It started with a phone call. “Hey Matthew! You ever been to the Kentucky Derby?” When I responded negatively, the answer was quick: “Well, you’re going to this one!”
This post introduces a mini trip-report I will publish over the next several days about my visit to the Kentucky Derby last year. Award Expert clients hail from all over the world and include a number of fascinating people. Sometimes, especially after many years of working together, a friendship is struck up. I had worked with this particular client since the very beginning and had helped send him and his family around the world.
His invitation was extended to my wife Heidi and me. It would include not just an admission ticket to the Kentucky Derby itself, but a number of additional activities. Unfortunately, Heidi was in the midst of her pregnancy and determined that her attendance would not be prudent. Considering so much of the time revolved around alcohol…this was a wise choice. So I brought John!
Of course flying into and out of Kentucky would have been too easy. John and I have set a goal to attend every Presidential library. When we saw one-way fares to Louisville or Lexington were $350+ but American had fares to Dallas for only $59, we decided to kill two birds with one stone. More than two actually.
Dallas is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University. We could fly there, then drive to Kentucky with some stops on the way. Our first stop would be in Little Rock, Arkansas to visit the William Clinton Presidential Library. From there we would continue to Nashville to visit John’s family and finally end up in Lexington. The Derby would take place in Louisville a couple days later.
I found out that my client worked for the Kentucky State Tourism board. The trip was funded not out of his pocket, but by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Nevertheless, I was never asked to blog or write about this. As far as my client was concerned, I was just the guy who booked a dozen trips for him. I write this because I think you will find this interesting and because there is still time to plan for this year’s Kentucky Derby. But full disclose: once I arrived in Kentucky, I did not have to open my wallet…except to bet on horses…which is another great story…
This trip report is a bit unconventional from the usual flights + hotels, but I hope you will enjoy it. It turned out well.