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Derby Week 2015

Derby Week 2015

This is long overdue, but so necessary.  My very first trip to Louisville, KY just might have been one of the best weeks of my entire life.  I went to visit my cousin, Annie, before her 3+ year hiatus to Louisville came to an end.  Here's my effort to capture some of the best memories from my 2015 Derby Week. 

Derby Festival Marathon: Started the trip off with Marathon #13. Flew in Friday night, had time to pick out our race day outfits, catch a few Z’s, and before you know it we off to the start.  Top 3 takeaways: 

  1. It's okay to get wet; accept it and move on.  It poured nearly the entire 26.2 miles. And in all honesty, it wasn't so bad.  I think the fact that it didn't start raining until we were 1 minute into the race was what kept the misery away.
  2. The Power of Music: I've always run with music.  It's challenging to create a playlist that doesn't repeat and keeps you energized for nearly 4 hours.  Thanks to my wonderful friend and SoulCycle instructor, Tiff, I had some of the best jams and not a single repeat!
  3. Thank God for Uber! If it wasn't for Uber, I think we may have never made it back to our car post race.  We were cold, wet, and sore.
  4. I know I said  "Top 3 Takeaways," but I think I need a forth to just say how great the experience was regardless of the weather.  Plus, I got a full fledge tour of the city on Day 1!

Celebrations! The atmosphere around Louisville is nearly indescribable.  For starters, it is an extremely charming city.  I was blown away by the hospitality and pure happiness that the city spread effortlessly that week. There is not a shortage of fantastic bars, delightful restaurants, and festive events during Derby Week.  I'm trying to resurrect my favorites "Celebrations" -- I'm calling them "Celebrations" not because they were necessarily a party,  but everything that happened this week was more than just an outing.  I'm going to try to keep this short, sweet, and visual.  Please let me know if you want to know more -- I could go on for days, especially if I had a bottomless basil gimlet from Garage Bar!

  • Holy Grale: Marathon celebrations at what used to be a church -- now the only prayers that happen here are for craft beers and amazing eats.
  • Silver Dollar:  It's the day after a marathon that the hunger creeps in.  We brunched outside at this warm spirited Californian honky-tonk.  Nothing quite like scrambled eggs, a mimosa, and some cornbread pancakes to share.  And of course the company of Zeppelin, Annie's pooch!  Talk about hospitality - not a place in Louisville failed to acknowledge the presence  of dogs and provide them with a chilled refreshment.
  • Garage Bar: turf couches, basil gimlets, sunshine, pizza, cuddly dogs, Sunday-funday, enough said.  We came here not once, not twice, but three times.  Simply could not get enough.
  • Harvest: This Was Where I Had My Very First First Fried Chicken Meal! Yes, that's right, I had never had fried chicken, but I sure did it right.  Harvest was named Louisville's best restaurant and is known for their fresh ingredients from local farmers and their regionally inspired menu (hence the fried chicken).
  • Coffee Shop: Coffee just might be one of the many pillars of my life.  Some of the best lattes in the business were crafted this week.  So many great cafes, so little time.  I tried to make it to as many as possible, and even made time for a couple repeats.  (There might have to be a separate post dedicate to each of the following espresso masters)
  • Jocktails:  A fantastic event to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Great entertainment, great cocktails, great people.
  • Hermitage Grand Gala:  This was a pre-derby party at it's finest.  Performances by Darius Rucker and NeYo, Dancing, champagne, a red carpet and more.
  • 2015 Kentucky Derby: This just might be one of the greatest events of all time.  You will never understand horse racing or a derby party until you see it first hand at Churchill Downs.  We definitely did it to the nines -- Jockey Suite, outfits, wine spritzers, Vineyard Vines, The Mansion, checking out the infield, three sips of a mint julep, and winning big on our $2 Derby Trifecta Bet!

Much love to everyone who made this week what it was.  I wouldn't change a thing & can only dream of having an experience remotely close to this again.

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