Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Birthday SweetPea!

My friend and fellow blogger, SweetPea, had a milestone birthday recently, and invited me (and at least one other friend, who couldn't make it) along on her trip to Portland to visit her family.  The party organizers, knowing her interest in horses, decided it would be fun to watch horses race, and that we should all wear hats befitting the Kentucky Derby.  Hilarity ensued.

Oh, you want photographic evidence?

Saturday morning, we got up bright and early, and I drove to her house where I left my car for the rest of the weekend.  The foliage is GORGEOUS right now.  We didn't have time to stop, so these photos are taken from the car.  So squinch your eyes and fling your head from right to left really fast to really get the full effect.  :-)

We only had time to offload our suitcases before taking ourselves and our hats over to the house of one of her FOUR brothers (and she has a sister, who unfortunately wasn't there this weekend), where I met this cute puggy and an adorable kitty.  Oh, and some humans, too.

SweetPea's sister-in-law presented her with her gift, a stick horse.  But not just ANY horse, this one looks like Flash, and is a prize-winner--he had both a medal and a ribbon.  And a party hat!  He was promptly named "Sparkle Pony."  Notice L's purple fuzzy cowgirl/pimp hat...

A and T with their matching bowler hats, mustaches, and bow ties, SweetPea with her pretty pretty princess pink fuzzy hat with built-in tiara, and B with his jockey cap and jockey shirt.

SweetPea again, and me with my bedazzled and beflowered and beribboned floppy hat.  Unfortunately, I didn't take more photos at the pre-event, but I got more photos throughout the day that will hopefully show off more hats.
 Then we were OFF to the races!

SweetPea brought her pony, of course.  Sparkle Pony wanted to give those other ponies a run for their money, but SweetPea kept him well in hand.
I was excited to see horse racing up close and personal, so I went to the paddock area first, to watch the horses getting prepped.  They are SO lean and muscular.  They honestly seemed so weird to me after seeing the usual pasture puffs and endurance mounts!

Then we went up to the second floor viewing area to watch the first race of the day...

How cool is that?  Not as cool as it is to get up close and personal.  When we got back downstairs, I realized that anyone could go right into the paddock area--I'd stayed behind the glass before, so I went back and took photos through only the chainlink fence this time.

And then I went RIGHT up next to the track to watch them pony the horses past the spectators.

While we waited for the next race to start, the baby got to try on his grandpa's coonskin cap.

Then I was right next to the track as the horses galloped past at full speed, right at the finish line!

I won't bore you with ALL the photos I took, but seriously, how cool is this?

The bugler had spotted SweetPea's dad (aka El Dub)'s hat, and since he always plays a tune after the Call to the Post, he specifically waited until he was out front to play Daniel Boone for him, which he got a kick out of.  Also notice SweetPea's mom (aka Flip Flop)'s awesome gold hat with blue boa.

We watched all nine races for the day, but again, I won't bore you with ALL the photos, so we'll skip right to dinner, at Montage in Portland.  It was lovely, if a little loud, and they make awesome creations with people's leftovers.

SweetPea's parents, flanked by a waiter and a friend of theirs

Random stranger showing off their leftovers--it's a dragonfly!
Then the group got a little smaller, as it narrowed down to three of SweetPea's brothers and their significant others, plus her and me, and we went to Mint.

We went back to her parents house and crashed, then Sunday morning, got up, went to breakfast at Elmer's and I cuddled with this giant beast of a dog for a while.  His name is Simba, and he's part Mastiff and part Great Pyrenees, and is HUGE, but so adorably sweet, and best of all, NOT slobbery!  I was tempted to smuggle him home, and force my cats to deal with it, but alas he wouldn't fit in my luggage.  Or into SweetPea's car, most likely!

The funny thing is, this giant behemoth of a dog was AFRAID of Sparkle Pony!  At first, he ran cowering from the room whenever he caught sight of the pony, then he simply gave it a wide berth, until finally, we convinced him that Sparkle Pony wouldn't harm him, and even got him to wear the party hat.

And thus endeth the celebration of SweetPea's *mumble*th birthday in grand style.  We headed back over the mountains through the gorgeous foliage once again, and made it home safely.

If you want to see all the photos (the ones I left out are mostly of racing and of the adorable Simba), please click over to my Flickr set (click the slideshow button if you like, or just click individual thumbnails to see them larger).


  1. So glad you were able to help me celebrate :)

    And thanks for not mentioning all of the embarrassing moments!! LOL

    1. I may not have mentioned any embarrassing moments, but now that you have, you might be expected to elaborate. :-)

    2. Well, let's just say "falling down drunk" isn't just a funny phrase and leave it at that :)