While Bowling Green, Kentucky doesn't exactly sound like the most exciting place for a vacation, it was absolutely a blast, and I definitely recommend it.
Skeeter and I chose it because it fit all of the criteria that we discussed before we started exploring options:
- We had never been to that state before (crossing another one off the life list).
- Drive time was less than 8 hours each way.
- There was stuff to see that we definitely couldn't see near home.
- We could stay at a Drury Inn.
Day One: Arrival
Julie and family had a much longer drive, so we got there quite a bit earlier than they did. We took advantage of the empty hotel pool and let the children swim for several hours. We also did a bit of exploring around the hotel, including Target. I'm a Targetoholic. I always have to check out the Target.
Day Two: The Lost River Cave
The river is actually in Ripley's Believe It or Not for being the deepest and shortest river in the world, but it's been found to be untrue since then. As the guide said, it is "believe it or not."
The guide did an excellent job in explaining the history of the area, including using the cave as a dance club in the early 20th century. It was closed at one point because a law was passed that forbade selling drinks below street level. (??) It has been reopened though, and it is now a popular spot for weddings and proms.
The grounds are lovely, and there is a butterfly garden as well. Our zoo had a butterfly garden at one time, but it's been closed. Spyder remembers it vaguely, and Sass doesn't remember it at all, so the butterfly garden was a fun experience for them.
After the Lost River Cave, we decided to hit the thrift shops. I am all about a thrift shop, and Julie found a good one for us. She came away with loads of stuff, and I found a hot pink bowling bag (Von Dutch, a new brand for me). People were making fun of my bag, but hey, I like it.
Day Three: Kentucky Down Under
If you do only one thing in that area, Kentucky Down Under is it. Absolutely, hands down. It really is an interactive, hands-on zoo featuring Australian animals that we can't see anywhere around here. And really, how many places can you actually pet a kangaroo?
At Kentucky Down Under we also
- milked a cow
- fed a lamb
- fed the lorikeets and other birds
- toured a cave
Day Four: National Corvette Museum, L&N Train Museum
I admit -- I was reluctant to go to the Corvette Museum. It's not really my thing. But the museum was really well done, in such a way that the history of the brand is just as interesting as the mechanics. And there are just some fun-looking cars. My favorite? The police car called the "Crimefighter Corvette."
The L&N Museum was one that Skeeter and I enjoyed, but I don't think anyone else did. The museum has both the traditional museum in the train depot and a tour of four different train cars. The museum part is first, then the rail cars. In retrospect, I think it would have been better to tour the cars first, simply because it gives a better perspective of what is showcased in the museum. The rail cars are absolutely the model of efficiency, simply because of necessity. One of the most interesting things we discovered -- Bisquick was invented by a train cook. After having toured the kitchen rail car, I can completely understand why. It's just another example of required efficiency.
Day Five: Leaving
So sad. We had so much fun, and it was even more wonderful that we got to spend time with good friends. I think we're going to take another shared vacation like this. Julie gets to choose the destination next time though.