Derby Pro Tip #1: Enter Gate #1 for your Cerrimonial Churchill Downs photo op.We made the mistake of entering Gate #3 and didn't find this until hours in!
About 3 months ago I started considering and planning a spring trip for us. Options like Mexico and Florida came up, and I couldn't have been more bored by those options. Don't get me wrong, going somewhere tropical is tempting, but Derby is what Really tripped my trigger.
Someone recently told me there is a healing process that happens after grieving or loss. A process than involves wanting to make plans, or taking a trip. A process that makes you excited to get back out there and be a bit of a human again. The Kentucky Derby has been on my bucket list for years, and This was My Year. Hence the #, #do all the things
So one day when P was at work, I leased our lodging(totally different blog post story!) And bought our Derby tickets. After looking at the infield vs. Grandstand seating options, I decided to go for the Infield seats.
1. Infield Seating
Technically there Is No seating. You can carry in your chair, and food and smuggle in copious amounts of Corvassier. But there are No seats.
I had read Tons of reviews of the infield and came to the conclusion it would be full of College frat boys and I would be knee deep in bile by the actual race.
Read: That Could NOT be furthur from the truth .more on That later..
So I Tell a good friend that I have booked and secured all items on Kentucky Derby bucket list, and he too is excited.
Then, he proceeds to let me know about 2 hours later he also has locked down lodging and..leveraged a lot of money for a few (2)of those Fancy seats. We debate for a bit if I should sell part of the farm for a few of those fancy seats of our own.
Nope. Not even if I'm sitting in between my #celebritythreesome of David Beckham, and Channing Tatum, am I going to spend That on Those seats. It was kind of a dick move. Here I hadn't gone anywhere In 3 years, and I am a squeeling school girl about making these plans, and he goes and blows it out of the water..thanks man..
So we all travel there, and head our separate ways to find our seats.
P and I enjoy the infield for about and hour and decide to do some snooping around.
Pro Tip #2 Wear comfortable shoes.
I'm Not talking wedges. I'm Not talking a stacked heel. I'm saying if you don't have a pair of flip flops in your Fendi purse, you'll want to cut your feet off by the end of the day. And believe me..I am a slave to fashion and as a self- inflicted heels girl and I WAS DYING. (More later)
Maybe it's part of the reconnaissance in P, but we have gotten in to places, and parties ,a record number of times, we shouldn't have. On one of our first dates, we were randomly moved to the front row of a Keith Urban concert! So, a few steps later we were up in those fancy seats. I could tell the girlfriend of my friends ass was a bit chapped we were there, but ask me if I care. We spent a few hours there, and boy was a I glad I didn't pay That fare.
Pro Tip #3: Grand stand seating is NOT worth the $$. You'll get the same sub par slimey pizza you see at the ball park. And the hot dogs on the rotisserie, are the same at Churchill Downs. And drunk people with money are worse than regular drunk people with marginal money. They're messier and more entitlistic.
Prior to the Derby race, the stands got stagnant, so we left..
Saving Grace of stealing our way into those seats?? Seeing the fashion!! I can't even tell you how many times people stopped to take my picture! If your a Grandstander, you need a grand hat..and not one of those Red Hat society pieces, or the piles of crap I saw at other " Derby parties" in Small-Waukee this weekend.
Pro Tip #4: Have Me make your hat... I actually brought along business cards with me to hand out..as I Knew people would ask about it. I then proceeded to leave them in my Other purse..#Epicfail.
See that seat above??^^You get to sit in a metal folding chair for the low low price of $1,000...Nope.
Back to the In field we went!
We're there Ton of people? Yes. Derby Day they still sell In field tickets for $60.
We had an Amazing time! Everyone e was super friendly, willing to share their whop punch and trade stories. Within minutes P had met a guy from Minneapolis that works for the same company.
Vineyard Vines has a massive music tent there, and they toss out a million freebies. Can you say GENIUS marketing!!? Suddenly several thousand people were putting pink foam whale hats on their heads. #thesearemypeople
The Infield sees all types.
I didn't see anone vomiting, and there were still plenty of pretty ladies in hats. Heck,, some of the boys looked better than the girls!
Leaving the park at the end of the day was a bit of a debocle, but Dianah and P made it through.
Pro Tip#5: Drive there, if you know you'll have a designated at the end of the day. Don't Uber, Don't even think about cabbing it.
For the low price of $25 we parked on a ladies lawn and had a marginally simple walk.
For those of you unfamiliar with Churchill Downs, it's not in the most decent neighborhood. But for the most part the patrons and residents realize that people are ready to spend lots of money, say F*ck it, let's cross
Derby off our Bucket!!
Hope you enjoyed my Derby Downlow!
We had such a great time and it honestly felt like a 2nd honeymoon!
Just what the Dr. Ordered.