So, my cousins Chad & Melissa were here for Derby weekend. We didn't go to the race- I'm not setting foot at the track unless I'm getting paid lots of money and don't have to fight the crowd. Here's a look at the 4-5 days they were here:
Thursday night: After numerous airline schedule changes, they finally arrived around 11 p.m. So of course I had an officer come in with a search warrant at 10:15 that held me up until 10:45. The parents & I all met them and it was decided we'd go to Steak & Shake for their first meal here. The service was half-assed and Mom took a wrong turn leaving the airport, so she & Dad didn't get there until 30 minutes after we did. Not that we'd gotten our food, anyway.
After eating, we got to my house to discover that A: The air mattress had deflated, and B: the new pump I'd had to rush out and buy wasn't working right. Back in the car to the all-night Walmart.
Friday: Oaks day, so I HAD to work. We took them to Empress of China for lunch and Mom took them sightseeing while I worked. Mom brought over a pot of Pigs In the Blanket (stuffed cabbage or cabbage rolls to most of the world) for us to have for dinner when I got home.
Saturday: Chad & I convinced Mel that she REALLY didn't want to take the two of us into the kind of crowd you can expect at Derby. WE compromised on going out to the track on Sunday to take pictures in our Derby outfits. So what did we do instead? Krispy Kreme for breakfast (OMG, the sugar rush)and then we went to the zoo- where the half of Louisville with small children that didn't go to the track was. We spent forever hiking around (didn't think to buy tram tickets w/admittance and nobody had cash after the fact) in full sunlight. Did any of us think to put on sunscreen? Hell no. Half the animals were hiding, the other half just gazed at us like WE were the exhibits, and we paid way too much for snacks. Back to Walmart for sunburn remedies for them and a Derby hat for me. Arby's for lunch/dinner. Went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier which was amazingly good. (not my favorite Marvel Hero, but found myself being sucked in) Then we rented another movie (Now You See Me- awesome!) and called it a night.
Sunday: Got up and went to Churchill Downs for pictures. Mel & I dressed up, Chad was dressed down, but we made him coordinate with us. LOL. We tried on expensive hats in the Derby gift shop, bought some souvenirs from the clearance stalls, and headed home to change clothes. Helen next door was working in her yard, so we asked her to get a few pics of all 3 of us (one of the few times I have willingly posed for pics lately) and then hit Chili's for lunch. (yes, we eat a lot) We drove down to E-town & Ft. Knox, visited another Walmart, and had Waffle House for dinner- Mel was horrified and awed by the service and we had a good laugh at her expense. Rented another movie (Free Birds- amusing), again, called it a night.
Monday: Had BBQ for breakfast/lunch and then went looking for Gallopalooza horses. Wandered around downtown for a bit, hit Dairy Queen for a snack, and then drove to Bernheim Forest to see what we could. Found a great tree for climbing, if only I could. Chad succeeded. Then over to Mom's for Fleishkele, wrestling, and an epic battle of Hand & Foot. (our family favorite card game, but you need at least 4 people to play it well so we don't get to play it often)
Tuesday: The airline changed their departure schedule, so instead of noon, they left at 8 p.m. So Mom took us to brunch at Mimi's cafe, we stopped the bookstore for my British magazines and we went back downtown to tour the Evan Williams artisan bourbon distillery...where we learned that I still don't like bourbon, Mel REALLY doesn't like bourbon, and Chad will drink anything, but said bourbon was not his favorite form of alcohol. We did all agree that bourbon balls are the most acceptable form for us and bought some in the gift shop on our way out. Had our final meal together (sob) at Panera and then went home for them to finish packing and it was off to the airport.
It was a good time, and much more fun than my capsule description made it sound. I was amazed at how quickly my cats sold me out- Malkin loves everybody and thinks everybody should love him, so his friendliness did NOT surprise me. Nightshade, on the other hand...she spent the first 2 days hiding under my bed. Then she decided that they must be ok, and came out to be amazingly friendly. She was all over Chad (I'm attributing that to the fact that he's a male version of me) and allowed Mel to pet her, but not pick her up.
Chad & Mel texted me later that evening to let me know that they'd gotten safely back to Spokane. They're thinking about moving here if Chad can find a job, so hopefully I'll get to see more of them in the future!