Today marks my last day in the NAAE office as the Teach Ag intern. It’s crazy to think how fast eight weeks has flown by and this chapter is coming to an end. Even though I’m pretty excited to return back to the endless fields of corn in Iowa, I’m very thankful for the experiences I’ve had here in Kentucky. Here are some of my favorite memories and moments during my time in the Commonwealth.
Driving the Kentucky countryside
Go figure the Iowa girl would like driving the backroads outside of Lexington! But seriously, Kentucky is really beautiful. With winding roads surrounded by rolling hills, pastures filled with horses, breathtaking barns, and endless trees, I would easily get distracted while driving. Unlike back home, almost every field or pasture is lined with picket fences. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. I’m definitely planning a trip back to drive more of these roads and soak in the beauty of rural Kentucky.
I am a self-proclaimed “foodie” and that definitely rang true this summer. I developed a love for Crank and Boom; an ice cream parlor that makes everything in house, including an amazing bourbon and honey ice cream. Local restaurants also became one of my favorite parts of this summer, from Ramsey’s pie to Joella’s chicken, a nice chunk of my paycheck went to support local businesses and I’m glad it did.
If you’re ever looking for something to do in Kentucky, I would definitely recommend visiting Mammoth Caves National Park. I was lucky enough to share this experience with one of my close friends who is a lover of all things nature. The park showcases parts of the world’s largest cave system that stretches more than 400 miles. Our tour showcased domes and dripstones in the caves and took us hundreds of feet below ground. If caves aren’t your thing, there are some amazing trails on the park grounds that provide great hikes and wonderful views of rivers and valleys like this:
This was definitely one of my favorite adventures during my time in Kentucky!
Conversations in the office
Not all the best memories come from adventuring and doing touristy things. One of my favorite parts of working in the NAAE office was the people. Every day included laughter. I will definitely miss Andrea’s tomato stories and Tori’s contagious giggles.
Simple moments turning into memories was a theme repeated throughout the last eight weeks. The other NAAE interns, one of my roommates and myself made a habit of having family dinners that included some of our favorite dishes from back home. While I loved the fried pork chops and the enchiladas from my southern friends, the conversations we shared never failed to make me shed a few tears from laughing so hard. This is probably the thing I will miss the most as I round out my last days here. I am incredibly thankful for the relationships formed with these folks, as they made Lexington feel a little more like home.
Thanks to everyone who made this experience what it was. I’m going to miss these things and more when I get back home, but am so grateful to have had this experience. It’s time for this Iowa girl to return to the fields of dreams!