Kentucky Wine, Bourbon and More Trip RECAP
Well, well, well! The much anticipated Kentucky Wine, Bourbon, and More trip has come and gone. Where did the time go?! Spots sold out fast! I’m talking within three weeks of the trip being posted fast! If you haven’t heard what went on, then keep reading. If you were there, but think you missed something, then keep reading. If your curiosity is slightly peeked, then, by all means, keep reading!
DAY 1 (Friday): All 31.5 of us loaded our luggage on McCarter’s finest motor coach, locked our cars, and kissed Ohio goodbye as we sped away from the Quaker Steak and Lube in Austintown at 9:20 am. We flew down the I-71 southbound and soared through Columbus until we finally landed in the Jeffersonville exit for lunch. After a quick stop there, we loaded the bus again and were off and rolling! To break up the monotony of the 6 hour bus ride, we all decided to punish new member, Eryk, with the ever-so-famous Happy Birthday song as he was celebrating his birthday weekend with the Warren Ski Club. And, much like when you were in grade school and your mom sent you to your class with some type of treat to share with your fellow classmates, a round of delicious cupcakes were individually packaged and passed out to commemorate Eryk’s birthday. Welcome aboard new member Eryk! After that, a raffle card was pulled for the first bourbon prize giveaway of the trip! Many thanks to Anita, Gwen, Jeff, Jack, Sally, Ed, and Karen for all donating prizes to help make this weekend a classic one to remember. Oh yeah! Gigi was the big winner of this first prize! Soon after, we crossed into the great Commonwealth of Kentucky and a round of mini Kentucky bourbon bottles were handed out to welcome everyone to Bourbon Country where 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced. By 4:45 pm we had finally arrived in downtown Louisville, were dropped off, and advised to go forth and prosper, but be back at the pick-up point by 8:30 pm. I believe the Warren Ski Club painted the town that night and I heard stories about the numerous establishments that were visited including Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Old Forester, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Kentucky Bluegrass Brewing Company, Troll Pub Under the Bridge, and many more to name a few. Time soon ran out, though, so we loaded the bus and were soon on our way, but not before another prize drawing. Congratulations to Ginnie, the winner of the Ed Hahn homemade beer carrier loaded with beer! Just about 9:30 pm we arrived at the hotel, Wingfield Inn and Suites in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, checked in, and eventually rested up for the next day’s adventures!
DAY 2 (Saturday): Time to rise and shine! By 8:30 am we were on our way down south and into the Central Time Zone to explore Mammoth Cave National Park! So, let’s start the day out right and pull for a prize. Our big winner of the Mammoth Cave National Park basket was Karen! Hooray for souvenirs and wine! Upon arriving at 8:30 am at Mammoth Cave (No, that’s not a typo! It took us an hour to drive there and that section of Kentucky is an hour behind!) we lined up for our big group photo opportunity at the entrance of the Visitor’s Center. Soon after we were loaded onto the green transportation bus and shuttled to the super-secret entrance to the cave. The Frozen Niagara Tour was spectacular! If you’ve never been on it or haven’t see photographs, get with someone who has because it was a trip! After leaving the cave, we were all provided with a free “shoe wash” by walking on a sudsy biosecurity mat to remove spores and dirt from our shoes after exiting the cave in an attempt to help stop the spread of white-nose syndrome. After a quick tour of the gift shops, we were off and rolling to our quick fast food stop just before heading to our wineries. Once on the road again, I shared a memorable poem that everyone has already forgotten before passing out cookies to wish everyone a Happy Sweetest Day! Soon after, we did another quick prize drawing for Brooks Hill Winery memorabilia, and that was won by Isabella. Around 3:00 pm, we arrived at our first winery stop of the day! Brooks Hill Winery: The Little Winery Up the Hill, proved to be very welcoming and accommodating as we tasted wines (and got to keep our wine tasting glass, too!). Eventually, though, with some assistance, our bus was maneuvered off of the property and away we went! Even though Kentucky can boast being home to the first commercial winery in the United State (dating back to the Civil War era), many of the wineries are newer and smaller. Thank goodness for our skilled bus driver, Bob, and his helpers! Once on the road to our next winery, Forest Edge Winery, we pulled our next prize! Peggy was the winner of our Forest Edge Winery gift card and gifts! Upon arrival, we were escorted into the private, Halloween decorated, tasting room where we sampled 6 of their best sellers! Just as we were finishing up, a band of witches arrived on their broomsticks! Think I’m joking?! Well, maybe a little. They were witches, but they arrived in Ford’s, Chevies, Honda’s, Dodges, etc. as their brooms were “in the shop”. 40-some women dressed as witches arrived at the winery for their yearly “witches convention” while we were leaving, but not before we got a few photos of them and with them! Soon after, we were off and moving to stop at our final winery of the day, McIntyre’s Winery and Berries. Don’t forget a prize! The winner of the Rtic lunch box gift set was Karen! By this time we were running VERY behind, but the owner, Tommy, was more than accommodating! While half the group sampled these unique wines, the other half were given a tour of the premises by the owner. Why “unique”, you may ask? Well, none of these 41 wines were made with grapes! What?! How can that be?! Well, they were all fermented fruits and flowers! Yes, you read that right! Some of us walked off with a bottle or two of rose petal wine, daylily wine, persimmon wine, and yes, even corn cob wine to name a few (but, this last one was for “special” pallets). Once we left with tasting glass in hand, we pulled for the final prize of the day, which was a homemade wine carrier with “Hahn Estate” wine (gee, I wonder who donated that gift!). Our big winner was Lee, but everyone was really a winner as candy bars were passed out on the bus. Just a little something to hold everyone over until we got back to the hotel and everyone could disburse for dinner, have a snack, utilize the indoor pool in the atrium, or play ping pong. Great day everyone!
DAY 3 (Sunday): No rest for the weary! It’s time to get up and GO! By 9:15 am we were on the road again and pulling for our second bourbon-themed prize of the trip, a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which went to Ed! As we were now heading towards Wild Turkey Distilling Company for a tour and taste, something went wrong. Our two lane paved roadway turned into a one lane paved road, which then turned into a one lane gravel road, which then started to narrow. On one side of the bus was either an occasional house or a steep cliff and on the other side of the bus was a 40-50 foot plummet of doom!! As tree branches started scrapping the top and sides of the bus as we slowly bumped down the now dirt road, we heard a noise… It was banjo music. This was the end of the Warren Ski Club. When you hear banjo music this deep in the woods, with nowhere to turn around, and nowhere to hide, you know you’re in trouble. Okay, so maybe there wasn’t banjo music unless a certain trip coordinator provided some on the loud speaker. Yeah, that was me. Well, eventually after 3.5 miles of this, the road opened up to a one lane paved roadway and we exited the forest. We thought we were in the clear until a Kentucky road hazard presented itself. A miniature pony had escaped its enclosure and was now running down the middle of the roadway in front of our bus with nowhere to go! After a quarter of a mile chasing this Kentucky wildlife down the road, the lane opened up a little more and the poor little critter was able to find an opening to escape the ogre of a bus that was chasing it. People, I can’t make this stuff up! Anyway, we finally arrived at Wild Turkey, got checked in, and away we went to take a tour of the establishment and do a tasting afterward. If you ever get a chance to visit Wild Turkey, I highly recommend you do so. Our tour guide, Bo, was phenomenal and made the tour awesome with his passion for the job. Shortly after, we took some breathtaking pictures of the Kentucky River and hillside, had another group photo taken in front of the logo, and away we went to Equus Run Vineyards where awaited our pre-ordered box lunch and another round of tastings. Before we arrived, though, we pulled for another prize that found Shelby the big winner! We finally got to relax for a little bit, take a walk through the vineyards, listen to a live band, and just hang out before driving the 5.5 hours home. Better pull another prize, though, just in case something happened. The winner of our next prize was a first timer to our trip, Kathy! After a little traffic back up and a quick fast food stop at our favorite Jeffersonville exit, we shuffled back onto the bus, ate some Rice Krispy treats, and continued the trek north. Just before arriving at our vehicles we pulled for the final prize won by Tom. Wow. What a weekend!
Okay! That’s it! That was our trip! All 1,100 miles of it! In a nutshell: fantastic wine, great bourbon, breathtaking views, great sightseeing opportunities, a lot of pictures, and many wonderful memories! Many thanks again to Mary for all of your help with this trip, to our bus driver and his INCREDIBLE flexibility, and to especially everyone who went on this trip! If you don’t sign up for trips, then we can’t have them! Simple as that! Please don’t wait until the deadline or drag your feet in the beginning. Plan ahead! So far, the winds of adventure appear to be blowing us back east (but don’t hold me to that!) for our trip next year, so don’t wait! As soon as it goes on sale, get your deposit in! Thank you everyone and we hope to see you next year!
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Current and past club members, their friends and anyone interested in exploring the Great Outdoors were invited to join the Warren Ski Club as we tried a new summer adventure -- LET'S GO HIKING!
This turned out to be a great (although muddy) adventure for all who participated in the June hike. A good time was had by all, so we did it again October 12.
Members of the Warren Ski Club recently joined with members of other local Ski Clubs at Lake Milton for an event sponsored by our friends at Good Times Ski Club
Our annual Buck Night at the Scrappers Game August 8 was a great success, with 39 members attending who each received $5.00 from the club to cover the cost of dogs and beer. And the Scrappers won!
Over 40 members and friends joined with the Warren Ski Club August 17 as they traveled to Put-in-Bay for their annual FAMOUS PUB CRAWL. A GREAT place to party . . . and GREAT time was had by all!
PUBS OF THE MONTH
Our club meets every month at a different local establishment for adult beverages, appetizers, and comradery. The location of the current month's Pub of the Month can be found on our Facebook Page. Or call any of the officers listed on the "Contact Us" tab to discover the location of the upcoming Pub meet-up.