Nine days ago we packed our bags and loaded up our Expedition for the long ten-hour drive from our home in North Carolina to our native home of Kentucky. It was a trip we had not made in several years. We picked this week specifically because it was the main week of the Kentucky Derby Festival. For my wife, a native of Louisville, Derby Week is ingrained into the soul and its been hard for her over the 15 years we have been gone and hopefully we satisfied her yearnings for a while.
The week will go down as her most memorable vacation in a long time. I wanted this week to be all about Sherry. If she wanted to do it, we did it and if I got to take photos, all the better. She had a very packed and aggressive schedule planned and we made most of the events and made all the key events.
Spring time in Kentucky means unpredictable weather. It has been known to snow this week and rain is always a problem. Temperatures can soar into the low ’90’s or can require the heat to be on all week. When attending festival events the weather can make or break a trip. Winds and rain threatened almost every outdoor event this week. The rains came during off hours, the winds delayed but didn’t cancel any events and even for those attending the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby were granted dry conditions making it almost a near perfect week.
This website’s blog posts have been a daily diary of our exploration. We hope you have enjoyed reading the stories and viewing the photos as we got to experience the events first hand.
The week was full of favorite moments and very few forgettable ones. The highs include:
- The Balloon Glow
- Getting Kissed by a Horse
- Watching the Bed Races
- Picking the Derby Winner! (a 45-1 longshot!)
- Scoring front row seats in the main review stand for the parade
- Spending time with the newest family member, Sydney, 8 months, who we had never seen
- White Castle and Skyline Chili
- Seeing Family and Friends
And the two low points, besides the weather concerns included:
- Not getting all the Carolina Hurricanes playoff hockey games
- Not having a DVR. We didn’t have a clue how much we use the rewind live TV feature.
As tradition before each running of the Kentucky Derby, just after the “Call to the Post” and the National Anthem, Stephen Foster’s song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played. Never has the song meant as much to me as it did when it was played Saturday as the final lyrics struck me:
Weep no more my Lady. Oh weep no more today.
We will sing one song for my Old Kentucky Home,
For my Old Kentucky home, far away.
Kentucky is my home, not North Carolina, though thats were I live. Staying away all these years from family and friends is not good. We should not be bound by distance, gas costs, schedules, or the other excuses of life. Being away from your home is not healthy for the mind, body or soul. We must work harder to make sure that our old Kentucky home isn’t as far away.
But for now, its back to work on Monday. Time to hit the ground running and act like we never missed a beat during our nine-day excursion.
I thank you for following along.
Rob & Sherry!