Sunday, July 25, 2010

Local LEX Spotlight: Coffee Times

As something new to add to the mix, I'm going to feature a "Spotlight" on local businesses that may not necessarily be new to me but are uniquely Lexington and I wouldn't want them to be left out simply because I've been there before.

First up is Coffee Times Coffee House off Regency Road. This month they're celebrating their 27th birthday! As a quirky place they couldn't celebrate (1) their 25th which is more normal and (2) with just balloons so why not fire dancers?

This is a welcome place for me to read and do a little homework and grab a great coffee drink (I don't really like just regular coffee but I'm assuming it's great, too). They roast all their own beans in house and have wide variety of flavors (again not a big coffee drinker but people always look happy to be buying them as well as all their loose tea). I would die to be the buyer for the gift shop 'cause it's always filled with unique items and funky gifts. Don't forget to check out their sister store, Street Scene, stocked with vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture. But beware, they don't have the same hours.

Prices range from $2-$5ish for coffee drinks. They're open 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday -Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Camp Nelson

A couple Mondays ago after getting the chance to have lunch with my good friend, Carrie, in Danville, I decided to stop and take a look around Camp Nelson off US 27 in Jessamine County. The camp is divided into two parts: the cemetery and the historic park. I stopped first at the historic national cemetery; a resting place for heroic veterans dating all the way back to the Civil War.

Having two grandfathers that served in World War II, epic American pride and a slightly twisted affinity towards cemeteries, it was a place that I was pretty excited to visit. It was a lovely resting place on a windy hilltop in Kentucky complete with its regal military layout. A place that makes you aware of the sacrifice that freedom requires.

Camp Nelson was an outpost on the western frontier during the War Between the States (a nod to my Southerness considering it was a Union post) that was most notable for its large number of African-American troops. I made my up to the history focused part of the camp which is a jump up the road from the cemetery. Unfortunately, I was five minutes late for the last tour that was already in progress so that will be a post for another day.

Both places are open to the public and free of charge and basically open dawn 'til dusk. Just be aware there is a tour schedule (which I was not).

New Stuff

There's a lot of new stuff getting ready to come on up on the blog. It may not all be in order or date/time accurate. After computer issues, trying to figure out new technologies, school starting back, work, homework and church (and maybe a little summer laziness) this has kinda been on the back burner, but I've still been LEXploring and I hope you have been too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lexington Farmer's Market

Saturday morning took me on my first trip to the Lexington Farmer's Market. Located in the Cheapside Pavilion and on the grounds of the old courthouse; it's become a Lexington tradition and a place to see and be seen. I got the chance to make my first trip with my brother, Parker. Parking was easy 'cause it's a Saturday morning and the downtown parking rules are pretty lax. The place was teeming with energy...lots of people, vibrant colors everywhere, fresh food, art, live music...simply great. I was a little overwhelmed at first. We started wading through the crowds and found ourselves surrounded by the freshest vegetables, fruits and flowers Kentucky has to offer. I bought the best cantaloupe (from Casey County) that I've had all summer and some super fun purple bell peppers (from Jessamine County). On top of that there's artisan Kentucky cheeses, wine, fresh beef, honey, baked goods and an entire section devoted to local artists. Make sure you come hungry to try all the samples and some unique food vendors including a mobile pizza oven and crepes which I got to enjoy stuffed with cheese, spinach and country ham.

Go early 'cause we got there around 10:30 and a lot of vendors were already sold out their ripest produce.

There are markets hosted throughout the week, but your big one is Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheapside Bar and Grill

After our trip to Lexington History Museum, we decided to have lunch close by at Cheapside. Known for its fabulous patio and rockin' nightlife, I made the mistake of making my first trip there during the day for lunch. The food was kinda 'blah' and the service a little scattered. I'll have to make a return visit and see it in full swing to get real Cheapside experience. Not a great lunch stop.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lexington History Museum

Thursday I took a trek with my brother, Parker, and sister, Meredith to the Lexington History Museum located in the historic old Lexington Courthouse. It was a welcome indoor activity after outdoor plans were thwarted by the heat or so we thought until we found out the museum was only half air conditioned. For some reason the first floor exhibits were closed that day but the floors two and three held enough to keep us entertained for a few hours. One of the biggest parts of the museum is mostly architectural bits salvaged from renovations all over the city. One of the biggest things I took away from the museum was how bad the 60s and 70's were for buildings downtown; going through massive urban renewal definitely a very unique cityscape replacing it with parking lots and generic buildings. Other features were the World Equestrian Games art exhibit and a black and white photographic exhibit of African American life in the area. Less exciting things were the IBM typewriter journey through time We and a mediocre train display (which was sad sad 'cause I have a soft spot for trains). We did see a lot of neat things about the city but it might be more fun done in connection with the Lexington Farmer's Market on a Saturday that a trip unto it own. It may had been more fun with a guided tour with someone to really tell us what we were looking at.

Tours are self guided and free.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wallace Station

I feel like this is turning into "Eat My Way Through Lexington." But that's OK...who doesn't like to eat? Last Thursday took me a little out of Lexington and into Versailles to the fantastic Wallace Station with my wonderful friend Chris. Recently featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this place offers some unique Kentucky flair. Set literally in the middle of nowhere but you'd never know it considering the line to get in is usually out the door. Make sure you either come super hungry or willing to split 'cause the sandwiches are HUGE (we didn't know and each ordered monster size sandwiches). Their desserts and sides all looked fantastic but after eating about half of the Inside Out Hot Brown there just wasn't any room to put anything else. We sat outside on the deck that opens up into a scenic field with a barn and trees. A great place to spend the afternoon.

Most sandwiches run about $7.95.