One of the things we did while visiting 19 at school was drive up to Saratoga Springs. We didn't have all day but we had a few hours to spend together before he had a meeting to attend and it's only a 30 minute drive.
It's a lovely place. There's a main street with shops and restaurants and ice cream parlors and lots of outside tables and at the end of the street there a beautiful park and a few blocks behind that is the famous race track.
We drove around to see what there was to see and then stopped at the Visitor's Center where there is a nice exhibit of the town's history. We walked through it and found out that there was racing at the track today. So, off we went. Horse racing is something new for us. We've never gone to see any. We were looking for a place to park and they were all pretty pricey and we knew that we'd only be there for hour and didn't want to spend more on parking than on admission ($3 each) so, we drove on. We spot a sign that says Public Parking and turn in, hubby slows to speak to the attendant who tells us to follow the dirt road to the back turn right go to the end and turn left and park on the right. Okidokie. As we head on we all laugh - where the heck is he sending us? Whatever, it's free. So we have to walk 100 miles to get back to the track. Then another attendant at the first turn starts waiving at us. Hubby slows again to talk. he tells us to turn around and go half way back down the road we just came and turn in to the parking lot on the right. Okidokie. At that entrance there's a sign that said Credential Parking Only. We all look at each other and laugh - WTH? There's another attendant there, hubby again rolls down the window and he tells us where to go in and park. We obediently follow his instructions laughing the whole time because apparently we look like the horse racing credentialed type. Okidokie. We park and hope the car will be there when we get back. It's a rental and 19 has a meeting to get back to. We walk to the track entrance and they patiently pose for my obligatory photos. The place is packed! There are people everywhere. Old, young, families with babies, little kids everyone is every where. It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We walk to the track and stand right there up at the fence. There are park benches behind us and I sit for a bit and take it all in. I look around and you can see the ole grandeur of the place. Its a little run down but it looks like a gran dame. A race had just finished and they were announcing the next one and I think we should place a bet. So, I ask 17 for a number and rush in to place a bet. I come back and see the last of the horses walking out. I like another one. I go back to place another bet. Hubby and 17 go place a bet on another one, 19 gives me a couple of numbers. All told there were 10 horses, 2 scratched and between the 4 of us we bet on 6 out of the remaining 8 to win. The race was about to start, we get to our spot by the fence. They're off! We watch part on the jumbotron, then we spot them live making the turn and there they are passing right in front of us. One of our horses is in the lead and another one of ours is in second going to pass him. You hear every one cheering and yelling different numbers. Its over. Who won? Wow by a nose! Check the tickets. You're wrong check again. How could we have lost? We bet on almost every horse. Almost only counts in horseshoes not horse racing. One of the 2 we didn't pick won. Ours came in 2nd and 3rd. We all laughed - what are the odds of that?! We walked around a little more bought some lemonades and then it was time to head back to the car.
It was a nice day, we were tired, it was hot and we had to walk back to the car. We were thankful for our credentialed parking because we couldn't imagine having to walk to the original spot at what we think would have been the outskirts of town.
All of us had a lovely time. It was something new for all of us and we laughed a lot. Comfort and Joy.