Monday, March 28, 2011

The Princess and me (Lady Di and I)

What can you do when the weather suddenly turns from summer back to winter?
Road trip with the girls!!

Despite weather reports of impending snow and ice, we left early Sat. AM for Kansas City (3 hours drive) to see the new Princess Diana exhibit. This traveling exhibit will only stop in 2 places in the US, so we had to see it before it moved on!  First things first...we stopped for brunch!  My daughter Ali lives in KC, so she recommended a cool girls place for lunch.  As our GPS was taking us thru a rather sketchy neighborhood, suddenly this charming restaurant appears.  After we brunched on yummy crepes, we emerged to find big, chunky (inappropriate at the end of March) snowflakes falling.

Across the street from the creperie was a very cool neighborhood bread bakery. They were almost sold out, so we helped them further deplete their daily inventory, and took loaves home to the men!

The Princess Di exhibit is at Union Station, the historic train station in downtown KC. You can't take any pics of the actual exhibit, so here is the big banner hanging on the entrance to Union Station.

The exhibit was a real girl thing, complete with a hoard of women in purple wearing red hats shuffling everywhere. There was a small history of the Spencer family (including family jewels!), pics and memorabilia from Diana's childhood. Then more photos, etc. from the courtship and royal wedding, with Diana's wedding dress as the centerpiece of the exhibit.  OK...we thought the dress was a little underwhelming...definitely very puffy and bulky (how did they stuff it in that carriage?!).  Her shoes (which you probably never saw under that big dress) were sweet (and flat) with pretty heart shaped lace decorations.

My favorite part was the room near the end of the exhibit with a couple dozen dresses (with matching hats) that she wore to official functions. Some were everyday princess wear, but some were beautiful evening dresses. It was startling to see the costumes on mannequins, then see the photos of Diana wearing that same dress. That girl was a designer's dream!!  She could take an 1980s vintage suit with shoulder pads and make it look positively glamorous!  I think she also had a better figure than those mannequins for making an evening gown sizzle!

The exhibit also highlighted Diana's philanthropic work, which still lives on thru the foundation established at her death. There was a small gift shop at the end, as well as an opportunity to record your thoughts.  One stunning part of the exhibit were books and books and BIG BOOKS full of official condolences that were collected all over England and eventually assembled and bound. Shelf after shelf after shelf full....and these were probably just representative of the whole collection.

Honestly, the exhibit was very moving for me.  I remember the engagement, then watching the royal wedding in the wee morning hours, then following Lady Di through the highlights and trials of her life. Finally, sadly, watching the funeral that signaled the end of her too-short life. Thankfully she lives on through the ongoing work of her foundation and the many charities that benefit.

Contemplating the long ride home, we realized we needed something sweet to keep us alert!  We found the Cheesecake Factory and I was so excited, I forgot to photograph my beautiful piece of chocolate coconut cheesecake. Alan doesn't like coconut, so it was a treat to indulge my chocolate/coconut passion.

And so...the 5 little girls returned happily to Ta-town!  Lots of fun, chatter, culture and fab food later we're asking...."When is our next road trip?" 


  1. What an awesome road trip! I feel like you about Lady Di, I think we somehow felt like we knew her. I'm sure it was a very moving exhibit, Linda. I'm glad you had the opportunity to go!

  2. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I didn't know about the exhibit, so I just called my daughter who lives about 4 hours south of KC and told her we have to go! The restaurant looks neat too. I'm taking down some notes about it since I love crepes.