Four happy busloads of Kellogg students and some JVs set off on Friday for Kentucky Derby!
One bus had sleepers. Another had a "merlion" after hours of partying on the bus. Ours was quite moderate - a mix of sleepers and party people, but thankfully no merlion.
Late but yummy dinner at a KFC at some ulu place!
We were appalled by our appetite - the big bucket held four original and two grilled chicken; the small bucket was an unexpectedly huge individual serving of coleslaw; and the box was a scary portion of wedges.
Stayed the night at Days Inn at Columbus, Indiana. A real hotel room with continental breakfast for $31.50! The last time I stayed in such a cheap hotel was in France, a pensione that didn't provide towels or breakfast! Fine, the breakfast here wasn't fantastic but I really appreciated the coffee! We even had a microwave in the room to heat up our wedges!
Everyone was all decked out in pretty sundresses and hats. Even some of the men had fancy hats. I didn't bother getting one of those pretty wide-brimmed hats. Just clipped a brooch to an old hat instead.
I've had this hat for years. Unfortunately, with all the election stuff out there, I just looked like a Tin Pei Lin-wannabe *.*
I reiterate: I've had my hat for years.
But guess what, Sito's cuteness was even more powerful! :p
We discovered wifi on the coach but it was too early for the election results.
As we neared our destination, I saw people holding up home-made signs offering parking for $10 or $20 in their own garage. Many people in fancy gear were also walking towards Churchill Downs.
We got off at the parking lot and saw many people, young people, probably college kids, hanging out there. They must have been there for some time already because the smell of alcohol was everywhere! And then the smell of weed started floating in the air... Not wanting to get high, some of us walked off to Churchill Downs first.
There was quite a queue at gate 3 but it didn't take too long. Christian fundamentalists entertained us with loud speakers *.*
On the way leading to the tunnel that would bring us to the infield. I was a little stunned at first sight (sensitive la..) but soon found it cute :p
The infield was so much better than we had expected! It was not all grass, which would be really gross in the rain. It felt like a huge carnival, with gift shops and food tents. And very decent toilets!
After figuring out where our people were setting up the tarps, Sito and I went for a walk and in search of the Derby Museum.
A random girl posed with a random guy with a funny pony costume while another random guy with a pony on his head walked by and random people like me took pictures!
While the girls were generally in pretty summer gear, the men's fashion at the Derby was another story. This was already mild. Top was actually kind of purplish..
I missed the opportunity to take a photo of a guy wearing a bright purple bow tie with black polka dots hanging below the collar of a yellow shirt tucked into pink berms cos I had such a shock at seeing him!
Exaggerated hats were just about as common as the pretty pretty type. Weren't those things heavy??
We passed by a few spots where we saw some horses, some walking around, some racing by. But it was a chore getting right up to the fence.
Anyway, we soon found an underpass that led to the grandstand and found the museum. Unfortunately, both the museum and the cafe were closed that day! Argh!
So we left in search of better lunch options, but not before a picture at the main gate.
Settled for J Gumbo's just outside Churchill Downs. And they had wifi! We logged on to different websites and FB and Twitter for the latest updates and chatted with friends who were still awake :p
The results were not unexpected. Aljunied was doomed to be a tragedy regardless of outcome; I only wish that the WP team had contested in Tampines instead *evil* And while I like WKS, I feel so sorry for CST too.. After all the talk the past week, I'm looking forward to the line-up for the next cabinet, policy updates, more concrete stuff from the opposition MPs, and less wayang from everyone. Ok, no more Singapore talk for a while!
Back to the Derby.. Must show some food.. I took two hours to finish my bowl, and another hour or so to finish the cookie - I've never eaten so slowly all my life!
It was 5 pm before we left the restaurant :p Which gave us an hour to get a drink and bet on a horse or two before the big race.
And we returned to a really crowded infield! After a mild shower during lunch, the sun was out and people were drunk and happy. Really soaked in the atmosphere then..
It was time for some mint julep. The sign between two sale counters.
Funny things happened when I left Sito in the queue to take this picture..
a) A guy who just left a counter with his hands full asked me if I wanted to be in with the sign. Thanks, but I just want the sign. (And you don't have a spare hand if you realise!)
b) The next guy who left the counter, also holding two drinks, turned to me and, "You're hot!" Haha! Thanks! Then I went back to report to Sito!! He smiled =D
It was our turn and I didn't want to crowd in front of the counter. So I stepped back to take pictures of the helicopter banners. Then Random Bloke decided to step in and pose. I took a picture of him cos I also like to do stupid things like that :p
And finally we got our drink! Now, it's whisky, so I didn't expect it to taste too good. But I still wasn't prepared for how nasty it was! I took a sip and almost couldn't smile!
Remind me again why I stopped taking hard liquor...
Yet, the angmohs seemed to love it. Like this guy who had apparently had many many glasses of mint julep.
Headed back to the Kellogg tarps to chat with people and to catch the Derby race on the big screen. Managed to catch a glimpse of the horses as they raced past near us - super fast!! Lucky for us that the betting queues were too long, cos the horse we were thinking of didn't win, hoho!
We all left after that. Unfortunately, we had to stop by the portaloos at the parking lot cos the decent toilets at the infield had indecent queues. They were just mighty gross - floating waste and no washing water! We used some precious drinking water, and back on the bus, I took someone's offer of handwash gel, much as I find the idea of having dead bacteria on my hands disturbing..
Got home pretty late and slept until noon today. I still feel a little tired. I still feel the soreness in my butt from 14 hours of bus ride in two days. But it was actually quite fun. We'll probably take more road trips when we feel comfortable driving - driving lessons soon! But next year, we'll watch the Derby on the TV. Not going anywhere near portaloos!