Originally Posted by Janet
1. If you had 6 months to travel and reasonable funds to help, where would you go?
Ahhh, my bliss.
I would head across Texas and Louisiana to Mississippi, then head up the Natchez Trace Parkway, through the Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway and part of the Appalachian Trail, taking six weeks or so. I'd head back down, meeting as many people I have met here as I could, working my way towards Chicago via New Jersey (hi Frank!) taking two weeks. Then I think I would follow Historic Route 66, with many side trips to see mountains, forests and National Parks. I think that would take six weeks. Then I would run up the coast through Oregon to Washington, then some across the northern states, check out the plains, and slowly work my way down through Colorado, taking six weeks. With four of the remaining six weeks, I'd pick up the Santa Fe trail where it stops following Route 66, to Santa Fe, NM. That would give me two weeks to wander at a relaxed pace back to Austin, stopping in Big Bend Park on the way to make sure I don't get home too early.
I would post a photograph and story every day. It would become a blogging media event throwing Airstream into the limelight and doubling sales. They would then let me borrow Airstreams to travel in, just for the publicity it would draw.
Originally Posted by Janet
2. What's your take on the US fascination with the affairs of British Royals?
*grins* Good question.
The Brits think the Royals are mildly embarrassing, but a great investment. We spend a few hundred million a year maintaining them, but the tourism revenue from having the living history of a current royal family is worth many billions every year.
Also, the Queen has one remaining power that we truly appreciate. If she feels the government is not serving the best interests of the people or the nation, she has the power to dissolve parliament and call an election. It's a good safety valve to have, and does keep the more extreme elements of politics in check.
When I was in my twenties I did a lot of voluntary work with people with disabilities, mostly MS - my first wife had progressive MS. As a result of this I was invited to a royal garden party hosted by Lady Joan Pound. Prince Charles and Diana were present. I just remember how huge her feet were - almost clown-like, and that she was so introverted and graceful. She died a few years later and I did have a strong emotional reaction. At the time I lives less than a mile from the funeral procession route, and I did go and pay my respects as the procession passed.
In summary, and back on topic, the US fascination with the Royals suits me fine. It's not really any different from Hollywood.