Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Storms Keep Coming

Last night Rory and I had our first experience with a tornado warning. The news channels had starting warning people early in the day that we had a tornado watch until 10 pm. So all day we were waiting for the storm to hit. Rory got home from work and we watched the news for a while. Rory had Young Men's that night and they were playing kickball. I was worried about him going but they said it hadn't been cancelled. Things still looked nice outside so he went and promised to keep his cell phone close so I could text him if he needed to get home quick. He had a fun time and came home and still no storms. I watched American Idol for two hours and just watched the little storm ticker that went along the bottom of the screen the whole time. Tornado warnings had started just north west of us. As soon as American Idol was over at 10 the weather came on and we just kept watching.

Rory and watched as viewers sent in pictures and video of the storms they were seeing. We saw a house leveled by a tornado and ping pong sized hail. Although we heard some people reported baseball sized hail. We were worried about our car since we don't have a garage. Mobile homes were flipped and power was going out everywhere. And this is the storm we saw coming towards us.

You can see Louisville in the middle of the screen. We live just above that right next to I-65. At this point the storm was pretty close! A lot of people were under tornado warnings which is different than normal. They said with this storm a tornado could pop up pretty much anywhere along that line. Normally they can usually pinpoint a little closer where one could potentially start. But this storm was just nuts! This picture below is a 3d view of the wall of nastyness coming towards us!

Isn't that crazy? At this point we were ready to ride out a tornado if it hit. Luckily we live on the bottom level of the apartment building. We are half in the ground and half above. So that's about the best you can do if you don't have a complete basement or storm cellar. Our bathroom is in the middle of the building with no windows so we were prepared to ride out the storm in the bathtub. We had the essentials, our wallets, phones, public alert radio, and that sort of thing in the bathroom. We had pillows to put over our heads if things started flying around. Once we had everything ready we just sat on the couch watching this line of weather coming our way and waiting to take shelter.

It was supposed to hit by 10 but the storm had slowed down, so it was after 11 and we were still waiting. Even though we wanted to go to bed, the longer it took the storm to get to us the better because the storm gets weaker as it goes into the night without the heat of the day to fuel it. So around 11:30 we finally got rain. But at this point we no longer had a tornado warning. We had dropped to a tornado watch. I was definitely relieved we weren't going to have to sit in the tub worrying something might happen. Finally about midnight we went to bed to a nice thunderstorm outside. So after an hour and a half of sitting there nervously waiting for the storm to hit it was nice to go to bed and stop worrying.

It's still kind of stormy outside right now, but we're safe and sound and we never lost power!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Severe Weather

So I'm sure most of you have heard about the devastating tornado that went through Missouri on Sunday. I can't believe all the nasty natural disasters we've had out this way this year. I think I heard that this past tornado was so big that only 1% of all tornadoes recorded have ever been this bad. Crazy. Luckily for us the tornado didn't continue on to Indiana. Indiana is right next to Missouri on the east side. Although we didn't get a tornado through we we've had some fun severe thunderstorms. Rory and I were up off and on Sunday night as we saw bright flashes and heard very loud claps of thunder.

Last night we turned on the TV and found that only the weather channel was on because we had severe weather warnings. Whenever we have warnings like this the weather people usually take precedence over any normal programming. I'm glad they keep people informed. Especially when tornadoes are coming their way. Anyway, Rory and I watched the weather for a little while just waiting for the storm to hit us. It was nice outside when we started watching and then it started to get darker and darker and then the rain began. We saw some crazy lightning and I was startled multiple times as the thunder hit. And then, the power went out. This is pretty normal. We heard the microwave come back on a few times in the middle of the night on Sunday while we were sleeping. But normally the power comes right back on. This time it didn't come back on within 5 minutes.

We were trying to figure out what to do in the dark when Rory decided we should build a fort and watch a movie on our portable DVD player. :) We built a pretty cool fort. We put the couch cushions on the floor so it was pretty comfortable. Before we watched our movie we decided to get dinner. We were going to have chicken ceasar wraps, but we didn't want to open the fridge in case we didn't have power for a while. So we went and go Wendy's for dinner. :) And of course as soon as we walked in the door after picking up our food the power came back on . :) So we ate our dinner and then enjoyed watching Flyboys in our fort after turning off all the lights.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kentucky Derby

I know it's been forever since my last post. My laptop had a meltdown when it picked up a virus. So we bought a new laptop and it finally got here this week! I can finally update our blog! When I get my pictures of my memory card that hopefully isn't infected with the virus from my old laptop I'll post about my family's cruise to Greece. :)

A couple weeks ago Rory surprised me with a Mother's Day present with tickets to the Oaks Derby! I was really excited! Oaks is the race that the 3 year old Phillies (girl horses) run the day before the big Kentucky Derby race on Saturday. In the past Oaks day has been the big local party and mostly just locals would go on Friday. But I think as people heard more about Oaks it has become more popular.
There are races all day Friday and Saturday. We went Friday and hung out in the infield. The cheapest tickets to sit in the stands are $250. Some seats cost about $50,000 and there are some even more expensive than that. It's pretty insane. Here is a picture of some of the expensive suites and bleacher seats below.

You can get in the infield for $25 so we did that. :) I guess the tickets are so cheap there cuz you can't see the whole track. They put up more bleachers just inside the track and sell super expensive tickets for those. So people in the infield are behind those bleachers. There are lots of tents and things with people selling food and other things. Most of the families hang out on one of the ends of the track where there is a big grass field you can set up chairs and blankets and watch the track on that end. This is where Rory and I took the picture below. You can see just above us a big screen in the background. These were set up all over the infield so people could watch the race.

Rory and I actually found a pretty cool place to watch. There was a small gate in between bleachers set up on the finishline side of the track. From there we could see the finish line which was pretty cool. I know it's small, but the white pole in the picture is the finish line.

All of the races are different lengths so they set up the starting gates at different points, but on the first race we watched the starting line was right in front of the gate we were watching from. It was really cool to see. This is a picture of the start of one of the races!

Below is a picture of the horses in the final stretch!

We watched 4 races before we couldn't stand the heat and cigar smoke anymore. I swear everyone was smoking something and drinking. The infield is the party place. And the later in the day it gets the more crowded it gets. I can't even imagine how crowded it was on Saturday. It was crowded enough for us on Friday. We ended up being there for about 3 hours. It takes a long time in between races.

Even though we don't gamble, Rory and I would pick a horse each time and cheer them on. :) My horse won 2 out of the 4 races we watched! I really wished I had put money on them. :) But it turns out one of the horses I picked out was the favorite to win anyway so I wouldn't have won that much. I'm sure you all want to know what my winning strategy of picking horses was. Well, I picked the jockey wearing the hot pink shirt. :) Rory and I knew absolutely nothing about any of these horses so I figured if I always picked the same color I was bound to win one right? Plus, Oaks Derby celebrates breast cancer survivors and awareness so I had to go with the color of the day. I was wearing my pink shirt. It was crazy seeing all the ladies in their pink dresses and crazy pink hats. Even a lot of guys were wearing pink dress shirts. (The infield doesn't have to drees up even though some people wear some crazy things. But if you're in the stands or suites anywhere they have a dress code.)

We had a great weekend full of horse races. Saturday we had the races on tv all day while we did things around the house. It was a lot of fun getting into it. It was a great experience to go to Churchill Downs and see this amazing event. Below is a picture of the famous twin spires. I don't know if you can see the years in the middle of the picture but the Derby has been going since 1875. Crazy!

The Kentucky Derby is a great event full of tradition. Who knew horse racing was so exciting? If you're ever in the neighborhood it's an experience you'll not find anywhere else!