Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's All About the Hats!

Shades of Eliza Dolittle! Yes, the hats at Ascot were fabulous,

and we were very lucky it was fairly decent weather that day, because the weather got pretty nasty Thursday and Friday. Can you imagine trying to keep these "masterpieces" under an umbrella all day?

Ladies in Red....
A girlfriend outing, I imagine.

A little lopsided, but cute.

Channeling other worlds perhaps?

A la Audrey Hepburn!

See the hand and fingers on top?

She cleared a wide path when she walked.

Love the back of these!

A menswear tuxedo look.

High fashion.


Feathers and color won't let you down!


She asked to take a photo of my hat, so of course, I took one of her!

Flying saucers?

Boa around the brim!

Liked the bold color!

Two friends out for a special day.

And my favorite of all. This sweet lady was adorable, and had planted herself in a position where everyone could see her as they came into the grandstand. Isn't she a charmer?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peeking at the Royals

So, here I am again, reporting from Royal Ascot about some interesting people we saw during the day.

Believe you me, checking out the horses was just part of the allure of the day--there were some interesting glimpses into the life of the rich and famous.

Before the race begins each day, the Queen and her guests make their way up a private road from Windsor Castle

to the racecourse.

Queen Elizabeth has been attending the races every year since 1945.

After making her way up the course each day of Ascot, they turn into the Parade Circle where we were waiting,

and there she alights from her open-topped landau carriage and makes her way to the Royal Box.

The largest race of the day was The Prince of Wales Stakes. HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip was the presenter. The Queen's husband had just celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday at Windsor Castle with family and friends.

He presented the trophy to Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, the owner of the winning horse, Rewilding.

Nearby was Queen Elizabeth's daughter, Princess Anne,

and I would have loved to know what those raised eyebrows were all about.

Finally, Katherine Jenkins, the classical/operatic pop singer from Wales who has been so popular of late, was watching the festivities near us as well. Now that's some hat!
And hats will be the theme of the next blog coming soon--you won't want to miss seeing some of the day's best and the quirkiest.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It was a Royal Ascot Day

Yesterday, I was able to check something special off of my "bucket list." After living in the London area for 3 years, I finally was in town the week of the Royal Ascot horse races, and we were the lucky guests of friends who had arranged for a private box where we could enjoy the entire day. Royal Ascot spans over 5 days, and this year was the 300th anniversary of the race that was first begun by Queen Anne in 1711.

Some arrived by horse and wagon to Day 2 of Royal Ascot,

but our style was much simpler, arriving by mini coach, and joining the others who arrived early to enjoy

some pre-race festivities and picnics.

It could have been compared to a royal tailgating party, because there were coach loads of guests all dressed to party.

Our group of friends was in rare form,

and the girls were in their loveliest hats and frocks.

Hubby and I stopped for a quick picture as we entered the race course-- he, of course, in his morning suit, and I, in my formal day dress and a "substantial fascinator" as required by those

entering the Royal Enclosure, a section at the heart of all the Royal Ascot activities with strict rules to abide by, as well as special privileges.

We watched 5 races throughout the afternoon, with one upset after another, with none of the favorites taking home the winning prize.

In between races, we enjoyed a lovely lunch together, as well as high tea in the afternoon.

Race watchers sitting in the Royal Enclosure  are allowed into the Parade Ring to get a close up look at the horses before they run,

and see them as they come off the tracks, lathered in sweat after a race well run.

Jockeys are quizzed about their performance,

 and the winner of the biggest race of the day, the Prince of Wales £400,000 Stakes, is crowned. Rewilding, owned by the Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai came from behind to earn the coveted prize.

One of his trainers kept him circling in front of us for awhile as he cooled down, giving us a close up look at this beautiful 4 year old colt who had been given 17-2 odds of winning.

As the day wound down, the crowds stopped around the bandstand to celebrate their winnings in an old-fashioned and traditional sing along. One of the highlights of the day and a marvelous way to wrap up such a memorable occasion.

Stay tuned, because coming soon, I'll share with you about the "people-watching" we did, including some "royal" sightings, and of course, no report on Royal Ascot would be complete without sharing with you some of the wildest and best hats of the day! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Boy's Toy

So, my husband bought himself a toy a couple of weeks ago--a white Thunderbird.

Not just any white T-bird, mind you, but

a 1956 white Thunderbird, with a  Continental spare tire kit,

and a removable hard top.

It's the same model car Suzanne Somers drove in "American Graffiti," but these days, you'll find my husband's best gals

sitting in the driver's seat.

He's loving his new money pit  toy and so does Jordan,    

who enjoys kicking back and imagining life in the fast lane.

So long, we're off on a road trip....

Here's a reminder of how the T-bird made its appearance in "American Graffiti" if you want to walk down memory's lane.