Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LRK3DE 2019 (alternate title: #notRolex2019)

They're really not kidding when they call Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event the "best weekend all year" -- although I enjoy it for probably different reasons than the average attendee, lol. This post is long and disjointed and a bit of a photo dump so cookies for you if you make it all the way through!
With #adventureunicorn waiting at the airport for T!
Some of you may remember back in 2017, I impulsively decided kind of last minute to drive across three states to meet up with some random internet strangers to attend this event back when it was known as Rolex -- if you missed it (or if you want a recap complete with lots of shopping swag photos due to my absolute inability to make responsible life choices, check out Part 1, Part 2, and the Shopping). It was THE MOST AMAZING trip, and I never thought we could top the fun we had drinking and shopping our way through the KHP... and I've never been more glad to be wrong in my life.
A few months back, the incredible Jen decided to snag a tailgating spot and put together a place for bloggers to hang out Saturday at XC - it was a no-brainer to me to snag a ticket, and Karen was kind enough to offer me a space on her couch again (BTW she wins the internet and beat us all to a LRK3DE recap so feel free to start here haha). Through a series of fortunate events, we were able to convince Aimee, our favorite token Canadian Renate, and even T to fly out from their various parts of the continent to join us. Little did I know that I would be up to my eyeballs in construction the week of, but my darling DH was a champ about holding down the fort while I gallivanted off to Kentucky.
Jumping ahead chronologically, but here was the start of the blogger tailgate Saturday! (L to R: Jen, Megan, Renate, Karen, me, Aimee, and T)
Due to all of us having bullshit "adult responsibilities", we decided on a slightly abbreviated trip format, and I took a half day from work Thursday to head to the airport to pick up Aimee and T, then head to Karen's. We got in late, grabbed dinner, stayed up entirely too late gabbing, and then got up at the actual ass-crack of dawn to drive to Keeneland to watch morning workouts.
Random KY castle
Drive-thru betting at Keeneland lol
#threemuskateers helpfully captured by Renate, with bonus horse working in the background
with our #tokenCanadian
After we made it to KHP and picked up our tickets from will-call, Friday was our dedicated shopping day. We started off strong with MANY mimosas at Dubarry and someone setting their credit card on fire (spoilers: it wasn't me!). Even though I actually busted my ass at my photography side hustle earlier in the month and planned to splurge on some Dubarry's, I ended up making suuuuuuper boring adult decisions like "not buying fancy boots". I know. It's not the kind of restraint you've come to expect from me, and I'm sorry to disappoint you. I'm disappointed in myself. But ya know, building a house has me pretty on a budget! Haha. After that we meandered through the trade fair and outside booths -- everybody got some fun stuff and good deals.
Mimosas at Dubarry
So close to making bad decisions. 
Identify the real Dubarry's vs. Fauxbarrys..... 

Aimee and I got Antares hats signed by Phillip Dutton! :)
#adventureunicorn got a traveling upgrade
Cool hats at Devoucoux
My only purchase (other than an official shirt purchased from the merch tent on the walk out Saturday). I've heard such good things about this book and Tik was a DOLL and personalized it to me and Cinna and Ruby.
After we were shopped out, we headed to Midway for dinner at the Goose and Gander (shades of two years ago, only then it was called the Grey Goose!) and then attempted to recreate our epic dessert photo at Darling Jean's -- imagine my dismay when I eagerly ordered the Kentucky silk pie, only to have the waitress inform me that they no longer offered that. The look on her face when I told her I drove in from Missouri specifically to have some was pretty priceless!
Freedman's was open this time though!
Renate found a mini driving bridle!!!! (blogger is doing crazy shit with my photos and IDK what to do and am too tired to fix it sorry!)
Saturday we were up and at 'em bright and early to meet up with everybody at Jen's tailgating spot. I can't even do justice to the amount of fun we had in words, so I won't try -- suffice to say it was a damn good time. We'd wander off to watch other jumps and then circle back to home base, enjoying snacks, many many drinks, and TASTY tacos and guac served up by Jen's fabulous husband. I got to put even more faces to blogger names -- Megan and her darling Sara, Stephanie and her awesome husband were there, Emma stopped by, and even Niamh! After the last horse finished the course, we packed up and meandered out, stopping to take some of the requisite jump photos on the way (naturally).
Starting Saturday with an adequate amount of caffeine.

I had cups made for our tailgating crew -- #notRolex2019

The Chef and the #adventureunicorn

Niamh! (she spelled her name phonetically on her cup, I swear I didn't misspell her name lol)

Aimee and T having a race on horse bouncy balls -- you'll have to see the video on FB, I was DYING

Hitching a ride on a golf cart
The bouncy horse tailgate had mustaches. We didn't ask questions, just went with it.
I mustache you a question.....

So funny story. I asked this cop if we could take a picture of #adventureunicorn in the back of his squad car. He stared at me in abject horror for a good 20 seconds and then told me it was the weirdest thing anyone had ever asked him. So we took a picture with the back of the car instead, and he peaced out of this location the minute we walked away.... hahahahaha.
Guarding the tailgate

"Plz to insert snax?" - Hank

Ashley, our favorite golf cart driver.

I bought this tequila just for the bottle #dontjudgeme

Were we drinking tequila? You be the judge

Jen and Nick had napkins left over from their wedding 8 years ago and THEY ARE ADORABLE

Hank preferred his water chilled (he had a big bowl of water but liked the drink bucket instead)

Bitsy is also SO PRECIOUS

The original internet strangers

Renate and Stephanie -- showing all of us how to do AWESOME HAIR

Me, Stephanie, Emma and Megan!

Requisite jump photo.
These ladies are my JAM.
Sunday morning Aimee, T and I made a brief pit stop at Karen's barn to snuggle Hampton (Renate actually got to RIDE him, so hopefully you get to hear about that soon!), and then headed back to the airport. I conned Aimee into staying an extra day, so the plan was to spend Monday playing with ponies... The weather was less than cooperative and it stormed it's ass off for a few hours in the morning but the sun came out and the arena was dry enough that we toodled around bareback on THE BEST MARES in the world before heading in to STL for a whirlwind sightseeing trip before I returned Aimee to the airport. I'm already looking forward to our next get-together, whether it's just flying to each other's cities, tailgating the Breeder's Cup in 2020 (which has been suggested already, lol), or whatever! Friends this good are hard to find and I love them so much. What a weekend!

These ladies are the bomb.com
Someone being remarkably grown up about being hacked bareback after weeks off haha. (pls ignore my boots we just went out to do chores and I had no intention of riding but then the arena was actually really nice so we did!)
Aimee and the #bestbaymareTM
I'm super mean and made her get on Ruby bareback even though there was no mane to grab on to (oh did I mention I roached Ruby? I DID and I LOVE IT)
happy happy happy
I look like death warmed up but these mares have my heart.
Cinna wasn't as excited as we were
Oh you know. Just cantering my feral baby mare around bareback with one hand after weeks off. As you do. Haha. I love her!

derp derp derp
#adventureunicorn (who was named Francois this weekend) gets culture at the Gateway Arch Museum!
Don't worry, Francois will get his own Facebook album or blog post about all his adventures, haha. Also Blogger is being a PAIN ABOUT PHOTOS and I am too tired to deal with it anymore so #sorrynotsorry