Day Four: Happy Birthday, The Oaks and a Little Rain

The day started with Scott, Annelies and I waking Paradis up to a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday and cake. A tradition in our family. She was excited. I can hardly believe my little girl is 13. Have I said that yet?

We packed up, said good-bye to the horses, and drove into Louisville for the Kentucky Oaks. It was so fun to see everyone dressed up. I was amazed at all the fancy outfits and hats. The hats. I couldn't believe the hats! When we first looked at getting tickets to the Derby, the only seats that were available cost $350 each, so Scott and I decided to expose the girls to some 'culture' and get general admission tickets for only $40. General admission is located in the infield of the track, and means you get no seat, you don't see a single horse, and you hang around people that drink a lot of alcohol. Therefore we weren't wearing hats!
It was crowded and hot. Very crowded ... and very hot. I counted five kids at the Oaks, two of them being mine. Let's just say this isn't a 'family friendly' event. Annelies gets anxious in large crowds, so she calmed her mind by counting cigarette butts on the ground as we walked. From the gift shop to the infield she counted 529. Way more cigarette butts than kids!

But we wiggled our way to the Waging Kiosks, made some bets, and watched the race on the overhead screens. Betting was the best part of the day. We all raced individually on the big Oaks race and Annelies and Paradis bet on a couple others.
An hour before the big race, scheduled for 5:45pm, people started walking around saying, "A thunderstorm is coming." We all looked at each other, and packed up quickly. We almost made it to the parking lot when it started to rain. It was there that Paradis' got a free sample of her favorite drink. Monster.

We drove to our hotel, just south of Louisville, and caught the final race on TV. The Oaks was won by Believe You Can with 10-1 odds, and ridden by Rosie Napravnik the first female jockey to ever win the Kentucky Oaks. Exciting. We spent $31 on bets, and won $4.30. We didn't think that was bad. We later heard they evacuated the infield due to rain; we were glad we didn't leave at the same time as the other 112,000 spectators!

At the hotel the girls hit the pool without hesitation.

Paradis selected Colton's Steak House for dinner. Scott secretly told the hostess it was her birthday when we arrived and ordered an ice cream. As the waitstaff began ringing the bell and singing Happy Birthday, Paradis joined in with the clapping until she realized it was for her! You should have seen her face. It was priceless! It was a good day ... Happy Birthday Paradis!


I'm skipping the statistics today, because I'm behind on entering in our spreadsheet. They don't let you bring your laptop into Churchill Downs on Oaks day. Can you believe it??!!

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