Beating the odds of the likelihood of rain, we took off to the horse races at Arlington International Racecourse yesterday. And by the time we arrived, the sun was already shining. Fortunately the crowds were so small that it seemed like we had the place to ourselves. Before placing any bets, we sat down to eat the scrumptious lunch that our kitchen staff had made for us. While the Residents dined and studied the programs, they took their time picking out their favorite horses, which they based on the familiar names of their relatives. As soon as the horses came out of the gate, the Residents leapt from their wheelchairs in excitement shouting at the horses with unbridled enthusiasm.
Our outing was filled with many amusing incidents but most memorable was when our driver, Jose, who is short in stature, walked up to the food court to get an ice cream cone. The ice cream vendor assumed he was a jockey and asked him if he was a “rider,” which is what they call the jockeys. But Jose heard “driver,” and since he was our driver, he answered in the affirmative. So then the vendor asked him for his official ID, Jose assumed he was requesting his driver’s license making it even more confusing. When they finally figured out the misunderstanding, everyone had a good laugh.
Jose joked afterwards during the ride home that this was the first time that he was ever “carded for an ice cream.” We teasingly replied that even after all that rigmarole he did not even get a discount. Then everyone got a chance to share their winning and losing stories for the day, which sounded much like the old-fashioned “fish stories.”
When we pulled into the driveway, all the Residents with new color on their cheeks began inquiring about the next trip to the race track.
Even though the morning news had forecast the day to be “a long shot” weather-wise, it held out in our favor. All the Residents said it was a sure “pick,” because of the great day they all had.