Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fabulous Maui

Jason and I took some friends with us this year, and it was so much fun!  We all left our kids for 8 days and flew across the Pacific to enjoy some adult time--- and it was SO nice.
We did a lot of hanging out at the beach, but also spent a day driving to Hana.  We stopped and introduced them to Coconut Glen's non-dairy ice cream.  I dream about this stuff, so it definitely makes the LONG drive worth it.  (And the mosquito bites.  I got bit about 5 times while this picture was being taken!)
We found some gorgeous waterfalls, and got out to swim in a few of the pools.  They were COLD, but after a minute felt so good.  I love that about these pools. 

We ate some FABULOUS food.  As always.  But it's always exceptionally fabulous when we go to the Tommy Bahama restaurant in Wailea. 

And Jason is always happy when he can have lilikoi crème brulee.
(It was fabulous.)
We watched some FABULOUS sunsets.  (I'm going to stick with the word fabulous, just cause I'm in that kind of mood.)
We agreed that the ones at home are just as FABULOUS, but you know, we're in Hawaii so they're even better. 
The boys were determined to work out every day, and ran on the beach and did cross fit. 
(They looked fabulous.)
The girls were not as motivated.
(Sleep is fabulous.) 
But we did do some hiking along the lava fields by La Parouse bay.

The morning we left I got up early to enjoy the solitude of our beach.  It was......
(wait for it)

May catch-up

The day after I got home was Ashton's Mother's Day Tea party at pre-school.  I'm so glad I didn't miss it!  It was fun to dress up, go to the school and have treats and listen to the kids sing songs to all the moms. 

This is also the day that the teachers present us with scrapbooks they make for each kid.  I still can't believe they go to all that work! 

Baseball games were many...... McKay was pitching a lot, which was exciting!  Especially since he was the youngest and smallest on the team.

Hunter's big Marimba Band field trip also happened in May.  He and I traveled to Spokane with the band where they performed at a few elementary schools, spent the night, then performed at the Spokane Lilac Festival the next morning.  It was perfect weather--- absolutely gorgeous. 

After they performed for about an hour, we packed up the Marimbas, and walked around the car show for awhile, eating fried oreos and an elephant ear. 

They the band headed to Silverwood for the rest of the day!  We rode rides, went to the magic show, ate pizza and ice cream.......just a good day!

At the end of the month was Ashton's preschool graduation. 

They sang songs and then had a small graduation ceremony.
I didn't get too emotional since he'll be back in the fall for one more year.  Next year I expect to get quite emotional though.....all my boys went to this preschool and this one's my last!

Ashton with his two best buddies!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Kentucky Derby

Growing up I always watched the Kentucky Derby with my parents-- it was a tradition.  We'd watch all three hours of coverage, pick our favorite horse, and yell and scream during the race.  Then we'd watch the next two races of the triple crown and hope the Derby winner-- whoever it was-- would actually win all three.  It never happened, but it was fun to hope each year.
 Attending the Derby has become a bucket list thing for me, and this year I was able to check it off the list.  Through a business associate of my Dad's, he was able to get us tickets and brought my sis and I along. He flew us to Lexington, Kentucky, which was as beautiful as I'd imagined-- especially from the air.
We arrived at our hotel in Lexington and found gifts from our hosts waiting in our room.  While in Kentucky I learned I like the taste of Bourbon.  They put it in everything!  We had a box of chocolate Bourbon balls in our gift basket, plus the hotel had them in the lobby.  We grabbed a few each time we went in and out.

That night they met us at a popular restaurant, frequented by racing stars. 

I walked around looking at all the top names in horse racing. 

The next day we toured the Lexington country side and some horse farms.  We started at a stud farm owned by the Sheik of Dubai's brother. 
We are going to be building our barn soon, so I took lots of pictures of barns to get inspired!  These are all a little fancier than we're planning, but hey, I can dream. 
Here's a nice stud you can hire for his, um, services. 

We got to see the staging and sample collection area inside the barn, and I got a lot of my questions answered about how it all works.  When we bred my mare we did artificial insemination, so this was all new to me.   The racing world doesn't allow artificial insemination, so they've got this down to a science.  It was fascinating. 

The Lexington countryside was gorgeous-- everywhere.  I wasn't expecting every inch of Lexington to look like this, but it did.  Apparently it's because the whole area is atop a large plate of limestone, and the limestone is what makes the Kentucky bluegrass so special. 

I learned that an enclosure with horses in it is called a paddock--- unless it has cows in it and then it's ok to call it a pasture.  (I rolled my eyes on that one.)  And you absolutely do NOT have vinyl fences in Lexington.  It's just not done.  These are all wood.  I showed our guide this picture of the white vinyl fence around my pasture, and he agreed it looked nice and is definitely more durable. 
"But in Lexington it's just not done."
Another eye roll.
We visited the barn were Seattle Slew spent his short retirement before he died.  One of the stalls still has his name on it.

We also visited a farm of mares and foals. 

The owner believes in imprinting, so he encourages people to touch and engage with them. We were able to pet and play with a few of the friendly ones.

That night we cleaned up and attended a pre-Derby party at the mayor of Lexington's house. 

Then we had a late dinner at a French restaurant, where we had a Bourbon flavored bread pudding.  (I'm tellin' ya, yummy stuff.)
The next morning we were met by our hosts with cars to take us to Louisville and a pre-Derby brunch at an old historical home.  Our driver had a box of Bourbon balls waiting for us--- he knew us too well!
We had a tour of the historical home, then went outside for the brunch.  They had these adorable little pecan tarts for dessert. 

Then we headed just past the University of Louisville to Churchill Downs, which was absolutely PACKED.  This was a record breaking crowd apparently.  And it looked like a giant costume party, with everyone dressed up and drinking and smoking cigars.  Luckily we had seats in the Jockey Club, so we were able to escape to a calmer scene.
We did walk around for awhile to find the gift shop though, and ran into a group of handsome firemen.  I explained my husband was a cop, so they took a picture with us to send to him. 
Haha, sorry honey.

It was a beautiful day-- absolutely perfect weather.

And then if you follow horse racing, you know that history was made this year.  The favorite American Pharoah won the Derby, then 2 weeks later won the Preakness, then 3 weeks later won the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown Winner during my lifetime.  It finally happened the year that I went to the Derby.
Yep, it was me.
You're welcome racing fans!