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An Outrageous Experience Dazzling at the Kentucky Derby!


In my TEDx talk (watch it here) I suggest a perspective shift from bucket list to experience list, so we all don’t wait until our final days to go after what inspires and excites us through life only to realize the time has passed. Bucket list is too negative… things to do before I die! Experience list is so positive… things to experience while being fully alive! Well considering this is one of my personal passions/missions, of course, I HAVE to share a story about the most recent experience checked off my list!

Curly, my wonderful man, gifted me this “experience” for Christmas last year after hearing my TED talk and my desire to “go to the Kentucky Derby and sit in Millionaires Row while sipping a Mint Julep and wearing an outrageous hat... and so it is🐎 As a result, here’s a little trip through one of my most outrageous experiences, and of course, most outrageous hats… let me know what you think!


Day 1, lunch at the famous Brown Hotel, walked 4th Street Live, checked out Seelbach Hotel, another Derby favorite then dinner at rotating restaurant on 25th floor of Galt House Hotel and views of the annual Steamboat race... and yes, those are my seven inch stiletto’s and corresponding flats👠😄


Day 2, Dawn at the Downs, breakfast in the clubhouse, watching the horses work out, visiting the museum (and yes, I entered the hat contest to be in the derby museum display case:-), paddock, winner's circle, finish line, feeling so grateful for my wonderful man and this incredible experience that he gifted me with the best of everything Derby!

After breakfast and watching the horses practice at the track at Dawn at the Downs, we spent the day revisiting all the places Curly lived and worked in Louisville, KY. From his three homes to his schools then finished the day at the Tennis Hall of Fame to see his handsome face and wall plaque.


My friend, Bob Roitblat taught me about social proof. When I was writing my one woman show, I had no idea if it was funny or good. Bob said you’ll have “social proof” when people see it, and he was right. The same held true for my next two hats, for The Oaks and The Derby. From the moment I stepped out of the hotel, everyone asked to take a picture of me, with me, of us, or just the hat. I was interviewed, photographed and talked about more than anyone. There were gorgeous hats and outfits but absolutely no one designed one with a sense of humor, of whimsy, and of poignancy. It was Breast Cancer Awareness Day with survivors walking the track. I conceived this hat idea in honor of them and called upon my uber talented friend, Hope Washinushi, to make it for me. I was over the top thrilled, blessed, grateful!!


Friday night was the Barnstable Brown Gala. Curly got us VIP entry along with, wait for it, wait for it...Tom Brady, Joey Fatone, Backstreet Boys, Von Miller with Denver Broncos, Larry Birkhead, BF Anna Nicole Smith and more sports figures and celebrities that I can name. Held in the Barnstable Twins fabulous mansion, it was a mind-boggling "experience". Then… off to the THE Derby and THE hat!!!

Derby Day... the hat was three shoes... purple glitter boot, turquoise sequin pump and gold rhinestone Louboutin stilleto. In Millionaires Row, we dined, munched on Mint Julep popcorn, bet on many races and we both kept winning, always fun and had a real Mint Julep (part of the experience)😄Then on our last night, we dined at the famed Vincenzo’s. That week was a fashionista (that’s me!) dream. Hats, shoes, clothes, glamour and gorgeous people, loved it!!

And now... all of my hats!!

My Curly outdid himself with this gift. It was an outrageous week! Thanks for y’all comin’ along with me (my Kentucky speak) on the story and with your great comments and posts❤️


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