Tuesday, November 22, 2011

When Faking It Is Better

Posted by: Keri Stevens
Last week, my BFF, our mothers and I went adventuring. We enjoyed a luxury night in Louisville's Brown Hotel enjoying a private dinner prepared by the chef and a series of cocktails featuring Kentucky's luxury spirit: Bourbon.
BourbonWomen.org at the Brown Hotel
But that's not all we did...oh, no! That's not all!
My Crys and my Momma.

We spent the next day on Millionaire's Row at Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) enjoying the horse races, a wonderful buffet, mint juleps and a bit o' gambling.
Millionaire Row are the 4th and 6th floor upper balconies/banquet halls. They're called that because on Derby Day, if you ain't a millionaire you ain't getting in.

We admired the hats on display in the Kentucky Derby Museum and I went back to the buffet for seconds.
This is NOT a Derby hat. But if you ever get into the museum, you'll see that people wear far crazier things on their head during the first weekend in May in Louisville, KY.

The Kentucky Derby is considered the two most expensive minutes in sports. After our tour of Churchill Downs, we understood why: The seats in Millionaire's Row--the very seats we were sitting in!--run about $20,000 during the Derby. They are filled with the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Saudi royalty. If you or I show up on Derby day, we won't even get near the door.
We got close enough to touch the horses. And the jockeys. But we restrained ourselves.

We did not spend $20K for our day of luxury. We spend $40 apiece for the buffet and a shared tabled for eight. We spend $15 on the museum admission. We spent $8 apiece on mint juleps in souvenir glasses from the 2010 Kentucky Derby. And we gambled about $20 apiece. (I, for one, was a winner--coming away $3.30 ahead!)

If you're ever in Louisville, I strongly encourage you and yours to spend a day faking the high life at Churchill Downs!

For those of you disappointed that this post had nothing to do with sex, here's a chance at a consolation prize. For YOUR sake, I had a SECOND mint julep, and now can give away a Kentucky Derby souvenir glass (which I washed, I swear!) to a random commenter on this post. Please say hi in the comments before midnight, Sunday 11/27/11 for your chance to win--and I'll throw in an autographed Stone Kissed coaster to set your glass on.


  1. I'm seeing a visit to Churchill Downs in our future...Road Trip!!!

  2. Becke, we totally need to do this. Tax deduction!

  3. I took a trip once to Churchill Downs with the Kentucky cousins. I came out ahead $2.50 on my $20 of bets, and my great-aunt was distraught. Huh? "I don't want you to think this is easy money!"

  4. Keri, I was wondering about that Faking It part and just what was being faked. Hmm. Well, when it comes to being a millionaire, I guess a lot of us have to fake that one!

  5. I would love to fake it!!! I've dreamed of going to the Derby, but I don't like crowds. Love horses though!! I love museums too!! Crowds are another story. I might need a few mint julips first ;-)

  6. Ann Marie,
    That cracks me up. It took me about four hours to get my $3.30--not exactly a living wage!

    Yep, Michele. I don't foresee it any other way unless I get all Nora Roberts with my writing!

    Tanya--last year they had 165,000 people there. It was basically Mardi Gras, from what I here. You can get actual seats (they're taking orders now) if you will pay at least $300 and be willing to sit on the outskirts. The good seats are already booked (often years in advance). But there were very few people there on a weekday in mid-November. Not crowded at all!

  7. We have a track in MN, too. It's called Canterbury Downs. Not as fancy as the one you visited, but I do enjoy the races from time to time. We had horses when we were younger, and my stepmom still does the prize awarding at the hunt shows.

  8. Keri, what fun! I think it's better to be a fake millionaire, than none at all!

  9. I have a couple of questions, Keri. Clearly I missed something along the way, but how exactly did you get into Millionaire's Row without being a millionaire? Good work! And -- you said the post wasn't about sex? I don't know. That photo you posted of the thing that isn't a hat? That looks a lot like ... sex ... to me!

  10. The name is fancy, Barbara! And yeah, Cindy--I'm happy to fake it until I make it!

    Kay...oh, Kay. You caught that it was a SPERM whale, didn't you? As for Millionaire's Row, you can get in on regular days for $35 or so. But not for the major races: The Oaks and the Derby.

  11. Keri, I'm with Becke. Wouldn't that be fun? We could easily write it off as research. Hmm, I'm already thinking, you know, something like the Mile High Club...*giggle*


  12. Gabriella, I'm betting there are those out there who are members of both clubs.

  13. Very fun post! I've only been to one horse race but it was exciting. Would LOVE an excuse to wear a fabulous hat!

  14. Veronica, the hats are fabulous AND hideous! People crafted entire dioramas and put them on their heads (our favorite was the horse's backside hat.) If we do the Derby this year (pedestrian-style b/c I couldn't bring myself to pay $300 a seat), I'm getting out my hot glue gun and going nuts.

  15. I used to live near Arlington Park in Chicago but never even went to a race. Here, I live by another racetrack: River Downs. Still have never been to a race.


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