Archive for 'British Empire'

Maybe Dorothy Was Right
by Our Guest on February 19th, 2009

When I first broached the subject of a winter vacation, my two sets of heroes and heroiones were beside themselves with excitement and their houses were thrown into uproars. Traveling outfits had to be aired, the trunks hauled down from the attic, the carriages cleaned and waxed and the horses readied. Then they all scurried into their respective libraries to pore over the maps. Hmm, where to go? Bearing in mind all the possible hot spots of war, disease and famine, the British Empire in the 1830s offered a veritable world of choices. India, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, the West Indies, Austrialia….the possibilities were endless…

And then reality set in. Whether they chose the spicy streets of Bombay, the tent-shrouded deserts of Arabia, or the relaxation of a balmy, breezy Caribbean plantation, how the devil would they get there? Cause baby, trains, planes and automobiles were just not an option in 1830! It would take another decade plus before trains became an accepted mode of transportation and forget about cushy cruise lines. Travel by ship meant hitching a ride on a commercial sailing vessel — crowded and uncomfortable and you want to talk about the rigors of a winter crossing? Not to mention another thing not invented in 1830: Dramamine!!!

Look like fun? Blurfff!

You know, there’s a reason people tended to stay tucked away on their country estates during the winter, and holing up in Cornwall is beginning to look a whole lot more attractive to Chad, Sophie, Grayson and Nora. I mean, they’re already ahead of the game being in the warmest part of England, and there’s a lot to be said for cuddling and sipping hot port by a roaring fire while the ocean tosses and the snow flies. I think there are times when Dorothy was right, there’s no place like home. Besides, in just a few short weeks the quality folk will start pouring back into London for another exciting, fun-filled, scandal-ridden Season. And as another old saying goes, when you’ve grown tired of London, you’ve grown tired of life. So why go anywhere else?

I have to say it’s a toss up for me between London and New York. What city do you think is the most exciting in the world?