock Fences of Kentucky” and here’s what one blogger says about them:

Central Kentucky is world famous for Thoroughbred horses and endless miles of rock fences (dry stone walls). There are more rock fences here than any place in the USA. In Central Kentucky only 5 -10% of these 19th century dry stone walls built by Irish Immigrant stone masons still stand. These stone masons passed their craft on to black slaves that became masters of the craft of building rock walls.

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It was so picturesque to see, and then when you touched them, you felt the spirit of those who built them, proud of the work of their hands!  So, I got to see a part of Ireland in Kentucky!  Who would have guessed that??

We continued our drive along these glorious green roads til we came to … Churchill Downs — Home of the Kentucky Derby!  And WOW!  What a sight this was!!

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As soon as you pull into the parking lot and see the steeples, you can hear the trumpets playing the “song” in your mind … you know the one, “da da da da da da daaaa — and they’re off!!”  This was going to be great!!

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We had a little time before our tour to see the grounds and visit the museum.  They have an actual gate from one of the previous Derby’s for you to play in … and so we did!

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They also have lots of interactive exhibits for more playing … and so we did!

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Of course, I was the winner of the horse race because of my horse’s name.  “Little Lu” beat the girls by a whole length!  Haha!!

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They are also the only museum that has a 360° theater that shows actual footage of horse races going all the way back to Seabiscuit (he did NOT run in the Derby though) through American Pharaoh, last year’s KD winner!  It was quite exciting to experience those big races again!

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This place is full of history and fun.  On the day of the Derby last year, they sold over 170,000 tickets!!  And the cheapest ticket is “General Admission for $60.00 per person” … they are making a killing for a couple of minutes of thrills!

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We had a great time touring and visiting all the cool exhibits, the actual grandstands, and the barns where all those famous horses live.  The race track was so beautiful and green and perfect.  And all for a quick run around the track!   I think their website says it all …

A trip to the Kentucky Derby is an unforgettable experience! Watch one of the world’s top rank horse races, known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, while immersing yourself in iconic southern Derby traditions – sipping a mint julep, donning a beautiful hat, and joining fellow race fans in singing
“My Old Kentucky Home”.

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EJG March 2016 008Well, not sure my hat makes their Top 10 List, but we’ll definitely be back here for a race or two!!  Not to mention a mint julep or two!  😉

Oh, and in case you’re interested, the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday … anyone care to make a little bet??

And we’re off … talk to you tomorrow!


One thought on “And They’re Off …

  1. Thanks for this most recent edition. It’s like a travelogue with friends. Miss you but I’m glad you/re enjoying the adventure. Jan M


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