Before last week, I had never been to Kentucky. In fact, I had never been anywhere in the south. Unless you are of the school of thought that DC is in the south. Although, I consider it the mid-Atlantic. Truthfully, my expectations were low and in large part set by preconceived notions.
This is my take away from Kentucky.
1. It is beautiful
2. People are so nice
Work and personal life has been a bit non-stop recently and I felt myself being absorbed into the pace of DC; a pace I have worked very hard to separate myself from. I pride myself on being laid back and Type B which is a harsh contrast to the rest of DC. And lately, I'm embarrassed that the line was blurring a bit. I have caught myself feeling frustrated at people walking slower than a "commuters pace" and becoming tightly wound when things fall off schedule. Training for a 10k has been a great stress relief but it pales in comparison to three days surrounded by horses in the lush green grasses of Kentucky.
In addition to the Derby, our itinerary for the weekend included touring race training facilities, horse stables, and a retirement home for horses. I found myself stepping away from the group so that I could enjoy the silence. Looking for a peaceful and calming force? Spend some time alone on a farm where for as far as you can see the view is of horses and green pastures. Oh and have lunch at a bourbon distillery too. That doesn't hurt :)
The Derby itself was such an incredible experience. The people watching, the hats, the fun....I mean, I'm not sure I have words to describe it. It really was just one of those once in a life time experiences. A few of the other hosts on the trip were my age and we were all Derby first timers. It was so fun to share the experience with other first timers and girls that I genuinely hope to keep in touch with. Churchill Downs had strict rules about DSLRs so I could only use my phone for pics hence the low quality collage below.
TL;DR- Kentucky is beautiful and if you ever get a chance to go to the Kentucky Derby. GO. It is SO MUCH FUN.