When the movie "The Bucket List" came out in 2007, I went to see it with a bunch of my friends. My friend Margaret created an actual Bucket List notebook for each of us and after the movie we went to dinner to share our "life lists" with each other. It was fascinating to hear what people had on their lists and it even inspired me to add other things to the list that I had been building in my head over the years.
I pulled it out the list yesterday to see what was on it...it's been quite awhile since I looked at it. I was happy to see two things crossed off: "Take a summer off to spend with my kids" and "paint a picture". There is a lot of travel listed on there...I want to visit places like Australia, Paris, Italy, and go on a safari in Africa. There are a few things on there I don't want to do anymore too, like "go on a hot air balloon ride" (after the Balloon Boy incident, I'm all set) and "go sky diving" (I'm not feeling that adventerous anymore). Yesterday, I was prompted to pull it out because this past weekend I had a "life list" experience.
Several months ago my cousin Jill texted me asking "Any interest in going to the Kentucky Derby?" It took me about 1 second to think about it and respond with a resounding "yes!" I rode horses for most of my childhood and even took it up a few years ago to get more exercise (this experience will have to be its own blog post..I will call it something like "The Sad Realities of Getting Older"). Bottom line, I love horses and couldn't turn down the opportunity to go. Although attending the Kentucky Derby wasn't on my bucket list originally, I can now say it is on there and crossed off. And I would encourage everyone to go once in their life just to experience it.
I was also able to combine my trip to the Derby with visiting my cousin Karen who recently moved to Louisville, seeing my cousin Jill, and giving myself an awesome Mother's Day Gift. It was the trifecta of trips!
I had imagined the Derby experience to be something like this: The day would be a glorious, sunny warm day. I would wear a fantastic hat...and outfit in general. I would bump into celebrities left and right while sipping my mint julep. Oh, and I would be busy collecting my incredible windfall from my Derby bet.
Well, the day started off overcast and was actually a little chilly. It was more 60 degrees than the 80 degrees I had imagined. Thankfully, my cousin Jill had scored incredible seats....covered seats....in a box right past the finish line so the weather didn't really affect us. We shook our heads at those wearing see through ponchos over their cute outfits....Ponchos + Derby hats = a fashion don't.
Karen, Jill, and I DID indeed look fantastic and we had fabulous hats. Here's the thing about hats tho.....if they are big, like mine was, it is hard to see and it also affects your hearing. I was whacked around like a pinball wherever I walked...and that was before the mint juleps. And I couldn't hear very well because the hat was covering my ears. Probably was for the best since the crowd was roaring with excitement for most of the day.
As far as celebrities, I did catch a glimpse of Erin Andrews from ESPN at the airport, but only after my cousin pointed her out. She also pointed out an ex-Dolphins coach that was near us and some other ESPN guy that I had never heard of. Although I'm sure they are all nice people, they weren't quite the celebrities I was hoping to see. I was envisioning myself having my picture taken with Jack Nicholson or Beyonce while clinking mint julep glasses. No such luck.
However, the place was filled with beautiful people, that is for sure. As well as filled with people who thought they were beautiful because of their plumped lips and over-inflated boobs. I often found myself with my mouth hanging open staring like I was watching a t.v show. On one side of us we had a 70-ish year old woman who had permanent "surprised eyes" and distorted lips that didn't move. You know when you go to the hospital to visit someone and you can't stop yourself from looking in each room, even though you don't really want to see what is going on inside? Well, that was how I felt with this lady. I couldn't stop sneaking a peek at her but each time I did, I quickly looked away because it was disturbing.
On the other side we had a blonde cougar with Lisa Rinna lips and beach ball boobs that started under her chin. She was greased into an incredibly tight, low cut dress that showed off her girls and the edges of her nipples. Again, hard to look away, yet hard to believe someone would go out in public like that.
We did have a mint julep...or two. The first one was tough to get down....I don't normally slug down bourbon...but after two, they slide right down. They had vendors selling them like beers at a ball game. So convenient...and in hindsight, a bit too convenient. See, the drinks were sold in glass souvenier glasses that listed every Derby winner in the last 137 years....and I needed four so everyone at home could have one. And my cousin needed some to take home....'nuff said.
I didn't realize there were races all day long. They run about every half hour. We watched the first race and then decided to bet. We went to the wager area and were educated by a very nice lady behind the counter. A few races later we felt like pros... "Race 7, $20 to win, on number 4". Out of the 5 races we bet on, we won 3 between the two of us. I placed my first bet with $5 and then used my winnings for the rest of the day! Unfortunately, we didn't see the horse with 20-1 odds coming in first. We seriously couldn't believe it...we were sure "our" horses were going to win...Mucho Macho Man and Pants on Fire. In the end, it didn't matter, we had a great time regardless.
For anyone who has ever thought of going to the Kentucky Derby, I highly recommend it. Put it on your bucket list.
Thanks Jill for the fantastic tickets! Thanks to Tony for all the great cooking! And thanks Karen for opening your beautiful house and taking such great care of me all weekend!