I’m not gonna lie, Friday morning was a wee bit rough…. A brief stop for some snacks and caffeine was in order, then we headed to the horse park. We planned to buy dressage tickets on site that day, and lucked into some good seats super cheap being sold by an individual on our way in – score! We made a few stops by various booths for freebies (one of my personal favorites from the trip, a teal hat from Bliss of London), and then settled in to watch some fancy prancing.
It was neat to watch the test and evaluate the rides from both an eventing perspective and a straight dressage perspective. In particular, one element of the test called for a stretchy canter circle, which I thought was super interesting! There were some absolutely stunning horses to watch, including eventual Rolex winner Michael Jung and his standout mare fischerRocana FST. Their test was effortless and lovely, although not quite enough to net them top score in dressage.
|Thanks for everyone who tagged me in their FB giveaway!|
|This shirt was also very popular. |
Over the lunch break we shopped some more, then dragged all our purchase back to the stadium to watch the afternoon rides. We had signed up for a course walk directly after stadium, and it occurred to us belatedly that we probably didn’t want to be dragging all our purchases around the 4 mile cross country course, so Karen and I headed back to the car to drop them off while the last few horses showed, then met Aimee back in front of the stadium. On our way back over, Allison and Arthur were leaving their retirement ride, and we stopped at one of the gates to watch them ride by -- inadvertently bumping into Boyd Martin (in the literal sense of the word). Not being up on my eventers, I didn't recognize him, and thankfully Karen didn't tell me who he was until later.... oops!
|View from our seats!|
We initially planned to do the SmartPak course walk with Boyd, but then switched to the Kent Feed course walk with Jimmy Wofford so we could hang out with Renate and her friends (who we unceremoniously adopted as our favorite Canadian contingent). By this time the temps had risen and we were basically baking in the heat – the course walk ended up being a bit of a let down as it was too hot for Jimmy (or the rest of us really) to do a lot of walking, so he was mostly just talking over a loudspeaker (which was not always the easiest to hear/understand). By this point we were all a bit fried, so we ended up ducking out and walking around the course a little on our own before heading out for the night.
|Approximately 2 seconds before bumping into Boyd.|
After a stop at the barn to see Hampton, we went back to our favorite bar on the river, and had a nice Kentucky gentleman pay for our first round of drinks ;) we ended up chatting with a ton of locals, including a former NFL football player who played for the KC Chiefs (our only remaining Missouri football team, since the Lambs jumped ship). We didn’t stay out too late, because we wanted to be well-rested for Saturday’s cross country shenanigans!
|Got in my daily quota of horse smooches though!|
|Shenanigans including a Dubarry vs. Fauxbarry showdown (the Dubarry is clearly superior, but I was pretty happy with how my <$100 knockoffs held up for most of the weekend!)|
Overnight Saturday, a huge storm rolled into Louisville – the downpour and thunder woke Aimee and me up in the middle of the night, and things hadn’t improved that much by morning. Driving out to the barn we passed a ton of downed limbs – we found out later an EF1 tornado had rolled through the area…. Yikes! We dressed for the weather forecast in Lexington (hot and humid with basically no chance of rain), so we ended up rather bedraggled and sopping wet in our shorts and tank tops. The raincoat I borrowed from my mom for the trip was more water-resistant than waterproof, and the water ended up soaking through it. Luckily the drive to Lexington gave us time to dry out, and the coffee we stopped for helped warm us up (even if I inadvertently attempted to get some of my caffeine via osmosis and ended up wearing some of it, lol). The weather put us a bit behind schedule, and Saturday the horse park was PACKED – we parked wayyyyyyy out in the back, and had a bit of a trek to hit the closest jumps to us – the Hollow.
|The sky in Louisville Saturday morning.|
|We found an outrider willing to take a selfie with us!|
|The view from our side of the Hollow.|
We sat there for a while and watched a few competitors, then started moving around the course, watching a few riders at each jump we found. Along the way we met up with our favorite Canadians, picked up a few other bloggers (including Jen
and her dog <3), petted lots of other dogs, took shots of bourbon, accrued more freebies, ate snacks, and generally just had a damn good time. There was initially a blogger meet-up planned for Saturday morning at Dubarry’s, but by the time Aimee, Karen and I made it on the grounds, we were more interested in watching cross country go. We did manage to pick up a good group of folks hanging out in the shade by the head of the lake after the last horse had completed the course. Obviously we needed the touristy shots so we waited until we could wade into the lake and take photos! We made one more pass through the vendors (where I got sidetracked by some bits and the clearance bins at Perri’s), before finally calling it quits.
|The weather forecast for Lexington was wrong incidentally -- we did get rained on a bit! Not too bad though. |
|Most of these amazing shots are courtesy of Aimee's magical iphone. My Android was not up to the task.|
|One boot did get a little damp when fully submerged in water for an extended period of time... haha. |
|Karen, Jen, Renate, me, and Aimee!|
A few of us headed up to the quaint town of Midway where we stuffed ourselves at an excellent restaurant called the Grey Goose (also downing approximately 1232343 gallons of water along the way). You know you’re in Kentucky when all the restaurants have racehorse memorabilia decorating the walls and the track on the TV!
|Street Sense's halter and racing pics.|
After a delicious dinner, I was really craving some dessert, so I suggested we find an ice cream joint. We walked up and down the downtown of Midway hoping the old fashioned soda fountain would be open, but no luck. Instead we stumbled into a place called Darlin Jean’s Apple Cobbler Café for one of the trip highlights (for me anyway) – our table ordered one of basically every dessert they offered, from a salted caramel brownie to fresh baked apple cobbler to my personal choice, a slice of Kentucky silk pie. I really can’t express how delicious the stop was, both with the desserts and all the camaraderie and conversation. Although at one point someone made me laugh while I was taking a drink and I inhaled water and almost choked to death at the table… that could have put a damper on things! Haha.
Finally it was time to head back to Louisville for the last time (for me anyway, Karen and Aimee still had 2 more days of fun without me!). I sorted through all my purchases and attempted to get a head start on packing so I could hit the road early Sunday AM.
|Midway had a super cute downtown strip to walk! Lots of neat stores. |
While everyone else was enjoying stadium, I was making my drive back to Missouri. My Rolex trip was fairly spontaneous, so stadium seats were sold out when I bought my passes, and I didn’t want to buy off a scalper and not be able to sit with people I knew. It worked out better that way because then I could go home early enough to spend some time with DH, who was so fabulous about holding down the fort and sending me photo updates of the critters. It was a miserable, long, rainy drive with lots of flash flood warnings and flooded areas along the roads, but I finally made it home in plenty of time to curl up on the couch for dachshund snuggles with my favorite new Plaid Horse sweatshirt.
|You can barely see the sweatshirt because I'm covered in dachshunds, but it's legit the most comfy thing on the planet. I would live in it if I could. |
And thus ends the saga of my time at RK3DE, #thebestweekendallyear. They weren’t wrong – it was definitely the best time I’ve had in ages.
Oh, you want to know about what I bought? I'll save that for another post......
Saving the best for last 😉ReplyDelete
Well obviously 😋Delete
I'm so glad you caught the name of the cafe. None of the rest of us did and it was soooo good.ReplyDelete
I had to do some creative googling to find it, haha. I may or may not have been trying to see if they could ship me some of those pies..... 😎Delete
That dessert was off the chain! Company wasn't bad either. Still recovering! lol!ReplyDelete
OMG it was to die for. Worth every calorie (and the almost choking to death lol).Delete
Dang, I wish I knew you needed Stadium tickets, a friend of mine gave away a couple bleacher seats so you could have sat with us!ReplyDelete
Aww well dang! 😔Delete
It probably worked out for the best though, getting back early gave me time to see my husband and spend time with my mom before she headed off to Spain, so it wasn't too bad. And at the rate roads were flooding on my drive, if I'd waited any longer I might not have made it home! Haha
best. trip. ever. 11/10 would leave right now and do it all again.ReplyDelete
Sign me up. Right meow.Delete
I'm in! Who needs money anyways?Delete
You can't take it with you, might as well spend it at Rolex! 😋Delete
What a great trip!ReplyDelete
So excellent! 😁Delete
Sounds like so much fun!ReplyDelete
I might need to make it down to Rolex next year!
It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, although I'm hoping to make it an annual thing! HahaDelete
So much fun stuff goin on here - so glad you guys had a blast!!ReplyDelete
So much stuff my head was spinning trying to remember it all... And I'm sure I forgot stuff!Delete
You're ALL KILLING ME not showing me the spoils!ReplyDelete
Sounds like such a great time!
Hahaha gotta make what limited content I have last 😋 I think Aimee did post her haul this morning though!Delete
SO much fun. Rolex weekend is seriously a marathon though. So much to do, see, buy ;)ReplyDelete
Oh for sure -- I'm not sure I could have made it through Sunday even if I'd had stadium tickets! I was so wiped out by the time I made it home.Delete
Leaving us on a cliffhanger - I want to see all the goodies!ReplyDelete
But of course! 😋Delete
Oh, I got a hat too! They are so cute.ReplyDelete
It was probably my favorite of the four or so hats I brought back 😀Delete