Christmas in the South: Lexington, Kentucky

Every Christmas my family and I have a tradition of being together at home, visiting relatives on Whidbey Island, and family bonding by playing games, watching Christmas movies, giving gifts, etc.  But this Christmas was different.

Breaking away from my typical Christmas traditions of being home in the Seattle area for Christmas, I flew to Lexington, Kentucky the week leading up to Christmas with my boyfriend to spend Christmas with his family.

Being a girl who loves to travel and see new places, I was so excited to spend my favorite holiday doing one of my favorite things.  I had never been to Kentucky before and had no idea what to expect.  The first thing that came to my mind when I thought of Kentucky was a ton of horses everywhere surrounded by farm land.  And while there was a lot of that surrounding the city, I wasn’t expecting the small city, urban life right in the middle of horse land. I found it to be a cute little city that combined farm life in the south with small urban life.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-23-06-pm

Starting off the trip, my boyfriend and I experienced what felt like one of the longest travel days ever.  Going through time changes in different parts of the country, connecting flights, and flight delays it was like being trapped at the airport.  Waking up at 2:30 in the morning, flying to Chicago with a time difference, and experiencing airplane trouble prior to boarding our connecting flight to Lexington after our three-hour layover, we were exhausted.  It was the longest day.  Although I have to admit, flying directly over downtown Chicago on a clear and sunny day had to be the highlight of the day, before stepping off the airplane in negative 7-degree weather.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-13-35-pm

Spending the next day right, we visited the Kentucky Horse Park that evening for the holiday lights festival, Southern Lights.  It was a lot of fun driving through the park with his family and seeing all of the creative holiday lights displays, and then reaching the petting zoo at the end.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-47-22-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-47-41-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-1-47-52-pm

The next few days were spent visiting his relatives, watching Christmas movies, and giving gifts.  Compared to Seattle, the amount of southern hospitality was so different than what I am used to.  Meeting a lot of new people, feeling welcome to join family traditions, and spending the holiday with my boyfriend and his family, spending Christmas in the South is something that was so fun that I’d love to do again.

Being a Kentucky tourist, I was dying to see all of the horse land that surrounded the city.  Having an exploration day with my boyfriend and his little brother and sister, it was really cool to drive through country roads to see the pretty scenery and drive by all of the different fancy horse farms and large fenced in properties.  We stopped by one horse farm to pet and say hi to one of the horses.  I have always loved horses and had so much fun petting the horse, and receiving little horse kisses on my face.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-10-11-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-10-35-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-11-12-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-11-50-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-10-23-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-10-46-pm

Although the trip was full of fun and good memories, this was probably one of my favorite things about the trip.  I couldn’t believe how friendly the horse was and how it loved to be pet and would give little kisses on my face.  Such a bittersweet moment, I didn’t want to leave.  Can I have my own horse now?

But to continue the fun of the day, we also visited the Keeneland Race Course, home to the famous horse races.  I had never seen a professional horse race track.  Seeing it for the first time, my mind was blown.  It was huge.  It was like the combination of so many football fields into one large race track for the horses.  It was really cool to see in person.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-28-42-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-28-31-pm

Ending a perfect day, we all went ice skating in downtown Lexington at Triangle Park.  It was perfect.  The rink was in the perfect little setting, right downtown, surrounded by holiday lights, a big Christmas tree, large buildings, crowds of people, with my favorite Christmas music playing over the speakers.  I had so much fun.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-2-35-00-pm

After spending Christmas Eve with his relatives, it was time to head back home to Seattle on Christmas day.  Having about four Christmases and having so much fun on vacation, I was sad to leave, but was also looking forward to coming back home to see my family on Christmas day.  Spending most of the day on an airplane definitely was not ideal, but with a better travel day than what we had at the beginning of the trip helped a lot, and before we knew it we were already back home.

Spending this Christmas down south was something fun and different than what I have usually done each year and I had so much fun on the trip, I can’t wait to go back and visit Kentucky again soon.

My Life Role Model: Who I Am Truly Inspired By

Every four years, I always get excited about watching the summer Olympics.  My all time favorite event to watch is gymnastics.  I have always envied gymnasts and love to watch their routines and performances.

I first started watching the Olympics in summer of 2008, the year that Nastia Liukin first competed in the Olympics.  Ever since the 2008 competition and watching her success as a gymnast, I was instantly inspired.  Although I am no gymnast, it’s her dedication and passion for the sport and determination to fulfilling her dream that inspired me the most.

 

I am currently reading her book, Finding My Shine, and get more and more inspired as I read.  As I read about her dedication to getting good grades in school, along with being a full-time athlete, it made me realize that anything is possible when you work hard and love what you do.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always had the same dream, to succeed in school and my career that will take me to cool and exciting places.  It has always been a dream of mine to work for a big company in the big city, New York or Los Angeles, and gain all kinds of new opportunities. Inspired by Nastia Liukin’s focus, determination, and passion in her career, it made me believe that I can fulfill my dream by succeeding at what I am doing now, being a full-time student, and working hard at making my blog more popular and successful for the future.

I am a Washington State University undergraduate student and was lucky to have the opportunity to hear Nastia Liukin’s motivational speech in October.  When I look back on her speech, I am always reminded of one of the most inspirational motivational quotes, “Never quit after a bad day.”  As a full-time college student, I am always running into moments where I get discouraged and believe that I can’t do something.  But these words, and the determination of making my dream future a reality makes me truly believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

I absolutely loved the opportunity to personally meet and talk to one of my all-time favorite life role models and am always inspired by her work and success.

img_8131

 

My Nighttime Skin Care Routine

I am always experimenting and trying out new skin care products to use on my skin at night.  I am currently loving these five quality products that make my skin feel great.

Each night I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover to remove all of my eye makeup.  This is probably the best eye makeup remover I have used.  It removes all of my eye makeup, including waterproof mascara, without leaving large amounts of oil.

I just recently purchased Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes and am currently giving it a trial run.  So far I am loving how gentle it is on my skin.  Along with smelling amazing, it removes all of my face makeup and leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean.

After my makeup is removed I always wash my face with Aveeno’s facial cleansers.  These are the best facial cleansers I have used and am currently obsessing over it.  Since breakouts happen, I always try to get Aveeno’s Clear Complexion wash and the results are amazing.  After one or two days I immediately notice clearer and softer skin.

Once my face is taken care of for the night, I like to use Bath & Body Works’ Cashmere Glow Body Lotion on my hands and feet to keep them freshly moisturized throughout the night, as well as ChapStick’s Night & Day Mix Stick.

 

Shop the Post:

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser // Target

Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes // Target

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover // Target

ChapStick Day/Night Deep Hydration Lip Balm // Target

Cashmere Glow Body Lotion // Bath & Body Works