Day 8: “Ark Encounter” and “Claudia Sanders Dinner House”- the ORIGINAL KFC
Tuesday, June 8th, 2021
Today was officially my last full day in Kentucky, and the time has gone by so fast! First off, before we get started in today’s happenings, I want to again send another shout out, a HUGE thank you, to Stephanie, Cheryl, and Ari for their wonderful kindness and hospitality these last 5 days….we had a lot of laughs and good times and I will remember them all. Now on to the main event.
As a child, I had read the story of Noah and his famous Ark and how he had gathered two of every animal along with his family onto this large, man- made boat before God flooded the Earth. Even then, I was skeptical. I wondered how the animals didn’t eat the other animals, how did they deal with the smell of that many animals defecating, and how did Noah determine which animals made it on the boat and which ones didn’t. So when I heard that a man was building a true to size Ark, I thought this could be my chance to get some questions answered and see for myself if this was at all a possibility. I asked the Livers if they’d like to go with me, and they said yes, and thus, today was born.
Let’s talk logistics first about this “Attraction” – and that’s what it is, it isn’t a church, it isn’t on holy land, it is a replica of a boat from the Bible. Parking is $10, and to JUST get into the Ark will cost you $50 an adult, with prices lower for kids and seniors. If you want to throw in the “Creation Museum” which is located 45 mins down the road, there is a combo ticket for $79. We only did the Ark. Now, once you park, there were HUGE lines for buying tickets and then claiming ones online. Both lines were ridiculously long, and not manned well at all. There was no one telling you where to go for what, so I would suggest to them to add more employees during the first hours of the day. Once ticket in hand, you must board a bus to get TO the Ark, as it is quite a ways away. No, you cannot walk to it. There is a bus for assisted needs if you need the additional help and room. We were there at about 10:30 a.m. and had to wait in line a good 20 minutes before purchasing our tickets, but had no wait for the bus line.
They drive you out to the Ark, then drop you off at the “Answers Center” which, that name just didn’t sit well with me, and you can use the Restrooms here, grab a water, or go sit in their sanctuary if you needed to go to Church while visiting the Ark? They have presentations and videos playing there, but it gave off the church vibe greatly. After you freshen up, you head out to the Rainbow that kicks off the entrance to the great boat herself.
Now, the sheer sight of the Ark will take your breath away- she be a big girl! It’s amazing to see something out of your Children’s Bible come to life before you, and I was quite excited to see the inside, as was Walter. It’s a Tuesday, a week day, but it is summertime, and the crowds were INSANE! I would say come right as it opens, like Disney, it’s probably prudent to be the early bird on this one and get in while it isn’t crazy busy. Because here’s the thing….there were the long lines to buy the ticket, long lines to get into the Ark, and then LONGER lines to explore the Ark!
Once you walk up a large walkway into the boat, there is everything and anything on the walls explaining everything. The problem is that all it takes is a couple of people to gather around these signs, and you can’t read them at all. Lines starting forming for every exhibit, so frustrations unfortunately set in because you would be in really long lines to read some of it, so most just tried to keep moving forward.
The first floor is the hull and bottom of the boat….showing you what was stored on this floor including the amazing workmanship on the cages. Now, again, we don’t know for sure what it looked like back then, but this was an interesting take on what they felt it was. The second floor was more of the animals, but larger ones, including dinosaurs? I scratched my head on that one. The third floor was the living quarters of the family and where they would grow their food, grabbing sunlight and water out of the top of the boat for growing their own food. Impressive set up to say the least. But to believe none of these animals ate each other or the humans on board is a biiiiiiiig stretch.
Now, I have to say that I enjoyed seeing the sheer size of it and what it must have felt like to be on the Ark. What I did NOT enjoy was the commercialism of it, even though it is foremost an attraction at the end of the day. Something about charging $50 a head and then the endless rooms of their gift shop- I just left feeling weird. It’s probably why I never visited the “Holy Land Experience” in Orlando…something about it never sat well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I saw it for myself finally, but I am not sure if I would recommend it. I didn’t realize it was so highly controversial, and I pride myself on being a safe space for all, so it was just a bit disappointing for how excited I was to start my day with. Lesson learned, moving on.
We headed on over to Shelbyville to check out a VERY famous Restaurant in Kentucky started by a VERY famous Colonel. Colonel Sanders and his wife moved to the area where they would come up with their FAMOUS RECIPE for Fried Chicken RIGHT HERE. They started this Restaurant FIRST before heading out and starting the “Kentucky Fried Chickens” you know today! It’s called “Claudia Sanders Dinner House” and it is VERY elegant! The famous duo lived in the big white house located in front of their Restaurant, where it still stands today. I was excited because while in Kentucky, you have to have Kentucky Fried Chicken….but this was the REALLY good stuff that came first. It was DELICIOUS and we had all 8 sides, family style, with Cheryl taking home all of the leftovers! I HIGHLY recommend dining here and enjoying a bit of foodie history with some GREAT fried chicken.
Today’s Moments of Kindness: OK, today was one for myself. I was disappointed in the Ark, so I had to be kind to myself and remember that not everything will be a winner or positive experience. I still took pics of families for them though, and my patience was kindness for all today LOL.
Another full day in the books, and I am again, beat. I head out bright and early for Illinois next, passing through Indiana on the way (I hit Indiana again later). The rain is making me sleepy and melancholy for routine, but I am happy and feeling blessed with everything I have been able to see and experience…even if it’s controversial. See you tomorrow for another driving day. Here I come Illinois!
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