Posts Tagged "hats"

Big Hats, Mint Juleps, Horses, and Roses (It’s Kentucky Derby Day)

Dear Kid,

If you thought today was just going to be Another Saturday you’d be Oh So Wrong.

Think horses, big hats, betting, and mint juleps, and yes, it is Kentucky Derby Day.

And if you thought Kentucky Derby Day means watching 2 minutes of horse racing, you’d be right—but only partially so.

If you’re a horse, you can’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to be a contender. You have to qualify by earning points in a series of 35 races. The top 20 point earners get to compete in The Derby and run for the roses (roses first appeared at the Kentucky Derby in 1896).

If you’re planning a Kentucky Derby Party (it’s a little late at this point, but it’s good advice for next year), be sure your venue has more than the traditional party allotment of square footage per person. This is because hats are a big thing on Derby Day. And by “big thing” I mean important to the event as well as brim size. Because Kentucky Derby Hats are BIG. Some are even bigger than the jockeys. All the jockeys put together. Side Note: Horses are not required to wear big hats.

For those heading down to Louisville for the races, there is a highly civilized schedule (and by “highly civilized” I mean mint juleps are available from 8am to 7pm).

This is how the official Kentucky Derby site says to make mint juleps. (Check your license for age appropriateness, please.)

  • Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon
  • Silver Julep Cups

Since the recipe takes 24+ hours, you’re out of luck if you didn’t start yesterday.

You can go out to the infield to see what’s happening inside the track (anytime today), you can watch the Military Armed Forces swearing in ceremony (2:15), or you could go crazy and watch one of the 13 horse races that will be running.

Events run all day, but things get serious around 5pm when Josh Groban sings the National Anthem. Following this seriousness, the Derby is trying to set a Guiness World Record by having “The World’s Largest Champagne Toast”. Not sure how that relates, but what the heck.

Then the horses parade out (it’s now probably about 5:55) to lots of commentary and last minute betting. At 6:15 comes the Rider’s Up call.

At 6:20pm, everyone becomes instantly sober for the most important moment of the day—the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Did you notice how much closer to race time this song is compared to the Anthem? There is room for much commentary here, but I’m skipping all that today.

And at 6:34, the race begins.

Happy Kentucky Derby Day,

Love, Mom


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The Royals (In Case You’ve Been Watching March Madness)

Dear Kid,

Have you been watching The Royals? Probably not, because you’ve probably been studying non-stop. I’m sure it’s not because you’ve been watching basketball, even if we are mid-March Madness in April.

I have now watched three episodes, which should be enough to make me an expert.

My Opinion: Stick with the basketball. I mean studying.

The Royals--What's your opinion?The Royals is not a great show. It doesn’t even manage to be a good show, although I keep watching and waiting for the fairy godmother of writing to fling her wand in and fix things.

I even went so far as to read a few reviews about it to see if I’d missed something. The only thing I missed was a great line written by Vicki Hyman of NJ Advance Media for Talking about the clothing on the show she wrote, “…outrageous fashions (there is hardly a frock that isn’t gynecological in nature)…”

I keep expecting The Royals to somehow turn into something fab. But it doesn’t. Unfortunately, I appear to be captivated, and turn from reruns of House and CSI to The Royals on Sunday evenings like the loyal subject I am.

Unless you are obsessed with outrageous hats at physics-defying angles, stick with schoolwork. I’ll stick with The Royals for a few more episodes and let you know if anything changes enough to disrupt your studying schedule.

Don’t bet on it.

Love, Mom

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EPCOT, Rain, Hats, and a Whole LOT of Food

Dear Kid Mickey,

Thank you for a lovely day at EPCOT. We had several skeptics in our family, all of whom were converted to fans by the end of the day.

Hats at EPCOT DearKidLoveMom.comOf course, we ate our way from one end of the world to the other. We enjoyed Bouche de Noel, grapefruit beer, apple strudel, chocolate mousse (not to be confused with you, oh Round Eared One), crepes, many choices of Chinese food, gelato, and probably more that I’ve forgotten. Yes, a bit heavy on the dessert side, but we made up for it at dinner at the Nine Dragons. It’s not obvious that the 900 miles we walked will be sufficient to burn off the calories. It’s not obvious that dieting for the next 30 months will be sufficient, but it was all really good. Especially the mousse. Yum!

Two little maids, I mean, Three little...? DearKidLoveMom.comThe night-ending Illumination was spectacular. As The Kid said, “They really figured out how to use the smoke from the fireworks to their best advantage.” Tal said it was the best fireworks and light display she’s ever seen. I’m rather inclined to agree.

Somehow we managed to avoid the worst of the rain (so clever of us, don’t you think?) by being at dinner during what we were assured by other guests was an absolute deluge and then running between a few raindrops for the rest of the evening. Thanks for turning off the rain during the Illumination, because I’m not sure I’d have been happy to stand and watch it during a monsoon, and it was definitely worth staying for.

We didn’t get to see Figment during our visit; please tell him we said hi.

FACT: It is true that teenagers can go an entire day without TV during vacation.

UNPROVEN: We have not yet established that teenagers can go an entire day without their cell phones, although they were judicious in their use of their communication devices.

My Favorite EPCOT Characters DearKidLoveMom.comAgain, thanks for inviting us to come and visit. We had a great time and hope you’ll visit us in a Ohio soon.

Love, Mom

Dear Kid,

Thanks for your help planning an outstanding field trip.

Love, Mom

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