Friday, July 1, 2011

Off To The Races!

On Sunday afternoon we did something we've never done and never really even considered doing until recently. We went to Emerald Downs! Thanks to the people who used to live in our house (we still get some of their junk mail) we got 2 free tickets for admission! We did have to pay for parking, but $7 for 3 hours of fun is super cheap!

Waiting to go in!
 For the first few years after Emerald Downs was put in I seriously thought it was a toilet paper factory...please don't laugh at me! And no...I'm not blonde! It really is a beautiful place and much bigger than it seems from the freeway. One of the things they could improve on is accessibility for people with wheelchairs or strollers. There was literally only 2 elevators we could use and no ramps. Plus we saw a ton of people using the elevators that really didn't need to...they could have totally taken the escalators, but who knows maybe they were already sloshed and didn't want to injure themselves.  

 We were going to place one $2 bet on one race just for fun since we were there, but the machine would not take the $5 bill that Michael had and it said it didn't accept American Express. I took it as a sign that God didn't want us wasting our money!

General admission gets you seats right up front so you can really see the action. We were there just a bit before the first race so we had snacks.

Then the National Anthem was sung and the boys had there first experience putting their hands on their hearts and honoring our flag. Totally loved it!!!

It was a beautiful day at the track!

This sweet baby girl still wasn't feeling the best, but she did great!

Right before the race began we got to see the tractors go around grooming the track for the horses.

Waiting for the race to begin!

Seeing our very first horse race!

The nice thing about Emerald Downs was all the other activities they had for the kids. It was such a wonderful experience. Michael and I were even talking about how different it was in regards to taking your kids to a baseball game for instance. I think that we've never done that with our kids because it's so confining. You want to sit there and watch the game and not miss something. I know that they have things for the kids, but there isn't much down time. At the race track you have down time. After the first race the horses and jockeys have to come back in then they have to start the grooming process all over again and they have to give people enough time to bet on the next race. I'd say it's about 40 minutes between races. During that time you can do all sorts of things with the kids and not have to worry about missing something. There is also tons of room to stretch out. If you go over where the kids area is you can just lay out on a blanket or sit on the chairs they have there. Also you can bring in outside food or drink as long as the drink is sealed...mine iced tea wasn't so I had to dump it. But they had free ice water so that was okay!

Waiting in line for pony rides! This was the only other irritating part of the day. The boys should have been in the 3rd go round of pony rides, but they ended up being in the 5th because there were these parents standing in line saving it for their kids while they bounced in the inflatables. I totally think that was rude! Not to mention not teaching your kid that life isn't handed to them on a silver platter. They should have to wait just like everyone else. Okay I'm stepping off my soap box now!

Owen was pretty stoked!

Once they started moving Jack immediately let out this little whimper and I told Michael to go hold onto him, but the guy working this area got to him first and held onto his leg. Toward the end Jack was more confident and told the guy he didn't want him holding him anymore.

More lines...this time for 1 of the 2 bounce houses!

Face painting round 1!

Puppy dog!

Spider web mask!

Face painting round 2 - Sunshine...

and Hearts!

By this time it was WAY pass this little girls nap time and she was done!! When we got home she was literally telling Daddy night-night at 5:30. I ended up keeping her up until 6pm and she slept until 8am the next morning. If we ever get free passes again we will definitely be going. In reality $7 per person (kids 17 and under are free) isn't a bad deal since there are so many free things to do. Even the concessions weren't all that bad price wise. We stayed 3hrs and only saw 3 races so if we had been a bit more prepared with more food and maybe a blanket we would have definitely stayed longer.


Momof2 said...

I have always wanted to go there! my other friend was telling me all about it too. Sounds SO fun! We will have to check it out!