Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What a Wonderful World

It's been a long few days since I last posted. Full days, too. From a relatively light Spring, we're careening into a heavy Summer of weddings, weekend visits, and conferences. Last weekend had Gold Cup, this weekend had all that and more!

So Hubster's dad got us tickets to the America's Cup of Polo. We had VIP tickets for the Cartier tent, very nice what with the free food and drinks all day and the fabulous views of the field. This year was the inaugural year so everything was new and exciting and less than perfectly organized, but it was a fun time.

It all got started with a cocktail party Friday night. Sister-in-law Slydig (henceforth to be her handle because she's a funny person with a penchant for the sarcastic) and I went through balmy Hades on the slow Washington Metro to get out there for it. Then we got a tour of the grounds for the game, lovely Morven Park, as well as the location of the cocktail party near a former Virginia governor's mansion. We ended up with all of 30 minutes to freshen up for the party and I am proud to say that we did it and looked HOTT at the end to boot. We are machines. Pretty, pretty machines.

Moving on, Market Salamander did the catering for the entire weekend. There was not a amphibian in evidence, despite their bizarre name, but there was plenty of food, most of which was inventive and just plain delicious. They had mini ciabatta breads for their slow-roasted leg-of-veal with amazing dressings. Their pork, mango, and basil-leaf hor d'oeuvres were amazing. Oh, and they had this poached pear tidbit wrapped in filo that made me fall in love with food all over again. We haven't even talked desserts. Very good stuff here. The drink of the event was a Polo-rita - a margarita with pomegranate and orange juices and Casa Noble tequila. Also quite good.

The cocktail party was fun, especially the part where Mumsie (mother-in-law) and Slydig and I sat around feeling awkward and fashion-policing to take the edge off. They're more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Man, I am FOLKSING IT UP around here. I am so obviously not one of the elite of this nation that I should have been BANNED from such a stately event. But I wasn't. Ha!

So we hit the hay once Hubster arrived (having driven down after work) and got up to a day whose weather could not make up its mind. It's sunny. Now it's overcast. Now it's sunny again. Now it's sprinkling. Now it's raining. Now it's clearing. Now it's sunset. Good night. Fortunately, the good and bad patches coincided with our schedule so we were able to watch the polo match in the overcast, dry sections and then retreat to the tents for the annoying drippy parts. It could have been better, from a planner's perspective, but it could also have been considerably worse given a weather report that had 40% chance of thunderstorms listed only the day before.

And what to say of the day? The US polo team was made up of mostly amateurs and the UK team was mostly professionals, so the final defeat of the USA was not all that surprising. The match was exciting throughout, however, except in the last chukker when the UK really brought on the hurt by widening their early two-point lead. I've blocked out the final score, but it was probably like 7 to 3 in their favor. Ouch. Still, next year's match should be with Italy and we'll see if there's enough interest state-side to garner an entire professional squad or not. Perhaps the best part of the game was one of the announcers, Cowboy SomethingorOther, who's been doing this since the 70s and was flat-out hilarious when he wasn't inappropriate and mildly offensive. When the US scored a goal, he bellowed "Well slap my pappy and call me happy!" When he was fitting in an advertisement for an inner-city outreach group, he was so inappropriate it was laughable. One phrase stuck out, though "so donate some money of and help them out to keep those kids off the streets of your neighborhood with guns." Words fail me.

But the match was the easiest part of the day. We had Hubster's entire family together so we wanted to talk and hang with all of them. Charles and The Hair came along and brought two friends as well, so that made more interesting brains to pick. Plus we invited a couple of Maryland friends as well. It was a full house. Good thing the champagne flowed all day, along with more Polo-ritas, Yuengling, New Castle Ale, and lots more good stuff. Did I mention it was Cartier branded champagne? Fortunately, it didn't taste like their jewelry which I would guess would be lacking in tasty effervescence and lean closer to cold metallic flavor with notes of polishing agent.

The day wrapped up with a concert by the reconstituted band of Journey, still rocking hard with their new members and ready to put on a pretty good show. We watched from the tents for a while, but closer to the end, we headed out on the field, Hubster having opened one last bottle of New Castle each on an abandoned caterer's table, and we rocked out to "Don't Stop Believing" and generally had a fabulous time. It was late, dark, and everyone was feeling tired, but we still had a blast.

And that's more than enough for this post. More, perhaps with pictures, tomorrow.

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