Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Inspirations

Hi All,
Today is a departure from the Europe shots to enjoy some of Autumn in New York inspired by Colombian sartorial details. The "ruana" cape and the "Carriel" bag are both from Colombia, South America. Actually the bag used to be my Daddy's ;)  All pictures taken on-the-fly by the inimitable Miguel amid GORGEOUS brownstones and neat signs. The door alone is a piece of art!

...Locked out :/


Saturday, November 5, 2011

London continued...THE MEWS

My adventures in London continue!

Visiting The Royal Mews

Where the Royal carriages, horses, cars, et cetera are kept and cared for used to be stationed at Charring Cross. It has been (yes, "it") located at Buckingham Palace since the early 1800's.

As little as 50 years ago the families of the stable-keepers lived and had their children schooled in the community of the Mews. Sounds quaint doesn't it? Either that or good fodder for a British soap opera ;) Ideeeeas people!

The square where the stable keepers' children used to play...

The same square from the other side
A description from the official site of The Royal Collection

The Royal Mews houses the State vehicles, both horse-drawn carriages and motor cars, used for coronations, State Visits, royal weddings, the State Opening of Parliament and official engagements.  Visitors can see the Gold State Coach which was last used during The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 to carry Her Majesty and Prince Philip to the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.  
For most of the year the stables are home to the working horses that play an important role in The Queen's official and ceremonial duties.  They are mainly Cleveland Bays, the only British breed of carriage horse, and the Windsor greys, which by tradition always draw the carriage in which The Queen is travelling. As they may be on duty, undergoing training or having a well-deserved rest away from London, the horses are not always on view.

The Queen takes great joy in name the horses. Sweet, right?
En vogue

Take a good look at this jacket because it's a Where's Waldo in future pictures...
Did i mention i saw Kate Middleton's wedding dress on display in the exhibit at Buckingham Palace?
 It was GORGEOUS!!! (needless to say...and Kate's waist was super tiny). Designed by Sarah Burton.  The lace applique was exquisite. Handmade with the flowers that represent England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock), the four parts that make up the United Kingdom, it symbolized unity and a dress.

Never underestimate the power of a good dress.

...unfortunately no photographs were permitted. Below are three pix that are not my own so you can see the coaches in context :)
Kate and William
The lovely lovely and beloved Diana


These are mine...


Check this elaborate coach!!!! Wooooh! Talk about making an entrance. Can you hear the trumpets and drums in the distance?

My fantastic tour guide, Jo (like the Super Nanny) explained that this car has canvas seats because at the time of its manufacture that quality of canvas was more valuable and exclusive than leather.  Also, it has no rear view mirrors because the Queen is not supposed to be seen unawares. 


1. Does the Queen drive the above car?
2. Would she need a license to drive?

  Happy like a kid. I've always wanted to learn to ride *sigh* one fine day I shall...


Friday, October 28, 2011

Dude! It's been too long

Hello Lovely People!

I confess I've been back from Europe for a little while. It was fantastic!!! I wish you all could've gone with me ;) I met many new and wonderful people, faces and places over the month-long trip.

Before going on this trip people kept telling me how much i was going to enjoy it and how much it would change me. I was looking forward to that kind of revelation. Not because I am discontented with my life or my self but because I believe, like Daddy always said, "When you stop growing you're dying" so invite personal growth.

One week passed, then two and I didn't feel different. There were amazing sites, sights, and events but no revelation; no change in perception or identity. Week 3 and week 4 pass and still nothing. Finally, I boarded the aeroplane home somewhat thrilled at the adventures and a quarter wondering where my revelation had hid! I landed, I took the usual bus from the airport to Port Authority (I began to feel strange), then the subway home (where I flashed back to all the subways I'd been in: London's Underground, Brussels, Paris, Munich, Milan. Strange, again), and then finally my apartment (super strange).

Every subway stop I'd been taking for years felt different--like out of a picture book. Every corridor in my apartment seemed like a mock-up. I felt like Alice in Wonderland! As though everything was morphing size in vision and hand. Having tread familiar haunts my way home, they simultaneously felt smaller and bigger than I'd remembered. It was dreamlike. I flung myself onto my crisp bed with wonderment at the fact that it had been "here" the whole time, waiting for me, and I felt the great big world calling me back out to play! ...explore and adventure!
...after a nap.

West End Lane, London
 (is there any more perfect-sounding British street name?)

Above is the neighbourhood where I stayed (not far from Abbey Road) thanks to my amazingly talented, generous, and gorgeous cousin <3 Thank you, Annie! KISSES!!! :*

 The London Underground:

Green Park, walking to Buckingham Palace....

At this point I'd only just started my travels but I found myself asking, "What country are we in, again?" This would happen again later in Milan.

Walking through the park to get to the Palace by 7am. I was one of the first people to step foot in that day :) I ROCK!

Tin Soldier ;)
Asking directions
Watching. Guard.

The thickness of the walls surrounding Buckingham Palace and the Mews
 I visited Buckingham Palace and all i got was this lousy t-cup...
 ...hahaha. Yes, but that cup of English Breakfast and the scones with fresh strawberries and clotted cream was enough to make my little heart happy :) 

Besides, I was still on the uplift of having seen that amazing Nash architecture, and the gold leafing, and the Faberge eggs, and the color-themed rooms, and the oil paint and sculptural masterpieces, and Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown and shoes *breath*.
 Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures of the art or the state rooms inside the palace but i stopped and stared so long I have mental pictures in my mind!!! If you go to London in August--do yourself a favour--make a point of visiting the Palace!

See the little golden crown?

I stopped and talked with the attendant. She said, in her delightful British accent, "I feel like Harry Potter in this cape!" after i complimented her on her carriage of the ensemble. We had a good chat and she said that students come from all over the world, not just England, to be attendants for the tour when the Palace opens in August. So if you're a student and want to work in THE QUEEN'S PALACE for a month, get on it! ;)
Some of the trees in Her Majesty's backyard

 J was here...