I went to Emerald Downs today for the very first time. It was in celebration of Sandy’s 18th birthday. I had a wonderful time.

There were a total of 10 races for the day. Sandy and I bet on every single one of them, with the minimum of $2. At first I bet only to place or show, but realized it might be smarter to bet for the win because it’s the big chance to win real money. Vonna started betting after the first couple of races. A plus for betting? Sandy’s mom gave Vonna and I $20 each to bet with. I couldn’t believe she would do such a thing, but she explained she gave out money every year they did this kind of thing. “Well, all right.”

Before every race we would read the names of the horses and pick the ones we liked best or whichever was the weirdest (my favorite of the day was “Be The Bunny.” Ha ha). Then we’d run over to the stables to see the horses and decide to either stay with the horse we picked or change it to the more frisky, prettier one with better odds. And then we’d run over to the gate right by the finish line and wait for the race to begin.

I ended up winning twice: once I won $3 with horse number 3 and the next time (which was also the very last race of the day) I won $13 with horse number 2. If my horse seemed like he could make it I was screaming and jumping up and down. I think it helps. ha ha.

We went back to Sandy’s house to open gifts and have cake. We ended up just each taking a piece of cake home with us because we were so full of junk food from Emerald. Sandy suggested we watch a movie, so Vonna and I narrowed our choices down to “Casablanca,” “The Mummy,” “Mulan,” and “The Man in the Iron Mask.” I couldn’t decide, but since Vonna had never seen “Casablanca” we watched that (she fell asleep through it) and I borrowed “The Mummy.” That movie just rocks.

Seriously, though, I feel like it was an absolutely perfect day. I’m going to have to remember to thank Sandy again.