Good morning everyone! Do you have big plans for this rainy Mother’s Day?
My plans are very slim today – they include some laundry (blegh), some work (double blegh) and some recovering from two days of fun. Between graduation and all of its festivities on Friday, and Steeplechase yesterday, I’m ready for a more relaxing day today!
But let’s rewind, shall we, and hear about Steeplechase? We headed off to Percy Werner Park at 9:30am, after a brief fiasco involving a flat tire and a change of drivers (don’t worry – it wasn’t my car!) Due to a little miscommunication error, we had quite the load to haul from our car over to the tailgate site! Us three little girls had to carry four folding chairs, three bottles of champagne, a box of cupcakes and a box of brownies, a tote stuffed with sunscreen and various food items, a bag chair, plus all of our purses, jackets, etc.
Plus, it starting raining on our close-to-one-mile-hike. We were quite the sight. Needless to say, I got my arm workout in for the day! Claire could barely pick up her birthday champagne cup all day, and I woke up with my arms killing me this morning. Yet another example of squeezing a little exercise in, unbeknownst to me!!
Our tailgate site was a pretty sweet setup – we had a tent, several chairs, a table loaded down with all kinds of eats (fried chicken, chips and salsa, spinach-artichoke dip, a veggie tray, blackberries and strawberries, multiple desserts), a cooler filled with drinks, and another table to play games on.
First things first upon arrival – we popped some birthday champagne to celebrate Claire’s big day! The champagne that poor Greer carried the mile from the car, shoved down into the bag chair bag to escape discovery.
She even had a birthday sash and princess cup! What more can a girl ask for? The first hour or so was pretty rainy, but luckily I had my new J.Crew rain coat complete with hood (I wanted to be prepared for London!) and the other girls had ponchos. Even so, we mainly stayed under our tent eating and drinking and dancing to the music, waiting for the rain to subside.
After about an hour or so, it started to clear up and we thankfully stayed dry for the rest of the day! Everyone had on their pretty dresses, so we were glad to not have to cover them up for the whole time.
Our group was a hodgepodge of people, mainly from Claire’s grad school program, but lots of other people drifted in and out throughout the day. When we broke into a few afternoon rounds of some games, we even made a new jockey friend!
Sadly for us, he wasn’t a real jockey. He was a good team member though, as his team was usually victorious! By this point in the day, it had gotten pretty cold. I was definitely glad that I ran back inside at the last minute and threw on my rain jacket – lots of our girls didn’t have anything, and they spent a lot of the day huddled in the trunk under a blanket.
We did manage to see a few horses run by, although I didn’t see a program or list of the races all day. Formal betting isn’t allowed in Tennessee, so there was no official booth set up to bet on the horses like at Churchill Downs. Plus, Steeplechase is a much different racing environment. I told Claire that it looked like the horses were running so slow!
Clearly they were going somewhat fast, since the picture is blurry, but since they do jumps and such they don’t run nearly as fast as at Churchill. Luckily our setup was pretty close to the rail, so we were able to wander over and see most of the races throughout the day!
It was especially cool when they were running on the inside track, since that was literally right on the other side of the rail. I felt like you could have easily reached out and touched them! By about 5:30pm, the races were wrapping up and we started to pack up for the day. Luckily we didn’t have to lug the chairs and all back to our car, as Chris had his car right in the tailgate site. We just had to lug ourselves!
We headed home to the Grove, cleaned off our shoes and dirty feet, and then Greer, Claire and I set off for a little birthday Mexican dinner at Chago’s Cantina. It was the perfect ending to a fun day, celebrating one of my dear friends. Happy 23rd again Claire! We certainly celebrated in style.