Jenna and I attended the annual Boxing Day horse races at Ellerslie track in Auckland yesterday, and we had an absolute blast. Leo kept referring to the event as the Boxer Day races, but it was more about horse racing than men’s underwear. We actually had a babysitter for the kids and spent the entire day in an outdoor summer Christmas party. What could be better?
For starters, it gave us a chance to dress up, something that we have done exactly once so far on the cruise.
I went with the same ensemble that won me the best-dressed male at the Opua School fundraising tea, except I swapped out the skinny gray tie for a wider silver checked tie from Barney’s. I also wore cufflinks fashioned from 5 cent kiwi coins that our host Misti gave me for Christmas earlier in the week. Jenna wore the coral dress she wore for my 50th birthday party along with vintage white gloves that were a gift from Becky and some Prada platform wedge stompers.
We all liked the way her shoes complemented her ray tattoo.
We attended with our friends Scott and Annie, and Nigel and Misti. We actually had tickets to a lounge area that featured a series of fashion contests throughout the afternoon in between the horse races.
We arrived too late to register for the competition, and which was a shame because I think my skinny jeans would have put up a decent fight in the men’s group.
But we were really there for the ponies, and we would sit around our table and diligently go through the data on each horse and then bet on the one with the coolest name. Jenna was especially good at that. It was the gloves.
We would then go outside and sit on a balcony to watch the race. We had never been to a horse race before.
The races were run on grass and varied in distance.
It was SO MUCH FUN. Here is what I looked like after my horse Abideswithme won his race.
Any horse with a name that refers to The Big Lebowski requires a bet, and I had him to win and to place.
Jenna got into the winnings as well. She liked it.
But as much as we were enjoying the horse racing, the more we were there, the more we realized that the day was all about the clothes. In the women’s fashion contests, the successful strategy was to go vertical.
Those aren’t hats on their heads, by the way. They are called fascinators. Some were pretty elaborate.
We are obviously a long way from Tonga.
We’ve written in these pages about our good friend Randy Daniels from Seattle. He has developed a brilliant habit of posing with interesting-looking people at parties around the world. I decided to channel Randy’s spirit and do the same. Here is a shot of me with the model who posed for the event poster at the top of this blog. She didn’t enter any of the contests, but her dress was stunning.
Here is a shot of me with Paris Hilton and her friend.
Even Jenna got into the action and posed with a couple of guys whe had entered the best-dressed contest. The guy on the right is named James and was really bummed he didn’t win. He had a nice cane, though.
All in all it was a day of silly fun, capped off with Jenna’s Minnie Driver imitation from “Good Will Hunting” She won the overall competition for best dressed at the event. At least in my view she did.
Have I mentioned how lucky we are to be on this trip?
What an amazing adventure, Jenna! Your children are so lucky to have the world as their classroom. Enjoy your travels.