Last Saturday I took day trip with 16 of my fellow Boston bloggers for an afternoon of horse racing! Organized by America’s Best Racing and Centennial Farms, we were whisked from Boston on a private bus over to Saratoga with Fox Sports 1 in tow! On the 3 hour trip we were all interviewed about our different blogs, what we were wearing, and what we were most excited about doing in Saratoga. Of course, we nibbled on some snacks and indulged in some wine provided to us by Richer Pour, a Boston based company that specializes in wine on tap.
When we arrived we went straight to the Fasig-Tipton Auction House, where we were greeted with a private lunch and mimosa & bloody mary bar. During lunch we were fortunate enough to meet with Don Little, Jr. of Centennial Farms as well as Jimmy Jerkens, trainer for Wicked Strong, the 4th place finishing horse in the 2014 Kentucky Derby. We all have a soft spot for Wicked Strong, as a percentage of his race winnings get donated to Boston’s One Fund.
We mingled on the balcony for a bit (taking outfit pictures, of course!) before learning about how to bet on horses with Tom Amello from Trackfacts. Pictured above is Amy from Cupcakes n Couture, Katherine from Style Tab, and Heather from Glamorous Baggage. Aren’t their fascinators amazing?
After lunch we headed over to the Saratoga Race Course where we were granted VIP paddock access to see some of the horses up close! Here I’m meeting Black Jack, one of the escort ponies at the track.
We didn’t get to see any of the racehorses up close (they needed to relax before their race!) but we got to watch them being lead out of the paddocks to the track by their handlers and owners.
Once out of the paddocks and onto the tracks they get paired up with their escort ponies. I learned that the escort ponies help keep the racehorses calm and under control while amidst all of the noise and commotion that is happening in the stands nearby.
For one of the races I was able to get right up to the fence and snapped some pictures as the horses crossed the finish line. The man next to me helped explain the length of the track. It’s measured in “furlongs” which equal 1/8 of a mile.
After being total lumps on the beach all day, we drove into Old San Juan one night for some shopping, sightseeing, and dinner. I’ve been to Old San Juan before, but it had been a while, so it was fun to see the fortress and elaborate cemetery. We spent the night wandering around the city and ended up having dinner at Triana’s where we ate some Spanish tapas and watched a flamenco show!
One of my favorite artists, David Gray, just released his 10th studio album and I was able to get a sneak peek of the tracks! You can definitely hear his signature raspy voice in Mutineers, but the album as a while has a new and distinct sound different from his other albums.
A favorite song was Last Summer, which has this amazing subtle sound that reminded me of traditional Chinese music. Its not overpowering, but you can especially hear it in the instrumental section of the song. Back in the World was the album’s single, and it definitely sounded more like a “David Gray” song. Cake and Eat It was one of the more fun tracks on the album, and there was something about Birds of the High Arctic that I really loved.
Like what you hear? His entire album is now available at DavidGray.com!
In honor of the Kentucky Derby, tonight I’m making some Mint Juleps — modern girl style! Here’s what you’ll need:
-Sprigs of fresh mint
Muddle together 2 teaspoons of water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the mint leaves in a Collins glass or mint julep cup. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add 2 – 2.5 oz of bourbon and garnish with a remaining mint sprig! I don’t have any real mint julep cups, but these cute glasses are my new favorite way to serve cocktails! If you look closely, they are etched with the phase, “l’eau minérale”, or “mineral water” in French.
And because it’s not the Kentucky Derby with a fabulous hat, here are some of my favorites:
I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Barcelona while my brother was studying abroad. Two weeks was quite a long time to be in one city, and by the end of the trip I literally felt like I had moved there since I was running out of tourist places to visit. I even visited the aquarium — thats how much time I had on my hands! Here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip:
We spent a lot of time walking around by the water.
La Boqueria Market was one of my favorite places. I wouldn’t mind having one of these at home!
Just like in Paris, I saw lots of people playing bocce in sand courts.
Our hotel was all dressed up for new years.
I loved listening to the street artists. This guy was playing at the Arc de Triomf.
I’d definitely like to visit again, and to tour a little more around the country to see more of what Spain has to offer. My Spanish is pretty non-existent, so maybe I should start practicing!