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28th November 2011

A Visit to Gingerbread Village and Fond Farewell

Gingerbread Castle
    We couldn't venture far today since Marcia needed to get to the airport shortly after noon for her Santa Barbara flight. A short walk around Union Square was the extent of our venture, with a detour into the lobby of the Western St Francis Hotel to marvel at the medieval village castle built out of gingerbread and other such sweet stuff, complete with a model train running around a track at the bottom periphery of the village. It was a joy to watch kids' eyes light up at this treasure.
    I accompanied Marcia to the airport, and bade her farewell. She had been charming company over the past few days; funny, chatty and I'd say we got on pretty well. She had an interesting background. Her grandparents had emigrated from Kiev and Latvia at the end of the 19th-century, and ended up in Chicago. Being an only child, and all her cousins (who all appeared to live within spitting distance) being male, she had lots of attention, and by all accounts she had been a bit of a tomboy. Her father had an interesting approach to raising his daughter. For instance, he gradually introduced her to a comprehensive range of music, to foreign films, to wines and food, and he had an artistic bent too, which he must have passed down. Marcia's late husband also had an artistic streak as well as being a film director. So it was easy to see how she had developed an educated eye for art and a flair for doing her own artistic thing. My artistic knowledge had been expanded by our wanderings around the San Franciscan art scene.
    I'll long have fond memories of our shared laughs and chats. It had done me good just to be in the company of a woman again; for me that had been a major leap forward. Whether our paths will ever cross again, who knows.
    I made my way back to downtown, a little deflated, but within a short space of time I had switched into solo traveller mode and I slipped back into a routine of using any dead time to make notes for my blog. As soon as I got back to my hotel I bludgeoned out a couple of days for the blog. Just as I was concluding this, I received a call from Marcia, letting me know that she had got back home safely, though a couple of hours late. She enquired as to whether I had eaten, and I had to admit that I hadn't. I had already slipped into my mode of only eating when I am hungry; usually only once or twice a day. Once I'd wound up the blog writing and uploaded it, I headed down to a Thai noodle bar I knew, and popped into a bar on the way back in order to make some more notes whilst sipping Anchor Steam beer. Sleep soon beckoned, and I went out like a light.

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Uploaded from Quadrant Hotel, Auckland on 1st December at 07:30

Last updated 30.11.2011