Last Saturday, thousands of white, preppy East Coast kids stuffed the pockets of their Barbour jackets with nips of Fireball and flocked to suburban New Jersey for The Hunt. The Daily Mail calls the annual horse race the best day of the year for the “attractive and inebriated elite,” and anyone I know over the age of 22 calls it, simply, “hell.”
Back in the day (read: every year until now) The Hunt was my favorite weekend of the fall. My girlfriends and I would road-trip out to Summit, NJ — first from college in DC, then from the city once we became real, working adults — and spend Friday night drinking wine and eating pizza by the fire. It was EXACTLY what we would have been doing at home, but somehow felt more special when it was done without the threat of the rats that lived in our house/apartments running around trying to steal our pizza (seriously; we knew it was a thing long before “pizza rat” got famous.)
The next morning, we would wake up at the crack of dawn to straighten our hair. Getting ready was actually a surprisingly fast process, considering our outfits were always heavily curated (as in, bought brand new the week before) by the time we actually got to New Jersey.
The rest of the day was, pretty much, exactly how the Daily Mail described it. We would drink beer/champagne/whatever we could find, flirt with the boys who had the best looking sandwiches at their tailgate (we never actually bought a plot, so were literally forced to scrounge for food and alcohol) and run into pretty much everyone we’d ever met.
For the first three years, it was HEAVEN on earth. Did I mention how cute the boys were?
Last year, though, something had changed. Saying I was suddenly “over it” is the understatement of 2015, and I exaggerate a lot. I got there, stayed for 20 minutes and decided it wasn’t for me. Considering I’d paid $175 ticket, it ended up costing me $8.75 a minute to wait in line for the port-a-potty and drink a warm Natty Light.
After that, I retired.
So, this past Saturday, when a few of my brave 24 and 25-year-old friends went out to Far Hills for one last hurrah, I donned my white-girl fall uniform (jeans, boots, sweater, vest, aviators) and decided to treat myself to an equally basic, but far less alcohol fueled, fall weekend.
The weekend went as follows (listed in order of chronology, as well as basic-ness):
- Took the train out to the suburbs (New York, not New Jersey, but otherwise the exact same as usual) with two of my besties, where we cooked ourselves a huge dinner. A guy in the grocery store stopped us in the snacks aisle to ask if we were throwing a party because our cart had so much stuff in it; I couldn’t decide if it was rude or flattering
- Watched a Diane Keaton movie, which I slept through, and was in bed and asleep by 11:30
- Woke up at 9:03am, put on a hot pink Nike running outfit with matching sneakers, and went on a run. Listened to Taylor Swift’s 1989 the entire time, and at one point paused to jump in a pile of leaves.
- Put on aviators, drove an hour to an apple orchard, picked apples, ate apples (like, 45 of them each), drove home. The Taylor Swift CD wouldn’t play in the car, which was a real buzzkill, but we soldiered on
- Got home, put on leggings, made pumpkin bread.
- Watched Season 2 of The OC (the second best season in history, next to Season 1 of The OC) while eating pumpkin bread and drinking apple cider that we bought at CVS.
- Debated skipping Saturday night in the city and continuing our weekend on its current trajectory until my friend’s mom told us we were being losers and needed to go out.
- Trained back in to Manhattan and went to a girls’ dinner where we drank vodka sodas and talked about boys, then to a birthday party for a friend of a friend where we continued to drink vodka sodas and tried to meet boys.
Sunday went similarly, except we came back to the city and ate Sweet Green Salads instead of pumpkin bread (#skinny) and watched The Intern and Nashville instead of Because I Said So and The OC. I wore the same leggings and sweatshirt all weekend. Judge me.
Worth noting? I saw equally as many horses at the apple orchard as I did in all three years at the hunt combined: None.