On the Saturday of The Kentucky Derby, I woke up early to begin getting ready.
The Derby race itself is at the end of the day, but there are other races going on all day.
My hosts provided a great buffet breakfast as we hurried about adjusting dresses, hats, and bow-ties for the men.
Next, we took some hurried photos of our group.
We arrived around 11:30 a.m.
Programs, Forms and Tip Sheets
Derby Dresses and Hats
The Derby Crowd
I didn’t have a press pass so I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to bring my camera in.
Instead, I used a point and shoot (capable of taking RAW photos).
Me – And My Derby Hat (iPhone)
We had fantastic seats (with shade – thank goodness!) which had been secured by my hosts many months prior.
We spent the day drinking mint juleps and making two dollar bets on the races.
Apparently, over 120,000 mint juleps are sold each year at the Derby.
I’m pretty sure the group I was with drank at least that many.
(I still don’t like bourbon, but when in Rome ….!)
The drinks cost eleven dollars each and you get to keep the glass as a souvenir.
There are vendors everywhere yelling “Juleps! Juleps!” as they walk around with tray, after tray, of icy mint juleps.
I kept having the sensation of having time-traveled to the 1920’s.
All the women with hats, and the men with bow-ties, hats, suspenders, etc., added to the feeling of time warp.
A Look at the Derby Crowd
The races themselves were very exciting, although I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the horses.
Horse Racing at the Kentucky Derby
I had a great time cheering for “my” horses even though I didn’t win much.
People-watching couldn’t have been better.
So many people!
So many hats!
People of all ages, and backgrounds, bet at the Derby.
It really was a fun day.
By the end of the day, we were all exhausted.
More Derby Hats!
I was happy our driver was ready and waiting to take us back to my hosts’ house.
(Having a driver is definitely a luxury, but it was so great not to have to worry about a designated driver, Derby traffic, and/or just pure exhaustion from a long, exciting, day.)
We arrived “home” around 8:30 p.m.
My hosts had arranged one more surprise for the weekend.
I walked into their house as a (truly amazing) chef began pulling trays and trays of appetizers out of the oven.
They hired a chef who had arrived hours earlier while we were at the Derby!
I felt like royalty … and, simultaneously, spoiled rotten.
The food was absolutely amazing.
After appetizers, the chef began pulling out main courses and side dishes.
We gathered plates for the buffet and indulged.
By 11 p.m. we were all exhausted and ready for bed.
It was truly an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime, day.