Monday, August 9, 2010

Go West, Young Girl... Roadtrip!

Hey all!

Sorry for taking a hiatus- I have been roadtrippin' across the country for the past few days! And although I was not able to blog on the trip, I made sure to take lots of pictures of all the meals I ate along the way!

My mother flew in on Thursday afternoon and we started off on Friday morning from Ellicot City, Maryland. Friday we drove through Maryland, West Virginia, and landed in Lexington, Kentucky. I had never been to Lexington, KY but I was very impressed. There are horse farms and bourbon distilleries that surround the city and the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University reside inside. We stayed at a very charming Bed and Breakfast called the Lyndon House near the downtown of Lexington.

After settling in, my mom and I checked out the owner's guide to the restaurants of Lexington and decided that we would try Jonathan's at Gratz Park. It was only about a fifteen minute walk away. The inside was filled but for some reason the patio was completely empty and since it was a beautiful evening, we decided the patio is right where we wanted to be anyway. We had eaten a late lunch so instead of each getting a large entree, we opted for a couple different appetizers, salads, and a dessert instead.

Our first appetizer was a peanut derived hummus with warm pita bread and pickled cucumbers. I am not normally a big fan of cucumbers but the pickled cucumbers were delicious!

Next up was scallops which had a corn and mango salsa dressing on it. I am a huge fan of scallops and these were particularly delectable!

My favorite appetizer though was the pears wrapped in prosciutto over arugula, topped with feta cheese and served with a sweet dressing...yummmm!!

We split a Capriole Goat Cheese Salad which consisted of bitter greens, dried peaches, cayenne-pecan brittle & peach preserves vinaigrette. It was a perfect sweet summer salad!

Since we didn't get a main entree we agreed dessert was needed to complete our meal. I am not much of a sweet person but I do have a weakness for ice cream. There were too many good flavors to choose from so we decided to get the ice cream sampler which included tangerine, chocolate, and my favorite bourbon flavor!

Overall the meal was delicious, Kentucky food gets two thumbs up from me!

As part of the Bed and Breakfast tradition, we went downtown stairs to find a home made breakfast awaiting us in the dining room. We even got to chat with another family staying there that was in town from Connecticut checking out a horse show. The breakfast started with a beautiful fruit bowl and some hot coffee and then our lovely Inn Keeper brought out eggs cooked with sherry, bacon, and a decorative orange slice.

I had never stayed at a bed and breakfast before but the warmness and hospitality of this place is going to definitely make me look for more bed and breakfast places when I travel!

Although we got a little bit of a late start to the morning because of our delicious breakfast and driving around the University of Kentucky, we made it through the rest the of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and into the very eastern part of Kansas on Saturday.

We made a stop for lunch in St. Louis and since we had no clue where to begin looking for a place to eat, we typed in Washington University in St. Louis into our Garmin, figuring there would have to be some cool restaurants around there. It turns out the school is a little outside the down town of the city but we found "The Loop" where all the students hang and some cool restaurant called Blueberry Hill. They had all these collections of Barbie, super heros, disney characters, and any of other crazy nick nacks you could think of! I decided to go with veggie burger with swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato. It wasn't as good as the veggie burgers at Boylan in Charlottesville but it was still pretty good.

We spent the night in Lawrence, KS which isn't quite as charming as Lexington but is home to the University of Kansas where a couple of my friends from high school go so I was curious to see it! We strolled around on Massachusetts Ave. which was filled with all kinds of fun bars, restaurants, and shops. We stopped in a restaurant called 719 and I ordered a salad with olives and home-made croutons.

It was just the thing I needed with the hot and sticky weather outside, who knew Kansas was humid??

In the morning we drove around KU but since we had a long drive ahead of us across the vast state of Kansas we had to get going pretty early. Sunday seemed to go by the slowest. To say there is a not a lot in Kansas would be an understatement. This picture pretty much shows what I saw out of my window for eight hours straight.

Even though it seemed like forever, those four hundred miles through Kansas eventually went by and I made it back to my home by the lake and the mountains just in time for sunset!!

Stay tuned for pictures and stories from all my adventures at home!!

- Shelby

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