Ringing in the New Year at Gulfstream Park 2016-2017

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Gulfstream Park picnic area

As you have already noticed from my posts, my husband and I love horse racing!  We have been going to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL for about 6 years now.  We skipped it last year because we had a lot on our plate and didn’t have the time nor the funds to go. We both agreed that we really missed going last year so we decided to ring in 2017 at one of our favorite places!

Gulfstream Park is about 4 hours away from our house. I say 4 hours but in reality it should only be 3 1/2 hours.  There is usually traffic and congestion when you get to the Fort Lauderdale area and when you get off the exit for the track.

Paddock area


We arrived at the track just in time for the first race of the day which we try to make every year we go. The weather was beautiful with a nice breeze off the water and the sun shining most of the day.  The weathermen were predicting that as the day went by that it would get cooler,  so with that in mind, after the first race we went back to the car so I could get a hoodie and on our way back I found $5 in the parking lot two cars down from me!! I picked it up and thought to myself “Wow, hope this is good luck!” And just like that, my Magic Money Challenge jar is up to $5.92 !

We spent the day at the track and I didn’t cash in ONE ticket the whole day.  It was getting a little depressing but I really wasn’t spending too much money.  $2 here…$5 there.  Ron lost some money too but won it back by the time we left for the day. After the races were over, we were STARVING so we decided to go to the pizza place that we always go to (I have to admit it was my idea, Ron just wanted to go to Steak and Shake then take a nap).  So we go to the pizza place, order our pizza and the lady says “That will be $31.35”.  I said “Ummmm…WHAT?!?!?!” and whipped my head around so fast I got dizzy.  She pointed to the menu on the wall that had the prices of their food (like I can’t read or something 🙄) and said “Yes, $31.35”.  I thought I was gonna have a stroke!   Who charges $31.35 for a large pie?  No one, that’s who! WTF?!?!?!?!  So I wound up paying them for the highway robbery pizza and we split.  When we brought the pie back to the hotel it was barely cooked but smelled pretty darn good (or maybe we were just starving).  We ate a few pieces and then took naps. A few hours later we woke up pretty nauseous and took turns christening the hotel bathroom most of the night.  We will NEVER, EVER go for pizza there again!

View from our room


We woke up Saturday morning feeling a little better and we were starving.  The Hampton Inn where we stay has a great breakfast which is included with the price of the room (their coffee is awesome AND FREE 24 HOURS A DAY!).  After breakfast we took showers, put on our lucky clothes and ventured out to the track.

For the last few years that we’ve been going to the track they haven’t “allowed” coolers inside the track.  We used to be able to pack up our coolers with beer and water and sit in a designated picnic area. Not anymore!  Or how shall I say this, you can get into the place WITH a cooler that LOOKS like it’s NOT a cooler…BUT..if they catch you grabbing beers out of it and filling cups I’m assuming that they will tell you that you have to bring it to your car.  I’ll let you know what happens, if we ever get caught 😉

Another thing that I noticed was the new awesome portables!  Not only were they clean and air conditioned, they had 4 stalls and a separate area to wash your hands (see picture below).  New portables = 2 thumbs up! 👍🏼👍🏼

The awesome portable sinks
The awesome toilet


As the rest of the day went by, I couldn’t hit a horse to save my life and it was getting really frustrating! The last few races I started winning some of my money back and then it happened…..I hit a long shot horse at 35-1 on the last race of 2016 !!!!  WHAT!!!!  I had bet $5 on it and it wound up paying me $188.50 !!!  Thank you Ultra Brat and Angel Cruz!!!!!! 💃🏻

Smiles for everyone!
A special thanks
Ultra Brat saying “You’re welcome”
On the way to the Winner’s Circle
Ultra Brat and Angel Cruz in the Winner’s Circle

After all of the excitement and I cashed in my winnings, I decided to treat Ron to a gourmet dinner of Steak and Shake take out  😂.   We got our food and went back to the hotel to eat and take naps.  Normally we spend NYE at our house and Ron usually falls asleep way before the ball drops and I usually fall asleep at 12:10am so these naps were much needed if we were gonna last the night.  When we woke up a few hours later, we took showers and headed out.

When we arrived, they had a band playing Spanish music along with a cool laser light show in the paddock area. As the band took breaks, they played 80s music in between and everyone seemed to be having a great time!  When it got close to midnight there were fireworks going off in the surrounding areas around the race track which was really cool to watch.  The last time I was able to watch multiple fireworks at once was when I lived in NJ and could watch each of the towns on the Raritan Bay shoot off their fireworks, including New York’s fireworks across the bay.  Fun times!  And then things went downhill FAST after midnight….

Gulfsteam Park Christmas Tree
Laser show

Happy New Year…or Not!

As we walked to the car there were many cars in line trying to leave the parking lot. We noticed that there was a car trying to park in a spot next to our car by making a second lane and it was clearly not going to happen without hitting my car.  When we got to the car we told the guy to back up because he was going to hit it and that we were leaving. He was extremely drunk and did not speak English which made this situation very difficult to manage. He wasn’t moving at all either, he was just babbling with his foreign drunken babble and not making any sense. Obviously he didn’t understand what we were saying because he continued to try and wedge his car into this spot next to us.

Finally after we kept screaming at him, he reverses the car and we get in our car. While we are sitting there I said to Ron “This asshole just put his car in drive again and he’s going to hit us”.  Sure enough, CRASH!  Ron and I both get out of the car and start screaming at him to back up. He backs up, puts it in drive and almost hits me!  Are you fucking kidding me right now???  What the hell is happening?  Ron was screaming at him at the top of his lungs through the guys  passengers side window and was honestly wasting his time since the guy didn’t understand a word he was saying.  And I was just standing there in shock. Meanwhile, people in the other cars are yelling at the guy too. THEN this guy backs his car up again and straightens himself out in the parking spot and drives forward to the spot in front of him.  When he does that I was in the process of taking a picture of his license and the guy drives away!!!! Holy shit!!!  Luckily Ron remembered the make, model, color, first 3 characters of his license plate and knew what he looked like. There was a truck full of guys who told us what the rest of his license plate number was so if you’re out there reading this…thank you!!

We called the cops and when the officer came we told him what happened. The license plate matched up to his description and make, model and color of car.  The damage to my car wasn’t really that bad in the end.  The way he hit my car and where he hit it, his damage should be worse than mine.

And THAT was our New Year’s trip to Gulfstream Park!  It’s never a dull moment with us.

So how is your New Year going so far?