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Posted by さぽろぐ運営事務局 at

2008年06月01日

Reminiscences of a Journey

この記事は日本語がわからない特定の知人のために投稿します。
もし下に掲載している写真の花の名前をご存じの方がいらっしゃいましたら教えていただけると嬉しいです。
At the middle of March, I found that I would have time to visit my host parents in Iowa who I had stayed with my senior high school year.
I sent e-mail to my host mother asking if I could visit them and received a welcoming reply.
As people get older, a year flies faster and faster, and I didn't notice that 4 years passed away since my last visit. Every one got 4 years older (^~^).
However, I got very exited about meeting my parents and their family and old friends.
In addition to this, I planned to going to see the Kentucky Derby and visiting Farms in Kentucky.

Thu 24th Apr, I got home from work around 9:00pm and started packing, went to bed after 2:30 am 25th Apr.
Arrived at Narita Airport around 11:30p.m.
My plane left Japan at 3:25pm and after 11 hours, arrived at Minneapolis. Plane was packed and traveling by coach was not cofortable as always but I could sleep most of the way since I didn't have enough sleep last night.
I got on small plane CRJ200(max 50 passengers) from Minearpolis and arrived Sioux City at 4:15pm.
When I left Japan, it was about 75F° but it was below 40F° in Sioux City and I felt freezing(((゜д゜;)))
I was little shocked because I never expected cold temperature like that.
As soon as I found smiling face of Mary Ann at the airport, I forgot about cold weather and was so happy to see her and Bernard who was waiting for us outside.
4 years ago, they lived in the farm where I spent my senior high school year and now they live in the town after retired. It was my first time to visit their new house.
Deers and Cadinals welcomed me in front of their new cute house.

Squirrels, and wild birds visit backyard of their house in the morning and they enjoy watching them.
Here's some pictures of Squirrel when I visited them last time. They are always cute and fun to watch.
One night, their family came to see me and we enjoyed Mexican Hay Stuck Marry Ann cooked for the first time. It was my first time to have Mexican Hay Stuck and it was a kind of weird to me mixing Nachos, Crackers, Rice, Tomatos, Lettus, etc toghether, but taste was goodicon88
I realized that 4 years really passed away by meeting their great granddaughters and
one of their great grandson who was not in this world 4 years ago!(*^.^*)
Good looking cat, Jerry and my friend Kim looked same as before but her sons are 3 times bigger than the last time I saw them!!
During the holiday, I went to bed before 11:00pm and got up at 6:00a.m. though I usually go to bed around 2:00am and get up at 7:00am. I really got good rest while staying with my parents and had heartwarming time. I'm always so grateful for their love. Especially after I lost my real parents, they have been my moral support though we are faraway apart.

The day before I left, I went for a walk and took these pictures in the town.
School building is new but it looked to me almost same as the one I went to. I guess there are more house in town but it is still quiet and peaceful.
I pray for good health and long life for my parents and I hope I will have opportunity to visit them again before too long.

Tue 29th April, I got on plane SAAB340 and left Sioux City at 6:25a.m. to Mineapolis, then transferred plane to Detroit, and transfered plane one more time to Lexington.
At the Detroit Airport, I heard the anouncement telling that they have Eastern time in Detroit and I changed time of my cell-phone. I'm glad that I noticed the anouncement, otherwise I must have missed my flight with having wrong time!!!
2:20p.m., arrived at Lexington for the 1st time and I was excited to see horseracing picture and video on the wall of the airport!
I was shocked again when I went out of the airport building because it was as cold as Iowa(((゜д゜;)))
Before the trip, I checked temperature of each town I was going to visit, and it was 60 to 62F° in Lexington but the temperature I felt was under 50F°.
I was glad that I had my gore-tex coat with me.
A Man from Rent-a-Car company picked me up at the airport and I was already impressed with the scenary I watched from inside of the car. I saw the vast grazing land of a farm and the driver told me that they owns 1000 acres.
Acturally I was so nervous about driving because I've never drived in US before.
I rent Pontiac G6 with GPS and practice about 5 minutes in the parking before going out to the drive way...
Though I was nervous and had sweaty palms, I arrived at the motel I booked without much trouble.
I went to the Horseshoes Stake House next to the Hotel for dinner and had grilled chicken with baked poteto and salad with my favorite blue cheese dressing. I enjoyed food there but portion of food was too big for me as always and I couldn't finish them all(@_@;)

Wed 30th Apr, I got up at 5:00a.m. and went to see horse training at the Keenland race track.
It was about 33F° outside and I got to see sunrise when I got at the race track.
Keeneland race track is very beautiful with many trees. I got to see horse training in the track, horse getting care after training at stables. I also saw pretty red bird. I think it was Cardinal but he flew away so quickly when I tried to take a picture.
After I had breakfast at the track kichen, I headed to the Jonabell Farm to be there by 10:00a.m.
However, I ended up at the wrong place because I entered wrong Street Name to GPSface12
I changed my appointment to the next day and went back to the Keeneland for shopping.
I bought a hat to wear for the Derby at the gift shop.
In the afternoon, I visited Ashford Stud.
I got nervous again when I arrived infront of the gate because the gate and stone wall had an air of dignity. I think I drove about 3 minutes from the gate to their office.
Tracy, who kindly arranged this appointment for me was in the office and she welcomed me with nice smile.
I got to see stallions like Fusaichi Pegasus, Kentucky Derby winner in 2000, used to owned by Japanese, Giant's Causeway, 6 gr.I winner in Europe, and Dehere, father of Nick Banyan, one of my favorite horse in Japan!
Sure it was exciting seeing those stallions and at the same time, I was so impressed by beautiful office, stables, and vast pastures here.

I saw these trees in their premises. I've never seen them before and I don't know the name.
On the return way, I saw a beautiful light blue bird in the field. He also flew away as soon as I parked my car to take a picture(^o^;)

These flower were in the premises of Days Inn Lexington. I haven't seen them before either.

Thu 1st May, temperature rose to 70F°
I made it to Darley U.S.A., Jonabell Farm.
Please see pictures and you'll know how much I enjoyed my visit('-^*)/
Special Thanks to Peggy who arranged my appointment!
How I wish I could work at the place like this!

3 photos from the left are neighborhood of where I work and I hope you can see how different it is from Lexington.
I loved to see horse lying on grass while driving in Lexington just like Hokkaido in Japan(lightmost photo)

At 11:00p.m, I had appointment to visit Craiborne farm to see farther of my most favorite horse in Japan.
I was heading to their address but I didn't get there by the time I was supposed to.
I was lost and I couldn't figure out where I was. I called their office telling that I was lost and they told me that they could wait by noon.
Then I reset my GPS and started again. After an hour, I found my self in front of Ashford Studllllll(-_-;)llllll
I got upset at the GPS that made me waste 2 hours and gallons of gasface09
Time is up! I had to give up seeing Seeking the Gold whom I was most looking forward to seeing(/_;)/~~
I was exhausted and depressed about my bad luck....
Well, that's life. I drove another 20 miles or so and went to the Old Friends in Georgetown to see retired Stallions.
I found about this place when I got at the airport and I was interested in seeing stallions who used to lived in Japan.
I was glad to see Ogigian, Wallenda, Sunshine Forever were living happily there.

Around 4:30p.m. I left Georgetown for Louisville.
As soon as I got on the highway, I got scared and it was white-knuckle drive until I got at the motel(*´Д`)=з
I was starving because I didn't have lunch. I tried to go to a restaurant 0.3 miles away from the hotel but as soon as GPS navigated me to the highway, I got scared again and I went out to the closest exit. In 5 minutes, I found some restaurant at the shopping area. It was an American style Chinese reataurant and I didn't like the taste of food there but I could allay my hunger at least....
Then, I noticed that my car was also hungry. There was the selfservice gas station next to the motel I was staying but I didn't know how to fill the gas because I've never used it before.
I asked gingerly to a woman at the store if she could help me. I was so glad that she was kind to show me how to use it(//・_・//)

Fri 2nd May, I got at the Churchill Downs around 11:00p.m.
The Sky was clear when I got there. After a few hours it turened to grey and started raining dogs and cats around 2:00p.m.icon05
People who were in the infield ran into the building with scream.
Since I didn't have a seat, I was staying in the building because I didn't like to stay at the infield with many crazy drank people.
Here's a pictures of ladies queueing for women's room.
I went out to padock in the rain to see fillies running for the Orks and bet 10 dollars to place for #7 Little Belle. She finished in 2nd and paid me 32 dollars back.
After the race I stood in queue for taxi and it started pouring again. I must have been sick if a man in front of me didin't give me a nylon poncho because I had to stand in the rain for almost 2 hours.
When I got at the motel, I found a gift from hotel manager in my room!

Sat 3rd May, it was cloudy in the morning and got sunny in the afternoon.
More people were at the Churchill Downs for the 134th Kentucky Derby.
Please see this page for pictures I took on the day.
And also pictures of some celebrities who were there.
I went to the padock to see the colts running for the Derby but many people were already at the front line.
I found a spot behind those people but the place didn't allow me to take good pictures.
I was going to bet on Place for #5 Eight Bells and Show for #5 and #20Big Brown.
Unfortunatelly I bought 5 and 10 by mistakeface12
Big Brown won and Eight Bells finished in 2nd and I got paid 85 dollors back.
Since I couldn't watch the race directly, I didn't see what happened to Eight Bells after she finished in 2nd....

This is the only race picture I could take after the Derby at Churchill Downs.

Sun 4th Mar, I got to know the tragedy happened to Eight Bells through TV news and newspapersface11
I was awfully shocked and all I could do was pray for her soul rest in peace.
It was the end of my Journey.
I left Lexington around 11:00a.m. and arrived in Japan around 4:00p.m on 5th of May.

Many thanks to Mary Ann, Bernard, Bev, Mort, Shari, Kim, Stacy, Peggy, Debbie, Michael, Georgia, and many others who helped me during my trip.
I couldn't have done this without your help.
I had wonderful time indeed and how I wish such a tragedy didn't happen....
  

Posted by Horselover_ss at 22:38Comments(0)日記