Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three Chimney's Horse Farm

Three Chimney's Farm is a Thoroughbred  horse breeding farm in Kentucky. If you know anything about Kentucky, you knew a visit like this was coming! Horses and bourbon are a Big Deal here y'all.

We got to visit and have the president give us a tour. (Pic from Patterson Flicker page.)

Now there is a lot about breeding horses I never thought I wanted to know, but it's a very lucrative part of the Kentucky economy.  They have breed a U.S. Triple Crown Winner (Seattle Slew) and other various winners (Smarty Jones, Chris Evert, Big Brown, if horse names mean anything to you!)

It started off as a family farm that hosted other peoples horses during breeding and racing season and then slowly expanded. They now own and breed their own stock as well as host others. The cost of breeding is super expensive to someone who doesn't know anything about horses. Stud fees range from $3,000 to $35,000 for this season!

$35,000 just for the DNA of a horse!!! It doesn't have any proof of any excellence or anything! You can look at their virtual stallion brochure for 2013 here: http://www.threechimneys.com/brochure/#/1/.

Also, breeding is much more complicated than I had originally thought due to horses mating season. Some horses are even shipped Down Under to breed in the off season from North America!

This lucky guy was getting a bath right as we left:

See you around the globe!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ashbury Challenge Course

Yesterday (August 23), as part of our orientation the first years (aka my class) went to Ashbury University's Challenge Course. A little about the course (taken straight from their website):
The Asbury University Challenge Course is designed to support leadership, personal skills development, and self-confidence in an alternative setting. Sometimes referred to as “Experience-Based Training and Development,” a well-designed program can be an appropriate vehicle for addressing process issues that can frequently get in the way of group effectiveness and goal accomplishment.
We all thought it might be a little awkward to go, since we had just met about 3 days ago (not counting our economic bootcamp that many of us had participated in), but it wasn't. In fact it was an AWESOME day with lots of fun team  building activities.

There was both a low and a high ropes course. The low ropes course was misleading, it only had one set of ropes. Everything else was on the ground, but involved balance or communication. It was really a get to know you and your future classmates. It helped us build trust among the people we will be working with for the next three semesters. It was something that will pay off as we also learned how to communicate with each other (and learned some names to boot!).

One of the things we did was a trust walk, where one person was blindfolded and the other person led them around by directions only. Here's an action shot:

The low course showed us how we can have a really high learning curve, but then things speed up once we get the hang of things!

Then there was the high ropes course...this one was all about you. And your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries. Now I'm not one to say I'm afraid of heights, but I do definitely respect them! So when you are attached to a small rope and not just ziplineing, but rather walking across little wobbly boards. It was a lot more difficult than I expected. The only thing that kept running through my head was "I hope this is ok with my heart!" and "this is out of my comfort zone. This is what they said it was about." and "You can DOOOOO it!"

The best part of the giant swing part of the high ropes course. Yup, a giant ropes swing. Of course I had to do it!

Here I am listening to the nice man walking me through every little thing he is doing as he unhooks me from the only thing keeping me safe and hooks me onto a swing. A Swing. Too bad pictures don't come with the sound of my heartbeat and how I was asking if this was really what "out of my comfort zone" was all about!

You can't even hear the scream of utter terror! But it was so exhilarating!

See you around the globe!

*Photos credit of Patterson School Flicker Account*

Monday, July 29, 2013

Patterson School- University of Kentucky

Hello faithful readers!

Starting this fall, I will be attending the Patterson School at the University of Kentucky. This is a 3 semester graduate program that I will focus in diplomacy.

What's diplomacy? What can you EVER do with a degree like that? You might ask. Well, diplomacy is the bread and butter of foreign affairs. Be it with diplomats (think the place that John Kerry runs) and Ambassadors or with multi-national corporations or with non-governmental relief organizations. In other words, any place that needs communication, negotiation, or a cultural reference understood- diplomacy is your go to person.

One of the cool benefits of the Patterson School is the many exploratory trips you will take to go see different corporations in Kentucky, and around the country. Be on the look out for these updates! In addition, I, of course, will be doing some exploring of my own with my hubby and visiting friends.

See you around the globe!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Honeymoon Cruise Day 1: Embarkation

After returning from Macedonia, my boyfriend and I got married after 8.5 years of dating in July 2012. We had to postpone our honeymoon until our jobs would let us. That meant we didn’t get to go until about 9 months later or about April 20, 2013. We decided to sail with Carnival Liberty on a Eastern sailing. This will be my 4th sailing with Carnival and Bobby’s 2nd. It allowed me to become a gold member of their VIFP program (Very Important Fun Person aka Carnival’s rewards program).
It left from Miami, which let us leave at 6am and drive down on the day of. We had a friend of ours, pick us up and drop us off at the port so we didn’t have to pay the ridiculous port parking fees (think $20/day or $140 total). We were lucky enough to buy the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) passes. These allow us to have quicker boarding, quicker tendering, dedicated guest services lines and quicker debarkation. They cost $50 per stateroom, but this was the best $50 we spent the entire cruise! If these are offered on your cruise BUY IT NOW! No kidding, I’ll let you know a little of each as things go on in the cruise, but it was totally worth it.

While the FTTF would have allowed us to board at 11 am and have our room ready, we decided to sleep in an extra hour or so at home. We arrived at the Port of Miami around 1pm. We made it through all of the lines and on board the ship by 1:45pm. We breezed through security and getting our sail and sign card, only to be held up at the picture taking line. FYI carnival, you need to have a FTTF line here as well. All in all, it was super easy. Our room was ready when we boarded, so we dropped our stuff off and went up to Lido deck to get some lunch! Sadly to say, Carnival has dropped the ball a bit on their food. The Lido buffet has increased from the horribleness it was the last time we sailed in 2009, but the dining room has decreased. As a vegetarian traveling, it was difficult to find foods to eat on Carnival that were healthy, delicious and not Thai 4 star curry hot. If you are a carnivore, you will find lots of food to eat that is super high is quality, but not so much on the other vegetarian options. After eating at Lido we went to look and see if our bags were in our rooms, and lo and behold they were. We changed into our swimsuits and went back up deck to make our good bye calls and take some pictures of us leaving. We sat up on the Serenity deck, which was awesome to discover. The Serenity deck was a 21+ deck , which meant no screaming kids and no super loud music. As a side note there is also a adults only pool and whirlpool on the Aft portion of the Lido deck.

Next up was the muster drill, which Carnival has changed to not having muster stations where we have to bring life vests and sit in a location to having us stand on the deck in rows while they wait for all >2,000 people to be absolutely silent and demonstrate how to buckle your life vest. There was a bratty kid and stupid parent next to us complaining the whole time. While I won’t rant about how instead of letting her kid know how to safely do something, she just told him how to circumvent the system. Anyways, we had some more time and went back to the Serenity deck to relax, but by this time the sun had gone away. L We hung out there, took a nap and enjoyed the hot tubs. We decided to have a late seating dinner and will never do this again. It is painfully long and you miss out on all of the evening entertainments. Take the early seating or your time, in our opinion.

Dinner on cruises is often referred to as cruise casual. It is basically anything but jeans and swimsuits is fine. We take the opportunity to dress to the nines almost every night. But we are usually in the minority. Our tablemates were awesome- near our age and other couples. One set ever showed up, but there were three couples that ate everyday (including us). We had fun servers including two from Indonesia and one from Hungry. They were funny and very attentive. They learned what we wanted and helped every night. I can’t really remember what we ate every night, mostly because it wasn’t that memorable for me. The desserts were yummy, but my stomach kept messing up and I would have issues with nausea. The other two couples would order about 3 or 4 appetizers and at least 2-3 main entrees. We mainly just ordered one. There was a new thing called didja which was new and unique things people may have never tried (frog legs, escargot, sushi, alligator). Which, hey when its free- and you eat meat- why not?

They had a Welcome Aboard show that night, with some dancing and awkward games. There was a newly married couple on board who had been married on the ship earlier in the day (they were SUPER drunk). The shows were cool throughout most of the cruise and we enjoyed them. We did however crash a bit early that night!

See you around the globe!
As some of you might remember: I can longer post pictures on this blog unless I pay Google large ssums of money, so here are the links: