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Derby Days

Vicki tells us about her weekend at the Kentucky Derby.

By Vicki Gunvalson

Happy Mother's Day to all of you that are mothers, or to those that one day who will become a mother. It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I have ever done, and no words can describe the love I have for my mother and my children, Mike and Briana.

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I had an exciting week, as I am returning today back to Orange County from Louisville, KY. I was invited to attend my first Kentucky Derby by a gentlemen and his wife, Paul and Robin Schmidt, who are also in the insurance business like myself. It was one of those things that I had on my bucket list to do, so I went on a leap of faith. Due to the low availability of hotel rooms in the area, they invited me to stay with one of their friends, Senator Julie Denton and her husband Barry Denton.  

Within an hour after I arrived, I had a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Louisville where I met many fans that had been waiting for me to arrive. My book, More Than a Housewife, has inspired many women, men, and even college students to find their purpose, their drive, and to take control of their financial future. The next day I was fitted for my designer dress for the Mint Jubilee Ball, and appeared on a live local TV show recapping the upcoming Derby parties and picks. We then went over to the world famous Churchill Downs racetrack for a celebrity luncheon on Millionaire's Row.  Wow, what an amazing place to be, and if you haven't been there yet, I highly recommend it to be one of your bucket list items as well. At the luncheon, I met Kate Goesslin, the Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fisher (who happens to be a fan of RHOC), and the current Miss America, who sat at our table. The most amazing part of the entire luncheon was when several of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients were recognized for their courage and commitment for their service to this great country!

Two of the three actually knew me by name and asked for a picture with me, which can be seen below. From there I went to another book signing, two more parties, and then participated in a celebrity poker tournament at The Palace for charity called, "Backpack for Kids."  At my table was Nate from Boyz 2 Men, Ron White, and the emcee was Robert Williamson III (world famous poker player).



On Friday, I attended the Kentucky Oaks race, which is when all the women wear pink in honor of breast cancer survivors and to raise cancer awareness. It was a great day to meet many fans, who were so sweet and definitely have the southern hospitality which made me feel very welcomed. It was amazing to see the horses up close in their stables and to meet the jockeys, and I even had an opportunity to appear in the winner's circle after race seven.  It made me realize how important it is to take time out of my busy life at home, to enjoy life, and to stop and smell the roses. Literally!

The actual day had finally arrived on Saturday, which was the 137th Kentucky Derby day. Those of you that watched it know it was a recordbreaking crowd of 164,000 that attended and was watched all over the world. Known as the greatest two minutes in sports, I must say as the horses galloped around the first turn, I had goose bumps from their intensity and passion to win the race. Again, it was a chance of a lifetime and allowed me to reflect on my own life and the intensity I have for my business and family. 

I watched this week's episode with great sadness. Donn and I were in a very difficult place in our marriage when we were filming this past summer. Although I tried to hide it when filming, it obviously was not possible. It makes me very sad to see where I was in my life eight months ago and is like opening a sore or a wound and pouring salt in it. It is very painful to say the least to watch it now. Filming a reality TV show during such a painful time was very hard on both of us and actually still is. Ironically, we are both very private people when it comes to our marriage, however it was hard to hide what was going on. 

When Tamra, Peggy, and I went to Temecula for wine tasting I was hoping that I could have gotten away without bringing up the pain that I was going through. Peggy had no idea that I was in such a sad state of mind, and she had no idea that I didn't really want to talk about Donn that day. Have you ever been in that situation where you just don't want to talk about it? That was this kind of day.

It was nice seeing Alexis' dress line completed and her photo shoot was beautiful at the St. Regis. I still don't know how she has such an amazing body after having three kids. She's definitely an inspiration to keep working out and eating healthy, isn't she?

Speaking of figure, Peggy looked absolutely beautiful in her photo shoot for Micah. It is so nice to see couples happy and in love the way they are. It's great to be around them.

Well it's been a long day of travelling, and I have to cut my blog short. Thank you all for your support and for your great emails.  

Remember to keep Coto Insurance in mind for any of your life, health, and retirement planning needs. We guarantee you the lowest available rates because we are a broker and can shop all companies.  


Vicki Gunvalson



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