I'm not a huge horse racing fan, nor am I a betting woman by any means. However, I just spent the most amazing weekend at Churchill Downs, enjoying the Kentucky Oaks and Derby. I'm at a loss for how to describe how much my expectations were exceeded by these iconic American traditions.
I did something that I've never had the courage to do in the past, I made a major decision without consulting another single solitary human being. Making big decisions scares the "you know what" out of me, so I normally consult my husband and/or trusted friends. However, this decision was all me!
My husband turned 40 this past December. I knew I wanted to do something special for him, but also knew that putting a party together wasn't going to happen, nor would it really be his thing. I don't know what made me think of the Kentucky Derby, but the second the thought crossed my mind, I knew I had to try and make it happen. Luckily, I'm pretty savvy with the Internet and I got myself in a position to purchase Derby tickets. When the time came to actually click SUBMIT, I hesitated. This was a big purchase that also required a lot of logistically maneuvering to make happen. Either in a moment of sheer insanity or brilliance (now I know... brilliance) I hit that submit button and purchased two tickets to the 2016 Run for the Roses! A decision I won't ever regret.
I've never seen my husband more outwardly excited or filled with anticipation than he was about Derby weekend. Our wedding, the birth of our two children... stoic. But the Kentucky Derby... kid in a candy store. And I have to say, for good reason. Churchill Downs is magical!
Here's what I learned:
1. There is a reason the Kentucky Derby is deemed the most exciting two minutes in sports! The exhilaration of the crowd was beyond measure.
2. If you are into fashion and love getting all snazzed up, there is no better reason to do so than to go to the Derby. Churchill Downs on Derby Day is a mecca for people watching. From the absurd bacon patterned suit to the classiest seersucker bowtie, everyone clearly invested thought into their Derby style.
3. I am smart enough and strong enough to make big decisions on my own... if need be. It might not seem like a big deal to most, but investing in this surprise for my husband was nerve-wracking with a big payout in the end.
4. I will never be able to top this surprise for my husband. I'm confident that this was the triple crown (get it) to beat all triple crowns.
5. We will return to Churchill Downs! Hopefully sooner rather than later!