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A Visit to Small Town Kentucky

Posted by on Saturday, December 7, 2013 in Food, General Information, Thanksgiving Break.

This year for thanksgiving I got to visit two of my suitemates’ hometown. Kelsey and Jodi are both from the same small town in Kentucky and I’d heard so many stories about it, I had to visit!

We made the three and a half hour drive Friday afternoon. As we got closer, they got really excited and pointed out all the different horse farms and Keeneland, which is where horses race. Plenty of long, windy roads surrounded by rows of trees were also involved. I was mostly just in awe of the fact that they knew people who lived on farms. Coming from the suburbs of Chicago, it is, well, very suburban, and the closest farms were an hour away. I think what I was most excited about was seeing the “everyone knows everyone” in action.

We went to a restaurant Friday night that had live bluegrass music. And small town life began, since Jodi knew someone eating at the restaurant-a woman who had worked with her parents. I enjoyed my sandwich, a barbecue pork version of a po’ boy, complete with fried pickles and beer cheese (a Kentucky specialty). We also enjoyed Ale 8, a caffeinated soda bottled just down the road from them!

Saturday morning, I went to breakfast with Jodi at another local joint. Literally it felt like we were driving through a neighborhood and someone had converted a house into a restaurant. As I sat and ate a delicious quiche, I watched as Jodi knew about 75% of the people who walked through the door. There was her old band director, two men from the country club, people who went to her high school, it was quite an experience. Even a woman who didn’t know her just started talking to her. In my experience as a Northerner, this behavior is rather unusual. I’ve gotten used to it by living in Nashville, and I really appreciate everyone’s friendliness, but I certainly haven’t ever lived in such a small town.

I also got to spend a lot of time with Kelsey’s and Jodi’s families, which was really fun. Saturday night, Kelsey’s mom hosted a big dinner that featured southern specialties like corn pudding and dumplings. Sunday afternoon I went to lunch with Jodi and her mom, where I was told I had to get a hot brown. I was told it was a sandwich with cheese and when it came out, my mouth literally dropped. It reminded me of a pizza, there was so much cheese, but it was quite delicious. Jodi’s mom also hosted a dinner Sunday night where I got to meet Jodi’s older siblings and their spouses. She also has a nephew-he was adorable!

Hot browns and cuddling with puppies- what more could one want?!

I flew out Monday evening, so Jodi and I spent the day adventuring around Lexington. She took me to a restaurant that she knew the owner of from high school (uh what?!) and we hung out at a local coffee shop. I also requested Graeter’s ice cream, because it is so yummy. Overall, it was a great extended weekend hanging out with my friends and their families and seeing life in small town Kentucky!

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