Sunday, April 21, 2013

Steeple Chase

Since we've moved to South Carolina, the new experiences I've been able to enjoy seem to be endless.   First an exciting introduction into Hockey and now, we've been to our first steeple chase.  The event began mid afternoon on Saturday, and on the way, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Cracker Barrel: my most favorite breakfast place of all! 

 Here is Simon making a better score than me at the little peg game on the tables. 

After that treat, we met up with Kayla, from Simon's work, and Justin, her boyfriend to ride to the event together.  We were blessed with completely perfect weather, despite the fact that the light breeze tricked us all into not putting on sunscreen and therefore leaving with a bit of a burn.  :)

We were at the steeple chase with Simon's company: Consultex Systems, so we were with many of his coworkers, their families, and some friends of his boss Arne.  It was a rather large group huddled into the space, but it made it all the more fun.  

Here is part of the spread we snacked on throughout the afternoon.  Arne's dad is French, and we joke that we can always count on bread, cheese, and salami.  It really never fails.  haha 

Many of the horses came out at the beginning, trotting around before it all began.   

This is a shot of the empty track and an example of the beautiful sky! 

So, the difference, I learned, between a Steeple Chase and a Derby is that, along the track, they have hurdles for the horses to jump over.  Each group is made up of about 6 horses, and they do 3 laps around the mile-ish long track and the first to cross the finish line is the winner.  6 races in total went on that day, including one pony race.  

Before the whole thing began, several small carriages were paraded through the start/finish line area.  
Here is one of the little carriages. 

Arne's area was right in front of the finish line so we got to see the most exciting parts of the races! 
Here is a little three-shot action of the ending moments of one of those races.  
(You can just make out the hurdle in the background) 

The race winner: #5  

Some between-race chit chat

Me and Susana, the sweet wife of one of Simon's coworkers: Alex

Big smiles.   

 Kayla and Justin spectating, and our neighbors having a big time in the background.  

 Justin, Kayla, Kinsey, Brad, Simon, and me
 as we walked back to the cars lugging the coolers, chairs, etc.  

Needless to say, we were worn out after nearly 6 hours of race watching.  We were thankful for Arne and his generosity for providing such fun "work" events for us to enjoy.   As always with this group, we had a marvelous time, enjoyed delicious food with lots of laughs, came home a few pounds heavier and little bit crispier.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mom's Visit

Simon was able to travel to Germany, for about 10 days, on a business trip. It was rather last minute; we had less than 2 weeks notice. He and a coworker played the sales men roll at a trade show for a few days and then were able to do some personal travel before heading home.

Here is a shot of the booth they set up at the trade show.

While Simon was away, my mom came for a visit the second half of his trip.
I was working most of the time but it was still fun to talk at nigh and cook dinner together.
Once the weekend was here we just about shopped 'til we dropped. It was a fun time and I am glad she was able to come for a few days. It was nice to have some girl time without the husbands :) There was definitely some silliness and lots of laughs.

This is a random picture of us in the dressing room. 
 We both picked up the same shirt. It did not look at all cute on either of us ha. But I took a picture because I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Open Season on Ice Cream!!!

Across the street from our apartment there is a dangerously tempting little ice cream parlor coupled with a local farmers market/peach orchard. I try to support local farmers as much as I can by making a stop into the market once a week or so. The veggies are always so fresh, so it is worth the little extra money. Sadly, the place has to close down for almost half of the year since the crops and weather don't allow it to be open year round. I've been keeping my eye out for a sign advertising the reopening for awhile and last week it was there!!

So after a nice al fresco pizza dinner on the balcony, we walked over and each enjoyed a kiddie cup of our favorites. The ice cream parlor is such a little thing, but it is one of the things we have made our own since we moved here and I'm happy to have it back. Now we just have to keep the visits under control :)