Friday, April 10, 2009

Back from the Bluegrass!

Granted, it was only 5 days off (2 of which were the weekend, so we had them off anyway), but a vacation is a vacation... even if it's just a mini. Chrissy and I took a few days off work and went to Kentucky to see some horsies. We left early early Thursday morning from BWI and flew into Louisville. We picked up a car there, and headed to Churchill Downs, where they run the Kentucky Derby. We did the walking tour, and visited the Derby museum, where I ran into a woman who was doing research and taking photos for a book she is doing on things to do in Kentucky. She took my picture on a racehorse simulator, so I may appear in a photo collage in her book! Then we went to Woodford Reserve distillery. Woodford is the official bourbon of the Derby. Nice tour and nice tasting there. I won't go into full details on everything, or this post will be more like a novel.

Highlights - we visited the following stables: Vinery, Three Chimneys and Darley. We visited Old Friends, which is a retirement farm for former thoroughbred race horses. Spent quite a bit of time with Michael Blowen, who started and runs Old Friends. We went to Keeneland race course on Saturday. Went to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, and took a horse park tour (including Winstar Farms). We had dinner at Malone's steakhouse (a Top 10 in the Country on a few different lists). I tried bison for the first time, at Ted's Montana Grill, not Malone's (pretty good - not as tender as beef, but similar flavor). One of the funniest things that happened was when we were at Vinery. We saw a horse there named Repent. I went to pet him, and he moved his head around. Didn't quite try to nip my fingers, but not far from it. Then, I went to scratch his chin. Well, that must have just been the magic spot for him, because the moment my fingers made contact, he about fell into a trance. He became perfectly still. After a bit, I stopped, and he began moving around again. Then I went for the chin again, and sure enough, he froze. Cracked me up! Check it out...

Anyway, overall it was a very good trip. Saw lots of horses, had lots of good food. Did a lot of running around, though. Now, we're trying to catch up on our sleep. Not doing a very good job, I might add. I think I need another vacation.

P.S. Congrats to Sharon & Steve! They finally made it home yesterday after a long, arduous process to adopt their new daughter from Russia. Welcome home, Victoria!