Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dishin' About Diners ... and Other Stuff is back!

Dishin' About Diners ... and Other Stuff is back from hiatus. Just in time for the Royal Wedding. Okay, okay, enough with the eye rolls. This qualifies as "Other Stuff" and is definitely nostalgic. Nostalgia is a personal, yet collective thing. For some, it is remembering the first time they saw Star Wars in the movie theater or listening to a baseball game on the radio as a kid or their favorite toy...or eating in their favorite diner.

I was a teenager when Lady Diana married her Prince. The wedding took place on July 29 - less than month before my birthday and for the next several years, my family didn't think very hard about gift ideas. Books, stamps, tea cups - you name it, I think they were all part of my "collection" at one point.

A few years later, antsy with college, I signed up for a Junior Year abroad in London, with visions of pubs, Sloane Rangers, cool music and running into royalty. (It wasn't until I had to get on the plane that I realized I'd have to leave my comfort zone and meet new people!) The year was one of my coolest adventures.
The unexpected luxury to traveling as a college student is having time to explore. With London as a base of operation, the rest of the UK and Europe is easily accessible. Every weekend I was wandering around with my camera, at a soccer game, a museum, shopping. The music was pretty cool - from Elvis Costello at the Royal Albert Hall to the Pogues at Brixton Academy.

And, yes, I did run into royalty. On my way to class one day I stopped in Frog Hollow, a small toy store in Kensington and there she was, picking out a toy ... let's assume for a young prince.

My affection for the UK continues. Although I worked in London for several months after college, it has been a while since I've visited friends. Thanks to Facebook, we keep in touch. Over the years and more so after Diana's accident, I didn't follow the monarchy as closely, but obviously the royal story didn't end with the romance that it started with. And, I confess to not knowing who Kate Middleton was until the engagement was announced.

But, in a nod to nostalgia, I'll be setting my alarm early tomorrow morning.