Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Walk Around Lake Harriet Is Called For

As I confessed a couple of weeks ago, whenever I have weighty issues on my mind the simple act of walking around Lake Harriet seems to bring things into perspective.  Or at the very least bring calm.  I'm heading over there right now.

This week's list:
*Will the Tampa Bay Rays, armed with their coterie of ex-Twins, win tonight and clinch the American League Pennant in Boston?
*Will John McCain show up on the David Letterman show tonite?
*Will Saturday Night Live Thursday Night recreate last night's debate with Joe the (wannabe) Plumber as the moderator?
*How will the Queen Elizabeth 2 fare in her next life as a luxury hotel in Dubai?
You notice there is nothing on the list about the state of the economy, airline mergers, wars, global warming or survival.  I have decided to ignore these issues in favor of lighter fare. After all, if the politicians can ignore them, why can't I?
I will dutifully report back on most of my selected issues within a day or two.  The future of the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE 2) in Dubai is quite another matter, however, and we won't really know for awhile.  I expect the only way to find out would be to visit Dubai next year and stay at least one night in (or is it on) the QE 2.  A prospect that would, I fear, wipe out any balance still sloshing around in the bottom of my retirement fund.
Twenty-two years ago I did stay on the QE 2, sailing from New York to Southampton.  An American Express/Cunard/British Overseas Airways promotion that offered a return flight on the supersonic Concorde for $500 when you booked one way on the QE 2 got my attention.  You know me and airplanes - - it was the ride on the Concorde I was after and I was not disappointed.  More on that in a later post.
The five days on the QE2 were a magnificent experience; sailing past the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty on our way out to sea, and finally sharing champagne with the parents of a ship's steward on deck while waiting to disembark in Southampton. It was quite a wait.  Passengers disembarked by "class," with AA First Class being first.  I seem to remember we were "k" (small letter) class.  But the son of our deck-mates kept bringing bottles of champagne.  We didn't mind the wait at all.
I can almost picture the QE 2 at her final resting place in Dubai, the oil-rich Gulf sheikdom.  She will be installed as a permanently moored hotel and entertainment complex and museum at the Palm Jemeirah, billed as the world's largest man-made island and beach resort.  You know, the one whose aerial views of the palm tree shaped development proliferated in cyberspace. What I can't picture, however, is the QE 2 without her seven-story-tall funnel which will be removed as part of the makeover 
A symbol of the golden age of ocean travel joins a symbol of the golden age of piston-engined air travel (the Boeing B-377 Stratocruiser,) as beloved icons of a kinder, gentler, way more gracious era in passenger travel. 
I wonder if the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum would consider transforming their Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (the military forerunner of the B-377 Stratocruiser) into an airport hotel? Failing that, maybe we could fly it to Dubai?
Only kidding, General.   Sir.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

tholdSniff. Sniff. Do I smell sarcasm? Hmm and a bit of humor, too. For anyone who reads this, Anne writes as she is. She's fun and funny and yet delves into current events with great knowledge.

Did you talk open up other places to talk?
Good for you, leaving your comfort zone and apparently doing superbly.

October 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM  

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