Marshmallow Mondays


Visitors & The Derby

We had visitors!  And we went to the Kentucky Derby!

Our visitors arrived on Thursday around noon.  Nana and Pap Buff, Uncle Brad, Aunt Jill and Cousin Bryar made the 9-hour drive from Pennsylvania to come visit us in Kentucky.  Rydan and Lily had been anticipating their arrival for weeks.  Lily was quick to give hugs to each one of them, and Rydan was excited to find everyone here when he came home from school on Thursday.

That evening, we had family pictures taken with Carlee Jean Photography.  Carlee has done all of our photos since we moved to Kentucky, and we simply can’t say enough about her work.  We always love the end results because they aren’t “posed” or staged photos.  Instead, they’re photos that capture what life is really about – sharing laughs and love with those we care about most and creating memories to cherish forever.  These photos were so special to all of us because it was the first time we’ve had group photos taken together.  We enjoyed lots of laughs throughout the photo session, and it was a really fun way to kick off our visit with one another.  Carlee is still working her magic on the photos, but she did share these three with us so far.

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After our photos, Rydan decided that we should take everyone to one of our favorite local restaurants, Saul Good.  While I enjoyed my usual Parisian Pizza and Blueberry Mojito, I truly enjoyed watching all of the smiles around me and listening to everyone’s laughter.  There were three or four different conversations going on at once, but it was clear that everyone was having a great time.  I was also proud to see Pap Buff enjoying a taste of Kentucky with his Hot Brown Pizza, as well as a local brew called Country Boy Shotgun Wedding. 

On Friday, the gang decided to do some sight-seeing.  They ventured to The Kentucky Horse Park, enjoyed lunch at Old Chicago and of course paid a visit to The Liquor Barn (we don’t have them in PA).  While they were doing that, I was shopping for my Derby ensemble with Lily and our little friend Carter, who I babysit on Fridays.  After trying on about ten dresses and getting the approval from a two and three-year-old, I had my dress and easily found a hat to match.

That evening, I cooked dinner at home and we all sat around the table to enjoy a meal of salad, stuffed shells and bread.  I loved being able to cook a big meal inside of our new home and have family from PA around the dinner table with us.

Saturday was the big day… our trip to Louisville for The Kentucky Derby, a first for each one of us.  I really enjoyed getting ready that morning – curling Lily’s hair, watching her proudly come down the stairs with her pink cowgirl boots and hat, and taking photos outside in front of our black fence.

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SONY DSC

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We then took everyone on a mini tour of downtown Lexington before making our way to Louisville.  We made a brief stop at Thoroughbred Park to snap a few more photos next to the horse statues.

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SONY DSC

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We arrived at Churchill Downs just before 2pm.  There is no other word but “crazy” to describe what that place was like.  150,000+ people made for shoulder to shoulder crowds, but it was definitely a sight to see.  Our tickets were for the infield, so we took along chairs and blankets and were within walking distance of the fence that enabled us to see the track.

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I took this photo right before entering the gate, so you can see what we had to fight through to make it inside.

I took this photo right before entering the gate, so you can see what we had to fight through to make it inside.

This was the sight after entering through the gate.  Welcome to the infield.

This was the sight after entering through the gate. Welcome to the infield.

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This was our view from where we set up our chairs.  Thankful there was a screen for us to watch the races.

This was our view from where we set up our chairs. Thankful there was a screen for us to watch the races.

Cheers!

Cheers!

My first Mint Julep.  Nearly gagged at the first taste, but I ended up actually liking it.  It had quite a bit more bourbon than what I was expecting.

My first ever Mint Julep. Nearly gagged at the first taste (much more bourbon than I was expecting), but I ended up actually liking it.

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They both were so well-behaved all day long.  We didn't see too many other kids, and I was nervous about taking them, but they really enjoyed themselves.

They both were so well-behaved all day long. We didn’t see too many other kids, and I was nervous about taking them, but they really enjoyed themselves.

Moments before the main race began.

Moments before the main race began.

Unfortunately, none of us won any money, but we sure did have a great time and can officially say that we’ve been to The Kentucky Derby.  It was definitely an experience unlike any other.  Congratulations to California Chrome!

Thank you Nana & Pap, Uncle Brad, Aunt Jill and Cousin Bryar for coming to visit us!  We loved having you here and hope you enjoyed your time in Kentucky.  You are welcome anytime!

 

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