Thursday, June 16, 2011

welcome to my blog!

I am now officially homeless.  My condo near Asheville, North Carolina is rented out and I am wandering around with one suitcase for a year.  My son has officially pronounced me "admirable" but thinks the one suitcase thing is "crazy."  After lugging it around for over two weeks I tend to agree with him, but I am thinking it is too much, not too little.  So many people in this world would be jealous of what I have in this one suitcase.  I also wonder why I spent all those years saving money so I wouldn't be a bag lady when I was older, and now have voluntarily put my self in that situation.

I always enjoy New York, and my week there in early June was no different.  My friend from Pacificare days, Kathy Lowery, came to visit for a few days and we went to several Broadway shows.  My favorite was Book of Mormon, about missionaries in Uganda.   The warlord who went around shooting people left some trepidation about what I am getting into in Tanzania, but overall I laughed out loud through the whole show.  I was happy to note that Scott Barnhardt, one of Matt's former classmates at Orange County High School of the Arts, was in the cast of the show, now winner of 9 Tony's and the hottest ticket on Broadway.

I have been in London for about a week.  I decided to do a lot of walking and have not used the "tube."  At the British Museum they have an exhibit of art made from weapons turned in after the civil wars in Mozambique, which is just south of Tanzania.  One inscription reads something like "The best decision you can make is to pick up a book instead of a gun."

My digs in London are at Grosvenor House, a 5 star Mayfair hotel overlooking Hyde Park that was formerly the home of an Earl.  I feel like I made a wrong turn and got lost somewhere, since I am more used to backpacker hotels.  I get fresh flowers, complementary wine, and fruit every day, but everything else seems to be an add on, like internet for about $35 a day.  They have a pullout clothesline in the marble bathroom, but apparently don't intend for you to use it, since they put out the box with laundry bag, price list, etc every night like a hint when they come to turn down the bed and no doubt see my hand laundry hanging to dry.  Also, my few clothes are geared more for camping than posh hotels, so I feel like I am creeping past the doorman every time I come in (which historically is more the case as I snuck into many hotels in the past to use the facilities).  My son provided this for me, so I have no idea of the cost.  I am very grateful, but fear it is going to be a huge transition to the $13 a night guesthouse I am booked into in Tanzania.

The main reason I am in London was to attend my son's first solo concert.  It was at the Hammersmith Apollo, where the Beatles previously performed, so he did some of their songs as well as his own.  It started fairly sedately, with him in a tuxedo, but by the end he was breakdancing and there were lots of screaming girls, everyone standing and singing along.  He has really missed performing for a live audience, so we all enjoyed it very much.

One of the highlights of the show was when Matt had his childhood friend, Rick Messina (also an OCHSA graduate) come on stage.  He did a great job proposing to his girlfriend, Rebecca, and the audience loved it!

Tonight I fly to Tanzania, the real start of my journey!

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