Each Christmas, our goal is to gift one another an experience, like... a book of date night ideas, a cooking class, or an appointment for a tattoo (risky, but it worked out!).
If it were a contest, my wife receives the championship, along with the MVP. A few years ago, she gave me an interactive poster of all the U.S. National Parks. As we visit them together, we scratch off the surface to reveal a colorful drawn logo (for the record, I gave her a dating adventure book). Not only does it serve as a pretty cool piece of wall art, it provides an adventurous goal for us to work towards.
We found ourselves kid-free on one summer weekend and decided to roadtrip it to Mammoth Cave in beautiful Kentucky. The drive from Atlanta was fairly easy and time flies with the right company (music trivia in the car is always a hit, with or without the kids – another championship belt for the Disney princess of the outdoors).
Before we left, we sought out a unique place to stay through AirBnb. The bar has been set pretty high for unique stays, but we found exactly what we were looking for! We booked an apartment in the dairy barn of Kenny's Cheese Farm. It was literally inside the barn with the happy cows. Located just below our accommodations was the most advanced milking technology that either of us had ever seen, complete with timed entry and release and massaging brushes for the milking ladies. Our hosts made sure we were stocked with fresh milk and cheese. How perfect is that?
After settling in and figuring out how we could BUY more cheese (priorities!), we located the small town of Glasgow by googling “Walmart” and found a quaint pub serving bourbon flights (2 of the 5 and you are gone)!
Masked and ready to go the next morning, we explored the largest cave network in the world. Unfortunately, the cave access was more limited due to COVID. While we didn't get to see as much of the cave as we would have liked, the crowd was thin and it felt at times like we were all alone. It was amazing and we imagined ourselves as explorers, contemplating how this discovery would feel circa 1800. Mammoth is mammoth!
Upon exiting the main cave, we wandered the trails around the park. It was lush and green and full of surprises along the way. We "discovered" other cave entrances and enjoyed hiking along the Green River.
We left the park and headed into Bowling Green for the afternoon. Continuing the cave theme, we made our way to Lost River Cave, an underwater cave system with boat tour. The cave tour was awesome, but learning about the history of the cave and surrounding area was even more amazing. The cave itself has been home to an impressive night club from the 1930s, served as a refuge for Civil War soldiers from the North and the South, and harbored fugitive Jesse James. We learned all about "blue holes" and the folklore surrounding them.
We fit much more into the weekend in Kentucky, including:
- Blowing a bike tire on a lonely country road
- Running (or yogging) a virtual 5k to earn our Ron Burgundy medals
- Chowing down on the area's best barbecue
Kentucky did not disappoint! It was a great trip, filled with laughter, time outdoors, and learning a bit more about this beautiful country.