Last Saturday, a few frousins (cousins who are also friends, duh) and I journeyed down to Monmouth Park on NJ Transit to celebrate another of our frousin's birthdays. It was also the NJ Thoroughbred Festival and my first time at the races. It made for an excellent day trip out of the city.
Christie, Jake, and I missed the train from Penn Station by about four minutes and had to wait for an extra hour. It's obviously a good idea to check how frequently the trains run when you are taking a trip like this, but hey, you live, you learn. After the hour wait, we had to ride the train for almost another hour and a half, so Jake and I were running out of things to make fun of Christie for even before we got to the racetrack.
Once we got to our stop, we ran up a couple cars, hopped off the train, and had to walk about five minutes to the track. We paid a whole $3 to get into the racetrack after getting yelled at for getting in the senior citizen line. And I know, $3 is steep, but we also each got a complimentary NJ Thoroughbred Festival cooler, so we can't complain too much. We met up with my sister, Katie, the birthday boy, Steve, and all of his friends. There were Wawa hoagies, TWO kinds of Doritos, and plenty of adult beverages. Even without the horse races happening, it would have been a great day.
I only made one bet the entire day. I didn't want to put money down for one of those wimpy bets, where you pick a few horses, or you pick one horse to place. I wanted to pick a horse to win. I did my research carefully, by just reading the names of the horses. "Geeky Gorgeous" spoke to me. She was number 5, so I put $5 on her for the win. She kicked butt and I got to exchange my ticket for $21.50. I was a happy camper.
We didn't want to miss our train again so we left enough time to walk back to the train station, sprint across the tracks thinking that we were going to miss it, realize it was a different train, and watch a drunk shirtless guy do pushups on the tracks for about ten minutes. Jake was an all-star and had secretly packed us all a few more beers in his NJ Thoroughbred Festival cooler and we thorough-bredly enjoyed the train trip back. (See what I did there?)
Don't worry, I didn't spend my winnings in one place.