Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rain or Shine, we went exploring!

Since our move, we've had so many soggy days! It seems that the Fall weather here includes LOTS and LOTS of rain! Which, I don't entirely mind. The leaves are starting to turn a pale green color in preparation for their dramatic fall display. Can't wait. This week, we did a few fun things with our free time. We hit up a few new restaurants, saw some more Lexington sights and attended a UK game!

Dinner at Saul Good. Really good burgers! It was a fun atmosphere and came recommended by Trent's National Exchange advisor, Kelly.

I had the fish tacos with grilled tuna. It came with a side of pineapple-banana salsa. Umm...bananas? In salsa? Not the best idea :(

We had heard that the Lexington Cemetery was a place to check out. I had heard there were lots of ponds, so I brought bread for the ducks. At the sound of our car, they came hurrying over and leaped out of the pond. It was hilarious to watch. They know the drill!

After obtaining a map to the grounds (0ver 120 acres!) we decided to visit see some of the well-known families and their plots. The ground was so soggy, we didn't venture too far. This is the Todd site, the family of Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was born and raised here. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, as well.  This cemetery contains several hundreds of Confederate and Union soldiers from the Civil War, as well as some Revolutionary War figures. Incredible! You just don't see places like this everyday.

There were many sepulchers, as I would call them, in the cemetery. Henry Clay had a full monument with a sarcophagus for himself and one for his wife. It was different. He was a very influential man in the earlier years of our country. He is known as one of the great orators of Lincoln's time.

The grounds at the Cemetery are just beautiful! This is a Southern Magnolia and just behind it (and not in the picture) is the largest and oldest American Basswood. Basswood? Never heard of it!

Funny story: Trent bought tickets for the UK v University of Florida football game. His student ticket: $5. My non-student ticket: $45. Yeah. We paid $50 to get into the game :)

We sat in the upper student section. It wasn't too wild or crazy. They had a good first half, but the Wildcats ultimately lost the game.


Commonwealth Stadium at sunset

Oh yeah! I almost forgot: We finally got furniture in the last week or so. It's been awesome!!! :) We now have an oversized love seat and a huge arm chair to sit on. Our house is finally put together. It's still really sparse, but for four months, we can manage. 


Another highlight: We finally broke down and got internet since our hotspot on our phones didn't even work. Prior to having internet, we'd pick up a signal from a neighbor and it would be very hit and miss. It was frustrating. The best signal would be obtained in our walk-in closet. So many times, I'd walk into our room and see something like this:  

Poor Trent would be on the floor negotiating with the sketchy signal!! haha. Thankfully, this will no longer be a problem!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome to Lexington, y’all!

Kentucky Vocabulary 101:
Tobacco [pronounced TUH-bakuh]: cash crop of the area. Always hand picked!
Corn-hole: a game similar to horse-shoes played by all ages involving bean bags and targets.
Louisville [pronounced in such a way that I have yet been able to replicate. It’s a gurgling sound, really]: largest city in Kentucky. One hour northwest from Lexington.
Versailles [pronounced ver-SAILS]: suburb of Lexington
Athens [pronounced Ay-thens]: suburb of Lexington

This made for a good laugh; We're so glad they made a "Betting for Dummies"!
It’s been a month since we pulled up to our apartment with our car loaded down and a fresh start here in Lexington, Kentucky. We really enjoy the people, the area, the scenery, the culture, and even the weather! (sans the few 90+ days with a great deal of humidity, but that’s August for you…)

Our Bishop’s wife, Suzi, scouted out the apartments we were interested in before we moved out here. She has been so wonderful! So needless to say, we have a great apartment complex, good neighbors and a quiet neighborhood.  Our apartment is one bedroom, one bath with a small kitchen, small sun room, washer/dryer, dishwasher, vaulted ceilings, plenty of windows, and ceiling fans. It’s not new, but it’s in great condition. We have access to a pool, hot tub, and gym, too!

It's a hike just trying to walk the UK campus on foot!
For the first three weeks, we lived with two items of furniture: an air mattress and card table with folding chairs courtesy of Wal-Mart. We just now found a decent sofa and armchair for our living room and we’re stoked. We just love them. The woman who sold them to us misses them so much, she’s even willing to buy them back from us in December so she can reupholster them and enjoy them for another 7 years or more. Sweet deal! 

 The job market is really tough here in Lexington, as we’d been forewarned. However, Heavenly Father wanted us to be here, so we knew that a way would be provided so we could financially sustain ourselves. It will only be a matter of time until someone picks us up. Trent is hoping to, at the very least, get back into the serving scene at a local restaurant. We hope people here tip better than they do in Utah!! I’ve been keeping very busy the last couple of weeks thinking up meal plans and menus for Once A Month Cooking.  We’ve enjoyed trying this new way of cooking and it’s really paid off. I think we’ve already saved close to $100 when we would have eaten out otherwise.

glimpse of UK campus
Trent is really enjoying school at UK. The students here wear blue all day everyday it seems (their school color) and UK bumper stickers, window flags, and the whole lot are to be found on nearly every car in the city. Trent has purchased two UK shirts and has been looking into football and basketball tickets. He’s already made friends with dental and medical students in the ward who attend UK and we’re learning more and more about the programs and the incentives of attending school and living here. He has yet to meet, however, a Physician Assistant student. Curious, eh? We wonder where they are all hiding. 

  The People of Lexington: Wonderful. Most of them are kind, intelligent people who are so willing to both please and accommodate. What a breath of fresh air! We love the members of the church here, too. Within one week’s time, we’ve been invited to member’s homes three different times!! We are so popular ::blush::

Downtown Lexington historical residential areas
People on the street commonly use “sir” and “ma’am” with their wonderful accents. Some are more “twangy” than others and some are just plain mesmerizing. There are also a lot of Ebonics-speakers out there that I quite honestly cannot understand and tell them so apologetically.

Downtown walking tour with Trent & his map
University of Kentucky Arboretum
Keeneland Race Track

Some highlights from the first month:

'THE BEAN', Chicago
The Packard and Wayne families (Trent’s mission friends) live only 6 hours away in Chicago. We’ve there twice since leaving Utah. We enjoy the Chicago area and LOVE Chicago deep dish pizza. Wish I could eat it everyday…and feel guiltless. Trent is being strongly recruited (by The Packards) to join them in Chicago at MidWestern so it will be added to the list of schools he’ll be applying to.

Our friends in the ward, the Griffitts, come to find out, are huge college football fans. They have invited us to watch the games with them so we no longer have to crash our clubhouse gym to catch any college games….that’s a funny story in itself. J

Country drives out here are quite frankly the best that I’ve EVER experienced. And when I say country, we're talking 15-minutes away.  We go on drives once a week and they just never get old. It’s going to be gorgeous come fall!!

Trent is considering medical school instead of Physician Assistant school. Once again, he’s thought about it enough before he just threw it out on the table for us to discuss. We’re still examining the pros and cons. It’s also extremely helpful that we have plenty of brains to pick around here regarding that decision; I’ve never seen so many hospitals and health professionals in a mile radius!!