Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mingling, Munching, Music, Mindy

 Yes, I know...another post about Mindy.
We had such a fun evening I just couldn't help myself.
I really should be her manager.
 My friends Amy and Justin Hackworth hosted a private
invitation-only Mindy Gledhill concert. 
It was presented at the Salt Lake Guitar Company
located on Provo's Center Street, which is a gem of a venue.
My husband and I decided to make it a double-date with our 
daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law.
Black Sheep Cafe before and music for dessert.
The best kind of evening out.

 Mindy sang some of her best songs and gained several new fans.

She even treated us to a few songs off her Christmas album
ending the evening with a fun 'sing-along' of 
Chestnuts Roasting By An Open Fire.
And even though I prefer to start the Christmas music after Thanksgiving
it really did warm my spirit for the upcoming season.

A Visit to Will and Kate's Place

 After a pleasant morning walk through Hyde Park
We arrived at Kensington.

 Our first stop was at The Orangery.
Coryn had eaten there while on her London Study Abroad
and wanted us to enjoy a little 'royal tea time.'

 It is a lovely restaurant on the grounds of the palace.

 The table next to us was reserved, 
possibly for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
as they just lived down the walkway.
Unfortunately, they never showed.

 It was such a pretty setting for a relaxing breakfast.

 Coryn and I had delicious yogurt with honey and fruit.
Court ordered a croissant with butter and jelly.
And we all enjoyed the most delicious hot chocolate.

 Afterwards we continued through the gorgeous
 Kensington gardens.

 If I had a gardener, I would certainly love this to be my backyard.

 This is the Kensington Palace from the back.
Former home of Princess Diana
and now that of her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

 Here is the front of the palace.
If you look closely at the above window with the white arch
I'm pretty sure you can see Will and Kate waving at us:)

 As you can see, Coryn and Court were giddy
with excitement to enter the palace.

 The Palace gift shop has many items fit for
 the future King George
or for any baby who wants to feel like a king:)

At the end of our visit Queen Victoria bid us farewell.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A visit to LaLa Land

(In Old Towne Pasedena)
Bill had a conference to attend in Los Angeles
and he invited me along.
It was also a chance to visit out daughter 'California Cait.'
(And may I say she has mastered those scary freeways.)

We enjoyed attending church at her beautiful chapel in Glendale.

While Bill was in meetings Cait and I had some fun
and bought tickets to tour the Grammy Museum
just around the corner from our lovely Marriott Hotel.
As both of us are singers we were truly into the groove:)

There was an exclusive exhibit on the life of Ringo Starr.
Memorabilia, costumes, photos, his art work, albums, drums.
Lots of original Beatles stuff.
Even a television showing their appearance on
The Ed Sullivan Show almost 50 years ago.

We even got a photo op with some of his old instruments.
Check out my drumming skills.
(When I was in junior high I wanted to be a drummer,
 It was because my favorite singer, Karen Carpenter was one.)

Our hotel was in the same plaza as the Nokia Theater.
I walked around on the day of this premiere and watched
the crews set up for the red carpet. 
I enjoyed conversations with several teenaged fans waiting in line.

On the night of the premiere downtown LA was a madhouse!
There was also a Lakers game next door in the Staples Center.
Bill and I walked into the plaza and watched
 some of the red carpet arrivals
which were projected on the big screen.
We walked over to get some dinner and on our way back
the interviews were over and all were entering the theater.
We walked towards out hotel along the glass windows leading
into the Nokia and to our surprise we saw Jennifer Lawrence,
the star of the film, walking right next to us
 with her family and friends.
She flashed her smile and she is just gorgeous.

Lucky us.
Caitlyn's friend, Jessica, who works for Warner Brothers,
arranged passes for us to spend a morning on the WB lots.
Her mother had worked for 30 years as the secretary to
the President of Warner Brothers and after graduating from college
Jessica's dream was to work there as well.
Caitlyn was eager to show us around her favorite studio.
Of all the studios Cait has worked at through Central Casting
she says the WB treated her the best and she enjoyed her experiences there.

 Costumes from The Great Gatsby (2013) worn by Leo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan
After a delicious lunch at the WB commissary,
we went to the Warner Brothers Museum.

 from Band of Brothers
They didn't used to allow photos to be taken,
but the ban was lifted the day we were there.

Christian Bale's Batman suit in Dark Knight.

Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn's costumes from My Fair Lady.

Concept drawings for Harry Potter films.
And then the big thrill for our family...
Getting to see the Harry Potter film memorabilia!

This was so amazingly realistic it gave me chills.
This is Hermione when she was petrified.
You could even see the veins in her hands.

Recognize this trio's wardrobe?

Yep, that's a BIG spider!

Dobby lives!

I love this scene in the film where nothing
is going to keep those letters out.

When we arrived we got sorted into our houses by the sorting hat.
Bill got Slytherin...haha:)
I got Hufflepuff
And Cait got Griffindor.
(3rd time she's been sorted and each time she's gotten Griffindor.)

Such a fabulous time!
I realize I have been very fortunate and a bit 
spoiled this past year
and I will not take it for granted.
(Stay tuned. More London to come...)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Some BBC Pop Culture in London

Yes, Doctor Who fans.
We found the Tardis.
A little worse for wear,
But there in all her glory:)

It was locked however,
so we were unable to confirm 
that it is bigger on the inside.

Of course this Saturday is the big anniversary!

Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman
 as the Eleventh Doctor and companion Clara.
Aren't they cute?

photo Court
St. Bart's Hospital in London
This building will mean nothing to you 
unless you have watched the last two seasons of
BBC's Sherlock.

photo Court
Court was beside herself with glee to visit the actual
Speedy's Cafe
where scenes from Sherlock are filmed.
We enjoyed a tasty lunch there.

This is the actual door they use for 221B

The brilliant stars of Sherlock:
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

And of course we had to visit the iconic Baker Street.
Loved how the tube station was thematically decorated.

Coincidentally, a movie poster of Benedict's new film role
was in the station.

Tile motif along the walls of the station.

Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock's landlady,
has her own tea shoppe and restaurant.

And who can resist a photo with a handsome bobby?
And a ginger, to boot:)

A fictitious character?

Court takes these things very seriously.

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outer results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes