Have amazing blue/green eyes that are almost scary.
Crochet gifts for friends and read all of Dickens by age 9.
No matter how late you've stayed up the night before drinking apricot beer, show up to work at the bakery at 5 am with immaculately beautiful braided blond hair.
Play the bass as a teen-ager.
Have a great stomach and be fabulously thin and gorgeous always, but never think you look good at all.
Look good wearing an apron.
Get a bracelet of poison ivy tattooed on your wrists to hide the scars.
Be a bug-bite magnet.
Remind everyone that everything is bullshit.
Have an adorable lisp as a little one so that 30-some years later we still refer to "pe-othed e-ors" when buying earrings.
Be a technophobe and try to convince everyone you know of all the things you can't do, while doing everything you do impeccably well, including: decorating your house, making croissants from scratch and carving your own temporary teeth out of fimo clay.
Enjoy your infants.
Get your house ready for Christmas like it is the most important thing in the world.
Leaving behind friends and places that have defined your life for three years, having everything you own packed up and on its way to somewhere you have never seen, going home with family for the first time in year, teetering between your past life and your future--flying cramped economy, smelling the airplane bathroom for ten hours does not do this moment justice.
Taking a week to sail across the Atlantic in the pampered comfort of a king-sized bed, afternoon tea in Wedgewood cups followed by a three course dinners and dancing to a live band suits the occasion much better. At pretty much the same cost as flying coach--this has to be the best-kept secret in the Foreign Service.
For two years I was sceptical. Will we be reimbursed? Is it really okay to go home by ship? Yep. It's all there in the FAM, the Foreign Service regulation handbook. Baron and Irene sailed to Russia three years ago to get to post, they convinced us it really is do-able, and I can't wait to follow their voyage and relive the whole thing when they sail later this month. Also helpful: a brother-in-law travel agent who got us a great deal on the price of the voyage.
We were thrilled seeing the ship in the harbor, and not just because we could put scissors or shampoo in any bag!
This or flying economy?
From the first night, when the chef sliced off a perfect piece of prime rib, we sat around trying to dream up things to complain about. "Room service was suppose to bring me a latte, not just coffee!" said Peter on our first morning. After he poured, and took a sip, he sighed: "Oh, this is a latte. But I'll keep trying to find something that isn't perfect on this ship!"
How I miss those little flower-shaped butters. And the perfectly prepared and served everything.
We worked out in the gorgeous eucalyptus-scented gym, we checked out the ship's library, went to movies and planetarium shows, you can be busy every second. Stefan only managed to swim in two of the four pools because he took a daily song-writing class (and performed on stage our last night on board). We also enjoyed the time spent not doing much, you can just lay around listen to your ipod and doodle. Until it's time for scones and tea at 3:30.
As one reviewer wrote, (lots of information and great photos on his website) "I have come to realise that staggering round a transatlantic liner in a dinner jacket with a martini is the normal, rational, reasonable way to cross the Atlantic. Heading for an airport and strapping yourself to a flimsy aluminium tube is an unfortunate and eccentric aberration."
We love not flying.
Arriving in New York city under sunny skies, looking straight up 5th Avenue, sitting out on the deck admiring the skyline with beverages while our luggage was brought to shore, the QM2 never stops being a perfect moment you need.