Kristoffer has always wanted to go to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, and since we aren't likely to do that anytime soon...the next best thing is to go to the Downs for opening night!
We were both amazed by how massive the facility is...and how beautiful it is!
Usually it is only $3 to get in the gate (for the general seats...over $60 for the fancy seats), but since it was opening night it was $10/person. Still not that expensive for our evening activity.
The first area is the Paddock...this is where they bring the horses before each race so those betting on the horses can get a closer look at them.
All around the outside of the grandstand they have the winners of all 137 Kentucky Derbies, with the triple crown winners in gold.
It was really cool how close we could get to the track.
For the first couple of races we sat right by the finish line and had a great view of the horses.
The gates opened at 4, with the first race not starting until 6, so in true Gray fashion we got there right at 4!
After taking it all in, we sat down to look through the program and pick our winners!
Speaking of fancy hats, we saw a lot of them! Most people in our area were wearing regular, everyday clothes, but those in the expensive seats were dressed like they were at the Derby. I don't care where are seats are, next time I am wearing a fancy hat!!
For the first two races we placed $2 beats on different horses, and unfortunately we lost! Of course we just picked our horses on random things, but for the third race we bet on a horse, because we actually knew something!!
The jockey of our next pick was Calvin Borrel, the jockey of the winning horse ofthe 2007, 2009 & 2010 Kentucky Derbies! For this race he was riding a Philly that was making its racing debut, so we bet on the newbie!
We had a little adventure getting back to our B&B that night. As soon as we got in the car it started to rain, and as we started to make our way to the interstate it started to hail a little bit. When we got on the interstate it was raining incredibly hard and the hail had gotten much larger. With fear that our windows might break, we pulled off at the closest exit and tried to find an overpass. Unable to find one we just parked at the closest place we could find and huddled together in the car, praying that our windows didn't break. It was the loudest/scariest storm we have ever been through. Thankfully the boys were not with us!! We sat for probably 10-15 minutes before the hail stopped. The hail above is what Kristoffer had picked up out of a puddle, so they had melted a lot. The news was reporting golf ball sized!
Our GPS was a little mad at us and kept recalculating once we started driving. We hadn't been going more than 5 minutes again when we came upon a Jeep stopped in the middle of a one way street. We quickly realized it stopped, because the road was flooded. We stopped and put our flashers on, and declared (to ourselves) that we WERE NOT driving through the water. Of course people behind us got a little upset that we were not going, but thankfully a few other cars made that decision also! We sat there as other cars drove around us, and the water came halfway up there vehicles...our little Sonic would have been sunk for sure!! Once they were all gone we turned around and quickly made our way to the closest alley we could find. It is always an adventure!!
The next day we just enjoyed another relaxing breakfast and leisurely made our way back home! It was the perfect trip to recharge and enjoy time together. That weekend marked 9 years for our relationship and in 10 days we will be celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary. I couldn't take God enough for blessing me with Kristoffer and the life we have built together!! God is Good!!!