Frankfort, Kentucky - 07/08/2011

Published at 8:04 PM in ,

While we are excited about heading towards home, we still have lots of things to do along the way.  Today we spent our time in the capital of Kentucky - Frankfort.

Kentucky State Capitol

We started this rainy day at the capitol building.  It is a beautiful building.  Inside the rotunda, there are five statues of famous Kentuckians.  In the center is Abraham Lincoln, who was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.  A bronze statue, the foot has been rubbed for luck so often that it has a polished, shiny finish.  The other famous Kentuckians are Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, Henry Clay, known as the 'Great Compromiser', Alben Barkley, 35th Vice President under Harry Truman, and Dr. Ephraim McDowell, famous Kentucky surgeon that removed the first ovarian tumor (WITHOUT anesthesia, I might add!!)

LED lights in the dome

The rotunda is unique because there are LED lights installed in the dome, which cycle through about four colors.  It gives it a pretty and very modern touch.

Part of the First Lady Dolls collection

Another neat feature about this capitol is the display of "First Lady" dolls.  There is a porcelain doll representing each wife of Kentucky's line of governors.  The dresses of each doll are a reproduction of what the First Lady wore to the inaugural ball.  Kentucky has had only one female governor, Martha Layne Collins, and she is included in the collection.

There is also a pneumatic tube system that was previously used in the capitol that can still be seen within the building.  Much like the systems used in bank drive-thrus today, it was neat to show the kids how it worked within a building.

One of the founder of Rebecca-Ruth

After the capitol, we went down the street to the home of bourbon balls - Rebecca-Ruth Candy Factory.  This courageous duo created their candy company in 1919, before women were even allowed to vote.  Rebecca Gooch sold her share of the company to Ruth Booe in 1929.  Continuing to try new things, this is where the original Bourbon Balls were invented by Ruth in the early 1930s, her most famous being the Mint Kentucky Colonel.

The tour of the factory, which is housed in an old house, was only $2 per person!  It was hard to believe that a company as large as Rebecca-Ruth operates out of such a tiny place.  We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the factory, due to trade secrets, but we did take some in their store.  In the front of the factory is a small kitchen were all the candy centers are created, starting in the same copper pot.  Further inside the factory is where the flavors are added and  various machines coat the candy pieces in chocolate.  Some of them remind me of the conveyor belt scene from that one episode of "I Love Lucy."  I think you know which one I mean!  At the end of the line, each candy is hand packaged and readied to be sold or shipped.

<--- Factory Tours this way <---

The tour ended back in the store with a treat - a complimentary Bourbon Ball, laced with Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon - for the adults only!  The kids were offered their choice of 'kid friendly' candy from the display cases.  I have never been much of a drinker, and let me tell you, in my opinion, this was like a straight shot of bourbon!  I couldn't even finish it.  The ladies seemed surprised that I felt there was too much bourbon in it, saying they have customers come in first thing in the morning and say there isn't enough bourbon.  Well, good for them!  I opted to try some peanut butter fudge instead.  It, on the other hand, was fantastic!!

Historic Frankfort, Kentucky

Overall, it was a lot of fun to take a peek inside a candy factory.  It was a great finish to the day!  You can order your own Bourbon Balls from the Rebecca-Ruth website.

Photo Gallery for today is available HERE.

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