Monday, January 27, 2014

Booze Map of The World

Illustration credit: Richie King,  Quartz

So what alcohol does your country like???

Thursday, January 23, 2014

50 State Challenge - Kentucky

For this weeks 50 State Challenge I am going to be highlighting Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.   Buffalo Trace Distillery is located in Frankfort, Kentucky and is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States. The distillery is located on what the company claims was once an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River. In 2001, Buffalo Trace Distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic places and in 2013 it became a National Historic Landmark.

Heaven in a bottle!

  •  The Trace Tour - This tour is complimentary and includes a tasting of there products. Visitors are welcome to walk in with no reservation needed unless you have a group of 25 or more. During the tour you will watch a video about the history of the distillery, walk along the path of rolling bourbon barrels. Venture through warehouses and explore Blanton's Bottling Hall where you will witness the bourbons being filled, labeled, sealed and packaged. This tour last one hour and runs every hour on the hour from 9 am to 4 pm.
  • Hard Hat Tour - Requires a reservation. It runs Monday - Friday at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. It last one hour. This tour is an insiders look into the behind the scenes work. You can witness the grain delivery, cooking process, fermentation and distillation. Also included in the tour is a stop at E.H. Taylor Jr Microstill, where unique and award winning Experimental Collection whiskies are made. This tour is complimentary and also includes a tasting. 
  • National Historic Landmark Tour - Requires a reservation and last one hour. Monday - Friday 11:30 am. This tour is complimentary and also includes a tasting.  This is an educational tour that focuses on the buildings, architecture and the history of the years between 1933-1953. 
  • Bourbon Barrel Tour - Requires a reservation and last one hour. Monday - Friday 9:30 am. This tour is complimentary and also includes a tasting. During this tour you learn about the barrels on their journey throughout the distillery. 
  • Ghost Tour - Requires a reservation and last one hour. Thursday - Saturday starting at 7 pm. This tour is complimentary and also includes a tasting. The distillery was featured on Ghost Hunters and has long been rumored to have been haunted. On this tour you can hear legendary stories and visit haunted sites, including the rarely visited Stony Point Mansion. 
Even if you do not have time for the tour, you can still stop by and enjoy a tasting!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Battleship Cove

I would love to say that I make a living off of travel writing but at the moment thats not happening. I work with elementary school aged kids and on Christmas break a few weeks ago we went on an amazing field trip to Battleship Cove in Fall River Massachusetts.

Birds eye view of Battleship Cove  Photo Courtesy of wikipedia
Before this field trip, I never heard of Battleship Cove and to be frank I had no idea that Massachusetts even had Battleships on display. Battleship Cove is located on 5 Water Street in Fall River. Battleship Cove is open 362 days a year, only closing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The fall/winter hours are from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm and the spring/summer hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  

Battleship Cove prides itself on staying affordable to the general public. The breakdown of Admissions goes a little something like this....
Adults $17
Seniors $15
Kids aged 6-12 $10.50
Kids under 6 FREE
For more info on admissions click HERE 

The massive cannons on the USS Massachusetts
Now on to the fun stuff! Located at Battleship Cove are a number of maritime ships. The biggest and most impressive ship is the USS Massachusetts a.k.a Big Mamie. According to Battleship Coves' website the history of USS Massachusetts goes a little something like this....

"Battleship Massachusetts went into action on November 8, 1942, as part of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. While cruising off the city of Casablanca, Morocco, the Battleship engaged in a gun duel with the unfinished French battleship Jean BartBattleship Massachusetts helped sink two destroyers, two merchant ships, a floating dry-dock, and heavily damaged buildings and docks in Casablanca. The Battleship also saw action in the New Guinea-Solomons area and participated in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943, the invasion of the Marshall Islands in January 1944, the powerful carrier strikes against Truk in February 1944, and a series of raids against Japanese bases in the Western Pacific and Asia. Big Mamie's 16" guns pounded Iwo Jima and Okinawa before their invasion in 1945, and by July of that year she was off Japan with the Third Fleet. The Battleship bombarded the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Kamaishi, and then sailed south to bombard a factory at Hamamatsu. Returning to Kamaishi, Battleship Massachusetts fired the last American 16" projectile of the war." (

USS Massachusetts - photo courtesy of wikipedia
Now this ship is MASSIVE. You can explore basically everything on this ship. The deck is loaded with inoperable guns and cannons that make for a great photo shoot. The kids I went with absolutely loved playing with the enormous guns. There are several doors leading you into the ship where you can explore more. It you are claustrophobic, I wouldn't venture into the ship. Once inside, you can view the infirmary, the bunks, the engine room, the kitchen, and where they ate. The kids absolutely loved exploring the ins and outs of this battleship!

There is also a submarine at the cove called USS Lionfish, but we did not get a chance to check it out due to time constraints. The other ship that we went on is the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.  This ship was much smaller than the USS Massachusetts but it was just as cool to explore. The wind was blowing hard and the temperature was dropping so we took the kids to see some exhibits that were located inside. 

One of the PT Boats on display
Some of the inside exhibits are two PT boats, that kids thought were "wicked cool". A list of other exhibits can be found HERE. All in all this was a great field trip. If you bring kinds they will have a great time exploring the ships and pretending to use the huge guns. I do have to say though, the steps are steep and some areas are hard to maneuver, so toddlers are probably not the best to bring with you. Also I suggest you do the exact opposite that we did and go when its not 20 degrees out.