What is a Kentucky Derby without a Mint Julep? We don't know, because we've never
experienced that. Here's Melanie at her first Kentucky Derby with her 3rd Julep of
the day. For the uninformed a Julep really only barely qualifies as a mixed drink -
the mix in this case being a teaspoon of sugar and a stalk of mint leaves. The
alcohol is Kentucky Bourbon, of course. These suckers go for $6.50 apiece but you
do get a nifty souvenir glass.
Here's Melanie, her hat, and a token spire. Despite this being her first Derby, she
jumped whole-heartedly into the hat fanfare decorating hers with roses, black-eyed
susans, and white carnations to represent the three triple crown races. For good
measure there were some horses on there as well (close-up farther down this page).
The glue-gun even got to make the trip to Louisville with us.
David and his hat. I feel the need to personalize my hat to the specific year and
the horse that I happen to be cheering for. This has the added boldness of informing
the entire universe on your picks for the big race and thus can lead to unheralded
gloating after the race, or more likely, eternal shame. In previous years using this
approach I had never done worse than 4th and thus had avoided the shame bit. This year,
well 'The Deputy' sort of underperformed. But at least I still had a cool hat.
Many people envision women in fancy dresses and elaborate flowered hats when they think
of the Kentucky Derby. Men in suits, Arabian princes, movie stars and so on. This is
what is known of as the 'other side of the track'. You don't see much about the
infield of Churchill Downs during TV coverage, even though there are a lot more people
there. The main reason of course is FCC regulations. Just about everything possible
happens somewhere in the infield and most of it is not suitable for general TV viewing.
Certainly not live television. This is the infield in mid-afternoon and a relatively
calm section. We could just as well have taken a picture of the co-ed naked mud
wrestling happening immediately to the right of this scene but we didn't. Go see it
for yourself - but don't get too close unless you want to get involved.
Far above the nudity, gambling, drinking, sex, and occassional violence that you might
not associate with the so-called 'bible belt', were three blimps, four helicopters,
and countless airplanes towing banners that said things like "Jen, will you marry me? -
Joe". Personally, I wonder how many Joes were alarmed to see such a generic banner.
The race itself may well be the most exciting 2 minutes in sport as it is billed. There
was a singing of 'My Old Kentucky Home' which we mostly seem to have missed, the post
parade, and of course the exciting part. I suppose I should mention that Fusaichi
Pegasus won, and that Melanie hit the exacta for a substantial sum of money which was
almost (but not quite) more than she bet. Me -- well, you saw the hat.
If you didn't, here it is again. These were our 4th juleps, respectively, making for a
nice set of glassware in the end.
The next day we visited Wyandotte Caves in southern Indiana which is really an
impressive place. Well, actually it's just another cave system, but the more
advanced tours they offer are really impressive. We spent about 5 hours in here
crawling through several inches of dust. Often in sections which were barely
larger than our heads. Like this one for instance. We emerged monochrome and
very thirsty. If you go, take water. It says 'no food or drink in cave' but