Sunday, September 2, 2018

Frugal Femme Mini-Vacation - Part II (The Performance) and Drink Recipes

Hello Everyone!
After driving to Houston we checked in to our hotel in the Museum District with about two hours to spare before when we thought the event started.  (I have since learned, double check the performance times compared to the times on the tickets. We got to the venue a half hour before the times on the tickets and that was when the doors opened, not when the event started.  LOTS of time to kill.)  Where you stay on a mini-break is, maybe, the most important part of the trip.  I like to stay at hotels with room service because I like to be pampered.  It is the splurge part of my vacation.  But I also like to stay at little bed and breakfasts.  It really all depends on the location I am in and what my plans are for most of my vacation.  Since I was planning on going to the Houston Art Museum and spend an entire day there, the following day, and that area is so beautiful and has the metro-rail, we decided that it would be better to have our hotel closer to the museum than to the performance.  It was still close-ish to the venue - being only a fifteen minute drive away.  Yet another reason for loving road trips.  With google maps and smart phones, you have total freedom to go wherever you want because you don't have to rely on public transport.
But I digress....

Back to Dita.
If you have heard anything about Dita von Teese and her events, then you know that her audience is almost as interesting and well dressed as she is - before she starts stripping.  So I broke my packing light rule and brought two possible outfits for the evening.  One was a vintage, Asian dress in royal blue, and the other one was a Bettie Page wiggle dress in teal.  For each I had brought seemed stockings in a color to match the dress.  And by color to match the dress, I mean that the seams matched the color of the dress, the stocking itself was a nude color. 
These are a picture of the blue ones from the What Katie Did website.  They come in all kinds of colors.  I plan on getting the wine red color soon.  I think that I will get a lot of use for them during the Christmas holiday.

And to keep them up, I broke out the retro style corselette - I had to, it was the only way to keep the stockings up. Plus, if there is ever a time to break out your top notch vintage style wear (or underwear) its at a Dita von Teese event.  I ended up deciding on the wiggle dress because I was worried that even though I could stand in the blue dress, I wasn't certain that I could sit in it for more than five minutes without cutting off vital circulation somewhere in my body.  (Side note, I have since lost enough weight that I can now, not only stand in the dress in comfort, but sit in comfort as well.  Yay!!!)
So clothed and ready to go, we set off for the performance.
Yes, I took a picture in front of the sign.  I was one of the first in and have no shame.  Plus, I didn't pay the extra to meet her - which I am so doing next time - so this was the best that I was going to get.
This tour was called the Dita Von Teese Copper Coupe tour.  Now there may be those of you out there, just like me, who had never heard of a coupe before.  Or, also like me, you had heard of it but thought that it was a type of car.
A classic coupe.   Wouldn't you just love to ride in this with a scarf tied around your head, sunglasses on, and windows down?  Talk about glamorous!

(Which it is....... but in regards to this tour, it means a type of cocktail glass that has a shallow bowl with a stem.  Sort of like if a wine glass and a martini glass had a baby.)  Just reference the picture of me with the sign up above and  notice the glass that Ms. Von Teese is in - that is a coupe.

What, you may ask, goes into a coupe?  Well, I am so glad you asked, because I felt the need to research that as well.  One of the most popular drinks to go into a coupe is a Corpse Reviver.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Just for the name alone I think it will now become my drink of choice to serve at Halloween parties.   A Corpse Reviver was a popular drink in the pre-prohibition 30's.  The name came into being because it was supposed to be a hangover cure.  (I am loving this!)  So, I have included  recipes for two types of Corpse Revivers.

Please keep in mind that I have yet to try either of these recipes, but they are on my list of things to try in the near future.

To give you a base line of what goes in a "classic" Corpse Reviver, wikipedia gives this definition:
The plain Corpse Reviver cocktail is a cognac-based cocktail, with two parts cognac, one part Calvados or equivalent apple brandy, and one part sweet vermouth.

Since I love apple brandy, that sounds delicious to me!  As a side note, has anyone seen the apple brandies with the "trapped" apple in the bottle?  Farmers grow apples in their orchards and when the tree starts to bud, they tie a bottle over the bud.  As the fruit grows, it grows inside the bottle.  It really is pretty cool and makes an awesome gift.
This is actually a pear brandy, and its kinda hard to see, but I swear that there is a pear inside that brandy bottle.

But, again I digress.....
Here are the recipes.

Corpse Reviver #1

Picture of a vintage coupe glass.

This first drink was created by Jackson Cannon.  In this version, he substitutes Armagnac for the apple brandy and Calvados instead of Apple Jack, to make this drink a more "top shelf" version of the classic drink.

1 ounce Armagnac
1 ounce Calvados
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish

Fill a pint glass with ice.  Add the Armagnac, Calvados, and Vermouth and stir well.
Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the cherry.

Corpse Reviver #2

Another vintage coupe glass.

This particular recipe is a classic that was made popular in the 1930, Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock.  If its been around that long, its gotta be good, right?  (My husband, the bartender, says that this an old-school, hard-core drink and not to be drunk lightly.  It would cure a hangover, but only because one glass of it would make you drunk again..... or kill you.  If he had to define it in one word, it would be brutal.  So just keep that in mind if you try this drink.)

1 ounce gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano or Lillet Blanc
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 dash absinthe
Orange peel, for garnish

Shake all ingredients, minus the garnish, in an ice-filled cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with orange peel.

The Copper Coupe show was Amazing!!!

It opened with Dita Von Teese coming out in a gold half shell like Venus coming out of the sea.
I did not take these pictures, and I hope the amazing Ms. Dita doesn't get angry if she finds out that I used these pictures.

The music that was playing was Harry James' Sleepy Lagoon, and she was encrusted in Swarovski crystals and pearls.
(If you want to hear the song, I have included a link below.)

It was so beautiful.  And I was entranced.... until the music started to play.  Sleepy Lagoon was one of my dad's favorite songs and he loved classic pin-up girls, so how much I missed him hit me during this first number as I thought about how much he would have loved to see this.  And then I started to copiously cry.  Still, I loved it, and watching it was like something out of a vintage dream.  It was how I always imagined a strip show would look like based on the cartoons that I watched as a child rather than what you get now in strip clubs.
Don't remember those cartoons?  Well here's a little reminder:
I think this is a Tex Avery cartoon where he spoofs nature documentaries.  This is a lizard shedding its skin.  He had to have filmed an actual burlesque dancer to get these moved down, and this type of elegant stripping is exactly what Dita Von Teese does.

She also did a routine with a giant bubble.   Which, I am fairly certain,  is an homage to Sally Strand, who also did a bubble dance.  Which was another cartoon I remembered as a child. 

Dita's version was actually much more elegant.  A fact that doesn't surprise me since she's had years of ballet training.  But the above picture gives you an idea of what it looked like.
Act 1 was sort of the warm up with acts filled with vintage outfits and big band music.  Act II was a little more hard core with more fetish type segments.  Dita riding an electronic bull that looks like a giant red lipstick is something to behold and was, hands down, my husbands favorite number.  The lipstick that she rode was a Mac lipstick and the details were perfect (in glitter of course).  Right down to the Viva Glam color label on the bottom of the lipstick.  (I have to admit that I was feeling kind of chuffed that I owned that color and wear it on a regular basis.)

Again, I didn't take these pictures.  

I don't care who you are, that is sexy.
I know that I have been gushing about Dita, but the rest of the acts were also fantastic.  I love Dirty Martini!!!  And the audience loved her just as much as they loved Dita.  She is amazing and should be the poster girl for body positivity. 

This lady is sexy as can be and has mad skills!  If you want to see her in action, I think some of her dances are on YouTube and they are absolutely worth checking out.  Unfortunately, I don't think you can find any of her tassel tricks.  Which is a shame.  But in this  tour, one of her routines was done on Dita's famous carousel horse and it was mad, crazy, good.

A Frugal Femme Tip

By the time the show was done, it was already about 11:30 at night. 
I hate trying to find a restaurant in a strange city late at night or, even worse, eating fast food.  So, if I know that I won't be able to catch dinner until late, I pack my own for the hotel.
In the case of this trip, I knew that I was going to be going straight from check-in, to quick change, to performance, so I knew that I wouldn't have time to eat before the show.  So before we left, I planned ahead and made a bed picnic to go.
I have the cutest little picnic basket that looks like a suitcase that I use for all kinds of things.

Usually, it stores my current embroidery project that I am working on - because I like my storage to serve two purposes, but I can also use it for carrying food on trips when I know dinner may be an issue the night we arrive.  This basket I packed separately from the snacks that my husband and I were going to eat in the truck, and it was packed where we couldn't reach it.  That way, there would be no way that we ate our dinner as road snacks.

For dinner I packed:
1 bottle of Cabernet wine (complete with wine cork) and I switched out the mugs that came with the  basket for plastic wine glasses that are part of another wine, picnic basket I own.  (I know, I have a problem, I own a lot of picnic baskets.  I think my total is four.)
Various cheeses
Cotto Salami
Sliced Apples
A couple of cheese knives

I also stashed a couple of yogurts and breakfast bars in the basket and stashed them in the mini fridge so that we would have breakfast on the morning we planned on returning.  (Always make sure to choose a hotel with a mini-fridge in each room.  That way you can store snacks and leftovers.  I don't know about you, but I always get snack hungry in hotel rooms.)

It was the perfect dinner to end an amazing evening!!!  And I enjoyed it so much more than I would have any fast food that we would have been able to find.

Well, that it for this post.  In part three of the mini-vacation post, I will take you to the Houston Museum of Art! 

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