Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Mania!

Soooo...today was the Royal Wedding, which you probably already know about unless you have been in hiding in some remote village in a third-world country.  Truthfully, it's pretty hard not to at least notice it, even if you didn't get sucked in like I did.  I set my DVR last night before I went to bed, specifically to see the wedding before work today.  And I also recorded the must-see E! commentary - I mean, what good is an event unless Giuliana tells you her opinion on things?

The Queen rolled up to the big event wearing a precious yellow ensemble.  Although she seems cold to me normally, I can't help but think of her as Prince William's grandma.  Does (or did) he ever run up to her and throw himself into her arms for a hug?  Does she call him on his birthday, or is that something her staff has to remind her of?  I read somewhere recently that no one just "drops in" on the Queen - rather one must schedule an appointment with her personal secretary (including her relatives).  But what about her grandkids?  Shrug.  I guess I'll never know.  But the point of my story is: she looked darling at the wedding.  See?  Aren't those old-lady shoes and handbag adorable?  She's just like my grandma, only much much wealthier.  Ha!

I especially loved the trumpets announcing her arrival to Westminster Abbey.  I think it would be kind of awesome to have a fanfare when I walked into any old place, I'm just saying.  On what occasions do they perform this task for her?  

Also, I would like to know who put this whole thing together.  I've seen The Hills & The City, so obviously I know that people who orchestrate fashion shows wear headsets with boom microphones and carry around clipboards.  Was there a Lauren Conrad or a Whitney Port running the show here?  I just wonder who was in charge of say, sending the cars from the palace to the church, making sure things were timed properly, telling the trumpets when the Queen was about to walk through the door so they could start playing the fanfare perfectly on cue, when exactly the newlyweds were going to walk out of the church in order to send the horse-drawn carriage toward the door, etc, etc, etc.  It was just too perfect, and I think MAJOR kudos should go to the head orchestrator.

Shifting gears, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie wore Philip Treacy hats to the wedding which I thought were wackadoodle!  I guess he is known for "interesting" hats...see SJP a few years ago promoting SATC.

I guess I just don't get wearing hats.  I wear hats when I'm too lazy to wash my hair.  Why on earth would I want to DO my hair, and then pin a tiny round acorn to my side-part?  It's weird and I just don't really see the use.  It's not going to protect you from rain or the sun.  It will definitely annoy people sitting behind you.  You may hit door frames when entering or leaving buildings.  It might confuse wildlife.  See?  It's just not safe. But I guess hats are the thing in Britain, especially in hoity-toity situations such as the Royal Wedding.  So back to the Princesses.

Hrrrm.  I mean, Eugenie's is okay--it matches her dress, and is relatively tame.  But come on, Bea.  That spelunker-lamp ribbon contraption is just weird.  It kind of reminds me of the Lion King musical, where characters wear their masks above their human faces.

Well, hers is like an ornate mirror, hanging on a wall.  See?

But, I was reading this thing the other day from when the Middletons got their coat of arms:

And notice how similar the ribbon at the top of the shield looks to Bea's hat?  Well, apparently the blue ribbon signifies an unmarried daughter in the household (that would be Pippa).  So I wonder if the ribbon framing Bea's face is to signify her status as an unmarried woman?  Just a thought - I completely made that up though, so don't spread it around as the truth.  :)

Here is a hat that she wore a while ago that I LOVE.  I mean, HELLO!!!  A swarm of insects is taking flight from her skull. What's not to love about this??

Anyway, I guess all I'm saying is wow.  Just wow.  I wonder if she was like "oh my god.  People are going to just luuuuuuuuuuuuuve my haaaaaat!"  Well, this person thinks your hat was dumb.  I'm sure you don't care if someone in Oklahoma thinks that, but there you have it anyway. 

Also looking strange...Chelsey Davy.

She just looks sort of...rough.  

I don't know.  Her hair is disheveled, she has dark circles under her eyes, her jacket and skirt don't match (let's be honest), and she looks so top-heavy she could fall right over.  Clearly not the most flattering garment ever created, which is surprising, since 1) it's Alberta Ferretti and 2) it was made especially for her.  Not a fan.

But obviously the main star of the show was Kate Middleton.  Duh.  She wore Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, and it was gorgeous.  Seriously stunning.

Boom shakalaka.  I just love the V-neck and how she kept her arms covered with the lace sleeves.  The veil I'm not super fond of, but the tiara.  Wow.

The Halo tiara was commissioned by Colin Firth (clearly I'm referring to King George VI of The King's Speech fame) for the Queen Mum.  It was made by Cartier and was a gift to Princess Elizabeth on her 18th b-day.  So sweet.

It's okay, I guess, if you have nothing better to wear.  Which I suppose I do not, seeing as how the highest title I have to my name is Little Miss Mississippi, and the crown was a little something like this...

(sparkles added for effect).  So yeah, her tiara was amazing.  And I wonder if the Queen will wind up giving it to Kate, like she did with Diana's crown.  It would be hard though, since it is now so sentimental to both of them.  I wonder if Kate gave her a hug when she was told she could borrow it for the wedding?  Can Kate hug the Queen?  Or can she just curtsey?  Her curtsey was glorious as she and William were leaving the Abbey, by the way.  I wonder if I would curtsey to the Queen if I ever was in her presence...I know it's not required, since I'm not a subject in her Realm, but I might anyway, just to be cool and faux-British.  Or I might be all obnoxious and defiant, and be all like "pssssh.  Heck no I'm not curtseying to you ELIZABETH.  I don't have a Queen, unless of course you count Tyra.  So there."  While I may talk a big game, I can almost guarantee you I'd be curtseying with everyone else.

So the wedding went on, blah blah blah.  I totally FF'ed thru the speeches and the music and while they went into the little chamber room to sign all the formal documents.  Hello!  I just wanted to see the couple.

She kept doing this weird thing with her thumb during the processional back to the Palace after the ceremony.  I wonder if anyone else noticed?  It kind of looked like she was tucking her thumb in on purpose, and keeping her wrist straight.  I don't know - maybe I made it up too.  I am known to read too much into things.

And look at this little girl.  She was SO unhappy with the airplanes and noise and was insistent upon covering her ears the whole time.  And then there was this little girl:

She kept leaning over the edge, trying to see what was going on down below.  At first I thought she was over it, and was just kid of slumping down like a rag doll, being bored.  But I read somewhere that she couldn't see, which made it even cuter when Prince Charles picked her up.  I could just hear her parents thinking "jesus, of all the times for little Lady Louise-Margaret-Rose-Wynona-Sheniqua to act up!"

Also, after looking at that pic I think Carole Middleton is super cute.  On the other side, the years are certainly showing on Camilla's face...maybe it's time for some Royal Botox.  Just a thought.  

As an aside:  Is it weird that part of me is nervous about "what if Camilla read this?!?  She would hate my guts"??  Ooh, look at me, I'm so risky, what with critiquing the Royal Wedding like everyone else and their dog today.  

To finish on a positive note, look at the amazing cake from the Queen's luncheon earlier today.

It's kind of amazing.  As is the dress that Kate changed into (oh, excuse me...Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge).  It's also McQueen, and I just adore the fuzzy cropped cardi she's wearing with it.  Isn't she so skinny????

She sure was lovely on her big day!

Vietnam - Day 2: Lunch Lady & The Rex Hotel

Okay, so if you watch Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations, you might have heard of the Lunch Lady, a little woman in Saigon who makes lunch every day on the same street corner.  Here's a link:


Well our friend Tony scouted the city before we got there, and found her!  So on our first full day in Saigon, he took us to the Lunch Lady's street corner.  It was on this street corner:

Under this tree:

is this lady:

THE LUNCH LADY!  (With Tony)

...and it was worth going out of our way to find her!

Here are Ryan and Tony in the (child-sized) seats, waiting on the food!

On the menu for lunch:  noodles with chopped peanuts, cucumber, cilantro, tender pork ribs, and some shredded carrots.  It was SO tasty!

To drink: fresh-squeezed sugarcane juice.  CHEERS!

Spring rolls - with little shrimpy-shrimps.  I'm deathly allergic, so I passed on these, but I heard great reviews.  :)  They sure were pretty though!

This was also on our first full day in Vietnam, and was SUCH an amazing introduction to their food.  I mean, Ryan and I eat pho all the time here in OKC, but never do we branch out and try other things.  Now we certainly do!

After lunch, we went to the Rex Hotel, a Saigon landmark and a popular beer garden for expats in Saigon.  It was the land of the American-priced beer, but it was nice to be able to order a beer and it come with a chilled mug!  Plus, the view was kind of amazing.  On the ground floor of the hotel are the fancy shops in Saigon - Bulgari, Chanel, Cartier, etc.  With the insanely cheap prices in all of the city, I popped into Chanel to check...no luck.  They were about the same as in the US.  hehehe!  Hey, it was worth a try!

Tony suggested we try durian fruit while we were in Vietnam.  It is quite smelly, but some find it to be delicious.  We tried to pinpoint exactly what the smell was.  I think we finally decided it's a mixture of death, wet sweaty socks, wet dog, and fart  (I know - super delightful, right?)  Well, since it was SO smelly, the hotel didn't even allow it in the building, so the closest we could come was in ice cream form.  Here is Ryan about to try it.  (Notice Tony smirking to the side).

Unsure about the flavor...

Well, there's no photo of my trying the ice cream, but I will tell you right now, it was nasty.  Not like, "I prefer not to eat that"-nasty, but literally barf on the table nasty.  Ew.  Ew.  Ew.  And once you know what the smell is like, I swear I could sniff it out from miles away.  Needless to say, the container sat on the table just like so until the waitress came by, laughed at us, and took it away.  Hilarious. : /

So I washed that taste out of my mouth with a delicious Saigon beer.

Look, the crown is on Ryan's head!  I crack myself up.  It took me a bit to line him up, and when he finally figured out what I was doing, he was not necessarily amused.

Headed to sightsee some more.  Look at the electric poles.  This definitely looks up to code.

Since we sell motorcycles and scooters for a living, we were super impressed with all the scooters around town.  We found this local Vespa dealer, and of course, had to stop in!

They don't have this color in the US.  I WANT ONE!!!!

They do have The Coffee Bean though!

And it was clean in Saigon.  I was surprised since there were so so so many people.  But workers literally sweep the streets of debris, and it is quite tidy.

I did find a pepper that they missed, though.  Sigh.

Saw this guy chilling on his scooter.  I wondered if he found that particular wall to stare at because it made him feel like he was in the countryside??

Just reading the evening news.

This is what he was turned away from.  haha!

Finally, after this day full of going going going, we went to dinner with Tony's family, and we tried banh xeo for the first time.  It is essentially a Vietnamese crepe, filled with whatever you want.  It comes out as a GIANT crepe/omelet looking thing, and you just break off a piece to eat and wrap it up in a wasabi leaf (so so good - just like a bit of lettuce (actually more like the consistency of a mint leaf, if that makes sense) that you wrap the crepe in.  Kind of reminded me of Pei Wei and the lettuce wraps, but far tastier.

I'm pretty sure one was "the good one"--made with shrimp and other seafood (again, which try to kill me), and the "jenn one" which was vegetarian.  Not that I have any problem with that - in fact, I am appreciative that Tony and his family were with us to keep me from dying of anaphylactic shock!  Plus, I had a 7-UP, which is always refreshing.  We were seated on the front porch of the restaurant, in hopes of picking up a breeze.  By this time, it's probably 9 PM, we've been walking around all day seeing the sights, and we are super jet-lagged.  This food was probably so much better than I remember, but I was exhausted and only ate probably 1/4 of the banh xeo!

Since we used airline miles to get to Vietnam, we were kind of at the mercy of American Airlines.  For this reason, we arrived in Saigon a full day before the rest of the group.  (The extra day is this one I've just finished describing here!)  Tomorrow, another 5 members of the group are arriving, and then the final two arrive a few days after that.  I really liked the extra day - we got to sleep and see some sights.  The only thing that was weird is that the next day, we were pretty well rested, and the newest 5 people were running into the extreme exhaustion that is caused by 22 hours in the air!