Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019 Kentucky Derby

About once per year, for the past 5 years, we have had the absolute pleasure of taking an adult vacation with some of our best friends. The usual suspects always include two other couples that moved into our brand new neighborhood way back in 2008. Since then, we've all moved away from that street but have managed to keep in touch despite the huge difference in the commute (from a few steps to nearly 3000 miles). A tremendous appreciation for our continued connection with one another belongs to some very special friends who plan and execute the trip details every year in celebration of my girlfriend's birthday. Amazing.

This year we traveled from Oregon, Texas, and North Carolina to meet in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. Whatever you're imagining... Yes. It was that and then some. Here is our adventure in a few picture highlights.

Packing. So many decisions to be made. In hindsight, I would have definitely STARTED with the hats (or in my case, one hat, one fascinator) and worked from there. Instead, I had 2 dresses that I wanted to wear and tried shopping in Charlotte (late winter/early spring) for hats that matched the dresses. So. Many. Returned. Wherever you live, if you're planning for a Derby trip, start with a great hat. Chances are the stores where you live have a small selection of hats and you'll end up shopping online. Once you find the hat(s) of your dreams... your dress selection will FAR outnumber the choices you had for headwear.

We had tickets for The Kentucky Oaks (pink themed) on Friday and The Derby --so two hat outfits needed to be pulled together. Here's what I wore to The Oaks (slightly more "casual" than The Derby).

Hat, Shoes, Belt, Dress (sold out; similar), Purse (sold out; similar)
Thursday: Arrivals, reunion/many hugs, check in, amazing dinner
Aperol Spritzes for breakfast and off we went!
We stopped many times for the admirers of G's dress! Incredible.
After The Oaks we hit the Barnstable Brown Gala. (He cleans up well!)

Saturday: Brunch, races, The Kentucky Derby, The Winners Party, dinner
Choosing our horses.
Were you even at The Derby if you didn't have too many Mint Juleps?

Sunday: Brunch, tears, departures

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