My Ol Kentucky Home
Recently my Aunt and Uncle came from North Carolina to visit and vacation here at Kentucky Lake. My husband and I had vacationed at their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains many times, it was a pleasure to finally return the favor and to show them our "backyard" here in Western Kentucky.
I had spent the better part of a month cleaning, organizing, and prepping for their visit. The lake view from this cottage is bigger than the cottage itself and when you love the outdoors as much as we do your gear can kind of overflow, all over the place if you let it. We managed to keep ours contained to our extra bedroom for the most part but with canoeing, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting in the Fall it can look like a gear graveyard. Condensing all of that gear and finding suitable storage locations requires some creativity which I will go into more detail on in another blog later.
The weather was good for a Kentucky Summer, the heat and the humidity had given way to morning and early afternoon storms. When the storms had cleared the area, the humidity had dropped only just slightly and the skies were partly sunny. We, my husband, aunt, uncle, & myself, first started the visit with a trip to Lighthouse Landing in Grand Rivers where we marveled at the sailboats in the marina as we made our way down to the parking lot nearest the jetty.
My Aunt just loved the little lighthouse situated off the opposite side of the marina and her excitement of being at Kentucky Lake was evident. The four of us strolled along the walkway atop the jetty, smelling the lake water and taking the in the view. We made our way to the end where we found a gazebo centered in the circular end of the jetty where an older couple sat facing the main lake, the gentleman's arm wrapped around his companion's shoulders.
The village of Grand Rivers has done an amazing job with their tourism and attractions overall but the gem in my eye is the Walking Trail. The two mile trail makes it way through downtown before ending at the jetty on Kentucky Lake or at Little Lake Park depending on where you start.
Once we lollygagged at the end of the jetty for a little while we headed over to Patti's 1880's Settlement. We checked into Mr. Bill's where we had made reservations as Patti's dining room didn't have an opening until much later in the evening. If your not familiar with Patti's there are two dinning rooms, Patti's & Bill's both served by the same kitchen and offering the same menu. There is some slight variation in decor but you will find the same atmosphere in both.
While waiting for our table to be ready I took our pager, shoved it into my back pocket and headed out onto the grounds to explore and maybe do a little shopping. Patti's 1880's Settlement offers way more than an amazing meal of 2" thick pork chops and mile high meringue pies. There are numerous gardens with lighted gazebos and ever changing colors to wander. Miniature golf, a playground, an animal park, 7 different shops/boutiques to suit anyone's fancy, Old Tyme Photos, plus Patti's storefront where you can purchase homemade pies, fudge and more! You almost need a day just to explore the entire settlement.
We meandered down the flagstone path past beautiful flowers and plants of every assortment it seemed. Hostas, Geraniums, Pansies, Lavender, Ferns, Ivy, Willows, Maples, Oaks, and more filled the landscape. Several people were posing in front of the Grist Mill for photos so we made our past to the large gazebo that can be reserved for weddings in the center of the grounds. No wedding taking place we strolled through marveling at the decor and the humidity the afternoon was offering up. There was very little breeze on the grounds unlike the jetty on Kentucky Lake and I fought the urge to turn on the ceiling fans in the gazebo. Wouldn't want to get kicked out before I got my grub on.
Exiting at the opposite end of the gazebo over a small man made stream we found ourselves at the shops on the rear of the grounds with one sparking our interests enough to enter. We may find something we like or at least find some relief from the Kentucky Summer. My aunt and I entered first our husbands in tow, we found it mostly a clothing shop devoid of anything remotely close to it's namesake which had peaked our interests. Our husbands didn't enter 10 feet past the door and didn't linger long as the air conditioner seemed to be doing very little in the tight little boutique. My aunt and I looked over the racks for a bit but found nothing we had to have, certainly nothing cool to keep us there let alone anything to make us want to try to get into a fitting room and wriggle into or out of any article of clothing. We exited to find our guys wiping the sweat off their brows and grateful we hadn't lingered to long inside.
I noted the time and we began making our way back towards the dining rooms via the shops opposite of the Grist Mill side of the grounds. We strolled passed another shop that looked to be clothing boutique also , possibly cool but too soon to torture the guys again. The next shop looked a bit more our style and held promise of interests for everyone so we entered.
We were immediately greeted with a blast of cold air which instantly cooled the sweat that was building on us and felt like an Arctic blast compared to the outdoors. No sooner than entering we were stopped by lake decor items in the foyer that I had to pull myself away from lest I buy the whole lot. We were given a friendly greeting once we stepped into the main shop and found a myriad of items for sale. Can/bottle coozies, Western decor, shirts, mugs, hats, wall signs, and even handmade folk art. The pricing was as of wide of range as the products in the shop but we found several items to suit our fancy as well as soaking up plenty of the air conditioning.
Once we made our purchases I noted the time and decided to head back to the waiting area as it was now 10 minutes past our reservation time. No sooner than our party walked in the pager went off, indicating our table was ready. We were lead through a packed dining room, dodging other guests, waiters and servers which left some of our party trailing behind. A small moment of waiting allowed everyone to catch up and we were lead back to a table for four and seated.
Immediately upon being seated I noticed a small bucket in the floor behind one of the outer chairs and it occurred to me a busboy may have accidentally left it when clearing a nearby table. I thought nothing more of it as we were handed our menus. We conversed over the menu selections and the decision was made to avoid the appetizers as you can find yourself quickly overwhelmed with food and no hope of completing it if you don't pace yourself properly.
We had made our meal choices and placed our orders before the waiter returned with the signature Flower Pot Bread with homemade traditional butter and Strawberry butter. Patti's bakes their bread in small clay flower pots. The bread rises above the rim of the pot, giving it a flowering effect. It's delicious by it's self but add the Strawberry butter and you can fill up quick before your salad ever arrives.
While waiting for our entrees to arrive we discovered the reason behind the bucket of water. My husband had taken the seat in front of the bucket and had a small drop of water land on him. Seems the ceiling was leaking or there was an issue with an air conditioner drain any result we simply scooted the table back allowing him to move out of the line of fire.
Once we had snacked on the Flower Pot Bread, homemade butters and grazed on our salads the main course was served. My husband and I had opted for chicken dishes while my Aunt and Uncle went for steaks. My Aunt was quickly feeling like John Candy in The Great Outdoors scene where he eats the Old 96'er. I kept waiting for my Uncle to check and see if she was "Processing nicely" as Dan Aykroyd put it. The Rib-eye loin they had ordered must have taken up half the plate, albeit perfectly cooked steak, the other side was reserved for Patti's loaded baked potato with homemade cheese sauce. An experienced Patti's diner I had known that the steaks were large and almost impossible for a woman with a normal appetite to finish. She finally resigned herself to a doggie bag for the remainder as many do when finishing a meal there.
After paying for our meal we began to make our way back through crowded main dining room, my husband leading the way and oblivious to my calls for him to slow down or wait up. My Aunt and Uncle wanted to make use of the facilities before leaving but my husband bee lined for the exit unaware. I stayed in the waiting area and held my Aunt's doggie and shopping bag until they finished. My Uncle rejoined me first and asked of my husband whereabouts, I informed him he had gone out but I was unsure which exit as there were two. He chose the one we came in and went out in search of him. A minute or two later my Aunt joined me and we made our way our the same exit my Uncle had only to find him there by himself. I walked to the corner of the building toward the grounds and saw no sign of my husband. We took several steps out into the side parking lot and again no sign of my husband. My Aunt asked if he had his cell so I pulled mine out just as it began to ring with a call from guess who........my husband. "Where are ya'll at?' he asked. I informed him we were at the side exit and he advised he was at the front. A few paces and around the corner of the building we were reunited in laughter both of us hanging up our phones at the same time.
Our bellies full with a fabulous meal, my Aunt and Uncle having drove 9 hours already that day we decided to call it a night, besides we were starting to loose members of our party no sense it risking it anymore and there were more adventures planned for later in the week.
Follow up blog(s) to come, in the meantime Adventure Awaits!!