Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 on Tuesday

Ten places I wish I was right now, as represented by postcards on my bulletin board.

1) Chateau Elan in Atlanta. It's a winery, a golf course, and -- my favorite -- a luxury spa. Wouldn't it be lovely to be in a dimly-lit, fragrant room, enjoying a hot-stone massage?

2) Copely Square in Boston. I love this part of town because it's where the past and the present coexist so comfortably. There's a lively shopping center and small storefronts, the John Hancock buildings, which represent current architecture, and buildings like Trinity Church, a gorgeous old building from the 1870s.

3) Hemingway Home in Key West. Papa lived and worked here for more than a decade, and it's a fascinating place to visit. Especially for the cats. I can think of no other museum where more than 50 are welcome and encouraged to roam free. Some are friendly, others aloof, and all have the confidence that comes from knowing they live there while you're only visiting.

4) Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. A grand old lady, right across the street from "my mountain," Ouachita. Before I discovered Chateau Elan, this was my spa, where I'd come to enjoy thermal water treatments and then wander around on the mountain. A beautiful, peaceful escape.

5) JFK Library and Museum. Just outside Boston, it's an inspiring trip to Camelot. Don't miss the movie that's offered to guests -- it's the President himself narrating the story of his life and sets the tone beautifully. And I'd really love to have a leisurely lunch there -- for the Museum Cafe provides a breathtaking view of the sea.

6) Captain Tony's Saloon. A Key West staple. Rumor has it that it's been a favorite of both Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett. I enjoy it because it's just so freaking ... Key West. License plates and business cards hang on the walls, while bras hang from the ceiling. An enormous tree actually grows from the floor and up through the roof -- rumor has it that this was originally a "hanging tree" and no one wants to disturb the spirits by cutting it down. The upholstery is torn and the drinks are served in plastic cups.

7) The Governor's Palace, Williamsburg. Once home to Thomas Jefferson, it's opulent and fascinating, surrounded by gorgeous gardens (complete with mazes).

8) The Hollywood Sign. I'm not providing a link because what else do you possibly need to know about it?

9) Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield. I love feeling this close to the great man. He's become so mythic that sometimes he seems more like Santa Claus to me than a real, flesh and blood man, and it's here that he comes to life for me. That's why I like the Treasuries Gallery best. There you can see intimate items like the tiny framed photo and lock of his hair that Mary carried with her throughout her widowhood.

10) Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Hey! Gimme a break! It was a Manilow-free zone when I visited. Not that it was any less rich and silly when I stayed there. It still had it's very own Eiffel Tower!

Not what he expected

I have been carrying on a Facebook flirtation with a German national who lives England. He approached me with a message about my fondness for vodka -- I have it listed as a hobby, which amuses him.

When we first started chatting, he was all light and rather immature for the 30-something university professor he claims to be, so looked him up to see if he was for real. I found his page on the university's website and found that he is a history/political science professor.

Well! I'm not wasting this golden opportunity to find out how our country is viewed overseas, so I have been peppering him with questions. I still hear from him every evening and I'm learning a lot, but something tells me this isn't the breezy, breathless exchange he was expecting when he friended me.