I know that the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby were over two months ago. Again, this is one of those times where the blog is one part journal and one part scrapbook.
On Kentucky Oaks Day, we didn’t wake up in Louisville, we woke up in Cincinnati and drove into the city. Brian was kind enough to take our photo before we packed out.
It came as no surprise that Derby-mania was everywhere, but our hotel really cracked me up. In our tiny Days Inn lobby, not only was one woman openly peddling hats, but we also had lots of this going on…
And this entrepreneur with his Can Do Spirit.
Real Life rarely disappoints. Once we checked into our hotel and drove to the track (it was about two miles from our hotel to Churchill Downs via the University of Louisville campus), I want to say that it was probably Race 3.
We didn’t care. We were finally there! Upon our arrival to the track, we grabbed a program and headed to our seats, where Marcus immediately sourced me a mint julep.
I will never, ever, be able to emphasize this enough, but I will try. My husband is a saint. Obviously convincing him to head to Louisville was not a challenge, but he worked so so so hard to make sure that the experience was special for me and that it lived up to my dreams.
We watched another race and then we set out to locate the saddling paddock. I don’t know how it is that I never put two and two together, but the paddock is directly beneath the twin spires.
We spent the next few races there watching the horses head in from the backside and out for the next race.
Our time at the paddocks was also fairly surreal because It Was Something I Have Dreamed Of Forever.
After a short trip to the store (Derby Pullover and Can Koozie…hello, summer uniform), we headed over to the red carpet area where we saw Carson Kressley wandering out in the wild and that was pretty much the extent of it. I think we all know we didn’t pilgrimage to Louisville for the red carpet.
If I can be completely honest without sounding like The Biggest First World Whiner, it was cold on Oaks Day. Like, 60 degrees, cloudy and windy cold. Initially it was all, Oh Hey! This is so much warmer than Minnesota!
And then it five hours later, it was OMG WE ARE GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH. I thought I was playing it smart by bringing a cardigan, but clearly that was not enough. Jeans and a fleece jacket would have been much more comfortable, but that is not the point of a day at the races.
The only race we bet on that day was the Oaks.
Clearly we were not destined for fortune. But still, we stood on our seats with the rest of the of the track as the fillies came around the final turn and galloped for home.