Even though I only officially moved to San Diego three years ago, this is my fourth summer here. The first year I didn't know what was going on. I was so busy falling in love with this city that I hardly noticed all of the summer staples that were happening around me: Comic Con, PRIDE festival, OTL, the county fair and of course, Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetracks. Add to that the fact that I didn't have a car that summer... I think I'm off the hook.
For the past two years, however, I haven't had an excuse. Which is why my friends and co-workers were usually surprised when I told them that I had never been to the tracks, let alone Opening Day, one of the most fabulous and fabulously crazy events of the summer. Yes, it is always on a Wednesday, so I suppose I could blame work. But when I found out that I would be able to leave work early enough to catch most of the races this year, I knew I would be officially out of excuses if I didn't take the chance. So I picked up a fancy hat at Village Hat Shop, pulled my seersucker out of the back of my closet, and strapped on some heels. I met Ryan on the Coaster and then we met his mom and stepdad and their friend at the track.
Opening Day is more than just a sporting event (and by "sporting," I mean the Olympics-esque drinking, not the races). It's a herald back to vintage Hollywood glamour, a total fashion show where you'll often see couture outfits and incomprehensibly expensive hats. Of course, I was too preoccupied with betting (and winning!) to take pictures, but honestly, it's better viewed in person.
We stayed until the last race (when I won my biggest haul... $35!) and then managed to successfully navigate the hordes of drunk, barefoot girls and guys on our way out. I am still so impressed by Ryan and I's transportation situation. We called Uber and used a $20 promo code I had to hitch a ride away from the gridlock traffic and back to the Sorrento Valley train station where I'd left my car. It felt so awesome to duck into a town car in the midst of that crowd and avoid all the walking and traffic that was awaiting everyone else.
Anyway, what a fun day. My co-workers and I will be heading back there at the end of August for a team building event, but I have a feeling that Ryan and I will be back before then. And if we ever go back for Opening Day, I now know a few things for sure: 1. Always take the Coaster, even if it means you have to leave early, 2. Bring flats or flip flops, and 3. Not to break any rules, but... we saw a lot of flasks popping out of bags and back pockets... Something for us to think about next year! ;)