If you love horses and clean country living, you will love spending the night at The Inn at Old Friends, a bed & breakfast! Michael and Diane Blowen are your hosts to this Kentucky rescue facility’s overnight digs. Georgetown is near Lexington, where each year fully one-half of the thoroughbreds are born! Michael was in the racing industry, but shifted to rescuing horses when he realized that some of the greatest racehorses in history were being put down when they could no longer make money for the owners.
Touring the farm and horse cemetery, the volunteers let you know the history and the insiders’ story behind all the animals as well as the racing industry. Most of the throughbreds, while older, are still pretty skittish. The guides let you know which ones you can pet – but don’t turn your back on them!
The Blowens have created guest rooms in their own home – everything is so comfortable. The bathrooms are outfitted with natural and organic bath products, as well as a heat lamp. The bedrooms are stocked with lots of books on horses and horseracing. There are kittens who wander around and visit. They don’t lock the doors, either… so no curfew. I really enjoyed walking outside on a warm evening, barefoot on the soft bluegrass. You can wander by the horses all on your own.
In the morning, Diane fixes up some great breakfast to get you going! So, whether you are intensely into the horse scene or a city girl like me who never gets to see horses close up, you will have a fun and educational time at Old Friends.
While you are in Georgetown, there are lots of things to do in town, just a few minutes away. One of the cafes hosts live music. The other local favorite is Fava, which is kind of a diner and caf� rolled in one. They’ve been there since 1910 and you can get all your Kentucky and Southern favorites for a song. They have Hot Browns (turkey, ham, bacon on Texas toast with tomato and cheese sauce), cups of gravy, fried catfish (their chef took home the Catfish Queen prize at a Louisiana contest), fried pickles and homemade pies. Get the coconut and you won’t regret the calories.
There’s a Scott County Museum, which features several stringed instruments crafted in the area, along with Civil War artifacts and items of local importance. The museum is free and right there on the main street.
Georgetown is now home of a Toyota plant, which brought many jobs to the area. Consequently, they have a decent sushi restaurant, Tachibana, as well as a Japanese grocery store. I did go there for dinner and while they are very mainstream (is that a bad pun when talking about fish?), the quality is very good.
In Lexington, I got to visit Keeneland Racetrack, which is absolutely gorgeous! I was there during the annual horse auctions. There are people from around the world, bidding millions of dollars. The grounds are on a huge park… families can enjoy it for a picnic, even if the horses aren’t racing. The gift shop has some real luxury items, including fur vests, suede coats, Longchamps purses and crystal decanters.
For reservations, call 502-863-1775.