We went to Bardstown!

I’ve haven’t been teaching for several weeks, as we make the transition from Summer to Fall sessions. I start back up tonight with several new students, and then it’s back to the land of “working when everyone else is free”.

Marc and I were going to take a trip to Boston during my time off, but then we were invited to a wedding in Santa Fe in October (woo hoo!), so we decided to save our big trip for that. Instead we took a few days last week to visit Bardstown Kentucky. We live in Louisville, which is only 40 minutes or so from Bardstown, but it was nice to have a relaxing trip with no pressures. There’s actually a surprising amount to do for a small town. Usually I’m a city girl, but we made our own fun.

Yes, that’s right… we stayed in a jail for the first night. Our room (the “Library” room) was actually very nice and I enjoyed it, although there were a few rooms I peeked in that were a little too “jail-like” for my taste. One of the rooms in particular had giant old beams covering the ceiling, and the nickname “the upstairs dungeon” because it had been the punishment cell. You could not have paid me enough to stay there. The newest part of the jail is still set up as it was, and you can wander through it on your way to breakfast (which is in the courtyard where they used to do hangings.) Marc wandered back there, only to be startled in the dark by a mannequin set up in one of the old cells. Bardstown’s tourist attractions have quite an affinity for scary mannequins.

For instance, we went to the Civil War Museum, which was lame in exactly the way I thought it would be – lots of random uniforms and guns, and descriptions where “Fort Sumter” is misspelled as “Sumpter” over and over again. But then, in the middle of the museum, there was inexplicably this:

Why yes, that is indeed a mannequin holding a saw, cutting off another mannquin’s leg. I can’t even begin to express what a bad idea it is to give a dummy a saw. I’ve seen that movie, thanks.


We visited the Abbey of Gethsemani (where Thomas Merton lived), where Marc was able to buy cheese made by monks and a book about explaining Catholicism to Evangelicals.  As a side note, while I did attend a Catholic university, and I work for a catholic church, I’m not actually Catholic.  I grew up Southern Baptist and was then sort of generally apathetic for a very long time.  I’m going through RCIA this year though (the process of joining the church for adults.)  There are a few reasons for this, including my job, and Marc being Catholic, but most of all I think I’m fascinated by the history and the rituals.  I’m happy about it.

Back to the trip… We visited the Kentucky Railroad museum, which wasn’t terribly large or exciting, but I did get a picture of the sign from the station near where I live

My grandpa worked for L&N (Louisville – Nashville) railroad. I remember going to the museum with him, and him proudly pointing out the cars and engines he had worked on. And Marc loves trains (well, loves to build models of them out of Legos) so it was a good trip.  I actually wish we still rode trains.  I spent several months in Europe over the past few years, and there’s just something about travel by rail that I really miss.
The second night we stayed at another B&B, where we somehow managed to accidentally rent the entire guesthouse. It was awesome – we had two whole floors to ourselves!  And there was nice, elegant breakfast in the mansion in the morning.

So it was a pretty nice trip. I bought a green scarf at a thrift store, and they had coffee. What more do you need?

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