Posts Tagged "Kentucky"

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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Welcome Home! A Short Tour of Five States

Dear Kid,

Aligators and Florida Citrus DearKidLoveMom.comWhat an end to our trip. Yesterday we drove through

Florida—home of oranges, grapefruits, ALIGATOR HEADS!!!, and peach cider

Spanish Moss and billboards in Georgia DearKidLoveMom.comGeorgia—home of Spanish moss, PECANS!!!, more billboards per linear highway foot than any other place in the universe, and Atlanta (where it is practically impossible to get a speeding ticket because it is practically impossible to drive the speed limit)

Tennessee—home of country music (we didn’t hear any), Volunteers (we didn’t see any), and fog (we saw lots)

Night in Kentucky and Tennessee

Kentucky—home of horses, bourbon, and other things we couldn’t see because it was after midnight when we hit Kentucky

Ohio—home of us.

All in all it was a lot of driving in the rain. Lots and lots of rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain. It was nice having extra drivers to split up the trip—thanks for all your help driving and navigating.

I especially enjoyed when Dad was driving and we had the great pleasure of listening to football on the radio—with spotty reception. Yay. On the other hand, Dad put on your headphones to block out your music when you were driving and I subjected everyone to the music from Chicago and Pippin (Pi still drives in a music-free environment) so I guess it was all fair. Then again, I’m not sure in which universe “fair” and “fuzzy reception” fit in the same sentence.

Welcome Home, sweetie.

Love, Mom

Haven’t had time to LIKE Now is great time to take care of that!

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High School Football Excursion to Kentucky | Facts About KY You Probably Didn’t Know

Welcome to KentuckyDear Kid,

Yesterday, we packed 3½ weeks’ worth of provisions, donned expedition gear, and crossed the border into Kentucky for the football game. We did not encounter any significantly vicious wildlife (other than a few mosquitoes), but we did fight the brutal Rush Hour Traffic Beast (we eventually won, but the RHTB captured a decade or two we’ll never see again). There was a truck accident on the highway and what should have been about a 50 minute drive to Union, KY became a 2 hour excursion in which we got to see the sites of far too many Small Towns in Kentucky. I think we passed through Rabbit Hash, but the mayor wasn’t around so it wasn’t as eventful as it might have been.

Meet the Mayor of Rabbit Hash, Ky
Lucy Lou is a red & white border collie who has lived her whole life in Rabbit Hash. She is in town every day and has appointed herself the town tour guide, meeting visitors and making sure they see all the sights. She won the mayoral election on the non-partisan canine ticket and supports feline and canine presence in the General Store.

We passed other notable sites including Big Bone Lick, Gun Powder Plaza (named after Gun Powder Creek), Turkeyfoot Road, and more than one McDonald’s.

There are (some) blue people in Kentucky. We didn’t see or meet any, but it’s an interesting story. The Fugates were an extended family living in an isolated hollow in Eastern Kentucky. Most members of the family had “hereditary methemoglobinemia,” an enzyme deficiency that causes a person’s blood to run vein blue as opposed to arterial red. Instead of being pink, these people are tinted blue or purple. The condition is based on a recessive gene which clan founder Martin Fugate and his wife both carried. They settled in Troublesome Creek (seriously—was the name not a sufficient clue that living somewhere else might be a better idea?) sometime in the mid-19th Century. Cousins marrying cousins was commonplace among isolated Appalachians, so by the time a doctor discovered the Fugates in the 1960s, there were several blue people living in the hills.

The football game was a smashing success if you measure such things by the scoreboard and percentage of PATs made. Since that’s my primary method of evaluating games, it was a smashing success: our heroes won 28-0 with Pi scoring 4 for 4 PATs. (Films today are unlikely to fall into the category A Fun Time For All. There were a lot of mistakes and a LOT of penalties. One suspects the coaches might have a Word or Two to share with the team.)

In other news, I will be working the concession stand for the JV game in a  little while. Then later Booker has his annual physical which he is very excited about. Well, he would be excited if he knew what I was talking about. He loves the unlimited supply of treats there, although he’s not a big fan of the poking and prodding and shot giving. Poor pooch.

Best of luck with the 5K row–we’ll be eager to hear about it.

Love, Mom


I bow humbly to your proofreading skills….

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