Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

First Leg of Long Road Trip: Lexington, KY July 27, 2017

We made it to Lexington. I drove four kids, myself, and a large piece of furniture across West Virginia. That part of the trip was beautiful. There was fog on the mountains coming across from Virginia, and I kept exclaiming to the boys to “Look!”

Our objectives in Lexington were fairly simple: eat, swim, see family, and go to Fort Boonesborough State Park. We accomplished all of that and more. I asked the two older boys what they learned from visiting Boonesborough, and Seamus listed candle making, the doors on the buildings, and that sometimes in the early days of the settlement, they slept on the floor. Gilbert listed how to fire a flintlock rifle, how to throw a tomahawk, and how to make candles. It was interesting and the people wearing period costumes were knowledgable and friendly. Harlan wasn’t that into it until it started raining and he found a puddle to sit down in!

Everyone else had run for cover!

Lexington was a fun place to spend a few nights. The hotel had a salt water pool, and we swam a lot. Porter played with the shark nets and sinking fish. He loves to imitate Bruce in Finding Nemo and he said, “I’m having fish tonight!” every time he caught one in his net. On Monday, my parents were eager to get back to their cats and dog, so they left early with Seamus, Gilbert, and Porter.

I left later with my grandmother and Harlan. I got to see my brother another day, and we went to the Arboretum on UK’s campus. I used to find botanical gardens kind of boring, but they are nice places for families to explore, and we had enjoyed looking at the different plants. Bret got me pretty good, with naming a bunch of plants and then he got stuck, and I said, “You were just making all that up, right?” and he laughed and laughed. It was pretty funny.

After Bret left, Granny and I went over to McConnell Springs (I told her I wasn’t going if it was named after Mitch–it wasn’t) to see where one of the first settlements in Lexington had been. The park was nice with a short paved walking trail. We didn’t take the stroller, and Harlan really got a kick out of walking around there, but then he got tired and uncooperative, so I had to manhandle him out of the place.

A cold spring!

He was grinning in this picture, but his face is so changeable it’s hard to snap him in the right look. Afterwards, we drove Old Frankfort Pike to Frankfort. The road is a must if you’re thinking of going that way. Frankfort has a small, but thriving, downtown. It was a highlight! Of course, Granny knows all the good places, and I learned more about the capital of Kentucky in one hour with her than I had in my whole life. We saw the governor’s mansion, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, the floral clock, and the Capitol from below and above!

I took her back to my aunt and uncle’s house where we stretched our legs a bit, and then I drove the rest of the way to my parents’ house. And the adventures continued!


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