Every December I look for a special dress I like to call my “December Dress”. This is the dress that I wear on my birthday as well as to the annual Google Holiday Party. When I go “December Dress” shopping, I usually don’t have a particular style in mind — just whatever catches my eye. However, this year was different since Google decided to put together a themed party, which meant I had to put more effort into planning what I was going to wear. Can you guess the theme from this picture of me and my fiancé Greg at the party?
If you guessed 1940s, you are correct! If not, oh well — we tried our best to go along with the theme. Since previous Google holiday parties didn’t really have a theme where they encouraged their engineers to dress up, I had to replace my initial search for a bright sequined dress with something more subdued (the war years took place in the ’40s, after all) but still with a little bit of sparkle. So I got this black with gold glitter dress at Bloomingdale’s — it’s called “Glittered Ruched Cocktail Dress”, and it’s designed by David Meister. I like the vintage look of short sleeves on an elegant dress.
I also wore a black and gold Betsey Johnson coat that I had actually bought for a Google party two years ago. The colors matched my dress nicely. This coat came in really handy throughout the party, because it took place on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (which is now a museum moored at Alameda Point in the San Francisco Bay Area). Although many of the open areas were blocked off and heat lamps were all around, I was still chilly here and there.
Here are pictures of some of my favorite highlights of this year’s party:
When the G-Bus dropped us off in front of the loading ramp, we were greeted with Christmas music played by the USS Hornet Band (shown on the left). There was a lot more live entertainment going on once boarding the ship, including swing dance performances from Stanford University’s Swingtime Dance Troupe (shown on the right).
Google parties aren’t complete without picture-taking stations (with props!). Since Google still hasn’t released the pictures from the party, I’ll just include this picture of one of our non-silly pictures that displayed on a screen at the party. You can sort of see here (click the picture to enlarge) that I put my hair up with my version of “Victory Rolls” (a popular vintage hairstyle named after the name of the maneuver World War II fighter pilots would do when they rolled their aircraft to notify their success). I also pinned a small hat to my hair for fun.
The picture on the left shows a map of the tours we could go on and exhibits we could see. It turned out that the tours require you to go up narrow and steep staircases to get around the historic aircraft carrier, but have no fear — Google is always prepared! They had tables set up with Dr. Scholl’s For Her Fast Flats (sorted by shoe size) for anyone who wanted a break from their heels.
There is also a flight simulator inside USS Hornet! I got to participate in a Desert Storm seek-and-destroy mission aboard the F/A-18 Hornet Strike Fighter. Watching the simulator move from the outside is actually a lot more intimidating than riding inside.
And last but not least, there was a lot of food! The food tables were also themed — they were set up by ports of call that included lots of favorite dishes and desserts from all over the world. I was most impressed by this cute doughnut maker machine, pictured on the left. This nifty invention could make mini donuts very quickly! You can choose from a variety of doughnut toppings — I got powdered sugar with sprinkles!
Check out the “December Dress” I picked out last year that I wore to the Google Holiday Party at the California Academy of Sciences!