7 weeks to go!

Yes, just 7 more weeks left of work at Amazon.  December 23 is the last day of work for the workcampers.  Today another group of 60+ campers started.  Next Monday, the last group of workcampers starts.  After that, this location will be hiring an additional 1200 employees from a temp agency.  So it will be getting quite busy and crowded at work.

Christmas is definitely around the corner, based on all the lights, ornaments, and Christmas CD’s and DVD’s that we have been picking this week.  And there have been a lot of new releases on DVD’s, as we have picked a lot of The Hobbit and the full volume set of Twilight.

The week of Thanksgiving, we will be off on Tuesday, and working on Friday.  All shifts have been adjusted, so everyone is working on “Black Friday”.  Should be interesting to see how that will work out.  After that, we may have 3 weeks of overtime.  Depending on the volume, we could be working 50 or 60 hours each week in December.

I finally found my pedometer, and have worn it the last 3 days.  Saturday I walked 13 miles at work, Sunday 12 1/2 miles, and today was a “light” day at 10 miles.  No wonder I am so pooped out after work!  I am doing a half marathon every day!!  I have lost 5 pounds already.  Dan has no comment on his weight loss!

We have booked a one month stay at a campground in Cedar Key, Florida from January 2 – February 2.  Other than that, we have not yet made any plans.  We will probably slowly meander down to Florida from Kentucky after we leave on the 24th.  Originally we thought about going to Texas to visit my sister, and then on to Arizona, but decided to go for the warm weather in Florida instead!

Yesterday we moved to another site at the State Park.  After November 1, Amazon workers are allowed to move wherever they want in the park.  We just had to wait for a couple from Lexington to leave, and then we moved to a lakefront site.

our new view

our new view

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Thanks Amazon, for our free lakefront living!!  It is a nice, concrete pad with an extra pad for the picnic table.  But for some reason, we are now down to just one channel (the CW) on the TV!  We only moved about 100 feet, but lost the 3 Kentucky education channels.  I didn’t think I would miss TV, but I do.  One can only put up with so much “People’s Court”, which is what seems to be the only thing on.

We hope all is well with everyone.  If you thought you signed up for the blog, but have not been getting e-mails when we make a post, just sign up again.  There was a few days when it was not working, but seems to be now.

Quote for the day:    “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”  – Epictetus

 

 

 

Final stop on the Bourbon Trail

Wednesday turned out to be a pretty nice day, low 70’s, so we decided to complete the final to stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We started at Heavens Hill, in Bardstown, KY.  We had been here before, so we did skip the tour, but got our passport stamped.  Their visitors center has a lot of interesting information on the history of bourbon.

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Heaven Hill had a huge fire several years ago that destroyed over a dozen warehouses.   As with all the distillery’s, the warehouses are spaced pretty far apart, but once several thousand barrels of bourbon starts on fire, there isn’t much anyone can do to contain it.

Heaven Hill warehouses

Heaven Hill warehouses

Below is an example of a copper pot that was used in the past by moonshiners.

A simple copper still pot

A simple copper still pot

Heaven Hill has on display many historical photographs from the days of Prohibition.

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Heaven Hill was founded by William Heavenhill.  It is believed that a typists error on the distillers permit put a space in between Heaven and hill, and the company could not afford the fee to have it corrected, so it was left as two words.  Their main brands of bourbon are Elijah Craig and Evan Williams.  Elijah Craig is considered the “father” of bourbon, as he was a minister, and was the first person to char the barrels that the whiskey is placed in for aging.  Evan Williams was Kentucky’s first commercial distiller, rolling out the first barrel in 1783.

After Heaven Hill, we headed to our final stop on the tour, Jim Beam, in Clermont, KY.  Beam is considered to be the number one bourbon distillery by volume.  We had also done their tour last year, but they completely revamped it, and built a brand new visitors center for 2013, so we decided to go on their tour.  At $10, it was the most expensive of the tours.  They had to raise the price of their tour because so many people were stealing their tasting glasses, that they now give them as a “complimentary” gift!  Also on our tour was a number of students from the national Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention that is going on in Louisville.  You don’t have to be 21 to go on the tour, only to sample the product.  It was good to see the students learning about the importance of the grains.  After all, they could be the future farmers providing these important ingredients.

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Jim Beam complex

Jim Beam complex

The tour this year was very interactive and informative.  This is the new visitors center:

lounging on the rocking chair

lounging on the rocking chair

The tour starts out by going over a small-scale example of a distillery, and then goes into the main plant to see their operations.  During the tour, visitors have an opportunity to fill a barrel, dump a barrel, and rinse out bottles.

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We were able to watch the bottling of the single batch of Knob Creek.  Dan participated in the rinsing of the bottles.  The bottles are not rinsed with water, only bourbon.  You could then put a sticker with your initials on the bottle, and follow it along during the filling, labeling and hand dipping of the bottles.  They only hand dip the single batch bottles.  Then they will engrave the bottle with today’s date.  Follow along on our bottle’s journey….

single barrel Knob Creek

single barrel Knob Creek

rinsing the bottle

rinsing the bottle

placing it on the filling line

placing it on the filling line

Dan's bottle "DVA"

Dan’s bottle “DVA”

filling

filling

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capping

capping

Unlike Makers Mark, they don’t let you dip your own bottles.

hand dipping

hand dipping

 

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The finished product!

The finished product!

Now if anyone wants to join us in the “sampling”, come on down to Kentucky!  We’ll be here until December 24th!.  Continuing on with our tour, we went into one of the barrel warehouses.

barrel warehouse at Jim Beam

barrel warehouse at Jim Beam

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Jim Beam has two warehouses that sit on either side of a Baptist Church.

this bourbon's safe

this bourbon’s safe

Jim Beam also has a huge display of souvenir containers that actually contained their bourbon and was given out as gift items.

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This is part of their copper pots.  They have one above ground, and one below ground in a blast proof container.

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Final stop on the tour was the tasting room.  They give you a plastic card that you insert into the machine below, and it dispenses two small samples of your choice.

The tasting machines

The tasting machines

 

And now onto our favorites.  We both enjoyed the Woodford Reserve the best, as a good sipping whiskey.  Makers Mark was also good, but the triple distilling at Woodford made their whiskey a bit smoother.  The regular Jim Beam or the Four Roses yellow label would be good for all the recipes that call for bourbon in the ingredients.

As far as tours goes, again we felt the Woodford Reserve tour was the best, followed by both Makers Mark and Jim Beam.  If you are in the Kentucky area for a week or so, the Bourbon Trail is a fun thing to do.  Except for two, the distillery’s are 20 – 50 miles apart, so this is not something that could be easily done in a weekend.

Quote for the day: “Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.” – Jerry Vale