The Medwives Do the Derby

Last Friday, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, four of us dove into a car and headed south (south! The land of warmth and sunlight!), blasting one-hit-wonders from the 90s and 00s. Six hours later we were giggling in bed at my friend Lauren’s childhood home in Louisville (pronunciation: lou-vull. The more you slur, the better. I’m still working on it). Who knew girls-only sleepovers could be so fun in your mid-twenties? Well. I suspected. But anyway.

The next morning we were all dolled up and ready to channel our best southern belle. Lauren didn’t have to pretend, she’s a native Louisvillian (a definite plus for Derbying).

Perfect photo op under the dogwood in Lauren's front yard.

Perfect photo op under the dogwood in Lauren’s front yard.

After a big brunch, we parked and started walking toward Churchill Downs. The crowd kept getting bigger as we grew closer; in fact, we later found out that this Derby had the highest attendance of any Derby, ever. So. Lots of people, everywhere.

We had infield tickets, which means we had standing-room only, and no access to anyplace you could actually see the track. So we spent most of our time milling around the outer courtyard, people-watching and conversing. We also hit up all the Derby traditions.

1. Big hats. Obviously.

Individual portraits, because if there is a good time for these it's when the southern belle version of yourself is out in full force.

Individual portraits, because if there is a good time for these it’s when the southern belle version of yourself is out in full force.

2. The Mint Julep

A mint julep sounds fancy and delicious. I knew we were supposed to drinkΒ one, but had no idea what was in it. After my first sip, though, I could tell you: BOURBON. And not much else. (Actually, bourbon, simple syrup, muddled mint leaves, and ice.) It’s a good thing I like bourbon, but I won’t be ordering mint juleps on the regular.

Thanks for sacrificing the right side of your face for the sake of this selfie, Lauren.

3. Singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Lauren played this for us on the way down, but I was totally fudging the lyrics. Also I kind of felt like a traitor to Minnesota.

4. Betting. (Sorry, Mom)

Michael happens to be really good at picking winners, so I asked him for advice.

Proof.

Proof.

#18 was Michael’s pick (the first seed, BORING), and #2 was mine– Carpe Diem. Because I liked the name.

This is #18, American Pharoah. We got to see the horses before they went in to the track.

This is #18, American Pharoah. We got to see the horses before they went in to the track.

I was glad we got to see at least this much!

Well, you could easily look up who won so this isn’t exactly a spoiler, but as usual– MICHAEL WAS RIGHT.

Winning tickets and losing tickets.

It was fun. I wasn’t expecting to win, but having a couple specific horses to cheer did make the race more fun to watch.

There are actually races all day long, but the big one (the Derby) happens around dinnertime. So we were just hanging out for the majority of the day, soaking it all in and killing our feet with all the walking and standing. The walk back to the car felt approximately seven times farther than it had that morning.

The next day, we had another delicious brunch with Lauren’s family (thank you, Blakemores, for having us!) and then got to see some more of Louisville before heading home.

The Louisville Slugger. Throwback to my softball days!

The Louisville Slugger. Throwback to my softball days!

65 degrees in Louisville feels completely different from 65 degrees in Cleveland. We all felt it, but none of us could explain. It was a beautiful, warm weekend.

These ladies. I tell ya.

These ladies. I tell ya.

Having traveled together now, we know we can do it again! Here’s to more adventures, Medwives. Love you.

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2 thoughts on “The Medwives Do the Derby

  1. Pingback: Summer Is Here! | The Hermelin Family Blog

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