It feels like an actual eternity ago, but the Derby has come and gone. We had an absolutely amazing time. I actually feel like I have been so utterly spoiled by this experience that I don't know if I could go back. I would be the brat who thinks, "Well the private suite on the finish line was better..." Our journey began at the airport where we got food and drinks while waiting for our flight: 

We took the smallest plane ever for our quick flight, and arrived in Kentucky to music, bourbon balls being passed out by lovely ladies in hats, and roses everywhere. We got to our hotel where they were passing out Mint Julips and champagne in the lobby. That is where I tried my first (and last) Mint Julip. It was just gross... but I am not a bourbon fan. Matt liked them. You will see my drink of choice for the weekend a little later on. So we get up to our hotel room and we had presents! 

We took a super awkward pic of the two of us: 

Then we ended up going to the sports bar/restaurant across the street and found the Caps game. I wanted to be rested up for the craziness of the next few days. So the next morning we went down to an amazing breakfast... Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, Mint Julips, made-to-order omelets, essentially whatever we wanted before we set off for day 1: 

The Kentucky Oaks. 

So this is apparently a race that many more locals go to. It is called the "little sister" of the Derby and instead of the rose, the official flower is the Star-Gazer Lily (which just happens to be my favorite flower. I even had it in my wedding). 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, I wore my hot pink dress, and we had a great time. 

We got to our AMAZEBALLS suite and I really could not believe it. It was on the infield right by the finish line. It was two levels (a bartender on each level), a huge buffet all day and our own private betting person. This is where I discovered my fav drink of the weekend: The Lily. It was Grey Goose, Triple Sec, sour mix and cranberry juice. Sort of cosmo-ish but not. DELISH.

We got to take these glasses home too. It was light, easy to drink, and pink. Perfection. 
So the lower level of our suite was completely enclosed but the upper level was open. Here are a few pics: 

Look how close we are to the finish line!! 

All of the food as amazing, and the dessert table was to die for... 

Some of the races were on the grass which was even closer to us. You could actually feel the thumping of their hooves as they ran. 

I had to bet on this horse purely because of my job: 

Matt won on a trifecta-box-score-place-exacta-show-win-whatever. It all got so confusing and I gave up quickly. My motto was "Go big or go home" so I always bet to win (except one time...). 

I bet on the following horse (for obvious reasons). 

I got up to the betting station, and last minute decided to bet to show. The horse, of course, won... and instead of winning around $200, I won $5. This showed me that I should never steer from my "go big or go home" theme EVER again. 

The winner of the Kentucky Oaks was Princess of Sylmar, and she got draped with lilies (obvi). 

So that night for dinner they took us downtown where we had a scrumptious meal at The Spire which is on top of the Hyatt. The restaurant actually spins around. One woman for real could not find her hat for like 20 minutes because she put it on the spinning part next to her table and it was all the way on the other side of the restaurant when she went looking. (The same woman asked me the next day if the Derby had already happened at 3pm because California was on a different time zone. After I tried to explain, she still didn't get it so I just had no words. Hilarious). 

On to Derby Day... 

We had another yummy breakfast, got ready, and trudged out into the rain. I swear watching the women trying to keep their hats dry was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. People get ridiculously decked out, and for some reason many went for the crazier the better. This woman spent $4000 on her hat, and this guy had his suit custom-made (I mean, I wouldn't expect that to be on the rack anywhere): 

I went for the big hat, Matt found and bought me my dress (yes, I was impressed too!) and Matt's tie was my fav (he had people trying to steal it from him all day... and sidenote, his suit is actually a tan seersucker. Awesome). 

 Mint Julip anyone?

I once again felt very spoiled for being able to be sheltered from the rain all day. 

Martina McBride sang in the winner's circle and then walked right in front of us: 

The horses raced... 

And the winner was Orb! We bet on him but barely made any money because he was a favorite. 

They warmed him down right in front of us: 

 They draped him with his roses: 

After the two minute race we waited two days for, we were chauffeured to the Maker's Mark restaurant in downtown Louisville. 

I never was more thankful that we weren't paying for a dime on this trip (except for betting). I snuck pics of the menu because I couldn't believe it. 

Every table had been ordered the Raw Bar ($70) and some other appetizers. When it came time for the main course...

In case you were wondering, this is what an $85 plate and a $100 plate looks like: 


And to think I have always thought the Capital Grille was expensive. But I actually went to buy a t-shirt but they even put that on the bill. I really would love to have seen the tip. 

All in all, we had an incredible time. I then returned to face harsh reality... Matt flew out a few hours after we got home on Sunday for work stuff until this past Friday. Going from being pampered and spoiled to a single mom for six days was rough, to say the least. As much as I wanted to get away with my amazing hubby, I really did miss the girls the nanosecond we left. 


1 comment:

  1. You guys look great!! So glad you had a wonderful time - y'all deserved it!