Is summer really over? Saratoga's 2014 racing season is over, so for a whole lot of racing fans, the answer is yes.
I'm hopelessly in love with Saratoga Springs, New York--with its landscapes, with its architecture, with its people, with its obsession with horse racing that cannot be equaled. The original lovely little town with a Thoroughbred problem, Saratoga has been my muse in the past, and I have no doubt she will continue to inspire my writing in the future.
My husband and I were lucky enough to spend a few lovely days at Saratoga this August, during Travers Week, when the excitement for the "midsummer derby" is reaching its fever pitch. We didn't stay for the Travers, but we had plenty of excitement with the weekday racing, along with plenty of time for dining, shopping, and just plain wandering Saratoga's graceful streets.
I wrote a short primer for visiting Saratoga over at my travel blog, but for you, my equestrian readers, here is just a collection of some of my favorite images from Saratoga Springs.
|Horse racing is literally everywhere - this is the grocery store.|
|Is this a house made out of a little barn? If so, can I have it immediately please? Just a block away from the racecourse, and practically perfect in every way.|
|The Jim Dandy bar, which Alex visits in "Other People's Horses." I tend to selfie a lot.|
|Admiring the very gorgeous Bossman, who won his race despite an extremely lengthy inquiry that kept him walking in circles while the stewards pondered the video.|
|I am not convinced that this building is real life. It's too perfect. It's a miniature. Right? This is the Canfield Casino, home to the Saratoga Springs History Museum, right in the middle of Congress Park.|
|More random horse racing murals! This one is in the gorgeous post office on Broadway.|
|Tale as old as time? Girls and their horses. The winner's circle between races.|
|Best sidewalk decoration ever? Obviously.|
|I met a pony. He was the best pony ever. He luffed me.|
|THESE ARE PAINTINGS. I am forever obsessed and want them both.|
|Would you like some delicious water little girl? One of the many springs in Congress Park shows off its mineral content.|
Note: we drank from all the springs in Congress Park. The best-tasting water comes from Columbian Spring. This is because the water in Columbian Spring is CITY WATER. There is a little sign nearby indicating this. The rest of the water is varying degrees of ick, from "wow this isn't the worst" to "OMG VILE." The award for most vile also goes to the most lavishly landscaped, and I do not think this is a coincidence, but an EVIL PLOT. I'd upload a picture but Blogger is being ridiculous so just be warned -- stay away from Hathorne Spring. It tastes like sulphur soda. You don't want that.
Visit my travel blog at ThatDisFamily.com for more on Saratoga Springs (and pictures of the evil spring). Have you been to Saratoga? What do you think of it?
One last thing - while I was there, Cory and I were lucky enough to attend a media picnic at Abigail Adsit's training barn. We met up with the folks from Talk of the Track, who ended up interviewing us about the books, particularly "Other People's Horses" and "Ambition." I haven't watched the interview, because the idea of watching myself in a video is just the last word in horror, but if YOU want to know what I said - some things about Saratoga, some things about Thoroughbreds, some things about myself, I guess - it's at my Facebook page, Natalie Keller Reinert: Equestrian Fiction. I can't say that my first time on camera was a completely terrorizing experience, but I did require several beers and a whole lot of french fries to recover, so... be nice!