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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Birthday at the Races

A few months ago Dave and the girls were at Golden Gate Fields watching the Kentucky Derby.

He texted letting me know that he had just put a deposit down for Kayla's 11th Birthday party.

I scoffed.

"Just trust me," he said.

But I don't trust people at the track.

And I felt like it was an odd choice for an 11-year-old girl's birthday party.

But Dave was excited.

Kayla was more excited.

So I ran with it.

In all it's seedy glory.

The girls arrived around 10 am to fluorescent lanyards.

To lessen kidnapping probability.

And donuts and decorations courtesy of Ashlyn.

Kayla opened her gifts.

So many horse figurines.

So much fun for her.

We carpooled over the bridge.

More adults than kids.

On purpose.

I needed a 3:1 ratio to feel comfortable that we'd all return.

The girls loved riding down the escalators to the paddock before each race to check out the horses up close.

We all filled out race tickets and placed "bets" on which horse would win each of the seven races we saw.

Kid winner received a Breyer horse model.

Adult winner received a Starbucks gift card.

This made the grandmas very excited.

That's my mom leaping and fist pumping.

In between horse races were dachshund races that I think they found more interesing.

There were also questionable wiener shirts.

And questions about wiener shirts.

"Just look at the puppies, girls."

There was an awesome all-you-can-eat buffet.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken.

Macaroni salad, cole slaw, baked beans.

The track knows how to do food.

It was about this time that I was taking one of the girls to the restroom, waiting outside alone.

"Jess, is that you?"

A high school friend.

"Yes.  I'm here for my daughter's birthday party."

"No...  Really??"

"Yes, really."

I had grandiose cupcake plans but was quickly reminded that fondant is seedier than the track.

Diddam's plastic horses to the rescue.

Box chocolate cake and canned chocolate frosting.

Her favorite.

The seventh race was Kayla's special birthday race.

We got to stand at the rail near the starting gate during the race and go into the winners circle and take a picture with the winning jockey afterwards.


And so very exciting.

Worth all the seediness and anxiety.

Track, you really know how to party.

Our horse loving birthday girl had the day of her life. 


  1. that is such a fun idea! and super props for all of the cute favors and cutesy personalization action. when i was 12 i asked for 12 horses for my birthday. shockingly that wish did not come true.