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Yesterday I shared with you my Kentucky Derby experience at Churchill Downs. Today, I will tell you about the time we had about 20-25 people in our tiny Cape Canaveral condo to watch horses run around in a circle for 2 minutes. Actually, it was really fun. Let me start at the beginning.

Matt was graduation with his Master’s degree from UCF around the same time as Derby day. I thought that a Master’s degree was a pretty big accomplishment. And since most of our Florida friends had maybe, that one time, heard of the Derby, (that’s the one with the horses, right?), we decided to have a Graduation/Derby Party.

We were a little concerned about the space issues, but we figured we would make it work. So, we decorated our little place with roses, jockey hats, and horses. We made Derby Pie and Mint Juleps, and held our breath that everyone would actually show up (we didn’t want to be stuck with all that bourbon!).

I had made little jockey silks and put them around the room with the name of the horse listed next to the silk. We had people draw a horse when they came in and then write their name next to the silk. They got a prize if their horse won or lost. Everyone loved having a horse to root for during the race.

It turned out to be lots of fun. Everyone squished into our place and sat/stood/squatted wherever they could find a place. The one detail we didn’t think about was the air conditioning. We forgot to turn it way down before everyone showed up and by the time we thought to turn it down, it was too late. So, if people look sweaty, it’s because it was hotter inside than it was outside.  And that’s saying something considering it was May in Florida.

Blue had a great time on the back porch with the balloons.

You can see the mint juleps in the bottom left of this next picture. I, personally, don’t care for mint juleps, but they turned out to be a big hit!

Even some jockeys showed up. That’s how awesome our party was.

All in all, we had an excellent time.  It did make me miss home when the trumpet player played My Old Kentucky Home, but it was great to share this tradition with our friends.

This year, we hope for a more comfortable party for our friends. We have a larger space with more chairs and now we know to cool the place down before everyone arrives! Also, we will be able to send people outside if they are getting too rowdy.  :)

Stay tuned for more Derby details!


As many of you know, this is the week before the Kentucky Derby. Matt and I are hosting our 2nd Derby Party this year, the first one at our house. While it is very exciting, the preparations for the party are also exhausting. So, this week I thought I would share some of my past Derby experiences with you.

If you live in Louisville, you have to go to the Derby at least once in our life. In 2006, I had the opportunity to go. But, since I was a poor college student, I could only afford the infield (still expensive at $40!).  Look, there are the twin spires!

Look how crowded it was! If you squint, I’m sure you can see someone really famous like Nick Lachey in Millionaire’s Row. (I actually don’t even know which on is Millionaire’s Row!).

There were lots of people dressed in strange get-ups trying to get the attention of the local media. Like this guy dressed as a jockey…and his horse.

When it came down to it, it was hot and there was no shade. We had to arrive super early in order to get a piece of grass and we all couldn’t get up at the same time because we might lose our spot of grass. There were lots of drunk people and this was the closest we got to see the horses:

We watched most of the actual Run for the Roses on the big screens and stood on tippy toe to see the horses whoosh by. It was wonderful to experience once, but I’m not sure I would go back to the infield for the Derby.

The best part of the day were these folks.

Some of my besties from back home. This was just a few weeks before I moved away from Louisville to Florida.  It’s hard to believe that was 4 years ago! We weren’t even old enough to order Mint Juleps! I miss them dearly!

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how we brought the Derby fun to all of our Florida friends. They didn’t know what they were missing!

Past Posts

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