Monday, October 31, 2011

Yay ~ Halloween!

I love Halloween!

We don't go out.
We don't go to parties.
I just like the ridiculousness of it.
The decorations.
Decorating the dog.
Engineering and creating my costumes which I haven't done for a few years.
Yes, the candy.
The pumpkin lobotomies, which we haven't done for a few years either.
Basically the ridiculousness of it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend in Carp

My view yesterday while celebrating in style.

Inundated our friend's house in Carpinteria.
Three birthdays...
Cherryl, Dave & Jim ~ all within a week.
Twelve people.
Five dogs.
A Mexican feast.
One, I had one.
Chocolate sundaes.
Two, I had two.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall in Ventura

Agggggghhhhh "Fall" frightens me.
Means the dreaded "Winter" is right around the corner.

But it is the most beautiful season Season? Do we have seasons in California? here.
Clear, crisp mornings.
Island and hill views.
Clean air except when the State catches on fire.
Beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

I can't stop it, so I may as well enjoy it...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Other Kentucky Stuff

Beautiful architecture!

Well, not all of it.

Just the upkept stuff.

Well, not that one either.

And some cool license plates.

I think we all liked that one.

And a one stop shop to address your hair problems, eyeballs and cause of death.

Wild Turkey!

And on to distillery number 2459 4!

And that only one in the US rare bridge with a curve on each end?
Leads right up to Wild Turkey!

It really was incredible driving across this bridge over a full-flowing river, with the old now un-used railroad bridge alongside and seeing the buildings of Wild Turkey.

In fact it was so incredible, we drove back across it, turned around and then went across a third time.

Then on to our next tour and tasting.

My thoughts about these "run of the mill large alcohol producing businesses" completely changed after each tour.

This one had humor.

or maybe we had humor...

And a small tasting room.
In fact we had it to ourselves.
Us and the very into his job pourer / educator / tourguide!

And a bunch of bottles...
Don't forget those.
Oh, and fresh lemonade!
Which is what I enjoyed...

Butterflys and monkeys too.

And turkeys.

Kentucky Green Rolling Hills Landscape

Rolling hills.
Barns galore.
Narrow winding roads.
And tobacco...

As gross as it is, it is pretty while growing.

Old cars.
And not a lot of humans.

Lots of rivers, creeks and streams.
And cool old bridges.

And one rare one leading up to distillery number 629 4.
One that has a curve on each end.

You just can't get it in one picture without getting run over.
Suzie tried.
...and lived.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Woodford Reserve

And on to distillery number 485 3.
I think.
Not sure.
Woodford Reserve.
The official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.
I think.
Not sure.

Beautiful place, but we had three places to go and a bit of a drive through the lovely Kentucky rolling hills so we skipped the tour here, but hit the tasting and gift shop.

And chairs.

Don't forget the chairs.
They all have cool chairs.
Which the boys men always seemed to find.

Woodford had a great display showing the colors of the aged bourbon v. new rotgut boubon.

Nice people.
Pretty place.

Lovely grounds, but had to get back on the road.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Heaven Hill Distillery and How We Entertained Ourselves

I must have taken this out the car window...
I guess I was too lazy to crop the picture to get that black line off of the left side.
Oh well.

Bourbon makes you lazy...

Anyway, this uncropped photo gives you a good idea of the size of those rack houses!
Also gives you an idea of the amount of evaporation and "angel's share".
See all that black stuff up the side of the rack house?
That is the mold that forms on the evaporated bourbon.
The air must be full of bourbon.
Maybe just breathing the air makes you lazy...

Heaven Hill was a cool place.
Beautiful tasting room & gift shop.

Interesting display showing the levels of bourbon after aging.
And smells!
The brass horns gave you bourbon smells!

And a really cool "tasting room in a barrel"!
Supposedly the largest barrel around or in the world or universe or maybe just in Kentucky.
Whatever - it was cool!
Plus they had little lights in the bar that lit your tasting glasses from below.

And then what bourbon does to the general public:
Or our trained men.

And us.

It does funny things to us.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jim Beam ~ Stop One On The Trail

So bourbon is really not my thing.
In fact hard alcohol is not really my thing.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good margarita or five and hey I'll take one of those foo-foo umbrella drinks with enough sugar to really be a dessert, but just sipping on some Z-Spar bourbon?
Not really for me.
But the history?
The stories?
The architecture?
The tours?
So cool!

I was going on vacation to be with our cruising friends from way back when we were teenagers.
Jim was going on vacation for the friends and the bourbon!

Stuff we learned:
Kentucky weather is perfect for bourbon.
During the hot summers the bourbon evaporates into the charred wood.
During the cold winters, the bourbon then contracts back out of the wood, bringing the flavors of the white oak into the alcohol.

Over time some of the bourbon evaporates.
That "some" is called the "Angel's Share" ~ the part the angels get to drink.
The Angel's Share shows up in a black fungus or mold on tree trunks, buildings, mailboxes and just about everything around.
Real name of the mold is Baudoinia compniacensis.
But I didn't learn that from a tour... Wikipedia to the rescue.
During prohibition, the law enforcement could find the moonshiners by the black tree trunks surrounding their little operations.
I did learn that on a tour!

Jim liked the leakage.
He would put his finger on it and then taste it...

The evaporation also shows up over time.
The more years the bourbon is in the barrel, the less bourbon there is when they go to bottle it.
Instead of 55 gallons, it could be 25 or 30 gallons.
Explains why the more years the bourbon has been aged, the more dollars you are going to fork over...

So between the friends, the beautiful settings and the information, I was in heaven!

The bourbon kept some of the others in heaven...

Uh, no names...

The photo ops entertained the non-bourbon drinkers!

And the bourbon drinkers entertained the photographers!