Thursday, October 27, 2011

the hunt diary...

The First-Timer With Firefly In Her Prada Cross-Body And A Desire To Muddy-Up Her Bean Boots

Once a year [starting with this one], SUILTSOY takes a peek behind tailgate hay bales left slightly askew. This season, the First-Timer With Firefly in Her Prada Cross-Body And A Desire To Muddy-Up Her Bean Boots: Female, online content lead, Chelsea, 25, straight, single, stylish.

[Warning: This blog post contains adult content pertaining to the consumption of alcoholic beverages during daylight hours.]


7:40 am: What the what is that noise? Is it Monday? What time is it? What's happening right now? These are the first thoughts when my alarm goes off. Quickly though I realize that I've set my alarm to 7:40 am on a Saturday for good reason: The Hunt.

7:45 am: Climb onto Tully's bed and tickle her feet while making up a weird song about how she needs to get out of bed because we're going to our favorite place on Earth - Penn Station. She moans, she groans. Groggily, I walk down the hall to Jess' room to wake her and Sammi, but they're already up. Still very much in bed, but at least awake.

8:00 am: I stagger across the street to Starbucks. It occurs to me now that perhaps staying out dancing until 3 am last night was a miscalculated move. Everyone in this place is perky. Is this what the rest of the world does on Saturday? They get up at 8 a.m. and do things? I feel like I can't even see. I order a croissant, two venti iced black teas, and a breakfast sandwich.

8:10 am: Still only about half-awake, the four of us are whirling around the apartment trying to throw together appropriately prepped-out fall ensembles and gather all our snacks and, er, beverages.

8:37 am: We hail a cab remarkably quickly, pile in, and sigh collectively. There's no traffic as we zip up 8th avenue to make our 9:11 train. As we pull up to Penn Station, we can already see girls in Hunter boots and guys in brightly-colored chinos filing in.

9 am: Tickets purchased, we mill around in the station, watching the hoards of young people dressed exactly like us pouring into the station and likewise waiting to find out our track number.

9:05 am: TRACK 7! TRACK 7! Dear God Track 7! [Insert LL Bean-clad stampede here.]

9:08 am: The four of us manage to grab two rows of seats together. The train is bursting at the seams with about-to-be-drunk 20-somethings in polos, cable knits, critter pants, and waxed canvas jackets. As we pull away from the station we see kids holding 18-packs stranded on the platform looking really disappointed.

9:30 am: After finishing our breakfast pastries we begin the festive part of the day. All around us we hear the sounds of champagne bottles popping and beer cans being cracked. Seriously. Somewhere in car behind us kids are playing drinking games and yelling enthusiastically. I pull the bottle of Firefly sweet tea vodka from my Prada cross-body bag and pour a little nip into our iced teas. Jessica and Sammi are having Irish Coffees in the row behind Tully and me. There's not a conductor in sight. Something tells me tickets aren't really a thing today.

9:40 am: Our neighbor Adam finds us and we all exchange a cheers. He's drinking a whiskey + ginger out of a Seagram's can. It seems both aggressive and appropriate.

10:30 am: We have to switch trains at Summit, and consequently lose our seats in the shuffle. We are relegated to standing room in between cars with at least 10 other people. We decide this seems like as good a time as any to crack the champagne and mix mimosas. It's another 45 minutes to Far Hills.

11:15 am: We finally arrive in Far Hills, and the crowd de-trains in joyful spirits - skipping, running - some people might even be singing. Everyone loiters around the port-o-potties for at least 25 minutes, and we find our neighbors and friends and finally all make our way to the race area. Between the ridiculous and the eviably chic, it's some of the best people watching I've ever seen.

11:40 am: It's so, so muddy. I am so, so pleased.

This post got a bit lengthy, so please do click through...


12 pm: Adam and Steve lead the charge to a Colgate University plot that is already a party in full swing. There are 6-foot sub sandwiches, solo cups abound, and more plastic bottles of alcohol than I've seen since my University of Arizona days.

12:15 pm:  According to this article from The New York Times, as well as first-hand accounts from various sources, The Hunt is a fantastic place to meet a warm body nice boy to hang out with for the winter months. As we are four single girls with cocktails in hand, and everywhere we look are pretty good-looking guys in Barbour jackets and wayfarers, this seems doable.

1 pm: The four of us are merrily sipping our drinks out of the same Starbucks cups when we hear that horn sound that signals the start of the first race. We remember that the race circles around the area we're in, and turn the right way just in time to see a flash of horses and jockeys go by.

The rest of the afternoon: We alternate between our home base of the Colgate party and taking laps around the infield, running into and making friends, playing ladder ball, occasionally seeing horses run by and having sporadic dance parties on top of hay bales. At some point we befriend some guys who borrows a magnum of red wine from a neighboring tailgate. I have also started taking "street style" photos of girls we meet in our adventures. [That post is forthcoming!]

Sometime around 5:30 pm: The infield is nothing but mud, beer cans, and trash. People are falling backwards over hay bales into other people and into the mud. The cute guys we think we saw earlier are covered in dirt and beer. We unanimously decide it's time to head home before one of us turns into Swamp Thing.


6 pm: Safely aboard a homeward-bound train, a phone call confirms that Adam and Steve have also headed back to the city, and Steve and I throw around the rather ambitious idea that we should probably just keep going out once we're in Manhattan again.

6:05 pm: Tully and I admire the state of our boots, and review the photos and videos we took during the course of the day. Will the sun setting swiftly as the scenery goes by, it already feels like our whole adventure was actually days ago.

6:15 pm: I am dozing soundly on Tully's shoulder, she's sleeping against the window. Jess and Sammi find us and wake us up in time to switch trains for the last leg of our journey home.

7 pm: Linked arm-in-arm four across, we decide we should just walk the 11 blocks from Penn Station to West 19th Street, and giggle the entire way -  the other pedestrians seem only mildly less amused.

8 pm: Someone has the brilliant idea to order Thai food, and we spend the rest of the night recounting our crazy day and watching some terrible movie on TBS. We're all asleep by ten.


  1. cheers, sister. awesome post.

  2. Day drinking and witty remarks = an excellent post. Love the Bean boots!

  3. Barbour jacket-clad boys, mud and BOOZE? Attending this next year.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Knowing that you can trudge in the mud might be the best feeling, awesome post! Now to find something like this in the Pac. NW!!

  6. haha i love this post! Day drinking at it's finest, i like it.


  7. Great post!

  8. Loved this post! It's still like 80 degrees in Texas, so it makes me happy (and a tad jealous) to see you getting to do preppy fall things. And it made me even more excited for the adventures soon to be had in the Bean boots I just ordered :)

  9. HA! Awesome post. At first I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite lines but there were too many to count. I'm about to make it my life goal to make this trip next year.

    -Maiah // Writing with Wine