Tag Archives: Romance

W&K

Know where I’m going to be this Friday night?  I bet you can’t guess.  That’s right. I’m going to be glued to the computer monitor watching along with thousands of others as William Windsor gets married to Kate Middleton.

Why?

Well, to be honest, why the hell not?

I have friends all around the world, most of them don’t get the interest, some do.  I am currently living in a former British Colony and most people down here could give a flying fig less.  They don’t seem to understand the American obsession with the Royal family.

To be honest, I don’t understand it fully either.  I know that the royal family is a fascination for me, and has been.  Although I tend to enjoy more of the renaissance time period than modern, but that’s the same for just about everything English.

Americans are celebrity obsessed, that’s for certain.  Don’t believe me, take a good look at how many gossip magazines are at the checkout counter next time you go grocery shopping.  Now, take a moment to realize that there are none like that down here.  At least not that I’ve seen readily available.  Of course, i don’t go looking.

I am not usually celebrity obsessed.  I don’t know who the Kardashians are or why I should care.  I have no idea how many men Brittney Spears has been married to, or divorced from.  And I can honestly say that I have no idea what Lady GaGa wore to what event.  Or could I care.

But there is something about the Royal family that catches my attention.  Something that sets the imagination on fire.  Yeah, they’re the descendants of Tyrants and crazy people, and yes they’re all interrelated going most of the way back to William the Conqueror, but that’s not the point.  The point is that every little girl wants to be a princess.  And the royals give, and have given over generations, the chance to pretend.

There is something innately romantic in every little girl, Disney first starts to stir it up with Cinderella and the other Princesses in their movies, and then the little girls grow up, and there’s real princesses.  History classes talk about kings and queens and princesses and things, storybooks give details about this and that and this.  It’s enough to set the imagination wild.

Most Americans are never going to be rich.  Most are never going to be Princesses or royalty of any kind.  But that doesn’t stop the dreams.  The hopes.  The wishes on far away stars.

Grace Kelly was a girl from Philadelphia, she started acting, was a big movie star and she could dance with the angels.  And then, she became a Princess.  The perfect story for every little girl growing up in the USA.  Or at least in the Philadelphia area.  You too could maybe meet your prince and he will make you a princess.

Maybe it’s inevitable that I feel this way.  My name is Sarah, which is Hebrew for “Princess”.  I have always been treated like a princess by my parents, spoiled rotten and well behaved. I knew my manners and my education was stellar.  I was 5 days old when Diana and Charles got married, my mom watching the wedding from her hospital bed.  Maybe that had something to do with it.

I grew up fascinated with the English Royal family, from 1066 on down.  There were points where I could recite the entire lineage from the War of the Roses on down to modern times.  I can’t do that as much now.  Henry VIII is as fascinating to me today as he was when i was in 10th grade history.  Elizabeth I is just as imposing as she was back then.

And the royal wedding is going to be just as much fun as I can imagine.  There is an aspect of romance to being able to have everything you can imagine and more for your wedding.  That dress? yes please.  Those flowers, i’ll take a dozen.  Any thing you can imagine and create and come up with?  Yes.

It’s a romance thing, it’s wanting what you can’t have.  To be swept away by white stallions and a prince who will give you everything you can imagine.

I’m a happy woman.  I am in a relationship with a man who loves, respects, and cherishes me.  he spoils me and treats me as close to a princess as I’ve been treated since I was a little girl playing with my cabbage patch dolls that my Daddy got me and going to stage shows with no discernible plot but featuring everything from saturday morning cartoons that I loved.

Do I want a wedding with the glitz and the glamour, with the drama and the blank check?  of course I do.  Every little girl somewhere deep inside wants that.  That one day where everything is perfect, where you’re the center of attention and nothing but you and your loved one matters.  Am I going to get the dream wedding?  Probably not.  There won’t be a carriage ride through town.  There probably wont be a giant room with white curtains and lilies and roses and ivy cascading around us.    But at this point in my life, I can honestly say that grabbing a few friends, grabbing a judge, and getting married in the middle of the day on some summer day would be just as magical and romantic to me.

But enough about me.  We’re talking about the obsession over the British Royals and the wedding this weekend and how absolutely insane it is for Americans to be so obsessed and fascinated with it.  And I think that’s it.  It’s a fascination.

The closest we have is our Celebrities in the States and their weddings are huge affairs with glamor and drama and the news covers them like the events of the century.  But it’s been 30 years since the last royal wedding, they happen so rarely, how can you not be excited?

On a side note, this is the perfect time for England to start giving a great Public Relations moment for next year’s Olympics.  The world is watching you, England, advertise now.  Bring in the excitement, the glamor, the thrill and the wow with this wedding and push it for the Olympics.

There will be hundreds and hundreds of tourists in town for the wedding, use this and the Olympics next year, and bring yourself back up to the top.  You have the stage this weekend, Don’t screw this up!

Also, congrats to Kate & William!! A wish of Good Luck and Health to you and your future together.  Mazel Tov!

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Trip part Two

 

Landing in Phoenix was delightful.  Got off the plane, got hugs from Raza and Marko, and then I high tailed it to my next gate.  Amazingly, I got to the gate just as they were calling my boarding group to get onto the plane.  Fantastic.  The even better part, the plane wasn’t full. Nowhere even close.  So I was able to climb into one of the last rows of the plane, grab the window seat and then stretch out.  And it was then that I discovered something truly amazing, I didn’t need a seatbelt extender.  I was actually able to get into the seat, sit comfortably and still have the belt buckled.

 

Hooray for Southwest airlines!

 

The flight from Phoenix to LA was short and mercifully so.  But still enjoyable as I got to look out the window at all the scenery.  It was really quite something, just how rugged the landscape was, how amazingly barren and beautiful everything appeared.  And while flying overhead, recalling memories of old Earth Science courses, watching how the mountains and valleys had formed, the way the land had been cut and eroded and shaped into these magnificent shapes and colors.  The waterways that came down from the snow covered tops, and fed through streams and rivers and winded twisted paths until it spilled into the causeways and aqueducts made by human design to keep the land livable.  It was truly impressive.

 

And then, out of nowhere, civilization.  It was nearly instantaneous, the land became less rough, less arid and then all of a sudden, there were houses.  Thousands upon thousands of houses, in nice little rows and odd shaped neighborhoods.  I picked the correct side of the plane, it appeared, because as we were flying low into LA, I looked out my window and just off into the distance, I was able to see the Hollywood Hills.  Complete with the Hollywood sign.  It was far away and there wasn’t much definition to the letters, but rest assured, there it was.  The white letters that spell out Hollywood against the high green hill backdrop, welcoming everybody to the West Coast paragon of American Life.

 

I had made it to LA.

 

LAX was not a very friendly airport.  It wasn’t necessarily bad or even evil, but it was not the most friendly of places.  The brief ten minutes that I spent in Phoenix made me feel better, happier, than the three hours that I spent in LA.  The airport was dark, cold, and old.  Now, I know that not much can be done about the age of the airport, and they are working on upgrades and repairs, but there had obviously been no real change to the interior (including the seats) since the late 1960s.

 

But, I made my way from one terminal to the other, got my bags taken care of and made it to my gate.  The Duty free shop was astounding, filled with alcohol and makeup.  There were a few other shops, but nothing incredibly interesting.  I was hungry, though, having not really eaten anything since getting up on Wednesday morning.  So I stopped into the LaBrea bakery that was in the terminal, bought an Orange Juice, a Bottle of water, and a Mozzarella, sundried tomato, basil, and pesto sandwich.  It was fantastic.  I wasn’t able to completely finish it, but it did what it was supposed to do.

 

I then went and sat at the terminal, surrounded by a dozen or more college students, all heading to different universities in New Zealand from different Universities in the States, all going for a semester or a year for studying.  We sat together and everything seemed well.  I purchased some internet access and played around online for a bit, to help ease the stress and the waiting.  I filled my iPod (thank you danny!) with more music for sleeping to, and then they were ready to start boarding.  Now, they did things very interesting.

 

The business premier boarded first, and then the economy premier, and then people with children.  And then, they boarded the back of the plane.  So I was technically one of the first people on the plane.  I chose my seat wisely, as I had picked the one all the way in the back of the plane where the row dropped from having three seats, to two.  I chose the aisle seat on the first row of two, so I had all kinds of extra room for my carry on, and my feet.  Brilliant.

 

I ended up sitting next to one of the college students and we had a great time being generally friendly and playing with the touch screen in front of us.  Movies, television shows, music, all right there at our fingertips.  We could order snacks and drinks on demand in the middle of the flight right from our screens.  We could watch any movie from the list (I watched Red, it was quite delightful), listen to any music, and even watch our flight’s progress over a large map.  They gave information with accurate altitude, temperature, speed, distance remaining, and time remaining.  It was really fascinating.

 

Dinner was served shortly after takeoff, sadly I was in the back of the plane and dinner started being served in the front first.  Unless you asked for a special meal like vegetarian, as the college girl did, and you got served first.  I knew I should have chosen Kosher.  But eventually, dinner did make its way to me.  I picked the Braised Beef with roasted courgettes (zucchini) and parmesan mashed potato.  It was, as airline food goes, quite delicious.  Of course, I was starving.  I did not, however, get a chance to have the dessert, as I fell asleep very quickly after eating.  But the choices were a pineapple carrot cake or a plate of New Zealand cheeses and fruit.  I’m a little bummed about not getting that.  But I slept well.  I slept through most of the time to order drinks and snacks on demand.  But the sleep was good, and it was needed.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get my seat to lean back, so I was uncomfortable, but I still slept.

 

I woke up shortly before breakfast, which since the rear was served dinner last, we got breakfast first.  The choices were between a savory ham and cheese Danish, or a potato and spinach frittata.  I chose the Frittata which also came with a single link of chicken and apple sausage, a bowl of fresh fruit, and a container of yogurt.  The eggs were quite good, and I think I could manage to make something like that on my own quite easily.  I didn’t eat the yogurt, I just couldn’t get it down. I knew how close I was to new  Zealand and the excitement was starting to affect my stomach. I spent the rest of the flight watching the plane on the high detailed map flying closer and closer, and then altitude dropping.  It was fascinating.  Watching the plane on the screen indicate that we were flying in over the top of the islands, and then looking out of the window to see the first semblance of land appear for the first time in several hours.

 

As the plane got lower and lower, most of us were leaning towards the windows as much as possible, drinking in the pure green that met us.  I’ve seen the pictures, you’ve all seen the pictures of the green land, the absolute lush earth that New Zealand has.  None of the images do it Justice.  You think you’ve seen green, but you really haven’t.  The land here is so full of life, so very natural, its slightly overwhelming.

 

The plane touched down, and the deep breaths through the nose and out the mouth began.  I had made it to New Zealand. I was in my new home.  At least partially. I still had to get through Customs and Biosecurity.  And that wasn’t very difficult. Queue up in al long line that moved fairly quickly until you got to the window.  You hand the Customs official your paperwork, all of it, anything that you can think of that they might need. Your arrival card, your passport, and in my case, my Visa papers.  There was a slight problem where my visa showed up and then disappeared, but it got fixed.  I got stamped and entered into the country.

 

Next stop, baggage claim.  Grab a trolley, toss the suitcases onto the trolley and then head to biosecurity.  Another queue, another uniformed officer, asking the simple question of ‘do you have any food on you’.  I had brought some packaged tea with me, so I answered yes.  I got stamped through, and then your luggage comes off the trolley and onto the Xray belt.  Your bags go through the xray machine, there’s a brief moment of panic when you think they’re going to make you open your bag and you realize that while there’s nothing contraband in the luggage, you freak out trying to figure out just how you’re going to get it closed once again.

Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that, they xrayed my bag, didn’t see anything that gave them concern, and I was waved through.  Luggage back on the trolley and you take a deep breath, following the signs that say ‘Way Out’.  A large frosted glass wall separates the end of Biosecurity and the place where your family and friends are waiting for you.  Turn the corner and you appear to all those gathered, one or maybe two people leaving the airport at once, so for that brief instant you have the eyes of a few dozen people on you, wondering if this trolley coming through is attached to their loved one.

 

It took only a few seconds for me to spot E as he was waving to me and then one leg over the fence and then another, he jumped (more like strode over) the barricade and wrapped me in his arms in a tight hug and a long kiss.  Right there in front of everybody waiting for their own loved ones.  He held me close and then, we headed to the car.

 

It was time to go home.

Stars

There is something oddly comforting about knowing that if I look up into the sky at night, no matter the time of year, I will always be able to find Polaris, the North Star.

 

And it’s even more comforting to me knowing that in the fall and winter I can look up into the sky and see Orion and the Seven Sisters.  It’s a pleasure.  A delight.  And yes, it tends to ease my mind.

 

ever since I was little and I started to realize the constellations were there, I would be able to find Orion and I would talk to him. Of course he would never answer me back, but I tended to take that as a good thing.  No, I would talk to Orion, vent my fears and frustrations that happened at school, this was long before blogging.  And a diary never worked for me, I could never write fast enough.

 

So over the years, it’s been just something that I did, I would go outside at night, look up into the sky, find Orion and say Hello to him.  And to the Sisters, who’s names I can never remember, but it’s  awfully rude to just ignore them, so I say Hello and offer my kindest well wishes, and then along my way I go.

 

Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a bit peculiar, why do ask?

 

But here’s the rub.  I won’t be able to see Orion or the Sisters, or even Polaris and Cassiopeia down in New Zealand.  Well, they will technically be up in the sky during the daytime, but seeing as you can’t really see the stars during the day, that is quite moot.

 

So, I need to learn about the sky of the South, the Southern stars and the Cross and whatever else there is to learn about the night sky and astronomy.  I think one of the first things I’m going to ask E to do is to go out with me one night, find a patch of earth somewhere away from the city lights, lay out on a blanket and just look at the stars.  See if we can find the stream of the Milky Way crossing over the dark blue blanket of night.

 

Yeah. That’s something pretty nifty I would think.