Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Derby Day!

As far as vacation memories go, last summer's trip to Louisville, Kentucky is on top of the list.  Since today is the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, I'm going to take a stroll down memory lane and remember our fantastic visit to Churchill Downs.
We were vacationing with my sister and her husband, and it was Father's Day!  We woke up to a rainy, gloomy day, but by the time we ate breakfast and took a tour of the "Louisville Mega-Cavern" (mega-LAME!), the sun was out, the sky was as blue as can be, and the clouds were perfectly white and fluffy! 
We started by taking a guided tour of the grounds.  We had a fantastic tour guide who told us a little about the history and the day-to-day operations at Churchill Downs.  These are the twin spires that Churchhill Downs is known for. 
After the tour of the stadium, it was almost time for a race to start, so we went to the paddock area.  It was awesome to be so close up to the gorgeous horses, the colorful jockeys... it was all so amazingly beautiful! 

We watched as the horses were lead out of the paddock to get in the starting line gates, then we went into the stadium.  We were able to get right up to the track, and soon the trumpet blared and "THEY WERE OFF!!!"  It was so cool as the horses thundered past!  We were so close up that we could hear the horses pound past, we could see the gravel flying out from under their hooves, it was an experience I will never forget!
 After watching a couple of races, my sister and I went inside Churchill Downs and placed a few bets.  We didn't win any big money, but we didn't lose our life savings, either!  And, of course, we had to try a Mint Julep.   Let's just say that I won't be rushing back for the drinks... in my opinion, a Mint Julep tastes like watered-down toothpaste--ick.  
My sister and I both agreed that this was a "bucket list" item.  We remember being kids and watching the Kentucky Derby with our grandparents.  Grandpa Pete would give us nickels to bet on who we thought would win.  I remember being enamored with the ladies' fancy hats and the silky jocky uniforms.  You can bet that we are all going to be tuned into the Kentucky Derby this afternoon!  

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