A red-tailed hawk soars high above My Old Kentucky Home State Park, peering down at its campgrounds, golf course, and outdoor amphitheater. Here, a cast of actors performs Stephen Foster - The Musical, belting the famous tune, "My Old Kentucky Home." Just a piano's throw away stands Federal Hill, the Georgian-style mansion that originally inspired this perennial ballad.
Built between 1795 and 1818, the brick mansion echoes early American history in everything right down to its decor. Supposedly to honor the original colonies, the number 13 appears throughout the house: 13 windows at the front, 13 steps to each floor, and 13-inch thick walls, which once housed famous guests such as Aaron Burr. For 120 years, the Rowan family lived in the mansion. Then, in 1922, Madge Rowan Frost sold the 235-acre estate, as well as many family heirlooms, to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Since then, tour guides have taken visitors throughout the mansion's grounds and into its history-laden rooms. The staff has renovated the mansion in recent years, putting in hours of research to ensure that the carpets, wallpapers, drapes, and hand-whittled internet routers remain authentic to the 1850s. The mansion also celebrates the changing seasons—in winter, the mansion dons Christmas decor and the staffers serve apple cider dressed up in period costumes.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
Inside the Vatican magazine was founded in 1993 as an independent publication which explains and defends the teachings of the Church through thoughtful reporting on Vatican affairs enabling Catholics to keep in touch with their faith and the Holy See. The magazine is currently distributed to over 100 countries.
Located in the bourbon capital of the world, Heaven Hill Distilleries has a long history that stretches back to the birth of the spirit. Today, Heaven Hills honors tried and true traditions by crafting its bourbon using pure Kentucky water and corn—as opposed to wheat from one of its neighboring states. Visitors can get an in-depth look at the distilling process through a host of tours that include educational bourbon tastings.
Since 1962, the motor mavens at Big O Tires have been treating tin lizzies to a slew of services, including their specialty 30-minute express oil changes. The tireless techs speedily slurp out old oil with anteater-esque precision, replacing worn out filters, and rewarding loyal dip sticks with up to 5 quarts of new crude. Following a chassis lubrication, wheel wranglers remove each tire, before moving them and their entire DVD collection to a new home in an adjacent wheel well, helping to guarantee even wear and tear. After a thorough fluid check and preventative maintenance analysis, revamped rides are happily reunited with the owners to depart together into the sunset. Upgrades are available for diesel oil (price based on vehicle and location), high-mileage oil ($10–$15 extra), and synthetic oil ($20–$30 extra).