Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Things I Learned at the Kentucky Derby

1. Getting dressed up is really, really fun.

Dress by Ann Taylor Loft, shoes from Macy's, accessories from Talbots. Best fashion purchase was a black pashmina from Dillard's on Derby-eve. It was chilly.

2. The most important accessories are paper.

We spent most of our time indoors in the Churchill Downs Museum. Brad's company hosted a luncheon there, which meant we could stay indoors and watch most of the races on screens. On padded chairs. In warmth. With waiters. Then we could venture to the grandstands for people-watching and the big event.

3. Wearing a hat is a transformative experience.

Wasn't too sure about the whole hat thing in the beginning. But I am a convert. The headgear at the Downs was amazing. By the end of the evening, I was absolutely craving color, ribbons and feathers. Everyone looked so ladylike and feminine. Hats, however, do cut off peripheral vision. There were a few side collisions.

A few of my favorites...


A few of my non-favorites...




4. People are just as exciting as thoroughbreds.

Attending the Derby is basically like going to a really long football game with no cheerleaders or marching band. There is much downtime between races. Also, if you don't partake of the local exports--i.e. bourbon and tobacco--you are in the minority. Thankfully, the fashion was a happy distraction. Intoxicated racegoers are also semi-entertaining. Next year, I think I'll sneak a paperback into my bag.




5. There is no such thing as a non-alcoholic mint julep.
Julep minus bourbon equals crushed ice, mint sprig and a straw.

So, we just got empty glasses.

6. A day at the races is pretty romantic.
Especially if your date stays sober...and wears cufflinks.

7. Never underestimate the underdog with the funny name.

Congrats to Mine That Bird!

8. A long weekend without kids and responsibility, wearing fancy clothes and eating at fine restaurants reduces stress and improves your love life.
And yet I was surprisingly excited to come home again...I like my kids a whole lot better than racehorses.
Just in case you missed the action...

33 comments:

Jeanelle said...

You looked fantastic and seriously, who doesn't love a man in cufflinks?? So glad you had a wonderful time.

the hogan's said...

How fun!! Love the hat!

Ilene said...

You look fabulous. Just like Southern Belle with her handsome beau.

Love the hat pictures. I want the brown one with the cream rim. I could wear it to an Idaho rodeo. People wear hats to those kind events, right?

♥Shally said...

You look great!!

I loooove hats. I need to go to the derby JUST to wear a cool hat.

Bridget said...

You look fab dahling. The hat is awesome. I love leaving my kids. I love them so much more coming back.

mama jo said...

you went to the kentucky derby? that's fantastic...what a fun thing to do...fun to see your pictures of you guys living the 'high life'...

diane said...

I want a close up of the shoes please. You look beautiful and the dress is crazy cute. Hats suit you.

The people watching must be a sport in itself.

Sounds like you had a lot of action this weekend. Congratulations.

Travelin'Oma said...

You are a darling filly with a handsome stud! (Is that PC?)

Lindsey said...

You look great in all of your "refinery". Thanks for sharing your fun little trip. . and OF COURSE that is great for the love life!

Melissa-Mc said...

Love the dress. Love the shoes. I'm glad you had a great time.

Annie said...

hooray! You look fabulous! Thanks for sharing your lessons learned.

Christie said...

You are a Derby rockstar. LOVE the ensemble. And love how dapper Brad looks, too. Welcome back!

Lauren in GA said...

You looked positively smashing!! And Brad looks so dapper!

I had no idea it would be chilly. Glad you were prepared.

I am a people watcher at heart. I love that you included pictures of all of the hats...even the disturbing ones ☺.

the MomBabe said...

So fun. You're such a cutie.

Kara Jayne said...

I was waiting for this post! I lived in Louisville Kentucky for four years ending 7 years ago. I loved it and loved derby. Glad you had a good time. Maybe next year the weather will cooperate!

Rochelleht said...

Oh how fun! I LOVE hats. Love them.

I also love it when Greg wears his cufflinks. So cute. You looked fabulous!

Robin said...

I think my BIL had a horse in the derby this year. You look glamourous and I love the dress! Let's the BC group at the derby and really go crazy on the hats!

Annemarie said...

Ann Taylor Loft is my FAVORITE store, and you my dear, wear it well. You look amazing!!
What is it about cuff links?? I get a little weak in the knees when I see them.

So glad you had a great time.

(We missed you!)

Jenibelle said...

I looked for you!! LOVE the hats, I think that's a fashion statement that needs to stage a come-back.

How fun for you, I would have wanted to go just to do the people watching!!

brooke said...

You looked perfect--I love the dress, the shoes, the jewelry, the hat--and your husband's suit was perfect too.

The mint julip thing cracked me up. I guess there's no point without the alcohol. Glad you had fun.

Cathy said...

I join with everyone! You look Great! I'm glad you had a good time, it always makes coming home even better!

polly said...

you looked fantastic! and brad looked so handsome, what a great couple you made! everybody must have stared and wondered who you were! how fun! loved the hat! loved the shoes! loved everything!

Amanda D said...

What a great looking couple you are! How exciting. I'm glad that you were able to go and thanks for taking pictures of the hats. How fun.

marta said...

gab, you look so cute. seriously fantastic hat and outfit and pearls. i feel like you belong in a storybook. and brad does look quite handsome. what a cute pair. so glad you had a good time.

Lisa-Marie said...

They had a little piece about the races on the news and I thought of you. Particularly, your outfit I know you wanted to be just right and you nailed it!!! Oh, you are so smashing, my dear!!! What a great look. I'm so happy you had so much fun.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i have been dying for this post. seriously. i wanted to see your hat so bad. you did not disappoint. and your husband looks about as smokin as you do. wow.

there is not enough comment space for me to leave all the compliments i'd like to, so i'll sum up with "classy, funny, sexy, entertaining, and all-around perfect gab."

Jessica said...

I so am not a hat person...I feel all "Look at me with my huge accessory on my head", so I'm glad to hear of your conversion.

And Brad looked way good.

wenderful said...

How fun was that!?! You looked fabulous. I don't know if I could do a hat. But you did it very well.

Holly said...

You sure clean up nice! Your dress, hat and shoes were perfect. You looked so pretty and glamorous!

I would have LOVED to people watch at the Kentucky Derby. Fun!

Funny about those Mint Juleps...

martha corinna said...

I was going to ask you about the mint julep. Good to know.

You look stunning and the whole thing looks like such a good time.

Hazen5 said...

You are one lucky girl! I have always wanted to go to the Derby, just to wear the Hat. You look so pretty!

Dancin Queen said...

We were able to go to the derby only one time while we were living there, but it was an experience I'll remember forever. Getting dressed up was so fun. Derby hats are the best. And I made "Mormon Mint Julips." I'll have to email you the recipe. We bought tons of glasses while living there and we make them all the time.

Ahhhh, I miss KY......

queenieweenie said...

you rock the hat girl!

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