Today’s Daily Prompt is: You’re given unlimited funds to plan one day full of any and all luxuries you normally can’t afford. Tell us about your extravagant day with as much detail as possible.
One day makes it tough for me as most of my luxury wishes involve Europe. Unless I imagine a “beam-me-up” world in which I can be on Ischia or in Montepulciano or Villefranche-sur-Mer in a blink, I’m stuck here in the Bluegrass… Where, other than some good restaurants, there’s not much to do that would feel luxurious to me.
So let’s stretch credulity and assume I had a heads up far in advance of this day. I researched offspring of my late grandfather’s (Allen B. Gallaher) champion racehorse, Chilhowee, and arranged to purchase a promising horse from Chilhowee’s bloodline on the day of the Kentucky Oaks (which happens to be my day of luxury). In honor of this grandfather I never knew*, I name the horse Allen B. Another of granddad’s horses won the Oaks in 1927 so I’ll be covering a couple of bases when my new horse wins.
The race is late in the day, giving me time to pick up cashier’s checks for my favorite charities, then head out to the Iroquois Hunt Club. I’ve paid through the nose to belong for a day, to swim in my favorite swimming spot ever. The Hunt Club is on one of those narrow, winding Kentucky roads and sits in a glen by Boone Creek. You can float in the pool and look up at tree-lined cliffs as the creek gently flows nearby. The Club is in an old mill that was built in 1803 and it’s about as unpretentious as it could be. No, I never rode the hunt, though my aunt did. I just swam in the pool and wandered the nearby lanes.
Since I loathe crowds and parking in busy places, there’s a limo to whisk me and a few friends from Lexington to a private entrance to the track. Never been to Churchill Downs so I have no idea if that’s possible but hey, it’s my day so let’s pretend. For the ride out of Lexington I request that we take the Old Frankfort Pike out to where we can catch the freeway. The Pike is one of the few relatively untouched horse farm areas. The gently curving road passes rolling green hills on which horses graze and play–other than a few newer houses, it looks just like it did when I was a child.
I’ve organized a private box to avoid the crowds and there’s a nice buffet set up with a tantalizing light selection from Lilly’s. Sorry, no mint juleps. They’re horrible. Even when my aunt used to make me wander through her parties checking on drinks no one was EVER drinking a mint julep. I’m just saying. My crowd would mostly want bottled water or cappuccinos.
Back when my aunt Mary Jane became the first woman turf reporter in something like 1949 she was banned from the press box by the men, so I’d bribe everyone necessary to get my female self a tour of the press box.** My friends wander down to the rail and, since I actually find the races kind of boring, a masseuse arrives to massage my shoulders and neck and then I snooze in the box until it’s time for Allen B.’s race.
After I accept the trophy with a charming nod to my forebears in the horse biz :-), the limo heads back to Lexington. San Francisco’s Kabuki Springs and Spa has been magically transported to Lexington for the day so we’re all able to steam and soak and sauna before heading off to dine at Merrick Inn. Merrick is in a historic home and much of the cuisine is very Kentucky so it always reminds me of the many restaurants in historic spots around the Bluegrass I’ve enjoyed throughout my life.
Although my aunt Mary Jane tried very hard to press me into “The Horse Crowd”, I never found the endless drinking or the snottiness all that appealing so I’m afraid my day doesn’t involve copious amounts of bourbon nor were any of the folks in my limo Horse People. No boisterous cocktail parties till all hours. No one crashing a Jaguar in a tree on the way home*** … how did I resist all this???.
Nope, after the lovely dinner I’m more than ready to go home and hunker down in front of the TV, laptop in my lap, writing a post about my winning horse. Sadly I had to sell him at the end of the day. Happily I don’t have to go to the track any more…
* Both grandfathers died when my parents were children.
**One day she took advantage of being banned to hang out at the rail, leap it and beat the seasoned reporters to a scoop with the winner, which earned her a place in the box.
*** True story: after a party out on one of the farms, fellow climbed, drunk, into the WRONG Jaguar, missed a curve, hit a tree, died later.