Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vacation tales and pics

** SIGH **

Daughter Christina is back into blogging after a hiatus, and is bugging me to post something.

Okay . . . I guess. I had promised several of my many both of my my ONE faithful reader some pictures of my recent marathon driving trip as well, so here's a start.

We left Texas heading for Chicago and spent the long Labor Day weekend with my younger daughter and her husband in their high-rise apartment right on the Chicago river with a view of the lake.

Here's a shot from her "office" (and I'll never tire of this view!):

In Chicago we toured the Frank Lloyd Wright residence and studio, and took a walking tour of some of the homes he designed early in his career. I have some pictures, but unless you're REALLY into architecture and FLW they wouldn't be very exciting.

Our daughter and her husband have been taking ballroom dancing lessons, kind of like Badabing. She (not "they") decided to try a ballroom dancing competition, and although we didn't get to see it, we did see all of her pictures and videos.

Now part of the deal is, each female competitor has to have TWO dresses: one for "smooth" dances, and one for Latin. The "smooth" dress has to have a "float" (a panel of usually sheer fabric that attaches to one wrist, and from there to the skirt), and it absolutely MUST have rhinestones. LOTS of rhinestones.

How many rhinestones, you ask? Well, the bare MINIMUM (and nobody would be caught dead in a dress with this few!) is ten gross.

Do the math.

That's 1440 little sparklies that are HAND-GLUED to the dress!

My daughter's dress had 13 gross . . . But who's counting?

She bought the fabric and designed the dress herself. She hand-glued the 13 gross colored rhinestones in a pattern around the bodice designed to look like flames.

Yes, flames.

Okay, okay, here's a picture:

Now, get this! Many competitors buy their dresses (not having the time or the skill to MAKE them). My daughter says she spent a total of about $300 for materials for this dress.

She was told by a dress designer that had she bought that dress it would have cost $3,000. And that's without the rhinestones glued on!

Oh, and don't forget; competitors would NEVER wear a particular dress more than once in competition! NEVER!

In case you're wondering, she doesn't expect to compete in the future. "Been there, done that," is what I think she said.

Could she go into business making custom competition dresses for ballroom? And make a killing? Sure.

Does she want to? Nope. She's a graphic designer (manager) with bigger fish to fry. Am I proud? Hmmmm.

Oh, and one last shot. Carol and I were walking exactly one-half block from daughter's apartment in the heart of downtown Chicago, when a rabbit hopped across the sidewalk in front of us and headed for some landscape plantings in front of a huge high-rise building.

No, that is NOT a fake rabbit or a retouched photo. Here's a close-up, complete with red-eye:

More to come . . . Someday!


R.E. Wolf said...

I'll be waiting for the next installment!

kenju said...

ME too! I can't believe your daughter doesn't want to start a cottage industry designing and making competition dresses! That one is lovely! And the view from her office is to die for. I hope she knows how lucky she is!

Nankin said...

Well, I'm certainly impressed. She must take after you.

Christina said...

She should consider selling the dress on ebay.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Oh, as far as the view is concerned she knows how lucky she is! The kicker is that she works from her home in Chicago for a company in Virginia. Whenever her co-workers get to see her office view, they are EXTREMELY jealous.

And Nan, thanks for the compliment about my daughter taking after me, but as Christina could tell you all of their friends and acquaintances refer to my wife, Carol, as "Number 1," and my Chicago-dwelling daughter as "Number 2." They are as similar as a mother and daughter can be in terms of artistic and creative abilities. Also perfectionism.

You see, that's why I married Carol (because opposites attract!)

Now Christina takes after her father. We're an interesting family!


Peter said...

G'day John, that Chicago view is certainly something to write about, very glad to read that Ike had no effect on your home, more photos of your trip would be good.

Michelle said...

I, too, am waiting for the next instalment. I love seeing the pics of Chicago as that is where I will be visiting next year.

My hiatus is finished too. Believe it or not, the goddess is back and you can catch up on my blog. It is good to be back in my body again.