The Cat Who Lived At Ashland


As the headstone suggests, Gypsy was the cat who lived at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate in Lexington, Ky.¬† Henry Clay never knew the cat, having died over a century before Gypsy came to live here, but the cat was the estate’s second most famous resident.

Gypsy was a calico stray who took up residence here, meeting visitors at the door and often accompanying them on their house tours. His postcard was the most popular item in the gift shop and tour guides often noted that his presence distracted visitors from their tour.

Gypsy’s death devastated his fans so much they raised money to place this headstone and he was buried in a place of honor on the front lawn.

If only all cats were so lucky.


Road tripping adventures

Mr. Wonderful and I spent our long weekend adventuring through parts of Kentucky and southern Ohio. As is true of most fun times, this weekend went far too fast and I’m a little sad to be home. But we have a lot of memories and pictures to keep us company until our next adventure.

We are reasonably tame as adventurers go. No ziplines or lion taming here. I won’t bore you with all the details but here are a few highlights.

We were two of four people on a tour of Ashland, the Lexington home of Henry Clay. The tour was very informative and the house beautiful. Pictures inside the home aren’t permitted but I could take all the pictures I wanted of the grounds and gardens.

Isn’t it lovely?

I have a thing for architectural elements. This guy was too awesome to not share.

Tours of the home cost $9 per person and are worth every dime. Our tour guide was informative and the home is beautiful. I think you can walk the grounds for free though.

We also toured the Wild Turkey Distiliary. I’m not a drinker but still enjoyed learning about how this product is made. It amazes me that it takes just three days to make but years to age. Wild Turkey ages for at least six to ten years in a world where we expect everything to happen instantaneously. Few companies would invest in a product they can’t sell for a decade.

In case you are wondering, the tour was free so it was a great value!

Another place with great photo ops was the Kentucky Horse Park. This place is sprawling and, if you enjoy horses, you could literally spend the entire day. We just had a few hours so we only took in the highlights.

Admission to the horse park is $16 per person but that includes admission to all the museums, the shows and even a horsedrawn trolley tour of the park.

We also ate really well (or badly, depending on your perspective) on this trip. One great meal came from Billy’s Bar-B-Q which is near the Henry Clay Home in Lexington. We had the special that day – a delicious pulled pork plate with two big sides and cornbread. Their¬† cornbread, a combination of cornbread and white bread, is tasty!

It was seven or eight dollars per person and a great value for the money. As an aside, our fast food meals later that evening were about $6 per person. Sigh. What a rip off.

But the centerpiece of the trip was the Bob Dylan/Leon Russell concert at Riverbend in Cincinnati. Bob doesn’t allow cameras so I have no pictures but I promise you it was a great show. I’m not a big Bob Dylan fan but Mr. Wonderful is a super fan. He was in seventh heaven and I enjoyed seeing his zeal.

So that’s the weekend in a nutshell. If you’re planning a weekend or vacation and you’re within driving distance of Lexington I would highly recommend this city. The city has an amazing mix of historic and modern elements and is a very southern town with great hospitality.

I feel guilty because this isn’t an especially frugal post but trust me when I say there are a lot of things to do that cost little or no money. We opted for some of the more costly activities because we had limited time and those were the things that interested us most. Since we saved a lot on the hotel by using Priceline we could afford to splurge a little in other areas.

We are already talking about going back sometime to take in the things we couldn’t do. Isn’t it wonderful to leave a place feeling there is so much more to discover than you could experience? That leaves the door open for future exploring!