Roadtrip to Lexington, Horse Capital of the World
Wow, what a crazy few months! On a personal level, we've had a few big changes, not the least of which was moving into a new house near the barn and settling into a new routine. That major change has taken center stage in my life and has given me a big excuse to not write. I'm trying to remedy that little lack of self discipline now!
Isabell, our older daughter, qualified at our regional Quiz Rally to compete at USPC Champs. After being unable to take her to compete at Champs East last year (even though she qualified), Mark, Charlotte and I took her to Lexington, Kentucky, to participate as a member of the Capitol Region Junior D Quiz Team 1! What a wonderful, hectic, fun 5-day journey. We arrived in the late afternoon on Monday, July 14, and checked into our hotel where we decided to spend an evening "in." Competition started Tuesday afternoon, and getting a good night's sleep was a challenge with all the excited energy from my little minions. It was a bit nostalgic for me-- I competed at Champs in Quiz, then known as Know-Down, when I was a kid, and watching my daughter tackle this experience with so much enthusiasm was a delight.
The Kentucky Horse Park is quite a venue, for anyone who hasn't been there. Walking the length of the park is a HIKE. Hooray for parking at the opposite end of KHP from where we needed to be. We jealously watched what seemed like thousands of golf carts whiz past the first day . I'm not sure that's even an exaggeration. Once Pony Club got things coordinated, we snagged plenty of rides on what USPC dubbed People Movers, golf carts piloted by a virtual army of volunteers who took Pony Clubbers from point to point in the park and saved our weary legs! Mark, Charlotte and I managed to find fantastic seats for the opening ceremony, way up in the center box, high above the arena, where we had an incredible view. The next couple days were a blur of golf carts and snack bars, exploring and waiting for competition sessions to finish. My kids had a great time watching their old friends from Maine ride in Eventing and Show Jumping, and their new friends from Maryland compete in Tetrathlon and Games. Isabell and her Quiz teammates were having a blast, and meeting a few more Capitol Region families was really enjoyable for us all. As a parent, I couldn't have asked for anything more.
While we were in Lexington, I was able to catch up with a couple friends who live in the area (seriously, how awesome is it to tell someone you live in Paris, in Bourbon County?!), teach some riding, ride a couple very nice horses, and take in some local flavor with a friend at a brew pub in a quiet little neighborhood in the city. We enjoyed a really nice tour of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, thanks to a friend and her husband who are both veterinarians there. Being able to share the tour with another family from our Pony Club made it all the more special. Mark squeezed in a tour of Town Branch Bourbon distillery while I took one more cruise around the park with a friend. We joined another family from Isabell's Quiz team to watch the awards upon completion of competition before celebrating with them over a (very, very late) dinner before heading home.
Home. It truly feels like that here, now. We are content in our cute house on Meriwether Farm. The horses are happy in my barn at Sunset Hill. The kids love their schools. We have fantastic neighbors. Mark enjoys commuting on the bus most of the way instead of having to drive himself through heavy traffic. Even though we were gone only five days, being away from the house and barn really confirmed that this place now home. And while Lexington might be dubbed the Horse Capital of the World, home is the capital of my world.