My brother and his family came into town last week (which explains my lax blogging this week) and last Wednesday we all headed up to Saratoga Race Course to play the horses. We met some of my brother's friends up there - formerly rowdy boys I have known since they were about ten and now are full grown, responsible, tax-paying, God-fearing men. One of whom is an honest-to-goodness FBI Agent.
Our niece Kate
Dan and I have not been there in years, and Jenna had never been, so it was fun to show the girls around, introduce them to legalized gambling, and basically enjoy a beautiful summer day. The horses were gorgeous, and even though I am secretly terrified of horses in general (too skittish and too strong for my personal comfort level) I truly admire their grace and beauty as an animal.
We sat right near the paddock where they would walk the horses around prior to the race, so we had a great view.
Also nearby was the Big Red Spring, which spouted real Saratoga Mineral Water, which was really pretty disgusting. Michaela wanted me to take and post this picture of her spitting out the water after she took a sip. "It'll be GREAT for the blog!" says she.
Michaela got more interested in the game of placing bets on- or as she called it, "voting for"- a specific horse and she went entirely by name. And did amazingly well.
Consulting the Racing Forum with Uncle Brian
Total bankroll for the Libutti Family: $20.00
Total that we left the track with: $19.65
Which was almost as good as the last time we went, when we bet $20, lost all of it, and then found a $20 bill on the ground right before the last race.
I had explained to Jenna and Michaela that the horses were ridden in the races by very small men- men who were shorter and skinnier than Mommy (well, it's not that hard to be skinnier than a 34-weeks-pregnant German woman, but you get my drift). So as we are walking in, there is a beautiful fountain surrounded by flowers and little jockey statues- you know, the kind that look like they are holding lanterns- and Jenna points and eagerly asks, "Is that the men who will ride the horses??"
"No," I answered. "They're little men but they're not THAT little." And it was a great laugh for the day.