Unlike the Fall version of this steeplechase–with its focus on family–the spring run at Foxfield is notoriously infamous (how’s that for a doubled-upped connotation of despicable reputation?) for its conglomeration of college students, alcohol, and the subsequent debauchery that ensues.Now, having grown up in a family where ‘steeplechasing’ was a family affair, where we actually watched races, guessed at winning horses based on their extravagent show names, and feasted on Southern-style tailgate food–yes, even in Yankee territory–I was actually quite excited to return to the races as an “adult,” and have a more classy tailgate with friends.But you know what they say about good intentions…and I just might have found myself in
hell a land of drunken co-ed craziness. However, Jenn and friends, before we get to that, I’ll invite you to tag along at my tailgate. The day began with an early start after a long week. Despite my rushing around to get to the meeting location on time, my priorities were on fueling up with some oatmeal.
Timing is everything, and the lack of it meant oatmeal soup.
In a mug.
Waking up to the forecast of imminent rain meant that there was no way I was putting on a sundress. Despite the threats of rain, my rainboots (and the hat I borrowed from Liz) kept my spirits up as we arrived at our plot.Because my vehicle was the “plot car,” my crew and I arrived quite a bit before the others. Not being able to sit around–and not needing a drink, as
it was 10:30 in the morning I was the designated driver–I set up a makeshift kitchen counter on top of a cooler.I had no part in choosing food for the day–we can give props to my friend Shannon for that one–but I did take it upon myself to begin setting up the spread. (Just because I didn’t make it, doesn’t mean I can’t presentit, right?)
Despite the appearance of umbrellas during the 30 minute-or-so straight downpour, we stayed dry and happy under a tent that apparently belonged to the mayor of Charlottesville.*
*Still not really sure how that worked itself out. But it was awesome in name-dropability.How happy was I for the appearance of Flamous Falafel Chips?They paired beautifully with the Herb Hummus from feast!Shannon works at that fine gourmet specialty shop, so the tailgate spread naturally featured some tasty finds from the store.I’m not sure you want to know how much of this Desert Pepper Pinto Bean Dip I consumed.* And if you ever see this hot sauce anywhere, buy it! It’s some crazy mix of chili and sesame deliciousness.
*Let’s just say, I was dipping so deep into the jar that my fingers got beany.I had actually packed a salad and some Pineapple Cil-avocado Dressing [Slash] Dip to consume in lieu of the cheese, charcuterie, and pork BBQ I knew would be unveiled throughout the day……but I consumed so many veggies and pieces of fruit–and falafel chips–that I was stuffed to the brim.*
–But, wait, Sarah…I’m confused. You said you ended up in a land of drunken craziness. It looks like you had a really fun time to me!–
For the most part, I did. It was great to see some old friends (including some in town from Austin!), set up a tailgate, and be “mother hen” to everyone around me–including the random guys who tried to steal our food that were so intoxicated I forced them to drink a glass of water each before sending them on their way.
But I also sent a text during the day that read: “I am sad for the state of humanity.”
Am I getting old in that I find so much drunkeness and people being carted off in police cars or on stretchers because they can hardly stand up rather repulsive? Or that it made me want to cry to be watching girls in very inappropriate clothing for the weather slip and fall in mud because they can’t stand up straight? And the TRASH! Oh my goll, y’all, there was so much trash everywhere…
I don’t know where this litle rant came from, but the whole day really disturbed me in a way that I didn’t expect. I’ll take my tailgates away from the drun-dergrads and obliterated alumni from now on, thank you.
The mug of tea I so desperately needed at the end of the day supported me: “Be proud of who you are”? I guess I’m proud to be an old party-pooper.
P.S. I also ate this salsa. It was really good.