Spring break is over. Sad.
But I had a marvelous break, although I crossed very little off my ever-growing to-do list. It’s just wonderful to take a break and enjoy life for a bit. I highly recommend it. As my friend, Becca, said to me today, “Spring break should be a mandatory U.S. holiday.”
This break was extra wonderful because my mom came to visit! Although Eric and I only live about 1 1/2 hours away from our parents, we don’t get to see them as often as we should, so it’s always extra special when they make trips to see us! My mom came on a gloriously warm Friday afternoon and took me shopping. Once Eric finished work for the week, we all went out to dinner for Eric’s birthday. At the advice of many of our friends (thanks to all of you who responded to my query on facebook and twitter), we headed to Hall’s On The River, where we got to eat our first outdoor meal of the season! Hooray!
I’ve eaten a lot of meals on the river in my day, living near Louisville. But we’re always dining on the shores of the Ohio River when we eat in the homeland, so it was super exciting to visit the Kentucky River for dinner!
The drive to the river was beautiful, with lots of winding, country roads (and it helped that I got to drive my parents’ new SUV). We took the Athens Road route, which is lined with those wonderful signs of the Bluegrass state: stone walls. According to Hall’s website, these “slave fences”, as they are commonly referred to in Kentucky, were actually built by Irish stonemasons. Who knew?
Anywho, we were fortunate enough to beat the dinner crowd, so we were seated right on the corner of Hall’s deck, with beautiful views of the Kentucky River. Unfortunately, I completely forgot my camera at our apartment (I know. I couldn’t believe it either), so all of these photos were taken with my cell phone. For some reason, I feel even more ridiculous taking pictures of everything with my phone than I do when I pull out the ol’ Nikon. But oh my goodness, what a perfect night for outdoor dining!
I really love unique restaurants that feel like they belong in a certain place. A few examples: Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Charlie’s Donut Truck in Alys Beach, Luke’s Diner on Gilmore Girls. You know, places that represent a certain way of life, rather than just a bunch of food thrown on a plate.
And the food! I’d heard some poor reviews of Hall’s food, so I was a bit weary, but I was also prepared to love this place because it was so darn fun. And love it, we did. My mom ordered a burger, Eric ordered ribs, and I got a cajun-spiced tilapia sandwich. Sidenote: I’ve hated seafood my entire life, until last year, when Eric and I dined on lobster and grouper on our honeymoon. Oh my goodness. And O’Charley’s has a rockin’ seafood meal with tilapia and rice and veggies.
We enjoyed our meal in perfect late afternoon weather (a wonderful sign of spring), and it turns out that we picked just the right time to eat, as those scattered showers started as soon as we left. But they didn’t stop us from venturing down the road a bit, where we saw our first real-life coal slurry pond (shoutout to all my Appalachian Studies pals).
Once we returned to our apartment, I pulled out the real camera to commemorate the occasion. And someone insisted that we include the rooster in the photo. What’s that rooster all about? That’s another story for another post.