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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kentucky Dam Village and the Land Between the Lakes

Hiking trail
We fell in love with the Kentucky Lake and Land Between the Lakes area. Last month we attended an outdoor writers' conference (Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers) and spent much of the time wondering why we hadn't found this jewel before. We stayed at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park where every room overlooked the lake.

Walking into the lobby and looking out the two-story windows was a treat in itself. It's a great place to dine or just hang out. I had trouble working on my computer because I kept getting lost in the view.

Break time
While I'm not sure of the weather year round, this September seemed perfect. There had been enough rain to keep everything green and beautiful. In addition to the resort with the fishing, boat rides and golfing, a short ride across Kentucky Dam takes you into the Land Between the Lakes.

Mother and child
I loved the seclusion - the feeling that you're almost alone with nature. A two-lane highway runs between the two lakes through western Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky Lakes borders the west and Barkley Lake the east. Lots of scenic overlooks, picnic areas and trails give access to nature's bounty.

Whether you hike, bike, fish, hunt or search for photo ops, you won't run out of opportunities. I spent one morning taking photos of a herd of bison in the Elk and Bison Prairie. Although I didn't see elk, the herd of bison meandered across the road in front of me for a good thirty minutes.

All was fine with each bison checking out the car until one close face too many set Luke (our Bichon) into protective mode. It definitely made that bison even more curious. I missed a great photo op because I had my hand over Luke's mouth!
On the lake

We visited several small towns and resorts to sample restaurants and shopping. We spent a morning on the lake in a beautiful houseboat. I can definitely picture myself vacationing in such luxury.

Do I plan to return? You betcha!




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Great food in Columbia, Missouri

Ernie's
Menu at Ernie's
I ate my way through Columbia, Missouri's famous restaurants. If you're visiting the area, take time to sample them. Anyone who attended Mizzou will already have them on their favorites list.

Try Ernie's for breakfast! Chester Gould, the creator of the Dick Tracy comic strip, loved it so much that he gave the restaurant an original drawing about his favorite menu item, the Chopped Cow.

From the crowds, I have to think Columbia residents enjoy Ernie's as much as the visitors.
Booches

Booches' sports memorabilia
Booches is another college hangout. Famous for their burgers and the pool tables in the back, it was another standing room-only crowd. The burgers, while tasty, are small so you might want to order two. Be prepared to check out the sports memorabilia on the walls.


Shakespeare's Pizza just might spoil your taste for other pizza. It's as delicious and lives up to its reputation. I loved their salad, too.
Shakespeare's Pizza
Blufftop Bistro

The Flat Branch Pub and Brewing boasts the largest bar in Columbia. Like all the other places I visited, it was packed and the food was excellent. (I didn't get a photo from the Flat Branch).

Les Bourgeois Vineyards' Blufftop Bistro sets high on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. Visitors enjoy the food and the view.
Sparky's Ice Cream

No visit to Columbia would be complete without a stop at Sparky's homemade ice cream. Samples are free and you'll have a tough time making choices.

Wherever you go, it's worth the wait. Whatever your taste, you can probably find it in Columbia.