Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DREAMS 11/01/00

Subj: dreams
Date: Wed Nov 1 07:55:55 EST 2000

Three years ago yesterday was Elsa's last day at Prudential HealthCare, which was cutting staff. Instead of feeling sorry for herself over losing a job she thought would take her to retirement, she celebrated the opportunity to make two dreams of mine come true.

Ever since Walt Disney announced his plans in the early 1960s to build EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), I’ve longed to visit DisneyWorld. Another dream was to visit Charleston. Elsa made both wishes come true. We took two weeks and drove down to DisneyWorld via Charleston and home through the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge.

Elsa tailored the entire trip around me. We never hit the road before 10:30 a.m. and were never in bed before 11:00 p.m. Each day’s plan was that if I was too tired to do anything, we would just stay put in the hotel, inn or lodge rather than exploring and adventuring.

Our first day out, we had lunch at the Briar Rose, which is a Williamsburgish restaurant on Frankford Ave in Philadelphia.

As we drove past Wilmington, De, we thought about the times the two of us headed down to O'Friel's, an Irish pub, to hear the Corrib Folk or Tom O'Carroll sing.

I always get a kick out of driving through Baltimore - my home town is unrecognizable.

We arrived in Washington, D.C. in time for a spectacular sunset. Instead of taking her usual route which skirts around Washington, Elsa took a route that took us past relatively up close to some of our most cherished memorials and even the Capitol, all of them bathed in the setting sun. It gives me goose bumps just remembering it.

As we were driving between Richmond and Williamsburg, Elsa pulled off the big, multi-lane highway. She had no idea where we were, but followed her instincts, driving down a country road to a place where she could pull off. Then we got out of the car and looked up at the sky.

Here, in the Philadelphia area, the sky is diffused with all sorts of lights. It is hard, even out in Lancaster County or in the northern reaches of Bucks County, to really see the stars. There, off that small road in Virginia, the stars were strewn bright against a deep, dark sky.

I thought about all the places I’ve seen stars – in the Sierra Nevada, where the sky seemed crammed with them; in Australia, where I again felt like I could touch them; on a remote back road in Massachusetts, where they arched over the ink black sky; add to that list a country road in Virginia. Sights that are forever in my heart.

In Williamsburg, we stayed at a favorite place, Heritage Inn, an affordable yet very lovely place. I had no idea that first night what an unforgettable time lay ahead of us. All I remember was going to bed very, very happy.

Happy trails to one and all - Grammie Kay

reposted in honor of Grammie Kay's 05/14 centenary

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