Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 02 2011

US trip, part 7

I woke up at 8am this morning so we could go return the rental car. I followed Kevin to the airport, watching the gas gauge drop to almost empty, and surrendured the trusty Civic to its owners a bit reluctantly. It was good to be out on the open road again for a bit, just me and my thoughts, despite the endless country radio stations. I’d filled the car’s fuel tank up beforehand at a donut shop, using my credit card as you can do that now.

Later Kevin drove me to a nearby horse-racing track, and we walked through the stables to the stands, where we watched the magnificent beasts trotting, walking, ambling and galloping resonantly around, huffing the cool morning air while compact figures muttered in their ears from perches in the saddle. Many of the riders were Mexican, but others were Irish. One of the Irish riders rode close by and, seeing my camera, said, “A bloke came out here with his little camera in the morning one time, flashing us as we went by. How’d you like it if I flashed you at 5:30 in the bleedin’ morning?”

I held up the Rabbit and pointed to the featureless top. “No flash here, mate. And it’s a wide-angle lens, so no telephoto shots either.” The rider seemed satisfied at this, though he probably wondered what the hell I was taking pictures of out there.

We retired to the canteen, where we breakfasted on sausages, eggs, biscuits and gravy, a heavy meal that weighed on me for the better part of the day. The green, 60’s-era decor matched the grass and trees outside the windows.

Afterward we went to a few local grocery stores, which offered an embarrassment of riches in the form of everything you could ever conceive of putting in your mouth, and more.

In the afternoon we visited a local bourbon distillery and factory that offers tours. I’m not a particular bourbon fan, but the history of the place, which goes back to 1812, is interesting. We were taken through the entire process, from the bubbling vats of goo to the barrelling to the tour guide offering us a sniff of boubon from a cask to a glimpse of an extraordinarily fat, old cat snoozing just outside by the grate where the guide had reluctantly emptied his glass. After the tour we got a shot glass of the finished product. The bourbon was strong; the shot glasses were plastic. “You can keep the glasses!” the woman at the counter shouted.

Ann’s family, including her parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew, came over for dinner, which was hamburgers and hot dogs from the backyard grill as the daylight faded and the air assumed a crisp autumn temperment I haven’t experienced in years. The key to enjoying crisp autumn air, of course, is a nice warm house in which to retreat for dinner and a good book, preferably with friendly but well-behaved dogs, by a real fire in a real fireplace. We talked about books and movies and travel and all sorts of things; it was a fascinating night of conversation, as the kids played down in the basement.

Tomorrow’s my last day in Kentucky; I’ll be flying to Oklahoma, via Chicago for some reason, tomorrow night.

posted by Poagao at 10:32 am  

1 Comment »

  1. 哇~!好棒的美式家庭聚會。

    Comment by Chenbl — October 2, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

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