Tag Archives: Biltmore

Connected in time and space…part 12

Arriving home from the Biltmore (see part 11), I break the news…………..!!!!!!!

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Still absorbing the idea of a journey to Russia in less than six weeks, we set about planning our itinerary:

Santa Barbara – San Francisco – Seattle – Copenhagen (3 nights) – Stockholm – St. Petersburg  (4 nights) – Stockholm (1 night)

– Newark – Denver – Santa Barbara

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We’ve enjoyed a great send-off from friends

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and look forward to a few days in Copenhagen, before the final leg of the journey to St. Petersburg.

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A drive north from Copenhagen, along the coast of Denmark closest to Sweden takes us to Rungsted, the hometown of author Karen Blixen, pen name Isak Dinesen.  The family home, her father’s 40 acre estate, Rungstedlund, is open to the public.

circa 1943

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1995

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Karen Christenze Dinesen von Blixen-Finecke is buried on the estate.

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While driving we are treated to idyllic scenery at every turn.

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Cruising the canals in Copenhagen,

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we came upon quirky houseboats,

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and old waterfront warehouses, now luxurious condominiums.

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In St. Petersburg, Rosalyn prefers that we stay at the Nevsky Palace Hotel where she will be….with the caveat:  if you see me prior to the concert, do not approach me – I go deep inside myself….’  With this directive in mind, we have scheduled our arrival for one day prior to the concert – we will be touching down in Russia on

the Fourth of July!!!!

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Connected in time and space…part 11

The Biltmore Santa Barbara………

(now the Four Seasons Biltmore)

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In 1995, still quintessentially old Spanish luxe,

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perched on the edge of the continent, at eye level with the Pacific.

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Always de rigueur for cocktails, mixing locals and out-of-towners; offering a lounge with fireplace and seating to encourage conversation and conviviality.

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On that Tuesday in late May, at the appointed time, under the chandelier hanging in the portal

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through the entrance, down the steps into the lounge………..

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………seated with Rosalyn, David and Hillary Hauser – a local journalist – drinks are ordered:

Rosalyn:  Virgin Mary – amended to Marguerita — Hilary:  Tequila – lots of lime — David:  Scotch and soda – amended to Scotch on the rocks — Susan:  Chardonnay – Sonoma

 In the midst of light conversation, Rosalyn abruptly turns to me, ‘I’d like to see the  pictures’, referring to my offer to bring pictures of George.  As David (dutifully) engages Hilary, Rosalyn and I peruse the pictures as she relates  (with much drama and gesturing with her petite hands) how she and George met, then fills in the months leading up to their marriage and his death so soon thereafter.

George proposed on New Year’s Eve 1963, in New York after dinner and the theatre, in Times Square as the ball dropped at midnight.’ Not feeling able to immediately give him an answer, she returned to London.  ‘He followed, took a flat around the corner from my home, pledging not to leave London until he had my answer.’  They were married in September of 1964 in London.  I put him on a plane at Heathrow in October to return to California where he was to sell his house and find one for us’……..she later saw it………a pink palace up on the hill in Pasadena’.  They were to have a pied-a-terre in New York and her home in London as well.  ‘We planned to rendezvous in New York for Thanksgiving.’  Instead she received an early morning phone call telling her that George had died the previous day, the eighth of November 1964.

As we continue to talk of George and our family, Rosalyn asks:  ‘Why don’t you come to my next concert, dahling?’  ‘I’d love to…where is it to be and when?’

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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