The Kentucky Derby.
I’m not even sure where I could start to describe the amazing adventure that I just returned from. Bestie and I have been trying to get there for a couple years now. There is no reason for anyone who lives so close to never go to Churchill Downs.
The first time we tried, we didn’t realize how much planning was required. It was sometime in April and Bestie said to me, “Why don’t we go to the Derby this year?” When we checked, all the hotels were booked. We decided to plan ahead.
The next time we tried, we didn’t realize how much money was required. It was November, and I had just received the email from the Downs that tickets were on sale. But the tickets cost hundreds so we postponed again.
Finally, last November I found out that there were tickets for something called the Infield–General Admission. They were cheaper, so Bestie and I decided that we would go for it this time.
We booked the hotel (which cost WAY too much) and bought the tickets-3 of them.
A couple weeks ago we offered the third ticket to a friend of mine–we’ll call him the Tiger–in exchange for him to drive us to and from.
I had asked off Thursday and Friday of Derby week months ago-January, to be exact. And early Thursday morning we began the 6 hour drive from College Town to Louisville, KY.
It was a 6 hour drive in Tiger’s cramped convertible mustang. We made it there around 2 pm and were able to check into the hotel early. We cleaned up and went sightseeing in Louisville.
We had lunch at a local restaurant–a little pricey but their margaritas were to die for. Then we went and walked across the Big Four Bridge. The wind was cutting, but we had fun. We saw the world’s largest baseball bat at the Louisville Slugger museum. Then we had dinner at a sports bar called Champions and their nachos were the best I’ve ever had.
Friday-The Kentucky Oaks
We got up early and hailed an Uber to take us to Churchill Downs. We were among the first to be let into the gates so we easily got a spot close to the fence. We were on the final turn of the track. Bestie and I went off to explore while Tiger watched our stuff. The only downside of traveling as a group of 3-someone is always left alone. But he was cool with it.
Bestie and I explored. We found ourself some Oaks Lilies (the official drink of the Oaks) and downed them. We felt crazy and wild for drinking before 9 am. It didn’t do us any good though-we got brain freeze and a little nauseated. We placed bets. I bet that Land Over Sea would show in the Oaks–and she did! It was a great day. After the Oaks we went to have dinner at TGI Fridays which is located on 4th street.
4th Street in Louisville is a place where they have live music all the time. And on this particular night Budweiser was presenting the Derby Eve concert–headlining none other than Third Eye Blind. Yes, THIRD EYE BLIND.
It was free, and I was elated. The three of us sat out on the patio and I was able to get so close that I high fived the lead singer. It was a magical night. I didn’t know if it could get any better than that.
Then Saturday happened. The Kentucky Derby.
I’m going to stop here, because Saturday deserves an entire post all to itself.
Until next time,