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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.